First, we like Ikea and applaud them for bringing smart affordable design to the masses. After all, it sure beats much of the ugly cheap stuff most limited budgets can afford.
However, when it comes to real estate return-on-investment, our challenge lies in the Ikea kitchen. Sure they're stylish, of a decent calibre, and affordable. But this is precisely the problem. The Ikea kitchen is so ubiquitous it garners 100 percent consumer recognition.
As a result, the typical urban real estate consumer is so saturated with Ikea knowledge (chances are the latest catalogue may even be sitting on their Ikea coffee table), that the moment one walks into a house with an Ikea kitchen it takes about, I dunno, one second to identify the specific kitchen model and its approximate price.
"Oh look darling, it's the Akurum/Stat cabinets at $129 per linear foot which, based on this 10'x10' kitchen, cost about $2580 plus taxes. Oh, don't forget to add on the Grundtal kitchen utensil rail at $9.99!"
Here's the scoop. If a buyer pretty much knows how much your new kitchen cost, then how can you expect to make a profit on it? Remember, a kitchen is a bit like buying a new car...the moment you drive off the lot it starts depreciating. Heaven forbid there are already scratches, or knife wounds, on the butcher-block counters! You're going to be dinged instead of blinged!
So be smart and get clever instead.
If you must buy Ikea cabinets, dress them up so they're not recognizably Ikea. Buy non-Ikea handles, top them with custom stone counters, add a high-quality faucet and sink, and make the back-splash special. A buyer will pay top dollar for a deluxe custom-looking kitchen - so eradicate as many Ikea cues and clues as possible.
You'll be rewarded for your effort in return and response.
Want to see how we counselled a client on saving money by customizing some Ikea bookshelves? Here's one of our clever Ikea Hacks!
~Steven and the urbaneer team