You know when the milk has gone bad in the fridge. You can smell the sour before you even do the taste test. But it’s not as easy when it comes to your home. When does the kitchen start to spoil? Have the bathrooms gone moldy at the edges? Everything in your home has an expiration date. Here’s when you know it’s time for a refresh:
Our #NixonPack magic number is 10. Right around the ten-year mark you’re going to notice things not looking their best, or starting to break down. That clean look is long gone because grout will be far beyond a little scrub and shine, appliances have been acting really wonky and let’s be honest, you’re sick of looking at everything.
If you are thinking about selling and have a 5-10 year old kitchen, it’s time for a few updates. I know, I know, we said 10. But the reality is buyers today want NEW and they can spot newish a mile away.
Friends of ours have been talking about selling for years. The kids have flown the coop, they don’t need all that space anymore and yet, there they stay. They have done a few updates the past few years in preparation for putting the house on the market. Big mistake. Here’s why: everything has a time stamp. Five years ago when they put in beige tile floors, beige was in and square tiles were OK. Now, to most buyers that look is dated. Same goes for a glass tile backsplash. At one time, that was the latest and greatest in design, but like many fads, it came and went pretty quickly. Without a clear idea of when you are actually listing your home, the hourglass is already spilling out sand for the shelf life of your remodel.
Here’s what we want you to do instead. If you know you’re going to sell your home in the next year, start updating. Not for you, for them. Go as neutral as possible – a white and grey color palette is what the majority of buyers have on their wishlist right now. When you choose timeless materials like subway tile, hardwood floors and nothing too “of the moment”, you’ll appeal to the largest group of shoppers and will avoid putting a time stamp on the renovation. Ask around and tour open houses in your neighborhood. What design elements are buyers in your price range looking for? Do they prefer granite over quartz? The look of wood cabinets or a white kitchen? What are they willing to pay top dollar for?
If you’re unsure of when you’ll move or think you’ll stay at least another five years – design for you. Inspired by the latest Kitchen Crashers episode and want to try your hand as a weekend warrior painting the cabinets your favorite shade of blue? Go for it. But remember this. When you have us over in five years and are ready to list your home, we are going to tell you they have to go. I know, you spent all that money and time and it looks fabulous. But it was the perfect fit for your family and you enjoyed the heck out of it, right? In order to get your asking price and be competitive in this market, or any market really, the sour milk must be thrown out.
A little research goes a long way. You want to be just a little bit better than your competition so the cream rises to the top. But you don’t want to put so much money into your renovation that you price yourself right out of the neighborhood. For our first house, painted red cabinets and formica counters were on par with the neighbors. We were even able to get away with Home Depot tile (“more saving, more doing, that’s the power…”) in the shower. Buyers in that price range were excited they could move right in, it was fresh and clean with no major items to be handled immediately. For our last house, the buyers demanded high-end appliances and custom closets. We covered all the items on their must-have list and even checked a few boxes on their wish list. More often than not, going the extra mile pays off ten-fold and you may even be rewarded with multiple offers. Who would say no to that?
Considering some updates and want to know if they pass the #NixonPack sniff test? Share them with us below!