Bob Parks started his professional life as a corporate trainer for one of the world’s largest cabinet manufacturers in the 90s. Walking in and out of so many homes, he inevitably developed an interest in buying and building investment properties, which led him to a real estate license in 1994. “I noticed a lot of our kitchens were going into rental property apartments, duplexes, single family homes,” he explains. “I really became interested in the end result, where these kitchens were going, which was in these various types of properties.” He now works with Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty and stopped by to chat about kitchens with podcast host and fellow LSIR Realtor Greg Fleischaker.
“When you go and look into a home the first thing people are going to make a bee-line for is the kitchen,” says Bob Parks. Once the kitchen meets with their expectations, they usually want to see the master bedroom next, but then they’re usually back in the kitchen again. Surprisingly, going to look at a high-end luxury home doesn’t always guarantee it will have a kitchen to match.
“You’d be shocked that they’re all over the board. I’ve seen high end where you would never expect it, and I’ve seen low end where you certainly wouldn’t expect it,” says Parks, adding: “I’ve seen a million plus dollar homes that basically have what I consider to be throw away kitchens. There are staple drawer boxes. They’ve got the aluminum side mount drawer runners on them. Worst of all is they don’t function correctly.”
Function is paramount when looking at kitchens, he says, and he’s quick to point out design flaws when taking clients through a home. One classic example is the corner kitchen sink – usually a high-end sink — with overhead lighting and a dishwasher to the left or right of it. The trouble is, when the dishwasher is open, you can’t get to the sink anymore – you’re trapped!
Another common issue he sees are new construction builds in St. Matthews where there is really not proper clearance for a kitchen island, but the builder has crammed one in to appease a client, instead of making a strong case for how and why the kitchen would function better without the island.
Listen to the entire podcast for more on what makes a “good” kitchen…