Would you change this kitchen?

10 Replies

BP Community,

I'm in need of some guidance. Finally closing on my first flip and I am stuck on where to go with the kitchen. This was a hoarder house in a lower end neighborhood, owned by an older gentleman. The cabinets are actual wood and other than the fact that they are dirty, they seem to be in good condition. Looking inside them, I wouldn't say they are over 5 years old. I definitely would replace the sink and maybe the granite - depending on how it cleans up. I just can not decide on whether I should rip the cabinets out and just install brand new ones, or if I should leave these in place, clean, and potentially paint them.


What would you do?


Thanks in advance!

Scrub four times: TSP, simple green, comet, then dove dish soap. Get all the bugs. Is the sink rusted? Replace with same sink if rusted, replace grout, replace faucet and disposal. Install two more light sources - overhead and under cabinets. What kind of flooring is that? I would put in ceramic tile in light cream color that imitates wood, paint very yellow, cabinets in same color range as they are with less brown antiquing. What is the gap between sink and right counters that has dishes on top that seems like a black hole for dirt, maybe was a trash compactor that no one uses today? Re seal the granite.

@Caroline Gerardo is spot on with the cleaning tips.  Those cabs look nice like they could be cleaned up well.  Gross cabinets are, well, gross, so if you have a lack of motivation cleaning them, pretend that they cost $6000(or whatever) to replace that kitchen and divide that by the 5 hours you spending cleaning it and you just paid yourself a lot of money!  I'm guessing that void by the sink was a dishwasher?  If so I'd put that back.  

If that granite is in good shape- not chipped and cracked and broken- I'd leave it.  That yellow paint makes it look like a smoker lived there, I'd repaint that.  Additional lighting is a great idea.  I'd fix that random tile counter (the one with the white 4" tiles) and I guess match the granite if you're keeping it, or you could throw on a butcher block top if you can't match the granite.  Do you need any kind of kitchen exhaust?  Like a range hood?  Is the tile missing on the floor by that empty spot? Maybe a new floor is in order?

The lighting addressed above was a good call- it's super easy in a small kitchen to pop in a couple of remodel can lights off of that same light that is there.  Also that sink: BarKeepers Friend is a cheap and amazing product that can really scrub out a sink.  My wife has also used spray on oven cleaner in really soap scummy showers and it works wonders at cleaning up a fiberglass shower, so I imagine a sink it would work well too.  Hope this helps!

Thank you all for the responses. Yes, we will take care of the lighting, flooring, and painting. We just could not decide what to do with the kitchen. Based on your responses, we will try to clean it up with new hardware! I will keep you guys updated with results! The gap to the right of the sink was a dishwasher, so yes, we will be putting one back in. You guys are also great for the specific product recommendations for cleaning – very appreciated!!

As far as the comps, most of them have basic white shaker cabinets with level one granite. But all of the comps have original bathrooms reglazed. Our house will have a fully renovated, tiled bathroom. I think with these cabinets cleaned up and a brand new bathroom, this house will be valued more than white shaker cabinets with an 50’s bathroom... But that’s just me.

Again, thank you all for the advice!

Keep them! They aren't bad at all..... A good cleaning will do wonders. Same for granite. 

I'd put in some 4" can lights (run off that same switch)...... a fast, easy, and cheap upgrade.

Those are the nicest cabinets I have ever seen in a pre-flip house. I've painted, sold, and profited on much worse! 

but I think my low end house definition is lower than yours. Bottom line, look at the comps, and most likely update hardware.

If it were mine I'd have the stainless scrubbed and polished, and the stone cleaned and keep it as is and see if it will bring market rents.

Those look like higher end cabinets and counter tops.

If it wouldn't being market rent, I'd try a cosmetic quick fix and market it as a cooks kitchen or something like that.

If it still was not bringing in the dollars I'd put a proper lower end rental kitchen in there, but why pay if you don't have to.

It's not a prime kitchen, but as is (but cleaned) in a lower end neighborhood it might rent and they might see it as a luxury setup (maybe ???). Granite and high end cabinets (inappropriately large mish mash of cabnets).

Below I did a real quick cosmetic mockup without running any budget money amounts--just a creative idea.

Stainless surround and a real vent, plus some back splash. Fry stuff to their hearts content, and a faucet to fill big pots over the stove. 

Just some ideas, but probably too upscale to bring any extra rent in a low rent area.