Thinking About Investing in a Rental or Second Home in 2018?

Here are 4 Things to Consider When Renovating the Kitchen

Investing in property is one of the safest and most profitable ventures one can make. Unlike the stock markets, you, as the owner, have significant control over how it all plays out. In other words, you are the boss.

The benefits of investing in a rental or second property (known as income property) cannot be overstated. For one, the potential appreciation can be huge. If you buy a second home in an area where the property value is on the rise, you could sell it 10, 20, or 30 years down the road for a large profit. In a rental property, the tenants will be the ones gradually reducing your mortgage. Furthermore, rental income is essentially money in your pocket for as long as you own and lease the property.

2018 is slated to be a big year for the housing market. Two of the largest generations are at the point when they are looking to make major changes. On one hand, many of the baby boomers are looking to downsize. On the other, a huge amounts of millennials are either entering the prime renting age, or saving for a down payment on a home.

By making periodic renovations, you can significantly boost the value of an income property. In turn, you can do things like raise the rent, or increase the total amount in which you are looking to sell.

In this process, remodeling the kitchen is the best place to raise the property value. While the project be very rewarding in the long run, it’s certainly not a quick and easy job. Here are four major points to keep in mind.

1. Prioritize Efficiency Over Size

When renovating a kitchen in an income property, bigger isn’t necessarily better, especially when you’re looking at a project cost well into the five figures or more. While you can still achieve a fresh, updated look with all the bells and whistles, focusing on efficiency is a great way to save money while adding significant value. There are many strategies to examine here.

Most prominently, you want to consider the action triangle. The “action triangle” refers to the space where the bulk of kitchen processes occur. In most cases, this is the area between the sink, stovetop, and refrigerator. Be sure to create storage areas for necessary tools within arm’s reach of the action triangle. For instance, creating a pull-out drawer for pots and pans near the stove would be an efficient choice. This is where you need to get creative and put yourself in the shoes of the everyday cook who inhabits the space. Depending on the situation, a smaller kitchen with streamlined workflows may be more desirable.

2. Look into Repurposing the Existing Assets

Of all the ways to save money during a kitchen renovation, the most substantial way might be to leave things right where they are.

In the case that your plan is to strip everything down to the studs and start from scratch, replacing the cabinets will eat up a gigantic portion of your budget. If you are happy with the current setup and the key components and insides are in decent shape, refacing the cabinets is a fantastic way to update the overall look without spending a fortune. The cost of refacing is typically 40-50% less than fully replacing.

When you are remodeling a kitchen, it can be very easy to jump to the conclusion that you need to make drastic changes. After all, this project is a drastic change in itself. Take a step back and evaluate the cards you’ve been dealt. Chances are, there might be several instances where repurposing is the wiser choice.

3. Explore Material Trends

When it comes to home renovations, in any capacity, trends are a fascinating topic. These can relate to color, theme, storage savviness, and much, much more. Remodeling a kitchen in accordance with the trends can have a big impact on the value of the home.

During the process of choosing materials, researching the trends should be done in the early stages of the project. 2018 is going to an interesting year, in this regard.  For example, the industrial kitchen look is experiencing a big rise in popularity. In turn, metal cabinets and countertops are ideal for achieving this appeal.

Another one of the major trends we’ve seen emerge recently is quartz countertops. This material is incredibly durable and gives off a timeless look. Additionally, the requirement for upkeep is a lot less than it is with granite.

In terms of cabinets, using reclaimed wood is a trend you can expect to see for the foreseeable future. Not only is it an eco-friendly solution, it’s a wonderful way to give the kitchen a vintage, natural presence.

The most important thing to remember when researching material trends is you want to be planning for the long term. Trends come and go. Picking the wrong materials might end in you having to renovate the kitchen again in a few years. Generally speaking, you want this project to last at least 10-15 years.

4. Go Color Neutral

Color plays a much bigger role in a kitchen than many assume. It sets the tone for the entire room and is majorly responsible for the energy it projects.

Most importantly, if you are investing in an income property, as a rental or a second home you eventually plan on selling, tenants and buyers will likely have their own preferences for the color of the kitchen. In a rental property, you will likely need the kitchen to appeal to many different people throughout the years. That being said, try to avoid super bold colors.

Stick to colors like gray, cream, and beige. This neutral theme should extend beyond the walls to the tiles, floors, cabinets, countertops, appliances, ect. Doing this is a great long term decision – neutral colors seldom go out of style.


When you talk to people who own income property, many will tell you that one of their biggest regrets was not starting sooner.

Once you make the smart decision to invest, one of your major goals is to raise the property value as much as you can. If you put your dollars to good use in remodeling the kitchen, the long term payoff can be a monumental contributor to retirement, your children’s college fund, or investing in more income property.

At San Diego Kitchen Pros, we’ve seen a number of projects related to income properties. Some of which are already taking place in 2018! When it comes to kitchen remodels, we pride ourselves on our ability to understand each and every project and the facets involved in day-to-day usage, investment potential, savings, long term sustainability, and much more. Whatever you are looking to accomplish with your kitchen project, we will make it happen.