Hate the Kitchen, Buy the House
Hate the Kitchen, Buy the House
The kitchen can be the key to whether houses sell or stay on the shelf — and that can hand you the keys to some great opportunities.
You’re ready to compromise or take on renovations? You’re looking good.
Here is our list of kitchen tips for home buyers:
- First impressions count
- The bones. Look at the bones
- Does it have what you need?
- Here come the guests
- Here come the … children?
- Use your imagination
OK, List-makers, get out your pencils:
1. First impressions count
The kitchen is all gloom + doom? People are dawdling through, holding their noses and saying: “Not me!”? They’re getting out of your way. You’re looking more carefully. You know how easy it will be to re-paint and change that crappy colour. You have a priceless advantage: Your imagination. You can see the possibilities.
2. The bones. Look at the bones
There’s a triangle that, ideally, all kitchens are designed around: Its corners are the stove, the fridge and the sink. Most moves you’ll make are between those three, so it’s important that they’re just a couple of steps apart.That’s the case? Then the bones are right. From here most kitchen renovations may be simpler than they can appear.
Secondary considerations. Nice to have, but…Where is food stored? Will you be hunting for the sugar at the back of dark cupboards or are there open shelves? (A pantry! Is there a space for a pantry!?) To load, a dishwasher can be almost anywhere, but unloading near where the cutlery and dishes live makes life easier. Layout can be a biggie if it’s not working — it can head in the direction of a complete kitchen re-do — but if the bones are good even if changes are needed, they’re usually minor.
3. Does it have what you need?
The cooktop, the oven, the dishwasher, etc. Are they up to the mark? No? Great.Replacements are not great construction jobs and anything but top-of-the-line is usually affordable.
4. Here come the guests
They always show up in the kitchen.Is it a sociable kitchen? Can people hang around without getting in the way?Is it so cut off from entertaining areas that the cook only gets to see the guests between dumping their plates in front of them and cleaning up?If so, what can you change without tearing everything down and starting again?It’s do-able? You’re on your way.
5. Here come the … children?
You’ve got them? If they’re small, it’s good to be able to see them while you’re in the kitchen and they’re doing whatever it is that kids do.Combined kitchen/family rooms are good for that. They also take care of the Guest Hanging Around Problem.Just hope that no-one else is noticing this stuff, it could make your job harder. (You might also look out for sharp corners or edges and surfaces that are not kind to falling guests, children and precious objects).
You’re coming back from the supermarket — are you having to lug everything up stairs? You’re taking the rubbish out — is that a clear path? You’re a fiery cook — is the ventilation up to it? Move in and spend a week or a weekend in that kitchen in your mind. You know you. How well does it work for you?
7. Use your imagination
It’s the key.Think things through when others aren’t. Take the time to work out whether what seems off-putting now will really be that hard to live with or fix. Out-think, then move in.
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