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What to Look For in a Kitchen When Buying a Home

kitchen-considerations

In recent years, the kitchen has become a hub in the house where the family gathers each day. From eating breakfast before school and work, to doing homework around the bench while mum or dad makes dinner, many families spend large amounts of time in their kitchens. It can also be the most valuable part of the house if you should go to sell it yourself. As such, a kitchen can make or break a potential home.

The following details what to look for in a kitchen when buying a home.

Appliances

If there are any appliance malfunctions, they should be listed in the home’s disclosure statement. Don’t be afraid to look into the condition of the appliances for yourself as well. Check the temperature in the refrigerator and freezer, make sure that the burners are all present on the stove, and inspect the oven and dishwasher for recent signs of use. While you can replace appliances, you want to ensure that a given kitchen has the capacity for the upgrades that you would like. For example, maybe there is limited space for a larger refrigerator or the current stove is electric, which means that it may or may not be a simple process to convert to a gas stove.

kitchen-appliance

Benchtops

Kitchen benchtops are expensive to replace. Choosing a kitchen that already has high quality benchtops that are in great shape means that you won’t have to worry about the benchtops for years to come. Look for benchtops made of wood, quartz, granite, or marble. Manufactured benchtop materials, such as solid-surfacing, concrete, laminate, and cultured stone are also great choices.

Check for staining and scratching. Are there any broken or chipped tiles? If the benchtops are granite, have they been properly sealed and maintained? Pay attention to the amount of available benchtop space. Homeowners who do a lot of cooking from scratch want to have ample room for food preparation. If the benchtop space is less than adequate, consider possible ways to expand it, such as adding a kitchen cart with a workspace on the top.

Flooring

There are several areas of a home that experience heavy foot traffic including entryways, hallways, living rooms, and kitchens. You want flooring material that can handle the foot traffic and withstand food and drink spills as well as dropped items, such as silverware. If the floor is vinyl, examine the quality, as it can vary significantly. Hardwood is also a popular choice for kitchen flooring, as it offers such a beautiful classic aesthetic. Make sure that the flooring is properly installed so that there is minimal potential for cracking and other issues.

Note how the flooring feels underfoot as well. For example, wood is often more pleasing under the feet than tile. If you spend long hours on your feet in the kitchen, you want to stand on comfortable flooring. Don’t forget that you can always add small rugs and mats to key areas, such as in front of the kitchen sink or stove.

kitchen-cabinets

Cabinetry

As you look at the cabinetry in the kitchen, pay attention to quality, color, and layout. It is nice to have ample kitchen storage, but, ultimately, quality is more important than quantity. You can always find extra space to store canned goods and rarely used baking supplies in the basement or a hallway closet. The layout should have an open plan, offering lots of light. Keep in mind that as long as the cabinet construction is solid, you can make minor upgrades without breaking the bank. For example, maybe the cabinets are solid wood, but the paint is faded and chipping and the hardware is scratched. A coat of paint and some new hardware are inexpensive fixes. Finally, check the height of the cabinets. Do you have to stand on a chair to access the upper shelves? You want to be able to reach top shelf items with ease.

Electrical and plumbing

Finally, the home inspector and appraiser will complete a comprehensive electrical system and plumbing check. Review their notes, and make sure to check the electrical outlets and water pressure during the home showing. It is frustrating to move into a beautiful home to find that only half of the outlets work and that the water pressure is too low to wash dishes with ease.
As there are multiple factors to consider in a kitchen, it is best practice to go into home showings with a checklist. Prepare a sheet so that you can make notes about the different features. Remember that there is no “one size fits all” evaluation for a kitchen. You must be honest about the features that are most important to you.