Posted in: Selling a home, Homeowner tips

Why a minor kitchen remodel may be a homeowner's best investment

Remodeling a kitchen

Key insights:

  • A minor kitchen remodel may be more impactful than a major renovation. Sellers can see up to a 16% higher return on investment with this approach.
  • Whether planning to stay or sell, a kitchen remodel can pay off in personal enjoyment or in a monetary return on investment.
  • When remodeling your kitchen, remember to upgrade your appliances. Buyers like to see fresh and eco-conscious models.

If you know your kitchen could use a little more aesthetic charm or an eco-friendly boost, it may be time for a remodel. Rather than committing to an entire renovation, which would be quite costly, opt for a slightly more modest kitchen upgrade that’s more likely to provide a return on investment when selling.

Are you ready to put your best foot forward when listing your home for sale? Read on to see why a minor kitchen remodel is on the list of home improvements with the best ROI.

Why today’s sellers should consider a minor kitchen remodel

The National Association of REALTORS® recently released a remodeling report that details the home upgrade projects that provided the homeowners with the highest levels of satisfaction. Per the report, the homeowners with a remodeled kitchen reported the following:

  • 78%: An increased sense of enjoyment when they are at home
  • 77%: A major sense of accomplishment when they think of the project
  • 40%: Better functionality and livability

Now, about the homeowners who are planning to sell in a few months or even a few years, how will these improvements impact them at resale? Both the NAR and the recently-released 2022 Cost vs. Value Report ( reveal that homeowners tend to recoup 67% of their kitchen remodel investment upon resale.

In short, homeowners who are not ready to sell yet may want to consider a kitchen remodel, as it will pay off in the short term (in enjoyment) and could help them sell the home for more down the road.

Here’s how a kitchen remodel could benefit home sellers

How can an updated kitchen help you at resale? If you’re planning to sell within a few years, here’s how a facelift for your kitchen could benefit you:

Web appeal. Listing photos are important, and the last thing you’d want to do is turn off buyers before they’ve entered your home. An upgraded kitchen will help your home stand out to buyers and could make them more likely to book a showing or attend an open house.

Appeal to what buyers are asking for. New appliances are on the top most-wanted list for today’s homebuyers. In fact, 81% of potential buyers listed eco-friendly appliances as an essential or desirable home feature. A renovated kitchen with new appliances can go a long way with buyers.

A customized approach. Adding high-end fixtures, hardware or other touches can give the illusion of a truly transformed and customized kitchen (while keeping you within your budget).

You can enjoy the update, too! If you’re not planning to sell for a few years, you can enjoy the kitchen update in the short term. By getting some use out of the update, you’ll be more likely to justify the cost and stress of the project.

High-ROI kitchen renovation on a budget

The 2022 Cost vs. Value Report ( serves as a guide for sellers interested in completing home upgrades before listing their properties for sale. According to their latest report for the Minneapolis area, a minor kitchen remodel is a smarter bet than a major kitchen remodel, as:

  • A mid-range, major kitchen remodel in the Minneapolis area will only glean a 51% return on investment
  • A mid-range, minor kitchen remodel will boast 67.2% back at resale

In other words, a minor kitchen renovation will still smooth over eyesores while earning sellers 16% more at the closing table when compared to a major remodel. Let’s get into the details of how to revamp your kitchen on a budget – and with a higher return on investment at resale.

  • Cost: $27,948
  • Resale value: $18,773
  • Cost recouped: 67.2%

To start, you’ll need an already-functional kitchen that could use some cosmetic attention and appliance upgrades. Keep 30 feet of existing cabinets, but replace the fronts with new panels. Then, follow suit by replacing drawer fronts to match the fresh cabinet faces. Polish off the area with new hardware and add new countertops.

Next, focus your attention on appliances. The estimated home appliance lifespan varies, and it’s important to replace outdated models with energy-efficient upgrades.

This particular renovation budget allocates funds for a new:

  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Oven

The kitchen transformation will conclude with newly painted walls, trim and ceiling, as well as new flooring. Consider a hue that will appeal to a variety of buyers, like the natural green deemed the 2022 Color of the Year.

Moving forward with a kitchen upgrade

It’s true that there are a few projects to avoid when selling, but a minor kitchen remodel is not one of them. In addition to bringing you joy (and better functionality) in the short-term, a kitchen upgrade could help you increase buyer interest and the value of your property when it comes time to sell.

Be sure to reach out to Edina Realty or your agent as you move forward with plans of renovating or selling your home.

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