Buyer 101- The Heart of the Home; Part 1

When searching for homes, the kitchen might be one of the most essential rooms for a buyer. It’s where you prepare meals, where friends and family will gather when visiting, where you entertain, and where you spend the most time of any space. In this buyer 101, we will tackle the kitchen in a two-part series, “The Heart of the Home,” and what you might find when looking for your dream home.

Cabinets: Besides the size of the kitchen, one of the first things you will notice is the style of the cabinets. The two most common styles are shaker, flat panel, or a combination. The cabinet doors may be solid wood or an engineered product, some with soft-close hinges or standard rails and hinges. As an agent, we can help you identify these different elements so that you know what you are considering buying and the quality of various products.

Counter Tops: After determining what style of cabinets are in homes you are searching, the countertops are probably the next big thing you will notice. There are various countertop materials and maintenance associated with each.

Laminate is layers of paper and resin that are pressed together and heated. These sheets of paper can have colors or designs to give them a detailed look. Once finished, the design is bonded to particle board, a light, and cost-effective material. Laminate is fragile and doesn’t last as long, but is incredibly cost-effective.

Natural stone, like granite, can add a lot of value to a home. In addition to being easy to clean and maintain, and is scratch and heat-resistant. Granite is a type of igneous rock (that geology degree keeps popping up), which means they are formed in volcanic conditions from cooling magma. 

Marble is another natural stone but is a metamorphic rock; this means it is formed from sedimentary rocks that are subjected to heat and pressure underground. This natural process creates a beautiful stone that is heat-resistant. They are porous and vulnerable to staining, can scratch, and require high levels of maintenance.

Quartz countertops are more popular than ever; they are low maintenance, scratch and heat-resistant, and more affordable than natural stone. Made from the waste of natural stone and other industries, you can find a mixture of crushed-up granite, marble, other stones, ceramics, silica, glass, and even mirrors in these products. They are all held together with a polymeric or cement-based binding agent and ground down to a smooth surface. Because they are nonporous, they need not be sealed like a natural stone and will not stain. Quartz gives you flexibility with color, texture, and style and may even look like natural stone with embedded patterns.

With the two most important items covered here, “The Heart of the Home- Part 2,” will cover the rest of the kitchen and things you want to consider when purchasing a home; think appliances, hardware, vents, etc. As always, discuss the pros and cons of any purchase with your trusted real estate advisor.

Written by: Colby Schmeckpeper

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