Everyone has their own views on what makes a house ideal for them. Generally the kitchen is the first stop for most prospective buyers and often the reason why they choose one house over another. But when looking for a new home with a functional kitchen, what are the features you should be looking for?
Looks aren’t always at the forefront of making a kitchen right for you. The cabinets may look beautiful and the countertops may be expensive, but if the layout doesn’t allow you to cook/entertain guests easily, you won’t be too happy later on. One way to see if the layout works for you is to do a test run. Try pretending to prepare a meal. It may seem silly, but it will give you great insight into what to expect in your new kitchen. Do you have enough space to prepare? Are the sink and stove too far apart? In a short amount of time you should be able to know whether or not you can get into the swing of things, and compare this routine to the other kitchen’s you’ve tested.
Another important aspect to check for is the suitability of the countertop material, and how it works for your needs. If you are a more careful cook, you may clean up messes immediately. If you are more carefree, you may choose to do your preparation directly on the surface. If you have kids, you know the countertops need to be durable without staining or scratching easily. In the latter cases durable stone product such as Caesarstone quartz countertops, may be a more sensible choice. Real granite can be very porous and stain easily. To reduce the porosity and increase stain resistance, granite must be sealed about once a year, but if you are careful then you should be happy with any type of surface.
Another big deal maker/breaker will be the storage space. Cabinet doors may be the first thing you see, but the storage capacity is much more important. It is easy to change cabinet doors to give an older kitchen an updated look. You should first check the size of the cabinets and their placement. Do the top cabinets extend up to the ceiling? Or do they have an open space abover where grease and dust can collect? Do the base cabinets have fixed or pullout shelving? Pullout shelves definitely have more ease-of-use and storage capabilities, though fixed cabinets are almost always the case in older houses, unless the kitchen was recently remodeled. Though pullout trays can be more costly, they are much more accessible and could increase the resale value of your home.
So when looking at a new home, check out the countertops, the layout, and the cabinet storage space when deciding if the kitchen is right for you. Once you decide which features you can live with or without, the decision will be much easier.