Q: For a while, the industry was saying that future resale value was driving consumers’ kitchen design choices, which seemed to result in an ocean of beige, which they perceived as “safe.” Is that still the case?
A: In our survey, resale value seemed to be a motivation for about a third of the people who were remodeling, so it is meaningful but not the most important thing. That’s been consistent for the past couple of years. They’re doing things they like and picking things that are going to fit their own tastes.
“Improving the look and feel” was the No. 1 motivation, claimed by 79 percent. Other motivators that trumped resale value concerns were to improve function (59 percent); upgrade appliances (52 percent); and improve storage (48 percent).
“I will never be able to sell this place for anywhere near what I’ve put into it, so might as well make it nice if I’m going to die here” is the motivation for almost every remodeling choice I’VE made in the past decade. I mean, sure, would it have been near-impossible to sell our place with a caved-in bathroom and a kitchen from the cheaper end of the early ’90s, but let’s not pretend it was a decision predicated on optimism about the housing market.
If you’re gonna write a trend piece, fine, but try to ground it in reality.