Profile picture for homeselleril

Kitchen Cabinets & Tile: OK or too dated?

I'm fixing up my kitchen in preparation for selling my condo. Does this cabinet/tile combo look OK for sale? 

I need to replace the countertop (it's stained), I'm thinking about replacing it w/ a whitish Quartz countertop. Does that sound like a reasonable cabinet/tile/countertop combination?

I'm a guy, honestly this whole thing is driving me crazy.. I understand that I need to make the kitchen appealing in order to sell, but I don't want to get roped into spending tons of money..

I'm hoping to do the minimum/save money, but if there's something that I should do which is likely to make a big difference in perceived value then I would like to know..

Thank you
  • February 17 2012 - North Chicago
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    Answers (15)

    Your kitchen looks like it has basic builders grade cabinets with inexpensive laminate, mid range appliances and 12" tile floor. This is more akin to an apartment than a condo.

    BUT what I would be interested in knowing are other units in the same development basically the same? Or have they made updated improvements?

    If the other condos have substantially upgraded their kitchens (new cabinets, counters, floors) I would be hesitant to spend a ton of money on the counter tops as they might just end up in the trash when the new owners remodel.
    • February 17 2012
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    Profile picture for K.K. Yan
    I wish I know more about your home to give you a more objective opinion. By only looking at the photos, I will want a kitchen be more updated if I am the buyer. You can check out my blog see if you like the kitchens in there. [website deleted by Zillow moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy] They are inexpensive. What's your budget? I maybe able to help you.
    • February 17 2012
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    just curious - did someone send you a bushel of oranges from Florida?

    :)

    Hep me out here - I am a little confused..........are you only planning on replacing the countertops.or are you doing new cabinets, too?
    Quartz is a great choice...I actually prefer it to granite, although it's a bit more expensive.....but if you put on new quartz  counters and leave the old cabinets.......imo....it won't work. The cabinets will look older and worse sitting against new quartz counters!

    Have you considered refacing the cabinets?
    You can get a new look for less money, and if the cabinets are structurally sound, it might be something to consider.

    Not to be a pest.......but.........what about the floor?
    The problem with updating some things, is that the "other" things you don;t update will look worse...and then there's the stove..................

    OK I will stop!
    :)
    Seriously - as Mike mentioned - find out what the other listed properties in your complex offer.............be competitve, but don't over do it......or, leave the current counters, and just price it right..to reflect the fact that the kitchen isn;t updated.
    • February 17 2012
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    Profile picture for Caveat Emptor
    everything looks fine. I would be glad to live with 12" tiles and basic cabinets.

    0.02
    • February 17 2012
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    Probably not, but.

    Here's the thing - most people who do not work in the design trades and know their way around a color wheel will spend more money on a remodel than they can recoup from a sale.

    This is because the existing kitchen still has substantial utility value (no, I don't know how much!). So to take the kitchen out and bring in a new one may not add any utility value, but will add stylistic value. And then there's the bathroom, and the flooring . . . 

    But, let's stay in the kitchen. Leave it be, and let the next person make it their own. No, your property won't sell for the most in the complex, but you'll come out ahead at closing.
    • February 17 2012
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    It is more important to know how your unit compares with what your competition will be based on price point/neighborhood/condition. If your place is comparable then do nothing. It looks fine to me and let the new owner chnage it the way they want.In this market you do not get much if any return on investment in such things. Have a couple of agents do a market analysis to see what your value might be.
    • February 18 2012
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    Profile picture for wetdawgs
    My humble opinion is that I'd take the old laminate if in okay condition 1000x over tile.  Tile has grout lines and seams that accumulate all sorts of icky stuff, creating a nice compost in every one of the seams in an environment where we prepare our food.   Ick and worse than ick!

    The grout is also hard to keep looking acceptable.

    Don't waste your money, the buyer may wish to replace it immediately to be able to have a healthy kitchen work place.
    • February 18 2012
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    Profile picture for homeselleril
    Thanks for the replies

    My current Formica countertop is beat up (some stains, scratches, a chip in the laminate in one obvious location). 

    Many other units in this complex have updated kitchens, I never updated mine (aside from installing new ceramic tiles recently).

    The two other units currently for sale in this complex have either painted cabinets white or refinished, and otherwise are comparable to mine (though countertops are probably in better shape than mine..)

    http://www.trulia.com/property/3002271124-3317-Stratford-Ct-3A-Lake-Bluff-IL-60044

    http://www.redfin.com/IL/Lake-Bluff/3317-Stratford-Ct-60044/unit-1A/home/17681712

    What do you think: Should I paint my cabinets white, or refinish?

    I hope to sell this place quick. I'm trying to fix it up just enough to make it passable, then reflect the savings in a reduced sale price. However, it would be worth it to me to throw, say, $5000 into anything that would get this condo sold, say, 6 months sooner. 

    I could spend ~$1000 on a new Formica countertop.. does anyone think that is a good/bad idea?

    What would you do if you were in my situation?

    Thanks again
    • February 18 2012
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    before anyone can advise you from afar..........a few questions:

    1. I noticed the condo you attached is a bank owned property.......
    How many listed units are bank owned or short sales?
    How many units are currently on the market?
    What are the average "days on market" for sales in your complex.........and how recently has a unit sold?

    2. How does the rest of your unit compare with the one you attached? I noticed it has nice looking HW floors.......carpets in the br's look neutral and in fairly good shape....how does your unit compare overall? 

    Your best bet might be to take that $5000 you're willing to spend and reduce your list price to make it very attractive, and to "capture" the next buyer that comes along.

    That $5000 is roughly equal to 5% of the value - so it might be better used towards reducing  the list price, and positioning you better as compared to the competition

    Obviously, this is all speculation as none of us know your area or complex..........

    In regard to simply replacing the laminate counter............you could also offer a credit in that amount, so the buyer can make the final decision.

    Good luck!
    • February 18 2012
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    The counters are pretty outdated, I would replace those. The cabinets I think you can paint them and replace the handles they will look a lot better. It's about 1,500 per appliance to replace with stainless. If you can do it...do it.
    • February 18 2012
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    Clean it. Make it spotless. Leave the stain, but make it so sanitary that if a kid dropped his gum and put it in his mouth you wouldn't cringe!

    To revise my answer - make it ready to rent, rather than ready to sell. Ready to rent means everything is clean - fresh lining IN the cabinets, bathroom spotless, et cetera.

    All the best,
    • February 18 2012
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    Profile picture for the_country_hick
    To me when I see white painted cabinets I expect to see particle board under that white paint. I see painted cabinets as a sign of an old kitchen make out of actual wood planks or newer made from junk cabinets. Keep the stain.
    • February 18 2012
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    Profile picture for Cindy Quinton
    I have to go with Mack and the others on this, for a person who really cares about the kitchen, a cash incentive would be much better than a cheaply renovated kitchen. Make it clean and serviceable and offter a great price and a little cash back for design changes.
    • February 18 2012
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    Profile picture for Frieda Triebel
    Hello,

    Yes, I agree that one needs to be aware of cost factors and not needlessly spend money.

    If the countertops are stained, then replacing them would be an excellent idea.

    After this is done, make sure to keep the counter tops clear of most items.  Put the fruits/vegetables in an attractive fruit bowl on the counter.  All other items put away except for one or two decorative items.
    • February 18 2012
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    Obtaining information from someone in your town would be the ideal - they know the trends and what sells best at your price point.  Because kitchen are a selling point, it is worthwhile to invest some $$, but not go overboard. 

    We recommend clients paint cabinets frequently and not a stark white (so 1990's), but more of a creamy white which is much more popular.  We really like painting cabinets a darker color - like a mocha or warm grey.

    We also recommend home sellers upgrade the counters with updated formica which should cost about $6 sf installed (more if you can't remove/replace the sink).  Tile backsplashes are affordable as well about $10/sf installed.  For a few hundred dollars you can have a dramatically improved kitchen.  Find a local stager or designer who specializes in affordable recommendations.  They should be able to provide you the correct products and colors and contractor recommendations so you can achieve a professional look.

      



    I love quartz counter tops, but these can be expensive and before considering this upgrade, make sure it is appropriate for your price point and that you are going to paint the cabinetry.  If you keep the flooring (golden undertones) make sure the counter undertones are the same to give a cohesive and professional look.  Good luck!
    • February 19 2012
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