Many times when you are designing your house in the building stages the one room that anyone who has taken a real estate investing course knows involved the most value is your kitchen. Investments are supposed to make money. But are granite countertops worth the investment?
So when you are considering whether or not to install granite when you are building or replacing the laminate countertops that were in the house when you bought, you need to make sure you understand that it may cost a little more upfront for the granite, but the cost (even if on a budget) will be made up not only in monetary value later on but also in appeal and décor for the house.
A few key questions are needed to be answered before taking on any kitchen project, especially with pricey countertops. Take these into consideration.
Cost of the Granite Countertops
You can look at purchasing the granite countertops at a Home Depot or Lowe’s. But I’m sure there are local granite companies that sell the proper granite to install in your kitchen. Regardless, you need to calculate the going rates (can range from anywhere to $25 to $125 per square foot), depending on what type of granite you are interesting in using (some stone countertops are more rare than others, thus driving the price up for production).
Don’t get just one estimate, because many times contractors will reduce their price (if not for the actual granite, but for the labor or materials cost) to get the business.
Appeal and Décor Value
Obviously, when you are installing granite countertops, you are automatically making the house more valuable. But you are also making it more appealing and it adds more beauty to your entire home, not just your kitchen.
If you are planning on selling your house at any time in your life, the dollar value along with the appeal and sleekness of the granite countertops have and will spark your potential buyer’s interest. It is almost assumed that when buying a house that is more than just a starter home, that the new house has granite countertops and adds a sense of elegance to any home.
Not only do the granite countertops pass the eye test for appeal and beauty, it also adds a more durable fixture to your kitchen. Granite countertops are harder and stronger and the long-term durability of the granite makes it that much more appealing to both the homeowner and the home builders.
It has a longer shelf life than traditional laminate countertops so you won’t see any scratches or rings. More times than not, you will never be replacing your granite countertops, as it generally lasts a lifetime.
Yay or Nay
Either installing from the building process or replacing the old laminate countertops, the investment you are making by upgrading to granite countertops is a no-brainer. The monetary investment will be worth it in the long run not only for the elegance and appeal, but it will add anywhere from 20%-30% of the cost.
That can vary dramatically but you don’t want potential buyers being turned off by seeing the kitchen, as arguably the top room in the house like I stated before, as not a top priority in the overall landscape of the house.
And if you are going to go through with the granite, do it right. Get the right materials and spend the extra cash upfront so that there is no questioning down the road on whether or not you made the right choice. The upgrading and installing of granite countertops are both worth every last penny that you put into the kitchen.
» Editor’s Note: From a real estate perspective, when you add high-end finishes to any home you want to consider the neighborhood of the house. So for this example, if the homes in your neighborhood generally have granite in them, by all means, add it! If very few do, then adding the expensive countertops may inflate your home’s asking price compared to others in the vicinity.
Author: Doug Chapman, a staff writer for HomeDaddys, a stay-at-home Dad blog. He specializes in diaper changing and formula mixing but has a passion for real estate investing in his spare time.