Every Greenwich Realtor® has heard this observation from a selling client more than once: “Now that I’ve fixed the place up, it’s so nice to live here!” It’s sometimes followed by a wistful, “I should have done it years ago!” They don’t need to add, “so we could have enjoyed it ourselves.”
The culprit has to be human nature—at least the part that resists spending money improving something that works (even if it doesn’t work all that well). One of the prime areas where this tends to hold true is in Greenwich kitchens.
Since it’s generally acknowledged that the kitchen area is one place (if not the place) that gets the most intense scrutiny from prospective buyers, it is also one of the first areas that sellers decide to update. For anyone who might decide to sell within the next few years, that makes a pretty good argument to go ahead now while you can enjoy the upgrades yourself.
It can be helpful to step back and consider if what you are used to in your kitchen is “making do”. Here are five leading signs that your kitchen would benefit from an infusion of energy:
1. Although everything is there (somewhere), you waste time every day rummaging for kitchen tools and ingredients. Cure: more counter and cupboard space.
2. You can’t make coffee and toast simultaneously. Cure: electric circuitry needs modernization.
3. You need a flashlight to read product labels. Cure: an interior lighting redesign or window enlargement.
4. Electric bills are painful. Cure: wholesale appliance upgrades (yesterday’s models can be serious power hogs).
5. You don’t like to be there. If the typical American spends 6 hours a week in the kitchen (for Greenwich, I’d guess that’s an underestimate), a quality of living improvement will result if those hours are spent in surroundings that please. Cure: a top-to-bottom design rethink is in order.
For sellers whose homes have been lingering on the market without success, that’s a sixth sign. Prospective buyers are quick to notice when Greenwich kitchens are outdated—and those who don’t flee are bound to subtract kitchen upgrade costs from any offer.