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View Poll Results: Which is the best refrigerator style for RESALE? (pics in post #1)
Top Freezer 4 8.33%
Bottom Freezer 8 16.67%
Side-by-Side 13 27.08%
French Door 23 47.92%
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Poll: Best Refrigerator Style for Resale
Old 02-14-2013, 11:02 AM   #1
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Poll: Best Refrigerator Style for Resale

And now for something completely different...

We've finalized everything else for our gut job kitchen remodel, but we're still batting around which refrigerator to buy. So I thought I'd see what you smart folks (really) thought the best style for resale would be, not necessarily what you or I would choose. We've never owned anything but basic top freezer models in our lives, though we have a separate small freezer in the garage.

It's about a $20-25K kitchen, so middle of the road. Our goal is resale, not what we'd necessarily want. So we want to hold costs down, without ending up with a cheap looking kitchen - IOW we can't just go whatever is cheapest (even though I'd like to). We want it to look appealing to a potential buyer at the lowest cost we can get away with - but still in line with a $250K home. We have decided on stainless steel for resale, even though we're aware of all the fingerprint issues.

There are other (low & high end) options, but none we're considering.

Thanks for your help.

My thoughts (optional reading):

Top freezer: Practical, energy efficient and cheap. This segment is the lowest cost, so nice, family sized, stainless steel models are few and far between. Mostly smaller sizes in white & black.
Bottom freezer: Next price point, much the same as top freezers - mostly basic units in smaller than ideal sizes for a family. Drawer freezer looks like a PITA.**
Side-by-side: More expensive and larger sizes, less efficient. Shelves are narrow so large platters and other items could be a big problem (DW's
concern).
French doors: Most expensive, large sizes, the "new thing?" Nice config for refrigerator, but bottom drawer freezer looks like a nightmare to me. ** How do you store items so you can easily get at whatever you want?
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:13 AM   #2
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I've had my bottom freezer model for about 6 years and I love it. The drawer freezer is not at all a PITA - easy to access and keep organized. I really like having the refrigerator at eye level. Mine is a counter depth model because of the smallness of my kitchen, so it's shallower than most and wide. I don't know if it's this or the freezer on bottom, but when people are over and using the fridge I get a lot of "I wish I had this"... which I assume would translate into resale value.
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:22 AM   #3
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The most important input I can give is to avoid a configuration where the ice maker is in the refrigerator portion and not in the freezer portion. Manufacturers are having a great deal of trouble getting ice makers in the warmer fridg section to work reliably.
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:34 AM   #4
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French door *looks* expensive and efficient and easier to use (in the refrigerator the most, so have it on top to avoid repeated bending over for access, wide shelves allow storage of largest items while french doors intrude into the walkway the least and open the smallest area to reduce energy loss to air). Our side by side is stupid - I hate bending over to my ankles to access the vegetable drawer and the narrow shelves waste space.

Now do the French doors actually add maximal value? dunno.
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:55 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by gotRdone View Post
The most important input I can give is to avoid a configuration where the ice maker is in the refrigerator portion and not in the freezer portion. Manufacturers are having a great deal of trouble getting ice makers in the warmer fridg section to work reliably.
True, but the French door model we have with the ice dispenser in the freezer has a problem with clogs of ice that prevent dispensing. No matter how I fiddle with the settings, there is invariably a clog if we don't use it several times a day.
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:56 AM   #6
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It doesn't matter what "I" like, but rather what a real estate person in your 'hood says is the best, if you are going to be selling soon. I'd say go with the trendiest, newest type, if that's what is the most commonly seen in kitchens in your price range.

Own personal tastes not a factor when you are just remodeling for the next owners. I think neutral colors, high-end looking appliances, and the latest countertops would be what would make the sale.

I voted Frenchie, 'cause that is the one I saw on the end-aisle at Home Despot the other, day, listed for a price higher than the price on the truck I drove to the Despot in.
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:04 PM   #7
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It doesn't matter what "I" like, but rather what a real estate person in your 'hood says is the best, if you are going to be selling soon. I'd say go with the trendiest, newest type, if that's what is the most commonly seen in kitchens in your price range.

Own personal tastes not a factor when you are just remodeling for the next owners. I think neutral colors, high-end looking appliances, and the latest countertops would be what would make the sale.

I voted Frenchie, 'cause that is the one I saw on the end-aisle at Home Despot the other, day, listed for a price higher than the price on the truck I drove to the Despot in.
If it's "sellability" you want, why not a SubZero? Otherwise, what Sarah said.

Our DD had a French door type. They liked it because it was practical. DW disliked the appearance.
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:16 PM   #8
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Since this if for resale - I'd skip the french door.

I'm a huge fan of the french door, that's what we have had for 8 years - for all the reasons mentioned by calmoki.

But for resale... buyers can be dummies. Don't waste money on things that won't increase their desire to buy.
- go with 2 door, top or bottom freezer unit in stainless.
- skip the ice dispenser in the door - it adds cost... most buyers won't notice.
- splurge on the water dispenser. They'll notice if that's not there.

Most folks are fine with opening the freezer to get ice out of the icemaker in the freezer.

There are enough people out there who've sworn NEVER AGAIN on the side-by-side, that I'd eliminate that option.
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:41 PM   #9
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I thought most houses sold with out appliances ( except for built ins ). Maybe just me but if I were a buyer I wouldn't even pay attention to appliance, paint, carpet etc, Thats all cosmetic and replaceable . I'd be up in the attic and in the basement looking at electrical, plumbing, insulation, roof condition, straight walls, level floors, doors n windows open easily without sticking etc.

Why not buy what you want and take with you when you move. That way it "looks good" for the sale and the buyer can buy what they want.
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:50 PM   #10
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I owned them all except the French door.

My least favorite is the top freezer because one has to constantly bend over to get stuff out of the fridge (no good visibility of what's in the fridge either). A bottom freezer drawer is better but it is a pain to organize efficiently (one big volume with lots of odd angles, no shelves, and like a chest freezer it's hard to know what's hiding at the bottom). The side by side was my favorite but again stuff on the lower shelves can be hard to reach. As for the French doors, they look fancy - too fancy for me unless it's a really expensive kitchen.

Ideally, I would prefer to have a top fridge and bottom freezer equipped with shelves. I've seen them in Europe.
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:53 PM   #11
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I bet most women will choose french door and since women rule the roost that is what I would buy . I have a french door .I love the look but that bottom freezer is like the great abyss . We never know what is in it . Mine is an LG and has been very reliable .
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:56 PM   #12
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I have a few relatives who threw away their perfectly working side-by-sides to get a French door, to keep up with the Jones. Sounds like that's the hot thing to have right now.
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:57 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by rbmrtn View Post
I thought most houses sold with out appliances ( except for built ins ). Maybe just me but if I were a buyer I wouldn't even pay attention to appliance, paint, carpet etc, Thats all cosmetic and replaceable . I'd be up in the attic and in the basement looking at electrical, plumbing, insulation, roof condition, straight walls, level floors, doors n windows open easily without sticking etc.

Why not buy what you want and take with you when you move. That way it "looks good" for the sale and the buyer can buy what they want.
Appliances with/without is a regional thing. They are included here (San Diego) unless specifically excluded on the listing. When I lived in PA - it was the reverse - excluded, unless you included them on the listing.

And you are not most buyers if you're able to look past cosmetics. HGTV or entitlement... not sure which is more responsible but buyers get turned off by cosmetics all the time. I saw on one of the HGTV shows a woman who refused to consider a home that had brass fixtures, knobs, or pulls. Helloo0? That is one of the cheapest things you can swap out. A couple hundred dollars and it's done... but she eliminated houses on that. Buyers see granite and get excited... and discount houses that have much more counter space - if it's tile or formica...

When I was buying - I was like you... My realtor laughed because I had my deal breaker issues. My first stop in every house was the basement to look at the electric panel box, plumbing, and duct work. That way I could be adding big numbers (to upgrade) to the true cost of owning the place. Carpet and paint is cheap. The realtor was really surprised and said I was unusual to think the way I did.
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:00 PM   #14
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I have a few relatives who threw away their perfectly working side-by-sides to get a French door, to keep up with the Jones. Sounds like that's the hot thing to have right now.
That's certainly the impression I am getting too. But of course they're relatively expensive since they're fashionable and complicated (3-doors), not particularly efficient (vs top or bottom) and the bottom drawer has to be harder to organize.

I Googled and found an ehow webpage on organizing the bottom drawer and it suggested keeping an updated written inventory of everything in the bottom drawer and where it was. Yeah right...now I'm a slave to my freezer. Other folks put a bunch of smaller baskets in to organize.

But we're still debating...
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:34 PM   #15
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Are you planning to sell the refrigerator as a standalone or are you planning on conveying it with the house? (Around here houses usually convey without refrigerator. However, in the last house we sold we had a relatively new SS steel side by side and the buyers wanted it so when we bought our next house we bought the seller's SS steel French door).

If you are planning to convey with the house then I would suggest you look at what is typical in your area for houses of similar price and certainly get something no "worse" than that. Around here top/bottom freezer would be considered low end, side by side is typical and French door is more high end. Also, around here, most houses have room for a freezer in the utility room so the freezer in the refrigerator is not that heavily used. In your area if most houses of similar price sell with a French door then I wouldn't get anything less than that.
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:39 PM   #16
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Are you planning to sell the refrigerator as a standalone or are you planning on conveying it with the house? (Around here houses usually convey without refrigerator. However, in the last house we sold we had a relatively new SS steel side by side and the buyers wanted it so when we bought our next house we bought the seller's SS steel French door).

If you are planning to convey with the house then I would suggest you look at what is typical in your area for houses of similar price and certainly get something no "worse" than that. Around here top/bottom freezer would be considered low end, side by side is typical and French door is more high end. Also, around here, most houses have room for a freezer in the utility room so the freezer in the refrigerator is not that heavily used. In your area if most houses of similar price sell with a French door then I wouldn't get anything less than that.
Good thought.

I know that houses are often sold with all the appliances except the fridge, but I also notice young couples on HGTV who are disappointed if they have to buy anything, specifically a fridge - and removing all the appliances might "irritate" a lot of buyers IMO. So we're sorta flexible on leaving the fridge, unless we buy something we don't want to begin with for the sake of resale.

Thanks, I need to think about that...
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:18 PM   #17
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My current thinking is side by side, white with ice and water dispenser. Stainless steel is becoming "out" these days due to smudging, etc. I just bought two white side by sides for rentals and was offered SS ones at a greatly reduced price (unloading, I assume). My two cents. Don't waste money on a fridge....
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:21 PM   #18
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Well, I don't think you are getting any consistent answers! Though I see that the French doors are the favorites on the poll. I have owned top and bottom freezers only. Personally, I would prefer not to have a side by side as the shelves would be too small for casseroles and large dishes. Other than that, I would be easy to please. But I would never rule out a perfectly good home based on the type of refrigerator. In fact, when I bought my first home, the (ugly) kitchen had cream 1970s appliances, and when I remodelled the kitchen, I had the refrigerator and stove painted white to match. (This looks great when done professionally). The dishwasher (which had different colored panels to choose from) lasted another 7 years, the refrigerator, 15, and the stove was still going strong when I sold the house with all the (middle of the road) appliances in place. The refrigerator was a top freezer model.

Personally, I would not pay extra for an ice making machine. It's really easy to make ice in the freezer, provided that you remember to put the water in the little trays, which you can get for 50 cents or so.
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:27 PM   #19
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We have a yet another style: French door with TWO bottom freezer drawers which I love. I don't think I would have gone for the single bottom drawer. But I have no idea how it would affect resale.

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Old 02-14-2013, 04:37 PM   #20
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Personally, I would prefer not to have a side by side as the shelves would be too small for casseroles and large dishes.
I thought side-by-side was the most common, but DW is against it for the same reason as you state, large platters etc. just won't fit.

So it will probably be a nice stainless top freezer (like we've always had) or a French door, though I still don't like the premium price or the bottom drawer freezer. And if the only thing about our finished kitchen a potential buyer does not like is the refrigerator style, we've probably done well. We are getting a nice gas range, the only kitchen appliance we actually care about.
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