Catchy Kitchen Upgrades when Flipping

They say the kitchen is the heart of the home so no wonder it is arguably the most important upgrade when flipping a house. A kitchen that “wows” your potential buyer will help you close the deal no doubt. But be careful, it is also the most easily over-done upgrade many real estate investors make. You can easily avoid this by knowing your market. Do all the other houses in the neighborhood have stainless steel appliances? Then your flip should too. Have your realtor check out some of the comparable listings in your farm area to be sure. In the meantime check out our list of most important kitchen upgrades when rehabbing.

upgrading kitchens

Kitchen Before

after kitchen

Kitchen After










Potential buyers love attractive counter tops. It is one of the easiest ways to update a kitchen. If your neighborhood is in the price range for a granite  upgrade then allow for it in your budget. Be sure to stick with a neutral color.





We almost always suggest upgrading appliances. Many first time home buyers will be in your fix and flip after value price range. A way to really appeal to them is to provide items they probably do not own like major appliances. Make sure your newly renovated kitchen includes: a smooth top range, OTC microwave, and refrigerator (style depends on price range of home), and always add a dishwasher except in lower price points. Start with all black appliances. For nicer neighborhood make everything stainless steel.

waterfall house

Detail of kitchen sink after


Again, an easy upgrade. Going from chrome finish to brushed nickel can really make the focal part of the kitchen sink really stand out.







You would be surprised how many kitchens have bad lighting and ugly lighting. Kitchens should be bright and well lit. Potential buyers will notice how the new lighting shimmers off those stainless steel appliances.


Replacing cabinets is very expensive. Don’t replace them unless it is an absolute necessity. Usually homes built in the last decade have suitable cabinets still in working order. A quick fix can be to just update the hardware on the cabinets and refinish them. Contemporary handles and stain can make a world of difference.


Flooring would be the last item we would suggest upgrading in a kitchen. Think about it this way-even if you put hard wood or tile in the kitchen you more than likely will not get that back on the return. We have sold many mid priced flips with nice linoleum in the kitchen.  There are many new options where you can barely tell it is linoleum. Just make sure it is a good quality.

Last is the dreaded change in layout scenario. This is what as a rehabber you really hope not to deal with. But if the kitchen is nonfunctional it may be a must for your home. You can run into this issue with many smaller homes or older homes. Keep in mind that if you change the layout you will need to adjust your budget for moving plumbing and electrical wires which is not cheap.


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Erik Hitzelberger has been Real Estate Investor since 2007. While learning the ropes in the market down-cycle, he now teaches others how to use his systems and leverage other people’s expertise to achieve their own goals.

Erik Hitzelberger – who has written posts on Part Time REI.

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About Erik Hitzelberger

Erik Hitzelberger has been Real Estate Investor since 2007. While learning the ropes in the market down-cycle, he now teaches others how to use his systems and leverage other people's expertise to achieve their own goals.

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