Should I invest in granite counters for re-sale?

I am about to purchase kitchen tiles/ countertops for my first rehab …I read earlier that you shouldn’t spend more than $1.50/sqare foot for carpet- does that hold true for tiling? I am looking at spending $3.34/tile - is that too much to invest? Also, granite is going to set me back approx $2000.00 (installed), is it worth the investment? Please let me know, as I need to start ordering soon…

Hello Manyland,

The deciding factor is your competition. A few weeks before you list it you should look at every property priced near yours. Get inside the buyers shoes. You should have already accomplished this prior to your purchase.

This is part of the preliminary homework prior to the purchase. This will give you an idea of your highest purchase price in a specific area, rehab costs, and the highest justified selling price.

To answer your question, if all of the similarly priced properties have formica or corian, then granite may be overkill. A nice corian or himax will be half of the price. Then again, if your competition has granite tile and/or slab…

I hope that this helps,

Take care,

Along with the excellent points that Andy made about your “competition”, you also need to understand your target audience…examples:

(1) You buy a small 2/1 in a “blue collar neighborhood”…granite countertops may be very out-of-place in this property and will be an "overimprovement that will not come close to paying back the expense. The folks in this neighborhood may not want to shell out for that expense.

(2) You are dealing in a $750K house in an upscale neighborhood. To put in cheezy cabinets and Fomica countertops will not make you competitve with the what the folks in the “target audience” are looking for or expect to see.


If it turns out you do want/need upscale countertops, granite is very competitive with the other solid surface countertops. (Corian/Engineered stone) When we remodeled our kitchen, we used granite and it was less than Corian. If you shop around, there are some good deals to be found.

Good luck with your rehab.

Thanks for the advice…Where exactly can I find corian, himax or formica? I have not heard of these before…The area does justify the granite (houses ranging from 260K-1 million in the area), however, my budget is really tight, as I paid more than anticipated for a house in this area (190K, when I was looking at something in the $150K mark)…I only have 15K for a new kitchen, tiles, refinishing hardwood floors, appliances, paint (both interior/exterior), lighting, window coverings, gut the bathroom… I do belong to Direct Buy so I get everything at 35-60% less, except granite (15%)…

In that type of upscale neighborhood, you definitely do not want to skimp on the kitchen. As I’m sure you know, the kitchen is usually the main selling point of a house. 15K for the whole house is going to be tight. I remodeled our kitchen last year and spent about 12K, doing all the work myself. (And that was painting the current cabinets.)

You may need to get creative with your budget and skimp in some areas of the rehab. Just put as much money as possible in the kitchen and bath. To answer your question, Corian and similar products can be found at most of the big home improvement stores, as well as specialty kitchen and bath shops.

PS – This is just my opinion, as I have never done any flipping. But I have remodeled several rooms in my home, so that’s one thing I do have a feel for.

Good luck.

I think you’re right on the money NCI!

Do not skimp in the kitchen or the baths in a house in this price range! Find decent discount tile (Home Depot, ColorTile, Lowe’s, etc.), get a lower line of carpet and spend a little extra per sq. ft. for good pad. You might find granite a bit cheaper…try other suppliers.

I recommend granite on this one.


It sounds like you need the granite. You should re-estimate your budget. $15k isn’t very much and you should always budget at least 10-20% for unforeseen issues.

You state the homes sell for 260K-1Mil in that area. I would personally would use a good laminate, a lot cheaper. What was in the home before renovations? What are you planning on selling this home for? What is it worth? Would the home buyer be expecting granite, Ie a buyer looking at a million dollar home would expect granite, whereas a buyer looking at the 260K home would not. And i bet a lot of the 260K homes do not have granite.

I looked at a ranch home at a open house (home in my area, curious, plus I knew the Realtor) 412K, needs paint, carpet and had the origianal kitchen cabinets and laminate counter tops. Not in bad shape, but needed a little work. But that is what the local market is.

Hi Dan,
Thank you for responding. I purchased the home for 190K and am planing on selling for 260K. I have put aside 20K for renovations, alot needs to get done, so if I can skip out on the granite it would be great dollar wise (save about $1500.00.- $62/sq footx 32) The houses selling for that amount, however, are all dolled up with granite countertops (in this particular area, anyways)…Everything is adding up…quickly

Are the buyers expecting Granite countertops on the low end? 260K-1Mil, I would never expect granite in a 260K home. Unless of course you are in yuppie land. I would price out a laminate and compare the differences and see what your budget looks like with both options. If you have to put in expensive options in that house to sell it, than the market really isn’t that good anyways.

Hi Mandy,

Hook up with a realtor and go visit the houses currently on the market in the area (in your price range). Then you can make your decision based on what your competition is doing, they are setting your bar.

Good luck to you!

I have never seen where granite counter tops in the low end have ever made the home sell for more money than homes with out. It would help the home sell over a home without, but I never seen one that sold for anything more than one without granite. Sure they might be listed for more, but in a cooling off market, offers are made.

Why are you only considering the 2 extremes? You can always go with a laminate top with a solid wood edge to match the cabinets with either a stainless steel or tiled back splash. Or even a full tiled countertop with deco tiles on the backsplash for character. Both options are better then a post form laminate top while being significantly cheeper then granite.

Good Luck

Remember the look of the kitchen as a whole is what will help sell the house. I suggest spending a bit more on the cabinets and appliances, and using a good seamless product for countertops. Wilsonart makes a great product with the look of Corian, but it is actually a laminate of the solid surface on top of a sturdy wood foundation. It’s much cheaper to install and we have had realtors asking if it’s Corian (they can’t see the difference unless they reach underneath the lip). Most buyers don’t care as long as it looks great and adds to the TOTAL look of the kitchen.