Selling, value and bathroom question

booksatOctober 10, 2012

We're looking for Real Estate opinions on adding a bathroom and value. We want to add a second bathroom but have split opinions on where to put it as the cost differences are high.

Situation. "Antique" three bedroom house in "upscale" town of much larger and expensive houses. Currently there's one small bathroom upstairs. Our best choices are a bathroom addition to the first floor (there's no decent space to convert to a bathroom in the existing footprint) at a cost of $50,000ish; or, converting a small 5x8ish study upstairs (we could afford to lose this room and the room would just need a door added to make it a master bath) at a cost of around $20,000. Both bathrooms would have a reasonable size shower stall.

Other matters:

- For us, an extra bathroom is needed for convenience; neither upstairs or downstairs is really more convenient than the other.

- We're unsure how long we'll be here (we may actually be moving soon for a job, but if not we want to get started on this project asap). So, if we do the bathroom, we can assume we'll be here at least 5 more years, maybe much much longer.

- The big question: Is one situation more preferable to buyers? Guessing that downstairs bathroom is, but is it enough of a preference to spend another $30,000? House is valued around 500k+

Thanks for the input.

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Option 2 with converting the small study would be the best return on paper.

However without knowing anything about your layout etc. it is hard to tell what would appeal more to buyers.

What are your options for adding a powder room on the main floor? Doesn't take nearly as much space, or do you need the extra shower?

I personally would like to have a toilet on the main floor and not have to run up the stairs etc. Especially if having friends or family over that may not be able to navigate stairs easily.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 9:39AM
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Having two bathrooms upstairs and none on the downstairs level isnt going to gain you much as far as marketability. You still wont have a bathroom on the main level. (This is the biggest concern for buyers).

That being said, I've yet to see a house increase in value by 30k because of a bathroom. Sell it as is.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 10:30AM
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I'm not sure I agree with the previous two respondents that a master bath would have little value compared to a ground floor bath. I think that is what I would do in your situation. Lots of people consider the master a near necessity, these days.

Ideal would probably be a master and a ground floor powder.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 12:28PM
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I would get more bids on a first floor powder room.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 1:57PM
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You are not likely to recover costs.

There are a few narrow exceptions, but not all that many.

If you want an extra bathroom add it for yourself.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 3:10PM
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Is your "antique" house in a newer neighborhood likely to be torn down/rebuilt to match by the next buyer? ie, is your value in your location/lot or in your house? That too, would affect my decision.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 11:47AM
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I agree with the powder room supporters. No reason to put a shower in a first floor bathroom unless there is also a bedroom down there.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 1:22PM
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An older home in the midst of nicer newer upscale homes is a teardown. I wouldn't put any money into it at all unless it was completely unlivable for the next 5 years without it. Any future owners will want it because of the property, not the home. Take the 30K that the bath would have cost you and as soon as the market recovers a bit, sell it and move on to something else. Or plan your own teardown.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 10:16AM
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"An older home in the midst of nicer newer upscale homes is a teardown."

That greatly depends on the value of the older home.

ALL RE is local.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 1:24PM
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