Buyer 101- Heart of the Home, Part 2

Let’s jump back into our kitchen series and get you prepped for touring properties! If you missed the first part of this series catch up with us here, The Heart of the Home – Part 1 . In this article I will be covering more important kitchen elements and things you want to consider when purchasing a home. We’ll be talking about appliances, hardware, and venting options. As in Part 1, there are pros and cons to a kitchen when touring a potential home, just be sure to discuss them with your trusted real estate advisor and find what works best for you. 

Appliances: Not any less important than the cabinets and the countertops, the appliances are essential and affect how the kitchen will preform and look. There are many different brands, colors, and styles and knowing which brands hold up the best and have the highest ratings will require and little bit of research. 

Higher end homes, or luxury homes, will certainly have higher end appliances to match your expectations as a buyer and your needs in the space. Common brands that you could see in this market segment would be Subzero-Wolf, Viking, Bosch, Miele, Gaggenau, Thermadore, and Ilve just to name a few. Most affordable brands also have higher end lines that might not rate as high as the aforementioned but could be a good fit for a mid range priced home.  Think GE, they not only have their main line and most affordable appliances, but they also have GE Profile and GE Monogram to cover all price points and needs. Other more common brands you will find could be LG, Samsung both South Korean companies and American brands like KitchenAid, Maytag, and Whirlpool just to name a few. 

Now that you have identified what type of appliances are in the home, you need to look at the finishes and styles of the appliances. Do the finishes all match, do some of the appliances have cabinet front attachments that make them blend seamlessly with the cabinets, are there a mixture of brands? It’s a common misconception that all appliances need to be of the same brand to make a kitchen valuable- but this is not the case. There are many appliance brands that make a highly rated fridge, but their cooktop could receive much lower ratings. Work with your trusted agent to determine the value if they make sense with the price of the home. It could be just perfect for you, or you may need to plan to purchase a few appliances over time to get the kitchen to the place you need and want it. 

Hardware: As an extension of the cabinets, the hardware allows the cabinets to function. From the pulls or handles to the tracks and hinges. You will want to open cabinets and drawers to see if they are self-closing and do the pulls work in a way that you like. If they don’t, swapping these out or adding self-closing tracks and hinges is an easy fix that you or a handyman can tackle. I always suggest buyers open and close every cabinet and drawer, testing to see if things are in alignment, work properly, or there are any hidden surprises- like the dishwasher that can’t open the same time as the garbage can!

Venting: Every kitchen should have a way to vent the steam and smells from your space by way of an overhead or built-in ventilation system, or by an open window. Vents can be simple systems that are flush with the ceiling or hang down and are decorative components of the space. If you are a home chef, you will definitely want to consider if the hood vents out of the roof or recirculates back into the kitchen. Just as I mentioned in the appliances section, there are various brands of hood vents, you may want to look up ratings on this system as well. 

Consider every component to a kitchen when touring a home and contemplating a purchase. I am a big proponent for a little DIY, however, note the amount of changes you may want to make, appliances you may need to replace, etc. and develop a realistic budget and timeframe so there are no big surprises after close. The heart of the home and the most important room in the house deserves major consideration from any buyer and seller. I hope this series has been helpful- happy home shopping!

Written by: Colby Schmeckpeper

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