Question About Updating Kitchen

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2001
Question About Updating Kitchen
Thu, 01-24-2013 - 4:43pm

I was wondering if you guys could give me your opinons about what I should do with regard to my kitchen.

My home is an older (built in 1872) "character" home in a small rural community.  I want to sell it (and had it on the market for approximately 18 months prior taking it off the market to refi.  I will be listing it again soon.  The local housing market has been very down for several years, and is now starting to see some recovery in the lower priced homes - which, hopefully means the higher priced homes will be selling again soon.)  It has been substantially renovated with a complete kitchen overhaul approximately 12 years ago.  

Now my wall oven is dead.  

My appliances and counters are white, and they match the originally painted pine trim and white radiators in the room.

The replacement price for a white wall oven is in the $1200 range.

But I wonder if anyone thinking of buying the home would want to upgrade to stainless ('cause it seems like EVERYONE thinks stainless is the ONLY way to go). 

I don't want to upgrade everything to stainless, but I could . . . if it might help to sell the home.

But . . . I wonder if any potential buyer would want their own preferences in the kitchen (and upgrade the appliance to their own tastes)?  Perhaps any potential buyer wouldn't so much care if the wall oven worked (there is another range/oven to use) since they would want to replace all the appliances and perhaps even the counters and floor.  

Let me say that I would think anyone interested in buying a home this age isn't the type of person necessarily expecting a complete, move in ready home.  I suspect these sorts of buyers are ready to roll up their sleeves and make some changes (though I could be wrong).  Our home is period appropriate which includes wood siding, etc . . . Potential buyers will (I certainly hope) understand that there is work involved in maintaining an older home.

(My H did a wonderful job with the kitchen upgrade, even moving out a few load bearing walls to enlarge it.  People RAVE about the kitchen, but also there are many people who are suprised we haven't "upgraded" to stainless steel yet.)  

If I were staying, I personally would stick with a white wall oven (at least for the time being until I could afford to fully update the roome again).

So do you think I should buy a new white oven, no oven at all (since there is another one to use), update all the kitchen appliances?????

I'd appreciate any insights. 

Thanks so much for reading this post!


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
Fri, 01-25-2013 - 7:46am

I am going to build a house and have no plans for stainless. Don't like it. Go with the white I say. You won't get your money out of it and if its not your thing, its not worth it. Good luck in selling!

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 01-24-2013 - 8:00pm

I don't have a qualified answer for you, just my opinion.  Laughing

I don't know that stainless is something a house MUST have.  Acutally, isn't stainless kind of a pain with fingerprints and all that?  I only have one stainless piece on my counter and I have no desire to have any more.  It just seems to be high maintenance.  I have a GF who said she wishes she had never got her stainless refridgerator.  

Plus, with the age of your house, I wouldn't think people would expect stainless.  I could be wrong.  

As far as the wall oven, I don't think I would rush out and spend that kind of money on a new one unless it is something you currently use now, and has nothing to do with what a potential buyer may, or may not want.  If you want a new one, or need a new one, or will use a new one, then go right ahead and get one that matches what you have and plan on keeping.  

If you don't need the wall oven, or don't really use it, or don't really care either way, then maybe wait on the purchase and have an allowance for that (or however that works when you sell a house with things you know a new owner will need to fix or replace).

I just know you have to be careful with all of the ideas real estate agents throw out at you that will help your house sell.  They might be right, but I think you have to decice where that line is for you personally.  I mean, would you REALLY make a profit above the $1,200 cost?  I don't know.  No way to truly know.  

So, if you use it now, then get it.  If not, then maybe wait.