My Lottery Dream Home Proves One Kitchen Feature Can Make Or Break The Sale Of Your Home

When a home is on the market, certain in-demand features can make it more attractive to potential buyers. Rather than causing a buyer to feel overwhelmed about all they have to do to make a house liveable for them, these home features ignite creativity and excitement instead. Homebuyers have a solid idea of what they want in their new home, and certain features — or lack thereof — can prove a dealbreaker. While no home is perfect, the right features can make a potential buyer feel optimistic about their purchase. One such feature that can do this, as shown in "My Lottery Dream Home," is a kitchen island.

In Season 11, Episode 5 of "My Lottery Dream Home," host David Bromstad asked a family of four what they wanted to see more of as they continued with their house tours. One daughter mentioned she would like to see a kitchen island, a feature that was lacking from the homes shown up to that point. In her opinion, an island would make a kitchen feel more updated (via YouTube). Given that the kitchen is one of the most important spaces in the house, it makes sense that winning someone over here might make or break a sale.

How a kitchen island can make a sale

A well-designed central island can instantly enhance a kitchen and by extension a home, because for many, it makes it feel like a more modern space that meets modern needs. The appearance, functionality, and versatility are specifically what draw people in; case in point, the aforementioned family on "My Lottery Dream Home." Some aspects of a kitchen island that a homebuyer may specifically be looking for include an expanded countertop, more storage space, and additional seating.

A kitchen island can transform a home and score points with buyers when it's multifunctional, like when it has two levels, or a bar, or when it's movable. The possibilities offered by such features are valuable to homebuyers, especially those with families or who like to entertain. In a 2021 special study on housing economics, the National Association of Home Builders found that when it comes to the kitchen, a central island is among the top five most wanted kitchen features. Among the study's respondents, 77% were in favor of a kitchen island, with 32% calling it a must-have and 45% saying it was desirable.

Caveat: an island has to be designed well

With this said, a poorly planned kitchen island can also be what causes a potential buyer to move on. Even if the buyer is one of the 32% in the NAHB study who said a central island was essential, if the island doesn't add to a kitchen's space, then that buyer will look elsewhere and find a home that also has this must-have feature, but with the right placement, functionality, and style. An island can't stick out like a sore thumb and should instead rhyme with the existing décor and design to create a cohesive look. One way this presents itself is when the island is the only modern, updated feature in a home.

Some other common mistakes are when an island is installed in the wrong part of a kitchen or bought in the wrong size. When an island is too small or too big for a space, or it's fixed in an awkward area, it can affect the visuals of a room and disrupt flow. A kitchen that feels cramped or stressful to use could definitely be a turn-off for potential buyers. This said, small kitchen islands that don't take up a lot of square footage and that are multifunctional, like one with a built-in sink or cooktop, can be a solution, so long as the island doesn't feel too small for the kitchen.