Does your kitchen scream "update me!"? Are you tired of the outdated look? Thinking of putting your property on the market in the next few months but are afraid the kitchen might hold you back from getting top dollar? The Stone Oak lifestyle means luxury living at its finest. So, if you're planning on selling your property soon, you need to make sure it's in great shape. When it comes to kitchen renovation costs, what should you expect? Can you do any of it yourself? When should you splurge and when should you hold back?

Kitchen Renovation Costs: What to Expect

How Much Should I Spend?

Kitchen renovation costs - Search homes for sale in the San Antonio areaFirst things first. Let's talk money. Next to bathrooms, kitchens are the most popular area of the home to be remodeled. They're also one of the rooms buyers concentrate on most when considering a San Antonio home to purchase. You want it to look its best before you list. Costs run around $150 per square foot. But this can go up if you use higher end finishes, appliances, flooring, etc. Keep costs down by maintaining the current footprint, buying your materials from local wholesalers, and repainting or refinishing your current cabinets instead of replacing them.

Even if you consider yourself handy, you'll still need to hire a professional for any plumbing and electrical work you need to do. Don't scrimp there. And, if it turns out to be more work than you can handle yourself, you might want to hire a licensed contractor. They'll take care of deadlines, managing workers, and making sure everything passes muster.

How Extensive of a Remodel Do I Need?

You really need to answer this first before you spend big bucks on a major remodel. Why spend thousands of extra dollars on imported marble counters, glass-faced cupboards, porcelain tile flooring, and Gaggenau appliances if the rest of the San Antonio homes in your neighborhood are nowhere near this luxurious? You could end up spending yourself out of the market. Talk to a real estate agent before you decide how to proceed with your remodel. They can tell you what other properties in your area look like and give you an honest assessment of where best to invest your money.

Create a Budget and Stick to It

Kitchen renovation costs can quickly skyrocket if you don't keep an eye on things. It's very easy to get caught up in fancy appliances, rich finishes, and upgraded materials. But those add up fast. Before you know it, you've blown your budget completely. If you want to stay middle-of-the-road in kitchen renovation costs, don't go over 10% of your home's value. That should include labor, materials, and any "extras" that might pop up along the way.

What to Do When You're Ready to Remodel

First, set aside your budgeted money into an account that's easy to access. It should be completely liquid. If you're using a home equity loan to make improvements, keep it in a separate account from your regular checking or savings. Next, do your research. Contact several contractors. Ask for estimates, timelines, proof of insurance, license number, and references. Then, prepare to pay some money up front (typically about 15-30%).

Always do your homework before you invest any of your hard-earned money. Keep kitchen renovation costs down by creating a budget and interviewing several contractors. Keep return-on-investment at top of mind to ensure you don't go overboard with expenses. That's especially important if you plan on selling your San Antonio home in the future.

LUX Move Up* by Christine Aldrete Banks, CRS, SRS, RSPS