Will undercounter freezer drawers (only) hurt resale?

Laura_PASeptember 2, 2012

I'm still struggling with refrigerator/freezer options. I thought I had decided on thermador columns but I saw the 18" freezer in person and just can't do it. Not that I need much space, but what a messed-up design - you can't put anything on the doors, they're small with a triangular edge. I liked the 24" column but the 18" doesn't do it for me.

So I'm back to considering Sub-zero 42" side-by-side or thermador (or Miele) 30" fridge-only and putting in under-island freezer drawers (brand to be determined).

Both my kitchen designer and contractor suggested this may not be a good idea because if I sell the house, the buyers will expect a "real" freezer. For me it's not an issue, I have an upright freezer in the basement where I store most of my freezer items. But are they correct? Should I go with a 42" sxs? Having a 30" allows me to have a larger pantry between the fridge and wall ovens, AND gives me more refrigerator space.

(I'm not planning on moving in the next 10 years, but you never really know...)

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live_wire_oak

Yes, it would negatively affect resale. However, if the refrigerator that you put in is a "standard" size that could be replaced with a refrigerator/freezer combo then that would be an option for you to do at resale time. To be clear, do what works for you now, but realize that you WILL need to replace what works for you now with something more conventional at resale, (not just give an "allowance" towards a conventional fridge/freezer) so factor that into the costs now. Something more conventional now may make more economic sense vs the convenience sense that the freezer drawers make for you.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 1:08PM
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breezygirl

Caveat: I'm not a real estate/resale expert.

As long as the freezer drawer had an ice maker (they can, right?), I personally would be fine with it. I usually have a lots of produce and other items in the fridge and use the garage fridge for overflow. A 30" fridge would allow me to keep almost all of my fridge items in one place without having to go outside. (except for wine and beer)

I have come to love the ice maker in my new fridge. I've never had one before so being able to walk up to the fridge and open the door to a magic bin full of ice is not something I'd want to give up now. If I could do that in your kitchen and still have a little freezer space in a drawer, I think I would have zero issues with your setup. As long, of course, as the rest of the kitchen had an excellent layout. ;)

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 1:17PM
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andreak100

Not a real estate agent, but I'm not certain why it would be a bother to someone to have freezer drawers rather than a "more traditional" option. If both the fridge and freezer are right there, I don't see how it makes a difference as long as the same functionality is available within the kitchen.

That being said, I do want the ability to get ice and water in one location easily...so if the fridge on it's own doesn't allow for that, it would irritate me.

Also, all the time, I see people fretting about how this or that affects resale value when they don't have any immediate plans of reselling their home. I think that's kind of silly. Trust me, I know that anything can happen (we bought a house in Vegas in the "Boom Years", and sold it less than 5 years later for not even 1/3 of what we paid for it...we hadn't intended for that to happen.) So, not that I'm an advocate of being super crazy, but if you intend to live in your house for more than a few years, fix it the way that works for you and your family rather than the family that you imagine might or might not be buying it in 10-15 years time. By then, they are probably going to want to redo the kitchen anyway because it's going to be "so-2010-ish" and in 10 years, the appliances are probably close to where they would be replaced anyway.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 2:21PM
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Linelle

I'm sorry, but I don't see where a little detail like this would deter me from buying a house that I otherwise loved. Good price? Check. Good location? Check. Good layout and light. Check and check. A freezer drawer should be the least of my worries.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 3:42PM
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beeps

Not a RE either, but as a (picky) buyer I don't think it would bother me. I might like the novelty of it. And if you are going to live there 10 years or more - do what you want. In 10 years maybe every house will have them! ;o)

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 4:48PM
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GreenDesigns

You're asking TKOers here, not the general public. The general public hasn't even heard of freezer drawers. Most view a refrigerator/freezer as a standard appliance and any deviation from that would be strange in their eyes. They want a simple standard refrigerator that they can slide into a standard sized hole. Or, if they are more upscale, then possibly a standard sized built in like a SubZero. Anything out of the ordinary will not be a selling feature, it will be something odd that has to be dealt with, i.e, an expense they don't want to deal with. That IS a hit at resale. But, if it's a 15 year old kitchen that needs updating, that might be less of a hit than it would be in a 3 year old kitchen.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 5:56PM
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angela12345

Around here, a lot of houses the fridge/freezer does not necessarily convey with the house. Buyers go in knowing they will have to fill that hole. As long as the hole is a standard size, they can put in their choice of fridge or fridge/freezer and look ... bonus extra freezer space, wow cool !! And by then freezer drawers may be less unusual.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 6:08PM
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Linelle

angela, same here, the fridge usually goes with the seller. Still, I maintain that, even if I'd never heard of a freezer in a drawer before, it's still a place I can keep food frozen. It might seem odd, but I couldn't reject a house for that minor weirdness. Assuming I thought it was weird.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 6:18PM
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akrogirl

Great thread - I was considering that exact same fridge/drawer configuration, lol, but my husband wasn't overly thrilled with the idea. It just seems to be so hard to find a good refrigeration solution that provides the space we need.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 7:05AM
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palimpsest

My thought would be this:

How do I replace it should something go wrong with it? Is it something that is really expensive? Is it a size that is going to be available when the time comes or will I have to remodel the kitchen when the freezer fails?

It may not stop me from buying the house, but I would realize that it locks me into a single option, whereas a single conventional refrigerator space would not.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 7:58AM
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francoise47

I feel for you because I went through a very similar dilemma
when redoing my kitchen last year:
I longed for a 30" all fridge;
I rejected the 18" wide Thermador as too cramped,
and I wanted a larger pantry than the 42" Sub Zero would allow.

I'll second what palimpset, greendesigns and livewireoak have advised.

I especially agree with palimpset's comment:
"It may not stop me from buying the house,
but I would realize that it locks me into a single option,
whereas a single conventional refrigerator space would not."

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 8:20AM
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Laura_PA

Okay. Thanks for all your input. I'm starting to think that I should consider the 36" Miele since that would allow the space for a 36" o/u built-in for a future owner if they decide they need a more traditional setup (or even for me, 10-15-20 years from now).

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 2:55PM
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lalithar

Laura,

We are doing 30" Miele and 24" sub zero freezer drawers. I wanted more fridge space that will keep the produce fresh. And did not want to have an overly large fridge dominating the kitchen. So we are doing freezer dawers that also gives us the countertop above for prep landing space etc.. I don't think resale will be affected in anyway.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 8:05PM
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CEFreeman

I second andreak100.
Simply because I'm rejecting the HGTV hype of resale.
Get what you want unless you have plans!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 9:30PM
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