Ask a Realtor: Does laundry room or larger kitchen bring greater value?

DryercenterQuestion: I have a galley-style kitchen with a laundry room on one end. I want to move the washer and dryer to the garage, remove the wall separating the laundry room from the kitchen and use that space to make my kitchen bigger. But when I sell the house, will buyers balk at the washer and dryer being in the garage? What will bring the best resale value: a larger kitchen or a laundry room inside the house?

Answer: From Los Angeles Realtor David Kean:

Your plan sounds like a great idea as long as the garage is attached and convenient to get to with laundry in hand. I believe the value gained from enlarging your kitchen will far exceed the value of a separate laundry room. Kitchens are the heart of the home, so buyers place a premium on one that is up-to-date and sizable.

While you’re moving the laundry into the garage, spend some time and money to fix that up as well. Paint the walls, stain or paint the concrete floor, and add storage cabinets with doors. Organizing and dressing up the garage will make it seem more like another room in the house and less like a garage.

You also might consider some other spots for the laundry. An excellent choice is the master bedroom closet, provided it is big enough and has adequate ventilation, or a hall closet.

Consider installing under-counter front-loading units in the kitchen if you have abundant cabinet space. Or, if you have a pantry area, you might consider using that.

More Q&A • • More real estate news: LA Times Real Estate Section

(Photo: Maytag Neptune Drying Center)