When experts ask buyers what project most affects the selling price of homes – not counting the first impression made by the outside of the house – they reply, ‘It all starts in the kitchen!’

Kitchens and master bathrooms are the big selling points in any house. That is what will move the home (a sale depends on other factors too). But how profitable is it to update your kitchen in this market? Or purchase a home knowing you will have to remodel the kitchen and baths?

A kitchen remodel can be costly and at least a major inconvenience for a home owner, but it can also be very rewarding – with an excellent return on investment. If your home is competing against homes with beautifully updated kitchens, those properties will certainly sell first, all other factors being equal.

Typically, kitchen remodeling will give you one of the highest home remodeling returns, at about 80-100% return on dollars spent. Maybe a major remodel may be more than you want to tackle. If so, consider minor remodels, which can be just as effective in highlighting the home – and the small enhancements can use some of the good features in your kitchen. Here are a few ideas for minor changes:

* Tile the backsplash behind work areas and stove
* Add color – if your counters are one color, accent with tile, stainless steel appliances, and fashionable countertops
* Do something interesting with the hardware

These and many other remodeling jobs will add value to your home, whether a new purchase or to help sell your house. Decide on a budget and shop materials and designs. Also, be honest with yourself if you have the patience and carpentry abilities to do the work yourself. If not, check with our Coldwell Banker office for referrals to local builders who do home remodeling.

Keep in mind that some investments are worth the money, and a local Coldwell Banker agent can give you an idea of whether the remodel will keep your home competitive with market values.