Kejohnson, Other/Just Looking in Seattle, WA

Can I sell a house with only one 3/4 bath?

Asked by Kejohnson, Seattle, WA Sat Jan 16, 2010

I have a 1020s craftsman home and I keep resale in mind when I make upgrades.
I have one very small full bath and adding a second is financially oppressive.
Is it insane to turn my one bath into a nice and comfortable 3/4 bath and expect that I will be able to sell in a few years?

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Courtney Cooper’s answer
Of course. How much money, though are you thinking of investing? If you are doing it to just be comfortable for the next couple of years, just keep resale in mind when you make finish work decisions. There are a lot of buyers who are not interested in a bath tub and if the bathroom is so tiny, then a bathtub in a tiny bathroom might not appeal to a buyer looking for a home with a bath tub...
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 24, 2010
Sure you can. I would suggest hiring a designer who specializes in bathrooms. You will be surprised at what can be done with small spaces. Doing it that way will give you a road map and save you money as well. The designer will be familiar with current design trends and pricing. There are a lot of inexpensive materials out there that will give you an expensive look. Done correctly, the bathroom could sell the home. As far as your the market not wanting a 3/4 bath. You need to be realistic about what buyer will buy your home. Don't wish or try to price it to sell for differnt market. Know that your home has a 3/4 bath and don't try to price it as a full-bath or the potential to be a full bath if the new owner rips the existing 3/4 bath out and installs a full bath. Price it as it is, a 3/4 bath.
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 20, 2010
HI Kejohnson

I will throw my vote in the ring - keep the tub

That being said, I am curious as to how many bedrooms you have.

If only 2..then it is more of a first time buyer's home - single person or a couple......certainly not for a might be ok with just a shower (although when in doubt - keep the tub)

If you have 3 bedrooms, then definitely keep the tub, as buyers - who are a family - will need a tub to bathe a child.

Just as a fyi - in my area, we count it as a " full bath" whether it has a tub or a just a shower....if you can bathe, brush your teeth and flush a toilet, it's a full bathroom!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 16, 2010
Yes, it is insane. The NWMLS would list it as a 3/4 bath, which is less than 1.0 baths, which brings into question how appraisers would value it.

Now. What you could do is to stick the tub in the basement until you sell, and design the remodel so that the tub could be reinstalled.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 16, 2010
After you've read what we have to say, what does your agent say?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 20, 2010
Not a great idea but I think adding a seat in the new shower and a hand held shower combo may be a good compromise. Alot of buyers want the bathtub with shower combination. Do they really end up using it? This is questionable at best. If you have a small home and want a nice new 3/4 bath with some added amenities, as mentioned, I'd say go for it.
Yours truly,
Annice Okos, Associate Broker
Coldwell Banker Danforth
206 953-9188 iphone
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 19, 2010
Hi Kejohnson,

Here is what the appraiser said~

As far as the appraisal goes; I don't think this is highly adverse to the value of the home. The appraiser might discount the value by 500 to maybe a couple thosand. The bigger questions is how will the market react. Most ladies want a bathtub, but most guys could care less. I think you are possibly looking at eliminating some female buyers, but even then if the 3/4 bath has had a very good quality complete remodel some ladies might not care. At the most it's a little unusual and may limit marketability some.

A 3/4 bath won't make this home unsalable, it just a question of the price.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 19, 2010
Hi Kejohnson,
That is an excellent question for an appraiser regarding the value of nice 3/4 bath vs a small full bath. I have sent in your question to a former appraiser of 14 years, now doing loans and will see what he says. I'll let you know what I hear back or feel free to contact me. It's a 1920 craftsman home?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 18, 2010
Dear Kejohnson,

I think your best strategy is to leave the full bath and I wonder if you could add a shower head to that bath and a shower curtain or shower door. There are some very nice decorative shower curtains available nowadays.

I also recommend you think long term and if the house floor plan warrants an extra half, 3/4 or even full bath, I would add that to your long term plans. Adding a bathroom is one place that gets a good return on your investment. If you would like, I can send you a great research document on what remodeling projects generated the most return for resale in the Northwest in 2009. You can contact me through my website.

Warm Regards,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 17, 2010
It will be extremly difficult to sell, and you will be dinged by the appraiser. As Mack stated, it will not pop up in the MLS as available properties when buyers do a search with their agent. Most of the time we do a search based on bedrooms, bath, & sq ft.

I would leave it as it is if you aren't financially ready to add a 2nd or do a full bath remodel on your current one.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 17, 2010
Yep........keeping it a full bath would make the most sense. On the other hand, if it will best meet your personal needs to make the adjustment, you can worry about resale later.

Personally.......we feel that you can sell anything......for the right price!

Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 17, 2010
You will sell it anyways, but you will sell it for less because you will eliminate any buyers that have to have a bathtub, and, from my experience, that is 3/4 of the buyers! I would keep it a full bath if there is any way you can.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 16, 2010
Generally, without knowing more about the house, the bathroom and the other upgrades, I agree with most here that it would probably be a BIG mistake.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 16, 2010
Hi Kejohnson:

I have heard of an instance when the buyer's mortgage company balked at giving a loan for a house with one full bath. The buyer had to put in an extra bath for the elderly owners and then reapply for the mortgage, which was then granted. It is best to keep the full bath.

Ron Rovtar
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 16, 2010
To be honest, I'm impressed that a 1000 year-old home has a bathroom at all! I kid...I assume you meant that to say 1920's... I have a small craftsman home in Ballard with a single bathroom, so I know the feeling. Honestly, I don't think the bathtub really matters, at least not to everyone. Sure, there are some people out there that might be turned off by the prospect of buying a home without one, but there are certainly plenty (like me) who wouldn't care. If you aren't planning on selling for a while, then the only opinion that really matters is your own. Besides, if you hang on to the house for a few years you may end up finding the resources to add the second bathroom, after all...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 16, 2010
I'm agree with most of the others. Leave it a small full bath. When you go to sell before you even get potential buyers actually in the home to look, you may not even get them (or their agent) to see you online. If people search for a 2+bedroom/1+ bath you are not even going to show up!!! I'd say leave it the way it is. Perhaps it won't be as big of a deal to a new buyer to add a second bath if it's worth it to them. But you have to get them in before they can decide to buy! For this and other upgrades, you might want to check out the Cost vs. Value report that just came out: Hope that helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 16, 2010
Many homes that are of that age have 3/4 baths. Ideally a full bath is best but keep in mind that you very well may loose out on a large portion of the buyer pool and reduce your overall list price. If your planning to sell in a few years, my best recommendation would be to save your funds and install a full bath so when it comes time, you can enjoy the return a full bath will bring.

There are numerous websites out there on the net that will show you an average of return... I believe the best cost v/s value report is on Here's the full page

This page is for the Seattle area.

Good luck with your remodle and I hope these sites are helpfull.

Daniele Summerfield
Wilkinson & Associates
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 16, 2010
It depends on what the other homes in your neighborhood have to offer. 1920's Craftsmans are charming and most people who purchase them (we own one in Anacortes) purchase for the charm. I would recommend to stay as true to the style as possible. The problem is if your neighborhood is geared towards family, a tub is usually a must. Heck I know both men and women who want a tub.

Before you make any changes, talk with your local Realtor, they will give you great advice so you spend your money wisely. Even if you are not going to sell.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 16, 2010
I assume you mean to take out a tub and put in a shower.

A lot of people really want a tub. Removing it would lose you a lot of potential buyers.

You already have the issue of a small house. making it a small house without a bathtub would seem to me to be a downgrade.

I would definitely talk to local realtors before trying this. They know your market well enough to break down the numbers and say absolutely 80% no or 80% yes.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 16, 2010

I would suggest you don't do it. Anything with a "/" in it seems to deter buyer's. Especially bathrooms.

Keep it "1" full bath. Most buyer's want at least "2". If you show it less than "1", it will definitely hurt your chances at resale + possible appraisal issues. (There will be no comp's).

Best of luck!
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 16, 2010
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