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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Sunday, September 24, 2023

College 101: Ruin to Repair

Now that I’ve gone off to college, my parents are considering selling the house I grew up in with my siblings. I’m supportive of this, since it seems like a lot to take of when it’s just them living there. Unfortunately, a few weeks ago my parents had torrential rains and the roof above the kitchen started leaking. My parents essentially have to remodel their kitchen because of all the water damage, but they aren’t sure how much to spend on a remodel since they are planning on selling their house soon. Since they have some insurance money to work with, as well as some personal savings, how much should they worry about remodeling a kitchen before they put their house on the market?

Roof repairs and kitchen remodels can be some of the costliest home improvements to make, and it sounds like your parents are asking exactly the right questions.

The difference between a good contractor and a bad contractor can make a world of difference. Your parents will want to find someone who can expertly assess the damage to the roof and determine whether the roof needs to be replaced or repaired. A good contractor will perform a detailed review of the roof’s condition, determine the extent of the damage, and make a recommendation about whether to repair or replace. Since your parents are planning to put their house on the market, they should also bring that to any contractor’s attention, since repairing instead of replacing may impact the market price of your parents’ home. And of course, it’s ideal if they can find a contractor who will warrant the work performed for a reasonable period of time.

Once your parents have made a roofing decision, they must turn to the more personal question of how much they want to update their kitchen before putting the house on the market. Since your parents won’t be making much use of the kitchen themselves, it makes it easier to view the kitchen remodel as a simple determination of return on investment. According to those in the industry, kitchen upgrades and remodels can have one of the highest returns on investment of home renovations.This is great news for your parents, since their unplanned-for kitchen remodel may actually end up increasing the market value of the home.

As Dacor points out, high-quality, long-lasting appliances can make a kitchen more functional and a pleasant place to gather with family and friends. Although the upfront costs for high-quality appliances are higher than some other types of kitchen improvements, the longevity of appliance upgrades is a selling point for buyers who are about to make a long-term investment. Your parents also may be able to choose other upgrades that look great but don’t cost as much, like tile. According to interior designers, tile can add panache to the kitchen without breaking the bank if your parents are willing to do a little bit of shopping.

It sounds like your parents are already thinking like wise homesellers, so with a good contractor and discussions with realtors about what kind of appliances potential buyers hope to see, they are on track to turn a leaky roof and damaged kitchen into an opportunity to improve their selling experience.

“Afterwards, they always had tea in the kitchen, much the nicest room in the house.” -- Flora Thompson

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