Effects of a remodel on marketability of my house

jjs777January 26, 2013

Can anyone offer advice on what the following would do to the market value/marketability of my current house?

Right now we have a mudroom/laundry room off of the garage, a little too small to serve as both. Next to that is a half bath (we have one and a half baths in our home), and next to that is a fourth bedroom, which we use as an office (probably also too small to be used as a bedroom). What we are considering is moving the washer and dryer out of the laundry/mudroom into the basement, making the half bath a full bath by expanding into the fourth bedroom/office. And using the rest of the space left in the fourth bedroom/office as a very small office.

This would give us a full mudroom (important I believe in northeast ohio), a full bath on our first floor (and two full baths in the house) and a small office space still big enough for what we use it for.

Thanks for any advice.

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All real estate is local.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 4:02PM
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Hard to say, since we don't know your house, neighborhood and comps in your size/price range.

First step may be to get comments from several experienced realators. Second step is to get price range for the work from several experienced builders. Compare the two sets of comments to see if the investment makes sales sense.

Good luck with your project.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 4:09PM
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In my experience, having more bathrooms is better than having less as long as you aren't sacrificing another area of your house that has a better value.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 7:00PM
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For me (but I'm not every buyer) a laundry in the basement is almost a deal-breaker.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 7:53PM
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RE is local.

Generally though, the loss of a bedroom for a larger mudroom (you have one already, just isn't large) and a larger bathroom (you have one already, just isn't full), wouldn't be a positive trade.

To verify that, I'd speak with several well-qualified, familiar with your neighborhood REagents.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 12:34AM
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There are two types of people in the world: those who have had a flood on the 2nd or 3rd floor of their house because of a washing machine and those who have yet to have a flood on the 2nd or 3rd floor of their house because of their washing machine.

I can't give you any guidance as to what will make your house the most sellable, but I can say I dispute that putting the laundry anywhere but on the 1st floor or in the basement is a bad idea.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 11:24AM
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The primary determinant of value for any real estate is location, location, location. Talk to a local realtor about the impact that your plans might have in your location. In my location, eliminating a bedroom would lower the value more than the value of adding a shower to an existing 1/2 bath would increase it.

There are a lot of safety features to incorporate with a second floor laundry. Such as an overflow pan or making the room a "wet" room with a central drain. And floor safe supply hoses. And a water alarm. So don't fret about having a second floor laundry if that's what you really want. It's more expensive and difficult to accomplish, but it's certainly doable if it will add greatly to your quality of life. Same with adding a full bath to the home. If it will add to your quality of life, then it's certainly doable at a price.

NONE of those quality of life changes will make large changes to the overall value of your home though. In fact, taking away a bedroom is likely to decrease the value of the home in many buyers eyes. But, people don't generally do home improvement projects for future buyers. They do it to make things easier for themselves. At a price. And just consider it an expense, not an "investment". Yes, it can add more "appeal" at resale to have new finishes and a more updated look, and that can make the difference between being a 300K house on the market for 9 months vs a 300K house on the market for 5 months.

It really comes down to whether or not spending 20K-30K on your home without "getting it back" would be worth it to YOU.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 12:02PM
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I don't think that a full bathroom on the first floor is particularly useful if all the bedrooms are on the second floor. So, I wouldn't opt for doing that if you are making your 4th bedroom/office even smaller. And I think that having a laundry on the first floor is better than in the basement. Your money may be best spent, and then recouped if you sell, by making the mudroom/laundry space function better. I would probably opt for a bigger laundry, maybe cubbies or a built-in bench in the mudroom, and a "drop zone" where you can put stuff when you come in. Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 7:07PM
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