Home Selling in 55116>Question Details

susan.libbey…, Home Owner in 55116

Add a second bathroom in finished basement?

Asked by susan.libbey.crosby, 55116 Fri Jul 6, 2012

We are a family of 4 (2 young daughters) living in a colonial 2 story in Highland Park. We have only 1 bathroom, on the second floor. It is 6x7'. We have the plumbing to add a basement bathroom for @ 4,500. But how desirable is this? Where are people wanting to see second bathrooms? We could maaaybe squeeze a half bath onto the first floor, exixting footprint. Otherwise we might have to bump out a few feet for a full or 3/4 bath on first floor. The plumbing will be pricier...ach! Any words of wisdom? My 2 girls are going to start wanting bathroom territory...

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Bill Eckler’s answer

You are finding that homes built to the family of the 1950's and 60's and in now way able to meet the needs and expectations of today's family.

Your best approach will likely be to find a total solution for the problem. Today's needs include a two bathroom scenario at the very least. With this said, the locations of such facilities should be a major consideration and you'll likely find (hopefully not too late) that having baths in the basement and second level will not get it done. Future buyers will see this as a huge inconvenience and render your home as likely flawed for the RE market.

With this said, in my opinion your absolute best choice is to "bite the bullet" and do what needs to be done to locate the bath where it should have been in the very beginning....on the first floor.

Good luck with your decision.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 8, 2012
Unless there's a bedroom in your basement in my opinion (I've been renovating and flipping homes off and on for over twenty years) you would be better off spending the extra money to add a 3/4 or full bath on the main level. If you're going to live in the home for a minimum of 405 years the extra money this will cost (over the $4500 to add the bath in the basement) won't matter as much and when the time comes for you to sell, your home will be much more desirable and you should be able to easily recoup between $$5,000 - $7,500 of the expense. In addition you'll maintain muh needed family harmony as your daughters grow up.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 8, 2012
Hi Susan,
Money well spent and your girls will love the extra bathroom as well. This is a good ROI and you will not lose money on this investment.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 8, 2012
Hi Susan,
I am doing the same thing at my house now. I am assuming the lower level is finished. By all means add the 3/4 bath. Most comps in the Highland area show an $8,000 to $10,000 return on the investment (plus happier daughters!).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 7, 2012
Thank you Don! That comp info is super helpful.:-)
Flag Sat Jul 7, 2012
I might add a 1/2 bath on the main floor anyways down the road along with the basement. I agree with some of the others that it is all about functionality with the home.

I am assuming that the bedrooms are all upstairs where the bathroom is. That works just great. IF YOU had 2 beds on the main floor like some other older homes in Highland (like 1 1/2 story) it is perfectly fine to have a full bath on the main.

And same goes for downstairs. If it is fully finished with a bedroom you should put one in there. My guess is that may also be where much of the entertaining goes.

So bottom line just think practical. Buyers will want the same thing you want: bathrooms around the bedrooms, and 2 baths are almost essentially for a family of 4.

If the space you use most is the main floor for entertainment, and there is no bathroom, then down the road I may think of adding a powder room as well.

You also have a good quote, and living in Highland Park you will actually make money on your investment depending on the home and the lot you have.

Good luck!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 7, 2012
Thanks! What if I added a second 3/4 bath or just a shower and sink on the second floor? Nobody goes in the basement...they think it's creepy...?
Flag Sat Jul 7, 2012
A finished basement -with a 3/4 bath is very common in Saint Paul Mac/Groveland and Highland-the return in value is not as high as a above grade bath-The value in use is the main factor in my opinion
I have expanded my home in 2006 adding a full bath upper floor and a powder room on main floor-Having 2 daughters and a wife I felt the added bath was essential!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 7, 2012
A few questions:
1) Is the basement presently finished?
2) If the basement is not finished, would you expect to utilize a finished basement?
3) If the basement is finished, do you have any bedrooms in the basement? If so how Many?
4) If the basement is finished, do you utilize the finished basement?

I ask these four questions for many reasons, first, to evaluate if a finished bathroom in your basement is worthwhile to you and your family, second, will the bsmt bath add value to your property in the future or three, will a bsmt bath be a positive factor in gaining showing traffic and lastly, will it influence the length of selling time on the market when you do choose to sell the home.

I will provide my thoughts, once I understand your answers to these questions?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 7, 2012
This answer will vary from market to market but generally speaking a 2nd bathroom is highly desirable and you should get some return on investment. The price you have been quoted is fair as we usually charge 5,000 to install a pre stubbed bathroom with sink, shower, toilet & tile. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 7, 2012
My opinion would be to add the larger bathroom to the basement level. A second bath is always nice anywhere. I am assuming that your colonial has all the bedrooms on the second floor. If there's no way to carve a bathroom space out near the bedrooms, I would like to be able to show buyers a really nice 3/4 bath in a finished lower level. What can happen when you try to squeeze one in on the main floor, is that it ends up in an awkward place, like right off the kitchen or dining room, or it's very small.

Those are my thoughts! Have a great day!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 7, 2012
If you re going to live there awhile and as long as you can afford it and it makes you comfortable then it will also make someone else comfortable. Do it for you and as long as it is a quality job a second bath never hurts!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 6, 2012
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