How to buy a kitchen as an investment

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Looking for a good reason to buy a new kitchen? If you have decided to renovate your home, adding a spanking new kitchen will transform it and add value to your property.

Buying a kitchen? Well, you may be using the wrong verb. Investing in a kitchen is a better description not only because kitchens cost serious money but because they can add genuine value to a property. We keep our homes for between 5-7 years before we sell so buying a cheap kitchen can cost you more in the long-term. The good news is you get to use the kitchen until you wait for sale time!

Add value to your home

Kitchens can add real value to your property – it’s often the first place a buyer looks so if you’re renovating your kitchen, make sure you do it properly. A quick-fit kitchen or a cheap fit-out can bring down the value of your home at sale time – if you skimp on the most important room in the house, they may ask where else have you saved money in the rest of the property.

Durability

A quality kitchen can last 10-15 years, even longer. If you decide that you are staying the average 5-7 years in a home, it’s still a good idea to invest in a decent long-term kitchen so a buyer can see that they will get a few years out of it before it needs replacing. Moving home is costly and you don’t want to offer an obstacle to purchase. Don’t go overboard though. Buyers who have funds to spare will often replace the kitchen so they won’t want to feel that they are paying extra for a high-end kitchen that they are going to discard. It’s a balance between installing a kitchen that lasts long enough for you to get the use out of it before you sell the house and leaving a kitchen behind that is in good enough condition for the buyer to work with if they can’t afford to change it.

Gadgets and Gimmicks

Irish cars used to have wind-up windows. Now every car, no matter what price it is has automatic windows. It’s the same with kitchens – gadgets and gimmicks come as part of most kitchens but they can mask the real value of what you are buying. Ask yourself whether the surfaces are high quality and durable, if the drawer hinges will last years of consistent use, if those pull-out store cupboards will take the inevitable weight of the family shop, if the tiles are good quality and easy to clean, if the cupboard doors can be easily cleaned and are strong and reassuring to open and close and if the sink is sturdy and roomy.

Price

Appliances are often reduced to attract you into buying a kitchen. The trick is to make sure that you want to do business with this kitchen supplier and that they have the kitchen you require, before being seduced by what may only be a short-term gain.

When you see kitchen retailers using tactical campaigns based on price it may be because they are a volume business. They need to sell a lot of kitchens to make up the reduction in price and you may find that they install part of your kitchen to get you started, but don’t get back to finish it in the promised time. They need the domino effect – find a buyer, get paid, start the kitchen, move on to the next buyer, then eventually return to finish the first kitchen – to cashflow their business.

Always check when the kitchen will be installed when you pay your deposit and try to get a definite date. If a company has sold a lot of kitchens at sale time or when it has a promotion running, it may mean they exceed their usual fitting capacity. That could mean your fitters may not be the regular fitting team and quality could suffer. Ask for an assurance that your kitchen will be fitted by the regular team and not blow-ins who may not pay the same attention to detail.

Design

Above all, make sure that you choose a kitchen company that takes care with the design of the kitchen. A good designer will make clever use of space, find ways of using nooks and crannies that are often wasted for storage, find a way to maximise space and reduce budget. You need to make sure that you find someone who is genuine about telling you where it’s worth spending money and where you can save without limiting the efficiency and quality of the kitchen.

The most important thing of all is that you enjoy your kitchen. After all, you are the first buyer!

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