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Is it ever worth putting "quality" fixtures into a first time buy?

(18 Posts)
Aury26 Sun 22-Nov-20 13:31:31

As per the title. FTB Flat worth 200k. It needs fixing up cosmetically. New floors, kitchen, bathroom etc. Is it worth spending the money on expensive hardware eg quartz worktops, wood flooring etc or will I lose money doing this in a home that isnt my forever home?
I have the means to pay for these things but wondering if I am better off from an investment perspective just getting some decent laminate for the floors, a cheap but good looking kitchen (currently an old 70s kitchen with carpet) confused

OP’s posts: |
Tyzz Sun 22-Nov-20 14:29:33

I would go with cheap and cheerful whether you plan to stay short or long term.
Having lived in my house for over 30 years I can tell you that you will tire of expensive hardware long before it needs replacing.
If you sell in a couple of years it will still be presentable and the buyer will most likely change them anyway.

ComtesseDeSpair Sun 22-Nov-20 14:36:39

It’s worth going for mid-range, as much for your own enjoyment and pride in your home as anything else. Even if this is only a three-four year home for you, that’s a long time to live with decor you don’t like much. Additionally, a very cheap basic kitchen will always look like a very cheap basic kitchen (and therefore be something when you do come to sell that buyers perceive as something they want money off the asking price to replace) and will likely wear less well than a better quality one. It’s not a binary quartz worktop versus cheap laminate, there are materials in the middle which will wear well but not cost the earth.

ReeseWitherfork Sun 22-Nov-20 14:41:52

We did and now that we no longer live there I do regret it a teeny bit. But we could afford to do the same in our next house (current one) which intends to be a keeper so it’s not like we’re going without now. There have been no long term consequences to doing it, I just wonder what we were thinking hanging such expensive doors (for example).

(Well... we were thinking we would have been there a lot longer but something came up and we ended up moving just as we finished renovations!)

My advice would be: don’t scrimp so much that it bugs you and possibly forces your hand to move before you are ready. If you want to spend a few years enjoying living in your home then pick the fixtures and decor that will give you that. But don’t spend more than you can afford, or more then it is currently worth to you. And definitely don’t spend more now which will affect your finances later.

Some people spend thousands on a weeks holiday and that certainly isn’t ever going to be “an investment”. A house is so much more than finances.

KarmaNoMore Sun 22-Nov-20 14:49:00

No, cheap and cheerful if you are not planning to stay there. Remember that there is a ceiling price for properties if a certain kind on each location so all these expensive fixtures will not add much to the value of the house if you are already at the top of the price.

If you are in an expensive area, with a property in the lower end of the price standards having those extra luxury fittings can help, otherwise not a good idea.

Aury26 Sun 22-Nov-20 18:24:34

KarmaNoMore yes I also thought of the ceiling price of the home too which was part of why i was wondering. Ultimately I will see it as a home over an investment now so definitely dont plan on going super cheap but I dont want to be too out of pocket either! Mid range sounds like the right idea to me too

OP’s posts: |
Aury26 Sun 22-Nov-20 18:29:23

The similar properties around here that are "done" are currently selling for around 30k.
So figured if I can invest 10k or so into making it look nice I will be ok. Though I suppose theres never any guarantee!

OP’s posts: |
Aury26 Sun 22-Nov-20 18:30:03

30k more* is what I meant to say!

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Sadhoot Sun 22-Nov-20 18:39:58

You have to get into a completely different mindset and not just be aghast at the price of everything, especially things which will be used every day or long term, like floors and sofas. You need to acclimate yourself to a whole new world of price tags.

I have to say hate laminate with a passion. I hate that plastic is working its way into every single aspect of our lives. A good quality laminate will not cost much less than engineered wood floors, but it will sit in a landfill polluting the environment for an eternity. The cheap stuff does not stand up to wear and tear - just look at display models which have been up for a while.

There are things we could have gone cheap on but I am glad that I didn't - e.g. led-lit bathroom mirror, vertical radiator in the kitchen, made to measure roman blind for the living room. None of these things we will take when we move, but they improve my quality of life whilst I'm here. Don't underestimate how much small, daily things will affect you.

Then there are things we went cheap on and regretted e.g. extractor fan which dropped its ball bearing after a couple of months and doesn't seem to actually extract much steam. The sink unit which was a good price but annoys me because I have to bend down to get things out rather than just pulling out a drawer. I curse myself most days for not spending an extra £200 on a drawer unit like I wanted.

You also have to consider full cost of something, so tiles may only be £10/sqm but what about the underlay, grout, etc? What is the final cost of your options with all those things taken into consideration, and is the difference significant enough to make a difference to your life?

If the kitchen is real wood, I would strongly encourage you to upcycle it, paint the units, replace the tiles and update the countertop. If the cabinets are in good condition then save those too and maybe just replace the cabinet doors.

Finally, my best tip is to wait for sales. Things will always be on sale and you can get decent quality stuff if you just wait a bit. Our bathroom tiles were 50% off in a flash sale, down from £40/sqm. We also got 15% off our engineered wood floors.

Iseeyoulookingatme Sun 22-Nov-20 18:50:52

Don't go too cheap as the kitchen will start falling apart and will just look cheap in a few years time. But also don't spend to much if your not planning on staying too long. I spent more on my first house than I made back but it was what I wanted, I lived there for 13 years so got my moneys worth and my house wouldn't have sold for the amount it did if I hadn't of decorated it in the way I did.

2GinOrNot2Gin Sun 22-Nov-20 20:29:10

I did this.. best of everything, expensive made to measure blinds, expensive tiles etc I was planning living here forever but we soon outgrew it and when we realised how much equity we had we decided to move. It did help sell it, we sold in a day and for over asking as there were 5 people bidding.. BUT in reality it would of probably made the same making it really nice with cheaper-midrange products.

Think of it this way.. every penny you spend comes out of your profit at the end. Fancy work tops won't sell your house any better than a standard one as most people won't even notice the difference. Do it nicely but cheaply and go for timeless over tends!

Circusoflove Sun 22-Nov-20 23:24:48

In a £200k flat people are going to consider a modern and tidy kitchen as ‘done’. They simply won’t expect quartz worktops or be willing to pay more for them. I think you’d regret spending that kind of money in the long term.

Aury26 Mon 23-Nov-20 01:51:37


In a £200k flat people are going to consider a modern and tidy kitchen as ‘done’. They simply won’t expect quartz worktops or be willing to pay more for them. I think you’d regret spending that kind of money in the long term.

Exactly what I was assuming and why I asked the question. Theres always going to be a ceiling to a property like thats worth and thought a quartz worktop probably wouldnt have any effect on value really.
But equally want to enjoy living there so would by no means do anything dirt cheap. Its just finding that sweet spot i suppose!

OP’s posts: |
GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER Mon 23-Nov-20 07:10:53

I’d go for mid-range, not the very cheapest. You can get perfectly nice everything, without spending a fortune, and speaking from experience, the care you take with choosing everything, inc. colours, and what’s appropriate for the style of property, will show.

In particular (at the cheaper end of the market) if selling in future, it will make it stand out a mile from ex rental properties, where landlords have put in the cheapest old kitchen and carpets etc.

senua Mon 23-Nov-20 07:25:01

Finally, my best tip is to wait for sales. Things will always be on sale and you can get decent quality stuff if you just wait a bit.
I would agree with this. If you were in a 10-bed mansion and wanted matching doors or an acre of carpet then you would probably have to wait an age for the right deal. But if you are in a flat then you only need small quantities so you are more likely to get an end-of-roll / last-one-left type bargain.
There are several businesses specialising in selling second hand kitchens so you may find some large, quality off-cast which you can cut down to your size.

KarmaNoMore Mon 23-Nov-20 22:44:33

By cheap I don’t mean going super cheap as that would probably reduce the price of the house.

Our last house was for 2 years only and we invested about 20% of the price we paid for the house, which was enough to bring us an increase in price of 45% two years later but then we had refurbished other houses previously so we knew a what times to buy, where to buy snd how to combine expensive with inexpensive stuff to make it look pricey. I strongly recommend carrying the proportions of your house’s rooms in a piece of paper in the car, that way if you see something that looks like a proper good price you can buy it on the spot.

Whatever you do do not go for a cheap kitchen. If anything I suggest trying IKea, as the cabinets are as strong as Magnet’s but cheaper than Wickes’, if you are not convinced about the doors there are plenty of places that make nicer kitchen doors to order and you can even order granite ‘veneers’ for the worktop at a fraction of the price.

mineofuselessinformation Mon 23-Nov-20 22:58:30

You haven't said how long you plan to live there.
If it's more than a couple of years, go for good quality but not too expensive.
Long-term, go for what you want as you'll be the one living with it.
Otherwise, go for reasonably hard-wearing (you'll need to look at reviews, etc) but less expensive. You don't want to be in the position of buying something and then needing to renew as it's looking shabby when you sell, or taking a hit on the selling price.

PigletJohn Tue 24-Nov-20 12:32:37

get good quality taps, plugholes, WCs and other bathroom and kitchen fittings. That doesn't mean an expensive fashionable brand.

Avoid quirky or whimsical.

Ask your kitchen fitter to install your kitchen worktops so they can easily be unscrewed and replaced by new (that means square edges, not mitred or curved unless you want to pay for skilled fitting every time)

Don't bury your pipes, shower mixer or WC cistern in the wall and tile over them. Have a bath panel (not plastic) that lifts out after undoing four screws. Don't get pop-up wastes.

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