Many home buyers, especially first time home buyers, have a challenging time seeing past what is to what could be. I often find that is the most exciting part about residential real estate. Having the vision to see where a little extra effort can really pay off in terms of creating your ideal home and also in adding real value to one of the largest investments people make. Location and community are fixed components in real estate but dated and tired kitchens and bathrooms can be enhanced and transformed.
In highly competitive real estate markets – think Larchmont NY, Mamaroneck NY, Rye NY, Rye Neck NY, Scarsdale NY… you either need a substantial budget to acquire that move-in ready dream home…or as I’m partial to, you can look for that outmoded fixer upper. If you are interested in the latter I can assist buyers in running the numbers with a focus on what value can be created by considering the potential sales price + renovation costs vs the finished renovated home. This approach often translates to an increase in value because the time and effort you put forth has real value to other potential buyers who are unable or unwilling to renovate.
Live Example: 678 Forest Ave Larchmont, NY
One of our current listings exemplifies this type of opportunity. 678 Forest Avenue in Larchmont, NY, 10538, is located in an ideal location – 1 block from Murray Avenue Elementary School, a 10 minute walk to Metro North Train station & a 10 minute walk to downtown Palmer Ave in Larchmont. As is this home is absolutely livable – without question – and combines old world charm with modern amenities. With a little vision it could be so much more and once renovated likely worth considerably more.
Let’s explore the current kitchen configuration:
The kitchen pictured below is fully functional and spacious with plenty of counter-top space, an abundance of natural light and ideally located between the family room (3rd picture) and the eat-in-kitchen table room (2nd picture). At first glance all completely usable and livable rooms with good “flow”. However, with a keen eye for what can be – you can start to see the magic of possibilities..
To help us fully explore this kitchen + family room makeover we contacted our friend and personal kitchen designer, Vincent Carilli at Majestic Kitchens and Baths in Mamaroneck, NY. Vincent recently toured the home with me and provided us with several potential design sketches – see below.
This first layout provides a great aerial prospective on opening up some walls to create an open floor plan kitchen – with a center island and breakfast table area with plenty of light.
The second layout expands upon the open format kitchen + eat in kitchen and opens the walls into the adjourning family room. This design creates a popular and sought after layout.
The final three renderings give the perspective of the new open floor plan kitchen design from the family room (1st picture), from the breakfast table (2nd pictures), and the final picture is a bit of a brain teaser but this perspective is with your back to the kitchen sink looking left to the breakfast table and straight ahead to the family room. In picture #3 notice the island microwave, and mini-fridge / bar area and pantry area. This could also easily be a desk or expanded butler pantry.
These are my favorite types of projects. Having completed 2 similar renovations in the 2 homes I’ve owned with my family, and several spec/flip houses, I love seeing a home’s potential.
To learn more about this or other ideas or to start exploring your ideal community and home contact me today.
Jennifer Y. Ross
p.s. This post is for illustrative purposes only. To actively pursue renovations please consult the necessary engineering, architectural, zoning and permitting experts to ensure your renovations are safe, legal and successful!