HELP - Remodel kitchen to sell
Hi everyone. I need some advice on what to do with our kitchen. We plan to list the house for sale in approximately 12-18 months, so we obviously don't want to spend a ton of money on it. Now, we're just weighing the options.
We live in a Cape Cod style house, built in the early 80s. The appliances are all >5 yrs old, replace by either the previous homeowner or ourselves, but the cabinets are the original "honey oak" builder standard. The cabinet boxes, while plywood, are not good quality. There is splitting between the rails and styles of the face frames, resulting in gaps of approximately 1/16". The exposed sides of the boxes and the toe kick panel are not the same color as the rest of the cabinets. They also have fixed shelves in the wall cabinets, and as they are only 30" high, you cannot store most cracker or cereal boxes upright!
So I am not sure they are a good candidate for refacing. Please correct me if I'm wrong!
I have met with a contractor and a kitchen remodel company. The kitchen company quoted us $15k+, which is just absolutely not happening. (I realize prices vary across the country.) The contractor came in around $10k, and this is JUST for cabinets+install, not including the countertop, which will have to be replaced also. Big box store quoted us around $5600 for cabinets, but that's without labor.
What would you do in this situation? We want to spend as little money as possible, but we need to do something to the kitchen or I'm afraid the house will sit on the market for a long time. Per our realtor friend, in our area, people are looking for move-in ready. The homes with the most updating needed are the hardest to sell.
We're in the low low-middle price range for our area. The average home value is around $300k. We're about $250k. So people aren't going to come in expecting a custom, super fancy kitchen with all the bells and whistles. BUT almost every home listed for sale in our area has an updated kitchen, even those at much lower price points. I just don't think it will sell if we don't do something to make it look better.
Please tell me about my options. RTA, IKEA, big box, cheaper builder line, etc? I don't want to stick a potential buyer with something that's going to fall apart on them in 3 yrs, but I also want to save as much money as possible to put toward my own custom kitchen in my new house. So there needs to be a balance of cost and quality/looks.
My contractor has suggested we look at something called Merillat Basics/Essential line. I'm waiting on his price for these.
I'm a little afraid to tackle the full install ourselves; all of the leveling sounds daunting, particularly in an older house that is probably well out of square. But assembling RTA cabinets is something we'd be happy to do and then let someone else hang them.
Please share all of your thoughts and WWYDs. I am so grateful for any advice.