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What’s the Value of a Luxury Kitchen?

Updated: Jan 15

We hear it all the time that a luxury kitchen is an investment, but how much value do they actually add to a home? We sat down with Melissa Thomsen of Colorado Home Realty to find out what today’s buyers look for in a high-end kitchen.

Q: What kind of difference does a luxury kitchen make when selling a home?


A: After the curb appeal, the kitchen is the first thing people notice about a home. It’s a big draw! The kitchen is the heart of any home because it's where we spend most of our time. When people host an event or party in their home, everyone usually ends up in the kitchen!


Most buyers like it when things are turnkey. If they have to put another $100,000-200,000 into renovating a kitchen on top of their investment in buying the house, it’s generally not appealing. People get excited when they see a luxury kitchen. They fall in love with high-end appliances and finishes, which helps them envision their life in that home and means I don’t have to do a lot of convincing!


Q: When showing a home, what kind of luxury appliances get people the most excited?


A: Big professional ranges and built-in refrigerators certainly have a WOW factor, then the ‘extras’ like built-in coffee systems, full-length wine coolers, pizza ovens, and warming drawers all scream luxury! People buying higher-end homes generally like to entertain, and these items all help them to be better hosts by giving their guests a better experience.


Then there is the piece around how you feel when you get home and walk into your kitchen, a luxury kitchen gives an immense sense of pride and makes spending time in that room feel extra special.


Q: At what price point would you say luxury appliances become an expectation?

A: It’s an interesting market right now because our home prices are not typical. The average house price in the Denver metro is currently around $700,000. I had a number in my head that I went back and forth with, but I’d say anything at a million or more in this market. If you are at that price point, you have to be pretty buttoned up—for example, nicer appliances and stone countertops. Basic or builder grade is not acceptable.


People should consider investing a little more money into higher-end appliances and finishes when remodeling their kitchen, especially if they are considering selling in the future. This is an investment, not an expense, because it generally yields good returns on home value and leads to a quicker sale.


Q: What kind of value can a kitchen remodel add to a home?


A: There are some excellent resources out there to help homeowners understand the value added to the home vs. the cost to complete the work. These numbers vary by market, but kitchen remodeling typically yields the best return on investment, with the home’s value increasing by 60-80% of the project’s cost in the Denver marketplace. In comparison, a master bathroom remodel typically returns 60-65%.


Q: So, do people buy houses because of the kitchen?


A: Absolutely! It’s not always going to be the only reason, but if the kitchen doesn’t meet their needs, one thing is for sure—the house is certainly off the list!


*Source of cost vs. value information was Zonda


“These numbers vary by market, but kitchen remodeling typically yields the best return on investment, with the home’s value increasing by 60-80% of the project’s cost in the Denver marketplace.”


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