Continuing to examine and hold a lively discussion of the Northern Virginia Real Estate market.
Please post your local house search updates, MLS finds, on-topic ideas, and links here.
About to pull the trigger on getting granite countertops installed in my kitchen. We already have newer cabinets, stainless steel appliances, and wood floors, but the tiled countertops are the glaring deficiency.We're looking at spending about $1800 for exotic granite in my 11x11 kitchen.Any thoughts on what % of my money I would get back when I go to sell my N. Arlington SFH?
Jewel,Replacing tile, that most annoying of all counters, in an otherwise total package kitchen? I'd hazard 80-150%. (as long as you don't pick something totally taste-specific, which would be hard for me to avoid doing, I'd end up with something with blue flecks in it or something else odd).
Cara,That's a pretty big range, but thanks for the input! We won't install anything weird. It's a pretty traditional house, and we wouldn't deviate too far from that.
Jewel,Well I figure getting 80% of your money back at time of sale is pretty much like getting 100% if you've enjoyed it for a few years. And anything over 100% is just gravy, since the point is that you want the new counter. But I could be wrong.
My only caution concerns "newer" cabinets. If the cabinets are oak and look like 80s or 90s style-cabinets, or are the smaller, non-42 inch cabinets and have a dropped ceiling, buyers MAY come in and think they will need to replace both the cabinets and the countertops, so that would reduce your return. It's my understanding that it is hard to re-use granite installed on one set of cabinets if a new set is later desired.I'm not saying that's true for you, but I have seen it on many other Arl. houses. Otherwise, I agree with Cara - you'll get your money back unless it is really unusual or a special color.
Jewel-I agree with Cara both on the range and the fact that you can't make the range very small. I get so mad when station like HGTV tell someone that they will get a 67% return or something like that, because in reality no one knows. When you decide to sell there is one person that will have the highest offer. If this person really likes your counter maybe it will have a 150% return. On the other hand if they not a huge fan the return will be less than 100%. Basically what I am trying to get at is that there is a wide range in what a given house will sell for depending on if they can find that one buyer to fall in love so trying to itemize what individual improvements are worth is at best a guess. It also will greatly depend on what is the style of the day when you decide to sell. For example 20-30 years ago putting on wall paper would increase the value of your home, now it dramatically reduces the value of your home...
"Any thoughts on what % of my money I would get back when I go to sell my N. Arlington SFH?"This will depend on a lot of things. First, how long you wait to sell. Styles always change and while granite is very popular today, look what was popular in your parent's day. If you are planning on selling on a relatively short timeline you may get 100% or even more in return. If you don't sell for another 10+ years potential buyers may walk into your kitchen and say "Well this will all need to come out..."Also, generally speaking there is a sweet spot as far as how much you should spend to get the best possible return. Going cheap isn't good, but going extremely high-end is also less likely to get you the best possible return. (especially if "exotic" in this case means something unusual looking and potentially taste specific)
Not sure when we will sell, alot of that depends on where the market goes and when we can recoup our investment. Probably 5 years or so from now.We have white cabinets from kraftmaid right now. I would classify them as "mid-range", they were probably installed 5 years ago. Not my first choice, but I don't want to invest in new cabinets.According to Pyramid Granite, "exotic" granite is when you don't have a consistent pattern, and there is more deviation between each slab. They say this is more expensive because the minerals are more rare? It is $60/sq foot installed.
$60/sq ft installed is not a high price, IMHO. Sounds mid-range or lower for granite. I think you'll be fine, as long as the color isn't a strong blue or green or orange, etc. I personally don't like dark (black) granite, esp. not with white cabinets, but many people do.
jewel,Oh and it's the pink granite that has the highest likelihood of radioactivity. I don't know if they'll let you take a geiger counter to the store... (says me who still hasn't done a radon test on her own kitchen)(from memory, sorry just google it if you're worried, it both is a real concern in that some granite is very radioactive, the pink granite steps at my old workplace were a case in point. Always good for a laugh to take a pancake meter to them when people were sitting on them waiting for the shuttle, but also unusual that it would be very high...)
Ace,Pyramid Granite (atleast according to Angie's List) has competitive pricing and does quality work. The "non-exotic" granite starts at $40/sq foot installed.I agree with you - white cabinets with black granite is not attractive. It looks sterile to me.Cara,You raise an interesting point, but we are not going with pink granite. Probably some combination of cream/gold/grey/brown.Thanks to everyone for their input!
The short sale blues. 5 contracts and all have fallen through!
Okay, this one made me crawl out of my hole.Defense Departments big lease in Fairfax CountyChoice quotes:The Defense Department’s Medical Command Headquarters has signed a lease with GBA Associates at 7700 Arlington Blvd. in Fairfax County.The original prospectus called for up to 751,000 square feet that the Medical Command Headquarters would lease for up to 15 years. The final terms of the deal remain unclear.More than 3,000 workers from Tricare and other medical headquarter operations will move to the campus by September 15, 2011. Staff will begin to move in the summer of 2011 and additional non-BRAC-related workers will move by the fall of 2012.The departments that will be rolled into Victory Center are currently scattered nationwide from Northern Virginia to San Antonio, Texas, Fort Gordon, Ga. and Great Lakes, Ill.
Jewel, That's excellent--as I said, I think the price is very good, certainly not something on which you will likely lose money at resale. Just as a comparison, Home Depot (terrible service, questionable quality, etc.) charged a bit under $50 installed, for their lowest level granite more than 5 years ago.
Raytheon moves out to Loudon (old AOL buildings) and someone else moves in. Wonder what the net jobs effect is for Fairfax County? And how those jobs pay in comparison with the Raytheon jobs that left.
Shows how quickly the AOL and Verizon cuts are filled by other industries.The key statistic missing in the article is the number of jobs relocating from elsewhere.
Robert, Not many. Most of those offices are already located at Skyline (though some are not). Others like BUMED are also local (next to State downtown). The Raytheon facility does not seem nearly large enough. Perhaps they'll add on.
Jewel, I think white cupboards are pretty classic and won't look dated with the granite. Enjoy.
jewel.granite is hard t live with.did you look at Corian?
Pat, why do you say that? I've had it for 17 years - no problems, looks great, feels great, works fine. Just buy a plastic cutting board and use it, and you'll be fine.
Ace & Pat-I agree with Ace I have also had it for a while and had no issues at all. I have dropped pots and pans accidentally and it has never been a problem. Sure I need to be a little careful when using really heavy equipment like my mortar and pestle, but that isn't really a big deal
Pat,I had granite for awhile when I was renting. Never had a problem with it. I think most buyers expect it if you upgrade your kitchen.
Jewel, pat, etc.I would say most buyers expect something nicer than formica, laminate or tile when you upgrade your kitchen, where that could be soapstone, granite, tastefully chosen Corian with microban... Basically any solid surface counter that goes well with the decor and formality level of the home. Because, honestly, whatever you pick, it's likely that your buyer would have chosen something different if they had picked it themselves. Whether that's corian instead, or a different color granite, or a more interesting stone. It's just important that most people will like it well enough to not feel like they have to rip it out immediately.(This is also another thing that is a function of your neighbors' houses. In N. Arlington is one thing, whereas my brother-in-law replaced their huge counter with a looks-like granite laminate because out where they live, there's no way they'd recoup their money if they bought anything nicer)
We are in Arlington and used Dominion Granite www.beautifulgranite.com They had a "remnant stone" programhttp://www.beautifulgranite.com/remnant-stone.htmlWe were able to pickup and install our kitchen (with the help of friends who were paid well in beer later) and save 50% off of retailOur counter which was about 20 square feet was only $700 with a stainless steel undermount sink. This option is not for the faint of heart but an option all the same. Good Luck.
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