May 4, 2011

Remodeled vs Updated; The Battle For Portland Real Estate Supremacy

What term best describes your Portland real estate, Remodeled or Updated?

 Updated Kitchen

These days, it seem just about every home for sale has been remodeled.  When looking through the descriptions and highlights of a home you might see something like this;

To the Studs Remodeled Kitchen!
Come see the remodeled bathroom!
Kitchen has been completely remodeled!
Remodeled master bath is a show piece!

Last time I checked, adding new granite (tile nonetheless) countertops in a kitchen or bath does not make it remodeled. Putting new paint on the wall or knobs on existing cabinets doesn't either.   Or does it?  I would think I would call it updated.    That leads me to the next question, what does remodeled really mean?

Taking a look at to get their definition I got this;
1. to model  again.  2. to reconstruct; make over.

While the free dictionary says;
1. to change or alter the structure, style, or form of (something)


And Merriam-Webster states;
to alter the structure of  or remake

Looking up the definition of update
to bring up to date
to restore strength and animation to  or revive

From the definitions above, one could deduce that adding granite tile countertops, wall paint and knobs on existing cabinets to a kitchen would be an update (brining up to date, freshening up) and not remodel.  Or since it is a make over and the style and structure has been altered it could be considered a remodel.

Two words that many people think mean the same thing.  Except they don't and one word seems to hold more power than the other.  Most people would rather have a remodeled kitchen instead of just an updated one.  Especially if said kitchen is merely updated and not remodeled.  It seems that even renovated(to restore to a former better state  by cleaning, repairing, or rebuilding) has a better ring to it than updated.

Remodeled vs Updated
I prefer to think of these two in the terms below.  I do take into account what the original looked like but I think this holds true.


If you home improvement was more than a face-lift, you probably went through a remodel.  A remodel can include tearing out cabinets, knocking down walls, re-positioning where appliances go and adding wiring or plumbing for new fixtures.  If any of the below issues were your reasoning for taking on the home improvement project, it was probably a remodel.

- inefficient or awkward placement of cabinets
- appliances or architectural elements impede functionality
- reallocate space within the room
- fix some wiring, plumbing or other structural issues


If the size and structural layout of the home did not need to be changed and the main issues with the room are aesthetic or cosmetic, you probably just updated.  The home’s infrastructure, such as the plumbing/electrical was still in good enough shape and functioning properly as well as the  flow and layout was not disturbed during the construction.

Of course this is just my opinion and the majority of listings will continue to say they have a remodeled (fill in the blank) room when really it was just updated.  But maybe the bigger question might be, will having remodeled vs updated in your Portland real estate listing description, get you a  higher priced sale?

The picture above was from my listing of my personal home that I marketed as an updated kitchen.


Rich Peralta is a real estate professional in the Portland Metro Area,  including Lake Oswego and  West Linn Real Estate.

He can be reached at 503.961.2181 or by e-mail at

Contact him  for more information on Portland,  Lake Oswego or West Linn Real Estate!


Originally posted on West Linn Real Estate.


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