Countertop upgrade, Silestone or Granite

popedaJanuary 18, 2011

DD putting house on market early this spring (it WILL come, right? spring?)The house is five years old. It is in a mixed neighborhood with homes from the 1970s through to homes now under construction, but considered a nice subdivision built around a golf course.

In an informal conversation with her realtor, the realtor suggested Silestone. I have Silestone and love it, do not like all the speckles and movement,etc. of most granites. So I am not opposed to it, but I was surprised at her having said that.

Most new homes built around here have granite. We visited one of the box stores recently and it looks like she could do either surface for around the same price. At the store she expressed the same feelings I have about granite, and was leaning toward silestone.

Is this going to be a mistake here in Texas Hill Country to not do granite if she's going to the expense to upgrade? We have thought about doing the "allowance" thing, but we know some people can't imagine things well and want everything move-in ready.

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If your neighborhood is a mix of old and new, you are likely to lose money with either product. ie If it costs you 5k to put in a counter, your homes value will not increase 5k.

The only reason to "upgrade" for sale is if the upgrade is now considered standard in the area/neighborhood.

Toss the "allowance" idea out the window. Just price the house appropriately for what it is. Don't price it for what you might hope it would be and then offer a discount from that.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 2:03PM
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I dunno whether it makes sense to upgrade before sale. taht is up to you to judge.

however, I would say that in my area, not that silestone is bad, but granite is more common. I find that there is a lot of silestone I do not like due to it being too uniform.

if you were upgrading, find a price level A granite that goes with your cabinets and go with it and the free sink they throw in, it will be the cheapest solution

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 2:54PM
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Bill and I disagree on this one... A sure way to beat the competition, besides smart pricing, is having at least two "WOW" factors that the buyers are not expecting. Granite will be one of yours. Forget Silestone... I walk through homes with Buyers all the time, and granite just does the trick for some reason.
Bill may be right that you may not get dollar for dollar back out of it. But it should be close. Besides, you do things like this for two reasons... profitabilty and/or marketability. If you do not get the first one fully, the granite will surely help much in the marketing of your home. And in this market, that is worth quite a bit.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 7:35PM
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Live in Texas, not the hill country and we will be putting Silestone in our next house. It is actually turning out to be more expensive than most granites.

I think you could probably put in an expensive granite for less than the Silestone. When we put our house on the market last spring we replaced old cultured marble in our bathroom and the powder room with granite. It was very inexpensive. Granite is sort of expected now in our area, however (the prior owners had already but granite in the kitchen). That said....we haven't sold our house yet...

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 7:41PM
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When we had the decision of granite vs. Silestone, we chose to upgrade and put Silestone in. At the time it was a bit more $ than granite. I was going for look plus durability. Granite did not compare to the superiority of Silestone. It is so hard and non-porous. It won't soak up stains like granite and you don't have to seal it. I wanted maintenance free counters in my kitchen that the kids or anything else could not destroy. We actually designed the kitchen around this. I think the color was Sienna?? I also like the thinkness of it as it contrasted around our farm sink. It's been 5.5 years and we are putting this again in the new house. BUT, some colors of granite are nice :)

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 10:24PM
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My $.02 worth--we're looking for a place now, and I wish people would get over the granite thing. I dislike it, but so many places have been "upgraded" to tempt me.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 10:26PM
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ncrealestateguy, thanks for bringing up the marketability aspect. I've been reading the forums long enough to know that the standard answer to almost any improvement (excluding fixing things) is to lower the price instead of making the improvement. I understand that you don't get the money back dollar for dollar with improvements, but sometimes selling a house faster is worth the money spent. I would happily spend several thousand dollars on my house if it meant selling it within 60 days of listing.

I don't have a preference between Silestone and granite, but in the price range I am in, I would not expect them in a house. If it means they've increased the amount of counter space (some older houses don't have much), then it's good, but if there's not much counter space, then it's not good, because I'm going to want to redo it any way.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 7:54AM
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I would go with granite. If I were staying, I'd put in Silestone. Despite what others have said, people love granite and you can shop around and get a decent price. It does give the 'wow' factor and will help the house sell faster.

When we were selling, I upgraded 3 bathrooms very cheaply. I shopped around at stone yards and found marble which was left-over pieces, or pieces where the buyer changed their minds. I got these pieces at a steal. Bought floor model vanities with sink and put the marble on top, the bathrooms turned out beautiful. Even had a green tub resurfaced white and it looked great.

There are many things you can do yourself which will upgrade the look of kitchens and baths (the main selling areas).

If you don't make the money back, you will sell faster. It puts your house above the pack. JMO!


    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 11:21AM
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I would go with whatever worked best in the kitchen. If the kitchen worked with an easy to maintain granite, I would go with that. If the kitchen only worked with stones that were really porous and needed sealing often, I would go with silestone.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 5:57PM
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Who cares? They are selling the house. Put in what sells for the least expense.


    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 1:16AM
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