Rental Kitchen Cabinets: Is it worth it to buy more expensive?
I am remodeling a small kitchen (70 SF) I have on a house I have under contract right now. The kitchen is old and dingy, and I wanted to change it out so that we can add a dishwasher to the space (there currently isn't one, which I know will hurt rents). I had budgeted about $4500 for the kitchen, but early bids have it closer to a $6500-$7000 project (which seems like a ton for such a small kitchen just to change cabinets, countertop, and buy refurbished appliances, but I could be wrong). We're also already about $6k over budget without factoring in anything over $4500 for the kitchen.
My property manager and his contractor have been trying to sell me on using nicer wood cabinets, which we could get for about $2800. I know we can get the cheap stock wood cabinets at Home Depot for closer to $1300. While obviously there is a difference in quality and lifespan, I wonder if it just makes more sense fiscally to buy the stock cabinets? It is a rental property after-all, and at that price I can basically buy those same cabinets twice for the same cost as the nicer ones. However, the contractor thinks it's a bad idea.
Anybody have any experience with cabinet decisions on rental properties? Does it pay to pay up or should I just take the immediate savings using the HD cabinets?