(Closed) Buying a home – new, remodeled kitchen or remodel yourself?

posted 5 years ago in Home
  • poll: If you were buying a house, you'd rather;
    Have a new kitchen (even though the style may not be what you'd pick) : (15 votes)
    28 %
    Have a working kitchen but one that needs updating and DIY : (27 votes)
    50 %
    It wouldn't matter either way : (10 votes)
    19 %
    Other : (2 votes)
    4 %
  • Post # 3
    806 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    sometimes i see updated kitchens and they are just as ugly as an old kitchen, even though the cost of not having to renovate yourself is better, id rather have my own touches. i guess it depends on that particular house/kitchen

    Post # 4
    3053 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: February 2015

    If I didn’t like the style, it would be just like having an old one that needed to be remodeled to me.

    Post # 6
    14495 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2011

    Kitchens are the most expensive remodel with the highest return. You are paying a premium for a remodeled kitchen. I would lower your top budget by 30k and find a fab house with an out dated kitchen. Immediately redo the kitchen and you will immediately gain equity in the home. You can get 110%-150% return on your money. 

    Post # 7
    4275 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: April 2012

    My husband works for a general contractor…. so either way, if there is potential, we can handle it.

    Post # 8
    2622 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    Totally depends.


    We are house hunting this weekend and I want a kitchen that is mostly done. I care more about layout than the actual details, but I dont mind doing a little freshening up. However given that I am 11 weeks pregnant I dont want to take on a huge project.


    In another couple years I wouldnt mind taking on that project.


    I think most people, however, would prefer to move into something “acceptable” rather than put the cash into a kitchen for several reasons


    1) Its hard to imagine a kitchen redone when what is staring at you is dated


    2) It takes cash. Just because you lower your budget on a house, doesnt mean you have the cash to redo a kitchen. If you lower your house budget by $40K that doesnt give you $40 to remodel, it only gives you the difference in downpayment. So if that is 20% down you were planning on, that is only $8 extra in your pocket.


    3) Time and convenience. People dont want ot live in a construction zone. They have kids, they have busy jobs etc.


    Post # 9
    10367 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2010

    I love super modern minimalist kitchens, which almost nobody has, so i’d rather buy a home with a kitchen that needs to be redone with the intention of redoing it myself!

    Post # 10
    412 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: November 2014

    Omg, totally DIY!!! We got our house with a sketchy dilapidated kitchen, and it only cost us about $6k (and a lot of sweat) to get it looking the way we wanted to, excluding the appliances which were another 7k. Our real estate agent is confident that it will bring a much higher return when we sell the house (in a couple of years).

    This way, we get something we love and something that will bring us good money in return. That being said, it’s important to shop around for highest quality products for a low price. It’s a big project, and if you don’t like big projects, a kitchen remodel could be bad for you.

    Post # 12
    2622 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    @oracle:  There are things you can do that spruce up the kitchen without a huge investment.


    IE things to think about


    • painting or just refacing cabinets

    • new hardware

    • if needed, new stove/fridge

    • new tile floor and/or backsplash

    • paint the walls

    • new light fixtures



    Just those simple items can really increase the desireabililty of your kitchen without it costing a ton. Because even if people are willing to remodel, they will probably not want to do it ASAP and moving into a nice, but not the greatest kitchen has appeal because they wont feel rushed into the reno. It has more appeal.




    Post # 13
    556 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    @Cady:  Exactly. 

    My husband owns a small home repair company. We took our kitchen down to studs and subfloor. It’s almost done!!!

    I will say that doing everything ourselves, even with DHs know-how was way more expensive than we thought and took a LOT longer to finish. 

    Post # 15
    77 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: July 1998

    We’re getting ready to do a kitchen remodel. We’ve already picked out the countertops and are in the process of getting the cabinets sorted out. The nice thing about the DIY route is that you can completely rearrange the kitchen. We’re not going <i>that</i> far because we don’t want to spend all the $$, but my Father-In-Law did that and the results were amazing. I’m glad we went ahead and bought the house as a bit of a blank slate. We’ve done a lot to the house to cater to our individual tastes and I think we’ll be happier in the long run by doing it that way. 

    Post # 16
    5662 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    If the kitchen was new and had features I would want to replace that were expensive, such as granite counter tops, under mount sinks, new appliances etc… I would advise to keep shopping. Up to date kitchens are a huge selling point, and price booster. So if you are particular in what you want you would be better off to spend the cash remodeling an older kitchen than to buy a new one and rip it out. 


    I really would have loved to have a brand new kitchen, but the house we purchased was perfect for us even if the kitchen doesn’t have what we love. Since really all we want to be changed are new counters and an under mount sink, it’s completely liveable until we decide to do so.

    ETA: This totally depends on you and your husband’s willingness to DIY. Mine is NOT a project person and he’s not really handy, so most DIY projects around my house have been with a lot of grumbling on his part, or with my dad and I. It’s extremely frustrating. Other families I know LOVE to do this stuff together, and their husbands (or wives) are very knowledgeable, and a DIY house is great for them.

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