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Add Value to Your Home With a Chef-Inspired Kitchen


Having a chef-inspired kitchen like the one in this Montecio home not only adds value to your home, it also helps in sell it for more money.Experts agree a chef-inspired kitchen can add value to your home and is a recipe for success when it comes time to sell. According to two of the top online real estate information services, home sellers seeking to appeal to today’s homebuyers should start with their kitchen. puts it this way, “The kitchen has become the most valuable room in real estate.” Zillow agrees. In fact, a recent Zillow analysis shows that upscale kitchen amenities can contribute to a home selling for up to 34% more. That means upgrading your kitchen can make a big difference in your ROI when you are ready to list your Montecito home.

Read: Top 10 Things You’ll Want for Your “Pinterest Kitchen”

By analyzing the listing descriptions of 4.6 million home sales nationwide, Zillow found the key feature commanding a premium price was a chef-inspired kitchen. Most of the homes in the analysis were sold in 2017 and 2018, so the results definitely reflect today’s homebuyer.   

Zillow found that although a luxury kitchen appeals to only a small group of home buyers, those buyers have no problem spending more money on a property with an upscale culinary center.

Drilling down a little further, Zillow’s analysist found the one thing that received the highest sale premium in listings was the keywords “steam oven.” If your Montecito home has a wall oven that steams food, you can expect your abode to sell for 34% more than expected. The only caveat was homes in the same metro area and price tier with steam ovens tended to sit on the market for the longest: 22 days longer than similar homes.

“Having a steam oven, a heated floor or other luxury features in the home is a signal that there are more than the home’s basic features at play,” says Skylar Olsen, Zillow’s director of economic research. “These homes are special. They likely come with an elevated design sense and the extra touches valued by home shoppers who are willing to pay. If you have these features, flaunt them.”

Read: Return on Investment: Can Adding a Pizza Oven Be Worthwhile?

Other features that can add value to your home, and that helped homes sell for more than expected and faster than expected include: a shed/garage studio (26% more, eight days faster than expected), exposed brick (22% more, 9 days faster) and mid-century design style (17% more, 11 days faster.) Radiant floor heating systems also made the list of amenities homebuyers want. The ability to keep your feet warm while saving on your energy bill gave listings a 26.2% boost. If you have pot fillers or swing out faucets that pipe water directly onto your range top, you can expect your home to sell for 27.5% more.

While home buyers love all the amenities above, a chef’s kitchen received the best return on investment. Here are 5 interesting facts from about the value of a chef-inspired kitchen:

  • A trophy kitchen sells your home better than anything else 
    “It’s almost not worth calling it a kitchen anymore – it’s a living room that you can cook in.”
  • Small homes no longer mean small kitchens 
    Owners of smaller homes are clever when it comes to organization in their kitchens. They make small kitchens appealing to buyers by adding racks attached to a drawer, rolling islands, etc.
  • Pick the feature that will add big value 
    Kitchen renovations can be costly for home sellers. Some elements add value while other features simply don’t. The most valued features are custom cabinetry, kitchen islands, creative lighting and granite counters.
  • The chef’s kitchen popularity keeps growing
    Only 7% of the homes listing describe their kitchen as a chef’s or gourmet kitchen. Key features in a chef’s kitchen are a wet bar, butler’s pantry, double ovens and wine fridge.
  • Open kitchen vs. formal dining room 
    When it comes to casual versus formal dining spaces, the numbers show Americans’ preference is split in half. However, with our perfect Mediterranean weather, Montecito is the perfect place to open up a kitchen and create a feeling of space with lots of natural light. 

Read: The Top 10 Home Kitchen Design Trends for 2019

What exactly is a Chef-Inspired Kitchen?

According to the experts, there are 5 amenities that must be included to make it a chef-inspired kitchen and add value to your home. Does your kitchen have any of the following?

  • Refrigerator drawers
    We’ve all been there: stirring a boiling pot when you realize you need to add something from the fridge. Refrigerated drawers in the kitchen island give you quick access to common ingredients. The essentials are an arm’s length away.
  • Wine staging area
    A mini wine fridge is a common amenity in luxury homes, even homes with wine cellars. This is both a time-saver and great way to ensure your meal and wine pair well.
  • Stacked plate ware
    Stacking dishes so they’re easy to grab, like in a commercial kitchen, is another must-have for today’s home chefs. Forget about the open shelving. Plating is an important final step in meal-prep.
  • Tasting counter
    Think about it: chefs love good flow. A tasting counter, with ample counter space and a breakfast bar with barstools, puts the chef at the center, where they should be. That way, guests can partake and sample the food while the chef creates his or her masterpiece.
  • Outdoor extensionBeautiful outside chef-inspired kitchen in MOntecito home for sale to illustrate how to add value to your home
    A huge outdoor kitchen is a must here in Montecito. But it isn’t just about the grill. Consider adding a wok range, pizza oven, sink and ample counter space. That way, you can prep, cook and plate a meal without having to step inside. 

If you’re considering selling your home in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities, give me a call at 805.886.9378 or email me at If you already have a chef inspired kitchen, you’re ahead when it comes adding value to your home. If not, I’ll work with you to create one; sharing my valuable local resources made over my extensive Montecito real estate career. While I market your current house, I’ll help you find your new dream home on the American Rivera where you can create a dreamy chef-inspired kitchen to enjoy for years to come.


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