kitchen and lighting help

kgizoNovember 4, 2012

Hi All,

My home is 44 yrs old and is in a neighborhood where some homes are all original and others have been completely updated. My kitchen has the original cabinets which have "honeyed" over time. The floor is white linoleum and the countertops are white laminate, both in good condition. I've talked with two realtors and one stager, and two of the three have pushed for granite countertops. I'm really hesitant because when I see 40 yr old kitchens that are part updated, the original parts look much, much worse by comparison. I have to get a new cooktop (black ceramic) and wall ovens (stainless steel). I'm hoping that people will see that the kitchen needs updating, but that they are getting brand new appliances so that saves them money. What are your thoughts? I'm really not up for doing new floors and countertops on top of appliances. I am open to painting the cabinets white (realtor suggestion).

I also need to get new lights for the foyer and dining room. I've checked the big box stores and overstock, but havent found any deals. Are there any places for clearances lights?

Thanks in advance for your help.

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I'd consider just cleaning the cabinets really well so they shine, changing the hardware, and putting in updated laminate counters. I agree about not putting granite on old cabinets. But if you get some stock laminate with rounded edges, that will improve the look for a few hundred dollars, and put it in the acceptability range of both those who want a kitchen that looks and feels fresh but can't remodel, and those who want to rip out the whole thing and don't want to feel guilty for throwing away perfectly good granite.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 4:43PM
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I would give some thought to NOT doing the appliances either. If the buyers are expecting to redo the kitchen, they may wish to choose their own appliances and perhaps have the flexibility to change the layout. If you buy the appliances, they will likely feel more locked in. You can lower the price by the amount you would have spent on these appliances.
Granite and stainless steel are not for everyone.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 6:10PM
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Sell as is, priced accordingly.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 12:04AM
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I agree with turtleshope and LuAnn. Make what you have sparkle and shine and price it well. If your appliances are not in working order, that should be reflected in the price and noted as such so the buyers don't come back with hands out for appliance allowances. I would not replace them - then you run the risk of people saying that's not the type of cook top they like and STILL asking for an allowance!!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 9:40AM
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oops - forgot to address your lighting question. If you have a Habitat Restore near you they may have lighting but again, I probably would not replace unless what you have is such an eyesore that people would not be able to look past it. Dated is not necessarily an eyesore and based on your kitchen, I'm guessing the lighting may be a bit dated but livable until they choose to change it.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 9:44AM
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graywings123 has a clearance section.

Here is a link that might be useful: sales at lampsplus

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 9:53AM
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You're going to take a price hit no matter what, so take that hit with the least amount of effort on your part that makes the home sellable. Clean everything up well and visit a box store for the laminate countertop slabs that they have. Put in a new laminate counter for the perimeter, and find some granite tile to do the island in. And paint the walls. And that's it. Do not replace the appliances as whomever buys the home will want to redo the kitchen how they want it to be.

Just make sure that you've priced it 20-30K under the competition to reflect that it needs a complete kitchen redo. If the rest of the home, especially the baths, are in equally "original" condition, you may have to price it 50-75K under in order for it to sell.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 10:45AM
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Thank you all for weighing in. I'm going to spend the weekend scrubbing the cabinets, will try new hardware and go from there. It sounds like that may be enough.

Thanks also for the lighting suggestions. lamps plus has some really good deals on open box items. I'll check out the Closest Habitat Restore this weekend, too.

Your advice has lessened the pressure to do more. It's a lot of work to get the rest of the house ready so wherever I can save time and money is great.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 11:49AM
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Also, look at HD or Lowes for Howard's Restore A Finish. (I originally learned about it here on GW).

It does an amazing job of fixing nicks scratches and stains.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 7:12AM
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I agree with the others. Scrub everything well. Declutter. Install some inconspicuous but attractive pulls and knobs.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 2:13PM
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