If you are a luxury buyer one of the most important features of your new home will be the kitchen. They are not just a place to cook your food anymore. They are a place to hang out and congregate with our friends and family. Kitchens have come a long way from the ice box and wood stove. They are now lavish spaces that a gourmet professional chef would die for.
The one thing all of these kitchens have in common is high-tech luxury appliances: Sub-Zero refrigerators; top-of-the-line ovens with six-burner ranges by Viking or Dynasty, to name a few; multiple dishwashers, usually by Miele. Many decadent kitchens also boast built-in java machines, wine coolers and butler pantries.
Kitchens are one of the most popular upgrades to existing homes. That’s not surprising, since the rooms get so much use and can start to show their age, says Elizabeth Mendenhall, vice president of the National Association of Realtors. It’s an easy way to bring your house up-to-date to compete with some of the newer homes on the market,” she says. Many are now incorporating high-top and counter seating, something that many restaurants and personal kitchens contain. Many of the kitchens have expansive stone- or steel-bedecked islands that double as food-preparation stations and eat-in countertop spaces which is highly functional.
Kitchens have become the No.1 selling feature when a home is on the market,” says Ted Chappell, president of Poggenpohl U.S. The company’s U.S. business consists of 60% remodeling and 40% new construction. However, but that doesn’t mean sellers will recoup what they spent. In fact, homeowners who spring for a major, upscale kitchen-remodeling project get back just 60% when they sell, according to the NAR’s 2010-2011 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report. For those on a budget, it may leave a nice aftertaste to know that less expensive kitchens in less expensive homes do better, returning 70% of the cost in a major remodeling and 73% in a minor one.