The old adage that kitchens and baths sell homes is truer than ever with the newest generation. The 75 million millennials in the U.S. represented over 30% of home purchases in 2014. If, as expected, they continue their strong market share, home-sellers and remodelers need to prepare their homes accordingly. So what are they looking for? Among buzzwords like “energy-efficient,” “simple,” “stress-free,” millennials biggest mover lies in the kitchen.
With an average kitchen overhaul running between $25,000-$50,000, it can be intimidating. But there are ways to reach millennials in a less expensive manner and meet their number one real estate demand of an “updated” kitchen. If you’re planning to list your home, adding just two things can increase the sale price of your home by up to seven percent, or $14,000 on a $200,000 home.
Updating existing appliances is one step in the right direction. The stainless steel look provides a clean, modern feel that makes the buyer feel “updated.” Purchasing higher-end, high performing brands will cost around $5,000 total for a refrigerator, dishwasher, and stove.
Beyond appliances, quartz counter tops offer end-sale value and draw praise from potential home buyers looking for “updates” in their kitchens. Made from one of the hardest minerals, these counter tops offer durability. They come in a wide variety of colors, with a shine and veining that rivals granite and marble. Unlike natural-stone, these pieces are engineered in factories. Their primary ingredient is ground quartz (roughly 94 percent), added to binding polyester resins and pigments to give it color. Some quartz designs can add a small amount of recycled glass or other material. The resins also help make these counters stain and scratch resistant—and nonporous, so the maintenance is easier for the life of your counter. Granite generally requires some sort of sealant or protection once per year. The variety of quartz counters has dramatically changed in recent years. Patterns, color variations, polishes, gloss, and sandblasted finishes are all available. Quartz counters generally vary between $40-$100 per square foot, installed. The color, texture, and pattern affect the price.
Don’t miss out on your biggest real estate market: the millennial generation. What they’re looking for in kitchens is easy to accomplish and will likely offer you return on your investment. Simple upgrades to appliances and counters, while avoiding new cabinets, moving walls, or adding flooring, can add a lot to the look and feel of the home you’re selling.
Brian Lawton is a licensed Wisconsin REALTOR®, real estate investor, and Director of Property Revival’s Janesville offices, where he lives with his wife and children. Connect with him on LinkedIn.