These days, it seems like everyone is a foodie or a chef. Nearly everyone has a strong opinion on what they eat – the ingredients, the nutrition, the preparation, and more. Following this growth of food culture, people who used to think that microwaving hot dogs represented the peak of their cooking skills are now picking up cookbooks so they can learn how to make the finest dishes. It’s cool to cook again.
Because of this trend, kitchens are no longer just a functional place to make food. For prospective homebuyers, kitchens are a space to be created in order to maximize their culinary experience. If you’re considering how best to spend your residential rehab budget, look no further than the kitchen. More and more, this space is where your buyer’s focus will be.
Kitchen Remodel Trends
When talking about remodeling a kitchen, a few things never go out of style. People will always want new appliances, new cabinets, and new countertops. Stainless steel is always big for appliances, marble and granite are popular for countertops, and so one. But that’s not what we’re talking about. Those standbys certainly play a role in these trends, but we want to talk about broader ideas that you can use to increase the ROI of your property. As cooking becomes a joint celebration of creativity, the kitchen will have to become a room that people can use for fun as well as for food prep. These trends play a part in that and remodeling the kitchen on your residential rehab with these in mind can help you stand out from the competition.
We talked about how new stainless-steel appliances are always popular, and we also know that more colorful vintage dishwashers, fridges, and the like are becoming trendy. But more and more, people want to see – or, rather, not see – hidden appliances. These are your traditional appliances that blend into the walls or cabinets by using the same colors and patterns or by closing into the surrounding cabinetry. This isn’t a new idea but it’s one that’s coming back strong. Most people don’t want to see the dishwasher, microwave, or garbage compactor. These are subtle reminders of the unglamorous side of cooking. It’s better for those appliances to blend seamlessly into the kitchen. This also cuts down on visual clutter in a space that tends to be crowded and require a great deal of storage.
Eco-Friendly Appliances and Design
Eco-friendly appliances aren’t so much a trend as a demand and necessity, particularly in drought-stricken California. Throughout the house, water conservation for fix-and-flippers is already a key part of strategy, and this is especially true in the kitchen. Low-flow dishwashers and sinks are something buyers will be looking for, as well as energy-efficient refrigerators. Always check the Energy Star ratings on any appliances you’re considering for the property. And while these eco-friendly appliances may cost more, it’s important to consider the value gained from the higher up-front cost of these appliances, especially if they will help you net a sale to energy-conscious millennials.
To go above and beyond, find eco-friendly countertops that come from local or even recycled materials. This is both trendy and earth-friendly, and it will make a great impression on potential buyers. Who wouldn’t want to tell their friends that the countertop used to be a wall in a 19th century teardown?
As people spend more and more time in their kitchen, homeowners want to be able to watch TV or listen to music and podcasts while cooking. Having pre-installed speakers that can hook up to a smartphone or that are Bluetooth-enabled can add a fun element to the kitchen. A growing trend is to put a TV in the fridge door or another cabinet, so people can stream their shows and movies or keep an eye on the game. Houses will increasingly have these features and they will start to become expected. Get ahead of the game by adding these to your property now.
Connected, high-tech appliances are also on the rise. The Internet of Things is transforming everything in our homes and that trend is going to increase as time goes by and the technology matures. Smart appliances that are connected to the internet and able to communicate with other devices are increasingly important. Pretty soon, the coffee machine will be able to hear from the Fitbit when you are about to get home from a jog so it can start brewing. Smart refrigerators can already modulate their energy usage. Installing smart appliances as they become market-ready will help you appeal to a new generation of buyers.
Design for Entertainment
Traditionally, cooking was communal. Americans have moved away from that, but many people are bringing this trend back, as people have rediscovered the fun of hanging out with friends and making great meals together. Kitchens need to reflect that. One hot trend in kitchen remodeling for 2015 is to install a kitchen bar – wine racks, a wine fridge, a little sink – specifically meant for making drinks and entertaining. If the room has space, adding an island in the kitchen can also provide a focal point while directing traffic in a group-friendly way. Both additions make the kitchen another room in the house where friends can gather. At gatherings, people disproportionately gather in the kitchen, so why not make it more friendly?
Affording a Kitchen Remodel with Socotra Capital
Obviously, following these trends depend on what you are able to spend. A cost vs. value report from Remodeling.hw.net shows that for minor kitchen remodels in the West Coast, the average cost is around $21,000.[1. 2015 Cost vs. Value Report, http://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2015/pacific/] While this might sound steep, it’s important to note that owners recoup (on average) 102% of that cost in added value to their home. If you lack financing for a kitchen remodel, a hard money loan from Socotra Capital can help you get a residential rehab back on the market.
Getting your project off the ground can be difficult in today’s lending climate. But Socotra Capital’s equity-based loans can allow you to fulfill and exceed market expectations with a quick turnaround time. As a new generation starts to join the market, these will stop being trends and turn into expectations. Recognizing the new role of the kitchen and remodeling accordingly will help you sell quicker and for more than you could have imagined.
Your real estate assets are your best investments for the future. At Socotra Capital, we’re proud to be the premier direct hard money lender for California real estate. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.