losing half a bath--mistake?

conchitaFLSeptember 7, 2013

I'm waiting out a short sale for a 2/2-1/2 townhouse unit I bid on, somewhat similar to the one I've been renting for many years.

The one thing that bothers me about the new place is that the downstairs bath is a half bath, essentially a standard layout 8 x 5 small bathroom, but with the washer and dryer where the tub would be. I dislike this for two reasons: you have to scroodge in next to the toilet to access the washer, which I think is disgusting (although not unknown in FL condos/older townhouses), and I don't like not having a full bath downstairs in case of a situation where I couldn't get upstairs to shower. (I broke an ankle years ago, so I know you don't have to be old to be temporarily incapacitated.) My current place has one full bath downstairs and one upstairs, which I much prefer.

Now upstairs in the new place there's a largish hall bath between the doors of the two bedrooms, and the master bedroom has a tiny, tiny bath squeezed into it (basically they chopped off the end of the room and put in a skinny walk-in closet and a super tight bath with a 30 x 38 shower. This bath needs a gut reno (and I took that cost into consideration when I made my offer).

I've been thinking that if I had only myself to consider, what I would much prefer to do is to put a shower in the downstairs bath where the w/d are now, then eliminate the stupid squishy bath upstairs and just do a w/d closet and give the rest of the bathroom space to more closet space. This bath is directly over the downstairs one, so the dryer vent and plumbing stacks are conveniently located.

I don't believe the cost would be hugely more than just to redo the upstairs bath, but I worry about resale. Would this be a big mistake? As of right now I hope to stay as long as I'm mobile enough for the stairs, but I realize that life tends to the unexpected, so I don't think I can completely ignore this, much as I'd like to.

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So, the master has a tiny 1/2 bath and a small closet?
Would the moved laundry be accessible to the hallway instead of only the master bedroom? (or could it, if you swapped its places with the too small closet)?

Is there a room downstairs that might ever be used as a "bedroom" guests or if you were unable to use the stairs?

With laundry upstairs, if you were living there yourself downstairs, how would you do your laundry?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 9:39PM
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Hi, kirkhall.

The master has a tiny full bath, one that hardly meets code for clearances, very uncomfortable to use and no way to expand it to make it a pleasant place. It's at the far end of the bedroom, away from the room entrance. I know that I will use the hall bath as my bathroom and not use the one in the bedroom most of the time.

There isn't really a hallway, just the stair landing with doors to the MB, second bedroom and larger bath, so no, effectively the only options are leave it as is or change it as I described. There's no space anywhere else to do anything.

In a short term medical situation I could put a bed in the dining room area. (I doubt I'd be doing much entertaining at a time like that.) For laundry I could always get out to a laundromat if I had to, or could manage it so that someone only needed to get upstairs to do the laundry about once a week. I'm not comfortable with the idea of showering once a week. :)

Obviously if it were a permanent situation one would have to move. I'm thinking of something like the later stages of convalescing from a hip replacement, for example. With a shower downstairs this would be quite possible.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 11:28PM
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Liking your idea.
One more question:
What do most other townhomes in your complex have? Do they all have this odd configuration, or was yours "improved"?

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 12:22AM
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Is your complex geared more toward families or toward empty nesters? If the latter, I think the changes you're suggesting would not be a problem and might even be an asset for resale. But a family looking at it might prefer even a squishy master bath to sharing or having to go downstairs.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 11:53AM
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Thanks, kirkhall and Chibimimi (love your name, Chibimimi).

There are about 400 units total in this development, spread over a very wide area. It was built as smaller indvidual "courtyards" in increments. The basic plan is the same for all 400, although there are very small variations from phase to phase, like the exact placement of the storage closet door in the downstairs half bath.

It's a pretty varied group of people. There's an option to join the over 55 golf/country club across the street that brings in a certain number of empty-nesters, but the convenience to the expressways also draws a fair number of working people. I would say the most "typical" owners are working people (couples, single women) in their 40s and 50s. A few families, but the layout isn't well-designed for people with children old enough to need their own space, so families are mostly people with very small children who plan to move on in a few years.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 12:07PM
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I think if it was a 3 bedroom home in a family neighborhood, it would be a mistake to get rid of the master bath, as everyone wants/or expects one in that situation. But in a two-bedroom condo, I don't think it would be a bad idea. The scenario is that you have a small child who you would bathe where you choose or a teenager who would claim the downstairs bathroom for his/her own or more likely, just two adults.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 12:42AM
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Thanks, alisonn!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 4:37PM
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