The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 9 No. 9 - November 19, 2008

REAL ESTATE

Sleek kitchen is the secret to selling

What’s the secret to selling your home in a competitive market? The kitchen? What’s the secret to selling your home for the best possible price? The kitchen? What’s the secret to selling your home quickly? The kitchen? With Anna Maria’s prime buying season on the horizon, it may be time to give your kitchen a makeover before getting it on the market. It’s something that can be done with surprisingly little money.

There are a lot of ways to resuscitate a kitchen without breaking the bank or dipping into your kids’ college fund. A $5,000 mini-makeover can give the kitchen a new and fresh look without a full blown renovation costing 10 times as much. It’s sort of like having a shot of botox instead of the Joan Rivers facelift.

A good place to start is with cabinets that may be structurally sound, but are looking a little dated. Spruce them up with a new veneer or sometimes just a coat of high quality paint is enough. Adding some crown molding at the top provides a finished look, and inexpensive cabinet organizers will also present a custom-made look to the kitchen.

Often the kitchen backsplash is neglected, but is an area that can make a decorative statement for practically nothing. Freshen up the backsplash with a contrasting color paint or interesting tiles in ceramic, glass or stone which only cost between $10 to $40 per square foot. If you already have stainless steel appliances, using stainless steel on the backsplash for a little more money, $100 to $150 per square foot, gives a really sleek look.

Speaking of appliances, nothing makes more of a difference in a kitchen than new appliances. Prices vary but it’s worth the $2,000 or $3,000 especially if your current appliances look like they’ve been through one too many Thanksgivings.

If you don’t already have a kitchen island that can be restored, adding one is a great idea. It doesn’t have to be permanent if space is at a premium. Even a small island on rollers will add charm, counter space and storage for less than $1,000.

Nasty, chipped or stained countertops will leave buyers with the impression that the house is not being maintained. You can replace them with regular laminate for as little as $550 for an average kitchen, or substitute some of the more expensive quartz and granite products available if your budget allows. The point is to make the countertops look clean and fresh.

The same thing applies with sinks and faucets. You don’t have to purchase the most expensive stainless steel sink and top of the line faucet. As long as it’s clean, shinny and leak free, no one will ask to see the sales receipt.

And last, but definitely not least, is to light up your kitchen with a safer and a more inviting glow. Please, please, please remove fluorescent fixtures especially if they’re mounted within a domed ceiling. It doesn’t take a lot to replace a few sheets of sheet rock and install flush high hats that will give better lighting and an updated look. Also, under counter lighting can be purchased for a few hundred dollars and again gives a customized look to the kitchen.

Don’t ask me why, but in a country where eating out has become a major social event, everyone still demands a great kitchen. All I know is that houses with superior kitchens sell faster and for more. It’s no secret, just good common sense.

Real Estate Transactions
Closed sales between July 14 and Aug. 16, 2008

Anna Maria

827 North Shore Drive       Single family       $1,350,000
511 Loquat Drive        Single family        990,000
157 Crescent Drive       Lot       750,000
604 Jacaranda Rd.       Single family        700,000
620 Rose St.       Single family        539,900
316 Hardin Ave.       Single family        425,000

Bradenton Beach

2200 Gulf Dr. N.       Hotels/Motels       $2,925,000
2500 Gulf Dr. N.       Duplex        2,500,000
2100 Ave. A #A        Duplex        415,000
2409 Ave. C       Duplex        330,000

Cortez

3840 Mariners Wy #525      Condo        $550,000
4203 W. 126th St.       Duplex        330,000

Holmes Beach

509 75th St.       Single family        $695,000
304 65th St.        Condo        630,000
211 83rd St. &n      Single family        602,000
625 Emerald Ln.       Single family        585,000
314 63rd St.       Condo        570,000
4703 Third Ave.       Condo        570,000
3311 Gulf Dr. #2       Condo        397,100
303 64th St. #A       Duplex        390,000
2805 Ave. E       Single family        381,000
7205 Gulf Drive       Duplex        380,000
6200 Flotilla Drive #286       Condo        315,000
6300 Flotilla Ave. #89       Condo        250,000
3607 East Bay Drive #111      Condo        250,000

Source: Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Office


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