If you were to grade this kitchen, what wipould you give it?

olivesmomFebruary 10, 2013

*darn it, I hate it when I mess the title up, please forgive. I really wish the edit function included title editing*

We are seriously considering this home. I posted a long thread over in buying and selling, as it isn't perfect but I still like it quite a bit. The kitchen is NOT my dream kitchen, and I'd like to hear from you kitchen experts on how awful the layout will be in terms of everyday usage.

I do LOVE that the kitchen is not totally open to the living/dining areas. That has been a top concern for me so I am very pleased that the openess isn't an issue. While the cabinets, countertop and backsplash aren't what I would have picked out, I think they are okay. The cabinets seem to be a decent quality and I like the stacked design, especially since the upper cabinets have that mesh insert which mimics the diamond patterned windows and light fixtures elsewhere in the house.

The appliances are a disappointment, all frigidaire. They put in a refrigerator and it as a cheap stainless side by side, frigidaire as well. I hate side by sides. The pantry is a decent size and has nice shelving. The cabinets still need the light rail trim piece installed (not sure how much work it will be to have that done and stained to match). The missing toe kick has been installed.

Not pictured is another entrance into the kitchen. There is a doorway next to the wall oven leading to the hallway and then formal dining room. The formal dining room is on the other side of the kitchen wall next to the pantry.

I am worried about the placement of the dishwasher right next to the angled sink. Where will I stand to load the dishes? I am also not sure about the prep space. I guess it will have to be on the open counter above the dishwasher. I do not think there is enough space in between the sink and the cooktop. I am also disappointed about the appliances. While it would be an easy fix to just replace them, it will not be easy to convince my husband that it is necessary. So I will be living with them if we are to purchase this house.

Your thoughts? Will it be a pain cooking and cleaning in this kitchen? I live in the kitchen it seems, so I don't want it to function horribly.

This post was edited by olivesmom on Sun, Feb 10, 13 at 18:10

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palimpsest

To me the function seems really bad. The area you would most like to prep in is between the sink and cooktop, and that appears to be about 9 inches. There is also not a wide set-down area next to the oven. There is no really convenient storage adjacent to the DW, and you will be twisting oddly to load it.

There is a full length of countertop opposite that will not be useful at all except for storing things and set down from the fridge.

I don't really like anything about the (dys)function of this kitchen, sorry.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 6:19PM
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olivesmom

Hmm, if I store the dishes in silverware on the opposite wall of cabinetry I guess I could stand between the dishwasher and cabinets (sort in in the kitchen entrance) to unload it. In my current, not very large kitchen, I have to take several steps to put away the dishes and it doesn't seem so bad. Loading the dishwasher will for sure require weird bending and turning.

As far as set down space near the range, it does seem lacking. However, in my current kitchen I don't have any more space around the range and it has never been a problem. And this is with my 30" ranges this 36" cooktop would give me a bit more flexibility in setting down hot pan.

I know the kitchen layout is not ideal, and yes possibly dysfunctional. Will it be livable though? Will I hate it?

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 6:46PM
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marcolo

I personally would definitely skip the house unless there were budget for a redo. At least moving some cabs and appliances around. Function looks to be a daily horror.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 6:59PM
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mabeldingeldine_gw

Is the kitchen newly renovated? If yes, no doubt the seller is expecting it to make some money, yet given the poor layout and budget appliances, IMO the rest of the house and the location would have to be perfect. Does it vent externally? Or just recirculate? That's a big factor for me.

I myself have a small less-than-ideal kitchen but it is still more functional than that kitchen.

This post was edited by mabeldingeldine on Sun, Feb 10, 13 at 19:10

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 7:08PM
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olivesmom

It's newer construction. Mostly constructed in 2009 and then went through a foreclosure. The new owner has finished the house and is selling it.

I think I need to go back and actually stand around in the kitchen some more, Pretend to load dishes and stuff.

Changing anything is out I'm afraid. Seems like even moving appliances and cabinets would require new countertops and backsplash. Husband will not go for that.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 7:14PM
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aloha2009

My current kitchen is a lot like this one and I HATE it!!! The one you are asking about is worse yet.

The spot we find ourselves prepping is right over the DW. Ours has another 18" of prep space making that area even worse (and we thought ours was bad). Our sink too is on the diagonal allowing only 1 person at the sink and the other waiting "patiently".

To the right of the sink we have a 21" cabinet where it looks like there is even a smaller cabinet. Yikes.

Functioning wise, your frig is a long distance from the sink. Aesthetically it looks better then ours which was placed snap in the middle with 5' of cabinets in the middle. This made our "lovely" refrigerator the focal point of the room but at least it was nearer to the action.

We got our house way, way, way, way under what others went for so we're fine with the financial costs to fix all this. Yes this kitchen is pretty but this will not function for you.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 7:21PM
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GreenDesigns

It gets a big fat F. Not even a D-. F. If it were a small city kitchen in a tiny apartment you could understand the crowding and lack of functionality. It would get a C then. With all of that room, they did THAT layout. All of the space on the other side, and there is less than a foot between the sink and the cooktop. Horrible.

It would be a complete deal breaker without a redo. An entire redo of all of the important bits like the major appliance locations. Not just the shiny and sparkly bits that show to the naked eye. And that unfortunately is what this kitchen is all about: the superficial finishes. It would't even work well if all you do is MW takeout.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 7:25PM
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suzanne_sl

Was this kitchen "reno'd" for resale? By someone who only goes to the kitchen to get a beer? While it looks pretty on first glance, there are definitely issues. "Ergonomically weird" might be a good description. If you indeed spend a lot of time in your kitchen, you should hold out for something better. Just because your current kitchen lacks doesn't mean you want to repeat that experience in a new kitchen. Small is one thing, and not necessarily bad, but poorly laid out is another thing altogether. Will the seller bring the price down to compensate for a sub-standard layout, and would you then have cash to do a real reno?

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 7:25PM
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olivesmom

If it helps, my kitchen will be a one butt kitchen. Unless you count kids running through. Prepping, cooking, and cleanup are all a solo activity.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 7:40PM
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taggie

That is pretty bad, sorry to say. I couldn't live with it. It looks great, but I'd be irritated every single night while making dinner and life's really too short to be irritable every day. :)

Can't think of an easy way to fix it ... if you have a finished basement you may be able to move sink & dw to the longer run, put a small prep sink in the peninsula and call it a day. Would mean tearing out the granite, living with low cabs over the sink, etc., and it still wouldn't be an optimal layout for the hassle and contracting expense of the reconfiguration.

Can you reuse the cabinets in the garage and laundry room as extra storage? If so, the best option is really a do-over I think.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 7:42PM
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flwrs_n_co

I would pass on this kitchen. I can't figure out why the PO angled the sink cab. If it was straight, it might be usable, but angled with that DW placement would be unworkable for me (my shins hurt just looking at it). The rest of the layout is poor at best but the sink kills it for me.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 7:52PM
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suzanne_sl

If it helps, my kitchen will be a one butt kitchen.

Nope. Doesn't help. It's not a question of having several people in trying to use it, it's a question of basic functionality.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 7:59PM
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cooksnsews

I could probably live with the DW in that location, but the lack of prep space around the cooktop is unacceptable. And I'd want to know about ventilation as well. Be sure you tell the seller/realtor the layout is a deal breaker, at least for anyone who wants a kitchen in which to prepare food.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:20PM
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lascatx

You could get by in it as a one butt kitchen, but I don't think you'd enjoy working in it very much. If you don't love the way it looks to begin with, I think you'll be very unhappy over time. I also think you'll have a hard time keeping it to a one butt kitchen since the eating area and food storage -- both fridge and pantry, are at opposite ends. Kitchen space is the most expensive space in a house, and to underutilize half of it is very sad.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:22PM
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stacieann63

It is such a shame, the layout is so cruddy. It probably could have worked somewhat if it was more of a galley kitchen. If you could use the sink, pivot around and have access to the counter and cabinets on the other side. You have no landing spots for anything from the ovens. You are going to have to walk everything from your prep area or fridge to the cooktop. Have you stood at the sink and tried to open the dishwasher? I'm guessing the current owner did not live in the house after the reno? Or maybe didn't cook? You could probably live with it, but it would be a PITA. It is a pretty kitchen. Good luck to you whatever you decide.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:13PM
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lyfia

Absolutely horrible. We bought a house where I disliked the layout and figured we'd live with it for several years and remodel. Mine actually functions really well as a one butt kitchen, but that is where the problem is for us. The one you are considering isn't even close to being good for a one butt either.

If I made an offer and it is a builder that finished it and is the owner I would make an offer and request some changes in the kitchen as part of the offer. The appliances I could live with, but not the layout. Moving the sink and dishwasher to the other side would make a difference like somebody suggested.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:20PM
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breezygirl

Will it be a pain cooking and cleaning in this kitchen?

For me, the answer is a big fat yes. A thousand times, yes.

It will be a pain for all the reasons stated above. The room had enough space for a functional kitchen. I can't fathom why they messed it up so badly.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:46PM
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beaglesdoitbetter1

I don't cook and I even hate it. It looks like that pantry door would open into the fridge?

The microwave is in a location where it would be awkward to use, the cooktop looks claustrophobic, the sink I'd be afraid would splash out onto the floor behind it, and I think if the dishwasher was open you could not stand at the sink.

Kitchens are the most expensive room to fix and kitchens and baths sell houses. Unless this house is a GREAT deal, I would not buy it.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:47PM
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aloha2009

One butt that doesn't even have to move since almost everything is within pivoting distance. No thanks for prepping on a 27" or so main prep area over a dishwasher that may often be running. Though I don't use my 21" to the left of the range because it is so small, I use it at times because I run out of space at my main prep of 48". You wouldn't even have 21".

Don't kid yourself and think you're going to use the 10 feetish space on the other side. It's just plain to far from the action. We have two 5' counters are rarely will you find anyone using those areas.

With you defending it so much, makes me think you may have fallen in love with the overall house. The kitchen is very pretty. As GreenDesigns said it would barely be tolerable in a small apt in the city but not what appears to be a lovely house. Keep looking, it's not going to be hard to find another house that the kitchen at least functions on a minimal level.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 10:00PM
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blfenton

What is on the other side of the long counter wall? If there is any plumbing and if your DH will spring for a prep sink on the long counter wall then maybe I would consider it.

And honestly, before redoing our kitchen and spending way too much time here, I may have considered buying this kitchen without realizing the downfalls of it. It's definitely an improvement over what I had before my kitchen reno.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 10:16PM
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CEFreeman

Well, no matter how you phrase your questions and no matter how you might be looking for a yes, it's not gonna happen.

The concensus is no.
F.

Find something else. Don't let the open concept (why, why, why!?) rule the day. The rest sucks. And, with the open concept? Everyone will watch you being pretty unhappy with a ton of wasted space.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 10:28PM
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aloha2009

I found the other posting you started. You say you really like this house but I hear a lot of deal breakers for many of us.

It can be a lot of work looking for the right house. Though your current house may not be ideal, you already purchased it and are making it work. A new home purchase is a lot of money to just get a step up from what you have.

We too were unlucky enough to have what you may be getting a reverse pie shape lot...small back & front yard and huge side yard. We never could make it work for us. Are you going to want to do a 2-3 point turn every time you enter or exit the garage.....let's not even talk about how your kids will be teenage drivers trying to navigate that w/o plowing into something. The neighborhood sounds questionable for maintaining it's value if it's so mixed. I'm not saying it won't but again questionable.

Here is a link that might be useful: Settling Too Much?.....

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 10:29PM
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olivesmom

Blfenton: the long counter wall is an exterior wall. Underneath the kitchen is the walkout basement. There's no plumbing in the wall even on the lower level.

I know the kitchen is not ideal. I'm not trying to defend it. I'm just trying to figure out for myself if I could be happy with it.

I really do like the house. I wish the lot was larger. That it was in more of a neighborhood of similar homes. And that the kitchen had a better layout.

I have looked at so many homes. Most are a standard new build and are completely uninspiring, even in the same or higher price range. Or they are a custom build with many "unique" features that leave me wondering WTF. Now the kitchen here does leave me wondering, but otherwise it seems like a fair amount of thought was put into the choices made.

I'm torn.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 10:41PM
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olivesmom

CEFreeman: I'm confused,or maybe I confused you. The kitchen is not that open. I do not want a totally open concept kitchen, which is why I like the kitchen.

This is the view from the family room. You can see some of the kitchen, not much though.

I agree that no one is going to like the layout. I am hoping though that someone might think it will be okay...maybe from a non- kitchen obsessed perspective. That maybe with a kitchen cart or cutting board over the sink it might work.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 10:49PM
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aloha2009

I admit to being TKO but even before ever coming to GW, I could have seen this kitchen as non-functional. I think everyone has spoken loud and clear. If you want the house, you want the house but I don't think anyone is going to encourage what appears to be not the best house layout - inside and out.

Just be aware of resale some day, that you're going to have to find a buyer that will also need to look past the negatives enough to put place an offer. This house is going to be hard to sell for many reasons. Make sure you get an incredible deal because you're likely going to have to sell for a song when you try to sell. By the time you go to sell though, the house will be starting to date and won't have all the glitz that is going on now.

You asked and have got the answer, but I don't think it was the answer you wanted. Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 11:34PM
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caryscott

I've seen some pretty sad befores on here and at the very least this kitchen doesn't demand you cook over an open garbage can by starlight so it could be worse. I do think the layout is less than great but you have to weigh that against the rest of the package the house offers. Personally I don't see it as a deal breaker. Will you love it? Probably not but you'll adapt and it isn't bad to look at which is a plus.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 1:35AM
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Poohpup

You're going to hate using that kitchen. Hate it. A whole lot. Right now you're looking at it and thinking the layout is bad. The first time you use it, you're going to realize just how bad it is.

My first home had a DW setup just like this. The DW door opened right across the front of the sink. In order to load the DW, you'll have to stack all the dirty dishes on the counter over the DW, then stand back, open the DW door, stand to the front or left side of the DW and awkwardly reach over the DW to reach the dirty dishes you had to leave on the counter. You'll have to do this every single time you load the DW. Every. Single. Time. You'll dislike it the first time. By a weeks end you'll be really annoyed and cursing the idiot that planned it this way. A couple of weeks in, if you last that long, you'll be planning a kitchen remodel.

And that's just the DW. There isn't a good place to prep. You're going to try to force prep in that tiny space between the sink and cooktop. You'll have to do most of it over the DW right in front of the bar stools. Anyone sitting at the bar stools is going to be sitting in your prep space.

Those are the two biggest issues I see, but I agree with the drawbacks others have posted.

I'm sorry. I wish I could say you'll be "okay" in this kitchen, but you'll hate it. Will you be able to make meals in it and provide food for your family? Yes, of course you will. Will you enjoy using? No, you'll hate it. The DW setup alone would be a deal breaker for me. Pass up this house unless you can redo the kitchen immediately.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 2:31AM
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amandapadgett

I agree with everyone else - pass or get price lowered so you can make changes.

I could live with the DW being where it is, but I could not live with where the cooktop is, not at all. If anything, that needs to be moved to the other counter area. That would create a much better working triangle for you.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 7:14AM
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debrak_2008

If you are still interested, go back and take accurate measurements. Make notes about each cabinets, etc.

Post here and come up with a functional layout with the least amount of changes. Reusing cabinets, etc. Then get an estimate on how much these changes will cost. Have the seller give you cash back to cover the costs.

This is no different than if the house needed a new roof.

Make sure your DH is on board to actually make the changes.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 7:32AM
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remodelfla

The house itself looks lovely and the finishes and type of layout fine as well. It's the function of the working space. At first glance, it looks like a nice looking galley kitchen. I love galley kitchen layouts. If you would be able to put to some money into reconfiguring the appliances; then I think you could make it functional as well as lovely.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 8:16AM
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Elraes Miller

It eludes me why they had so much space and left little working space around the range, sink, etc. I do not like the fact that the sink and DW are located open to the two rooms. You will always be seeing the pile up for cleaning. Plus, as another mentioned, falling water and whatever else over the back edge.

Plumbing isn't that difficult to move both to the other counter. I have a small kitchen and there could have been a wonderful design with your space.

Cutting board over the sink? I had one and someone was always turning the water on which was almost like a flood. Usually me not thinking ahead.

Nope, wouldn't do it unless you can make some changes. They may not be as expensive as thought with a bit of creativity and the right handyman. I would bring someone in to help think about this.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 8:56AM
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chitown_remodel

I don't know. I think I could live with it for a while if I really liked the rest of the house and the price was right. I don't think the kitchen set up is ideal but I could definitely cook in there and I cook a lot. It seems like there's a lot of storage too which is nice. Nothing seems to be falling apart or broken down, the finishes seem nice and it is a pretty big space.

If I bought that house my mindset would be that I would live with that kitchen for a couple of years and the entire time work on a plan for a new and improved one while still enjoying the rest of the house.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 9:18AM
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sixtyohno

It looks llike a lovely house. Can you make an offer that lets you redo the kitchen?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 9:18AM
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live_wire_oak

Horrible layout. Will take at least 10K to fix it and that's with keeping as many of the cabinets as you can. You'll need to move the sink or the cooktop to the opposite wall and get new counters at a minimum. And really, the fridge locatio needs to move as well if you're going to be moving things around. An interior fridge means everyone goes through your working space and creates a safety hazard where you're tempted to use that carving knife in your hand for evil.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 9:20AM
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lee676

Classic example of a kitchen that looks nice but is functionally awful. All that countertop space far away from where it's needed (with an unimaginative cabinet layout to boot), and no room where it is needed, around the sink, stove, oven, and dishwasher. I also don't like having to walk though that narrow opening and across the whole kitchen to get to the fridge, something I frequently do whilst eating.

I wonder if you removed the countertop, could you just rotate the section where the sink is about 15 degrees so it would line up with the rest of the countertop where the stove and oven are? I'd replace the countertop, get a smaller cooktop and sink, and probably move the dishwasher into the space you've cleared up along the main wall. Or leave the DW where it is, but if the sink area is rotated as above, that will make the dishwasher where it is far enough away from the sink so the open door isn't in your way. Or reduce the thickness of the penisula to 16" or so and move the dishwasher. Or do away with the penisula altogether. Or extend the wall between the kitchen and living room (and the wood beam) out several feet, further un-opening the kitchen area and allowing more space for wall cabinets. None of these are major renovations, certainly not compared to what it will cost to buy the house.

Living room looks nice; but that's one indifferently designed kitchen.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 10:12AM
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mpagmom

I've pondered this and read your other thread. I've been in your position and know how hard this is. Here's what I would do.

Think about the age of your kids and if they need play space. If they don't, the lot is fine. We moved to our last house specifically for the lot and the neighborhood full of the kids' friends. The kitchen wasn't ideal but I sucked it up. I'm out of there now and having trouble selling because the kitchen isn't ideal. Even if you improve the kitchen, it's going to be a tough sell.

Don't buy without a plan to make it work. You might spend a ton in furniture, shades, etc. so you have to factor that in. New granite and backsplash in the kitchen is a small expense compared to the cost of the home. Is it possible to swap the cooktop/hood for a cabinet across the way? That would make it better. Does the current hood vent outside? If it doesn't, moving it would be a huge improvement because you can easily vent. I didn't realize at first that there is another door by the ovens - that at least gives you a way to get to the refrigerator without going through the workspace. Look closely at the refrigerator space. A full-size refrigerator will stick out quite a bit. Will you like the look and will the pantry door still function with a refrigerator sticking out?

The vinyl shower pan in the master could be an issue. I had a house with that once and it had to be torn out and replaced. Lost a lot of expensive tile that way. It may be fine if it's set in concrete, but I'm not sure.

Are the windows in the house high quality? If they cheaped out on those, you'll hate living there.

Look at the cabinets, find out the brand and construction to see if they just look nice or really are nice. I have cabinets in my bath that look like that. They look really nice in the bath but would never hold up in the kitchen. Do they have soft-close doors/drawers? Are the boxes plywood or particle board?

Stand at the sink, open the dishwasher, and pretend to load it. Can you? That is an odd angle.

The lack of mudroom is an issue with kids. I put in a wall of cubbies in the office of my old house (right next to the entrance from the garage), but it was not well-utilized. They dumped everything in the kitchen. My new house has dump space when they walk in and it's much better. The laundry room is right there too - very handy when they come in from playing in the snow or running in the rain or whatever. I hated the 2nd floor laundry and never got the laundry done when I lived there.

Actually try out the driveway/garage with your largest car. Is it possible?

Looking at it objectively, I'm thinking you might be settling too much. If you don't have to move right now (and it sounds like you don't) - wait.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 11:13AM
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Linelle

I'm sorry, it's terrible.

Still. For me it would all come down to location and price. Is it an area where I really, really want to live? Great neighborhood, but less than ideal house? That's something that can be remedied. You say you wish the lot were larger, but more significantly you wish it were in a neighborhood of similar homes. That suggests that the home may be overbuilt or overpriced for its neighborhood. That the neighborhood doesn't quite meet the house's expectations. Unless you're in an emerging part of town, there isn't much you can do about a less than ideal location.

If I found a house I could afford in my ideal location, I could probably put up with your kitchen for a limited time, i.e., a year or less. I agree with a previous poster who said it looks like it was designed by someone for the sole purpose of storing beer. Even then, the fridge isn't conveniently located.

It seems you really, really want this house. I'd be more concerned about its location.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 11:19AM
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laura mcleod

I think it comes down to personal priorities. For me, a kitchen would not make or break a house purchase. (I love a good kitchen, but am definitely not TKO.) We bought our current house for the neighborhood, yard, and 1 block distance from the best school in town. The kitchen was total Crazy Town (and I was the Mayor) - but we made it work because the other upsides were so clear. I knew I could eventually rip out a kitchen but the neighborhood and yard were there to stay. Good luck in your decision!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 12:44PM
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eandhl

I am always in favor of location over almost all else but the house has to be workable. If this was the perfect location I wanted I would find a way to move the cook top to opposite side and vent straight back. To save $$ I would inlay a piece of chopping block in the old cook top cut out or consider having the granite cut so a whole piece of chopping block could go in. I would also switch to DW to the other side of the corner sink. I think the changes would make it more workable if the house location is perfect. It isn't ideal to prep in front of DW but I do it. I just made sure this DW didn't have a handle. Good luck with your decision. I bet a good cab maker could cut down the size of the drawers under the cook top and make them fit where the DW is now.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 1:52PM
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