Should we add a second bathroom?

Asked by Chris, Lake Oswego, OR Wed Apr 10, 2013

We live in in a 3 bedroom single family home ( approx 2000sf) with one tiny bathroom on the 1st floor. Our house was built in the 30's and is in the heart of first addition. Most of the home has been recently updated. We're contemplating adding a dormer to make room for a restroom next to the master bedroom upstairs. Assuming we can keep the cost below 30k, do you think we could recoup our costs when we sell?

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Sharon Franc…, Agent, Portland, OR
Wed Apr 10, 2013
Congratulations on living in the heart of the coveted First Addition! I just checked the active RMLS listings, and only found a single 1bath home advertised. It is in the area of floating cottages and only a 1 bedroom, so it's not even comparable. Given the popularity of your neighborhood, I believe it would be a wise investment, unless the value of your land is greater than the value of your home, in which case you might eventually sell to a builder. However you said you've been making improvements so it sounds like it is a nice home with a long life to come. It is hard to find a buyer who will accept an upper master with the bath down a flight of stairs. Whether you get the entire cost back will depend in part on when you purchased your home, and how long you plan to retain it, but particularly in First Addition you could recoup more than 100%. Additionally, your home will surely sell more quickly with 2 baths. Good luck with your project!
2 votes
John Biniews…, Agent, Lake Oswego, OR
Wed Apr 10, 2013
Hello Chris -
I think you will recoup your investment but it will depends on some factors - what the price point of your home is and when you plan to sell! My advise is to get more than one quote from only a licensed, insured and bonded contractors if you choose to move forward with this plan.

John Biniewski
John L. Scott - L. Oswego
1 vote
Jones, Both Buyer And Seller, Hamilton, OH
Fri Aug 9, 2013
That sounds like a awesome ideal. I would advise you to do your home work on the contractor, the cheapest is not always the best and make sure you get a completion date. I think it is a great selling point to have a bath ( full or half ) next to the master bedroom. Thumbs up !!!
0 votes
Vincent Meic…, Agent, Lake Oswego, OR
Fri Aug 9, 2013
Be very careful when spending big sums of money to sell for more. Focus on the small things that make a big difference. Curb appeal, selling lifestyle and staging will bring in buyers. Spending 30k is fine if you plan to stay but difficult to recoup when you sell.
0 votes
Jennifer Pet…, Agent, Portland, OR
Thu Apr 11, 2013
With two baths instead of one you will automatically open up your potential buyer pool greatly! Many of my clients don't want to look at any listings with only 1 bathroom. Good luck!

Mandy Lewis and Jennifer Peterson
Keller Williams
0 votes
Robin Weisge…, Agent, Lake Oswego, OR
Wed Apr 10, 2013
Yes, yes and double yes. This wonderful area would allow you to certainly recoup the lion share of your investment.
0 votes
Shawn Yu, Agent, Portland, OR
Wed Apr 10, 2013
Yes, as long as no major obsolescence, like on a busy street or awkward layout, etc. Remember not to pay a big down payment when starting the project.
0 votes
Loren Masters, Agent, Lake Oswego, OR
Wed Apr 10, 2013
Hi Chris,
There is always a better resale value in 3/2 vs. a 3/1. It should not cost 30k unless you're going for extreme top end finishes. Plumbing and electrical are your greatest cost. You should be able to add a 2nd bathroom for much less.. I am a local Realtor in Lake Oswego and have all kinds of resources to offer. If you're planning to live in the house for awhile you might as well do this sooner than later so that your family gets to enjoy the space before you sell. Hope this helps!
Loren Masters
Premiere Property Group, Lake Oswego Branch
0 votes
Linda Heinri…, Agent, Lake Oswego, OR
Wed Apr 10, 2013
As you probably know, First Addition is one of the most popular neighborhoods in Lake Oswego. There are no guarantees on fully recouping remodeling costs and much depends on your timing for selling, but this neighborhood commands a premium so you should not have any problem at all. Plus, you will get to enjoy it for the time you are in the home. Obtaining permits will also be important to ensure full value. Good luck with your project - my new favorite site for inspiration is to search for pics. Check it out.
0 votes
Lana Lavenba…, Agent, Grants Pass, OR
Wed Apr 10, 2013
It will make your home much easier to sell. Most people in this day and age want a bath in the master - so instead of just making it next to the master - find a way to connect them. I dont know how it could cost $30K to do that - most of the time that would be a lot less-but it may be because of being on the 2nd story.
0 votes
Haris Wolfga…, Agent, lake oswego, OR
Wed Apr 10, 2013
Great question! Creating a nice functional space that fits architecturally with the rest of home will reap
more than recoup costs. is the dormer in the front of the house or rear?
0 votes
Cristyle Egi…, Agent, Lake Park, FL
Wed Apr 10, 2013
Whether or not you will recoup your investment depends on a lot of factors - what the price point of your home is, other homes in the neighborhood, when you plan to sell, etc.

Personally, I would want a second bathroom in a three bedroom house. I would think there is absolutely value there, especially if it is en-suite to the Master Bedroom or if all bedrooms are upstairs and the only bathroom is downstairs.

I would also look at your preference and how long you plan to stay. If a second bathroom provides great value to you and you plan to stay for a couple years or more, then I think it's a good move. You get the use out of it and then if it adds to the asking price down the road - great.

I would definitely get at least 3 quotes for the work and see what you'd have to do permit-wise.

To see the "value" of a second bathroom in your area, I would look at recently sold homes and see what the difference in price was to similar homes where the major difference was 3b/1b vs 3b/2b.

Best of luck!
0 votes
Cassandra M.…, Agent, Canton, GA
Wed Apr 10, 2013
The best way to figure this is to ask a few questions.

1. Are you doing the work yourself or hiring someone. (If you are hiring someone, please get a couple quotes from professionals that are licensed/insured/bonded). Getting a quote will give you a good cost of the project.

2. Are you doing this for value reasons or to make your life/living situation better/easier. One of these has got to be the primary reason even if both have a big role.

3. Are you planning on staying in the house long term or just 1-3 more years?

4. What is the difference in houses in your neighborhood with 1 bath versus 2. And what is your average inflation in your market?

By answering these questions you will be able to find out if you should recoup the cost. If homes are not appreciating at a great rate and there is only a $5-10K difference in price, AND you are only planning to stay for a short time, then it probably doesnt make financial sense,

However, if having 1 bath is a huge burden and you need that 2nd one to make your life a little easier, then you might be better off doing the project. Just expect that you might not recoup all the money you spent on the project.

Good luck.

Cassandra Bickel, REALTOR
0 votes
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