Robin, Home Owner in Phoenix, AZ

We are empty nestors with a 5 bedroom house. We are thinking of turning the smallest bedroom off the kitchen into a butlers pantry - is this smart?

Asked by Robin, Phoenix, AZ Thu Nov 4, 2010

Our home is paid for. We want to stay because of the good weather in the winter. We have four bedrooms on the other side of the house. Right now the the fifth bedroom is used for storage so we were thinking of turning it into a butlers pantry? It is right off the kitchen and across from a bathroom. Would this be wise? We live in a good neighborhood with a great school district. We have a pool most people in Phx. do. We won't retire for at least 2 years maybe 5.

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Sigrid Egan’s answer
Hello Robin, I have read most of the answers and most of my colleagues are thinking of what sells best. My opinion is, make this bedroom into a pantry if this is what you may have always missed and want now. I don't think it's a big deal for someone down the road to reconvert into whatever that person wants. My husband and I bought our house 8 years ago and I did a few things that I would not do in view of resale but that is what I wanted and we have been happy with it.
Sigrid Egan Realtor HomeSmart, Phoenix, AZ
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 5, 2010
I personally see more value in keeping the room as a bedroom or "bonus" room..

In my area, higher end homes frequently have bedroom/baths off the kitchen area, as these are often used for live-in housekeepers or for a live-in nanny - so there is a logical use for such a room. It can also be a guest room, giving the guest more privacy on the other side of the home, away from the other bedrooms.

That being said - whatever you do, can be undone by someone in the future, if they have a different need. The important part is that the space is there for whatever needs you, or a future buyer might have.

Unless someone entertains a lot, I see more uses and value in a buyer's eyes for that extra bedroom (study, office, exercise, hobby or sewing room maybe) if left as it is.

Just my 2 cents!

Best wishes..........
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 5, 2010
THat bedroom just off the kitchen is usually used for an office or guest quarters. If you are going to do any significant remodeling, I would reconsider, but if it is a minor rehab, go for it. If someone wants to buy it down the road, they can change it back to a bedroom/den. My initial reaction though is that there are not many buyers looking for a butlers pantry, but if you are going to be in the home for a while, do what you want. You have to live there and there is no value to you for having a storage area.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 5, 2010
I say the butler's pantry is a great idea! I can't imagine a bedroom off the kitchen being desirable for too many buyers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 5, 2010
I think there are a few things to consider. If the room in question is small, and it doesn't make a great bedroom or office, AND it is off the kitchen, with a natural flow (access), then converting it into a butler's pantry could turn it into a real asset to your home. A good working, nicely planned kitchen, as all us realtors know, wll sell a home. If converted, make sure it is planned so that it does not look like a conversion, which will take away value instead of giving it to your home, come the time to sell.
I own an older home in the central corridor which I tore down and rebuilt. I doubled the size of my kitchen and added a butler's pantry. I can definitely tell you that although my 5th bedroom is now an office, I'm in my pantry several times a day! and I love it! It did take a lot of planning but when an appraisal was performed, we were very pleased with the results! I would love to consult, designing is my passion.
Any way you decide to just have fun with it!

Best wishes,
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 5, 2010
I think you should do what pleases you and makes living in your home a sweet experience. I f a butler's pantry give you joy, then have it. Life is a short trip... enjoy it while you can.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 4, 2010
Dear Robin:

As in the old Miller commercials, "I feel strongly both ways" :-)

You may enjoy and use the butler's pantry a lot depending on your life style. On the other home, the fifth bedroom is valuable as the it makes the home desirable for most other (future) homebuyers. This will not be an issue until you sell.

The home theater is the other common room conversion option that is popular.

I say, if you want it.....go for it!

May I wish you the best.

Jeff Masich, Realtor
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 4, 2010

I think the answer depends on how long you plan on living in the home, as well as what sort of modifications the remodel would entail. If you plan on living in the home an additional 10 years and the remodel is only a few thousand dollars, I say go ahead, make the changes, and enjoy. If you are planning on moving in 2 years, is it worth the headache and loss of the bedroom. As I said, it all depends on your long-term plans.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 4, 2010
Such a great question...the real answers depends on the level of home you currently live in. If the home is located in a semi-custom neighborhood or a neighborhood which fecthes a higher price than the average. A kitchen update adds value. You have 4 bedrooms already which is the most commonly sought after amount of bedrooms for a family. The 5th bedroom is usually turned into something else-an office, game room...if the butlers pantry is done properly with taste (and I would suggest having a wine room added in the butlers pantry as well) you will not lose value as it will set your home apart from others in the area. With prices going down in Phoenix metro it may help sell your home when the time comes but the upgrade may not fetch you a higher sales price due to the declining market.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 4, 2010

It will depend on many factors. Are 5 bedrooms typical and expected in your area? Very generally buyers will prefer a 5th bedroom to a butler's pantry. You might consider doing a change that you can easily and financially effectively can be turned back into a bedroom if needed.

Carlos J. Ramirez, PC, ABR, CNE
Associate Broker/Realtor, HomeSmart -
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 4, 2010
Great question Robin! Kitchen redesign is the latest in home remodeling. If you go to my real estate blog at , you'll find a recent blog article about New Cozy Connected Kitchens - that may have the answer you are looking for.

For other ideas and opinions about this, go to my website at and look for the tab as you scroll down to the left called Houselogic. In the search bar, type 'kitchen' and you'll have access to ideas and opinions on kitchen remodeling and options.

Have fun!

Richard Bazinet - John Hall & Associates
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 4, 2010
Traditionally an extra bedroom is always of greater appeal to most buyers, so this is something to seriously consider for your resale value.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 4, 2010
I'm not sure - what does your butler think?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 4, 2010
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