The last year has been a weird one for the real estate market – not that any year since 2020 has been ordinary. Right now, a big trend is that people who can afford not to move are holding onto their homes and upgrading them instead of moving somewhere else since the swing away from a seller’s market makes it so much harder to sell in a high-interest-rate environment. Upgrading your kitchen is a nice option because it will improve your life in the near term with more functionality or beauty, but will also boost your appeal to buyers when it is actually time to sell. Picky buyers can afford to wait for a truly move-in-ready home, and these are some of the trends inspiring them to pull the trigger and buy a house.

    Remote Work Doesn’t Curb the Open Concept Kitchen

    Many people discovered an enduring love of remote work opportunities and hybrid work has remained a popular in-between for employers who can afford to offer it. However, we’re not in the early days of 2020 and 2021 anymore, when dual-income homes were quickly being partitioned off to make space for multiple video calls at once. Instead, people want the benefits of a kitchen that opens seamlessly into a family room or dining area, making it possible to supervise kids, chat with family, or entertain guests while also bustling around in the kitchen preparing food. If you were considering closing off your kitchen to give the family room more of a private feel, this isn’t the time – open-concept kitchen and family room spaces are very popular, according to the Homelight Real Estate Agent Insights Survey.

    Smart, Stainless Steel Appliances For a Sleek, Eco Look

    When your kitchen looks great but has truly dated appliances, the way to go is in two directions: stainless steel for the modern and easy-to-clean look, and eco-friendly, ideally with some kind of energy star designation. When you can attract buyers with the knowledge that they will have lower utility bills due to these energy-efficient appliances, they like them even more than just as part of the aesthetic of the kitchen.

    Storage Will Always Be King, Even With Declining Need for Walk-In Pantries

    Nearly everyone talks about wanting enough countertops, drawers, and cabinets to cook effectively and serve guests when entertaining, but a feature that was very popular a few years ago, walk-in pantries, has remained in the mix but isn’t nearly as prominent. With people spending less time at home than they did two years ago, there is simply a little less pressure to have truly extensive amounts of food available at the ready, since restaurant meals, takeout, and eating in other people’s homes have become more a part of the mix.

    Occasional Buyers Notwithstanding, Neutral, Light, and White Are the Go-To Palettes

    There are a few buyers and designers here and there talking about just how beautiful you can make a kitchen full of bold, bright colors, and they aren’t wrong: nothing is wrong with a brilliant blue and green kitchen full of bold tones. However, when it comes to making the sale, you’re not going to aim for this population: you want to reach a large swath of your potential buyers. For that reason, opt for the most popular tones: neutrals like grey and beige, bright white, and ultra-light shades for any color. While patterned and colorful backsplashes are popular, they tend to be the pop of color in an otherwise neutral space, recognizing that the next owners might want to make the space their own a bit with accents that wouldn’t do well against a particularly brightly colored wall.