Is it better to increase square footage or to remodel a bathroom (kitchen already done) to increase property?

Asked by Yumio, 94002 Sun Aug 24, 2008

If we had $50,000 to spend, is it better to try to create an extra bedroom or remodel the master bathroom?

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Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Sun Aug 24, 2008
It depends on your market, here are some points to consider:
1. If your home is currently a two bedroom, adding a bedroom is probably the best bet.
2. If it is a three bedroom and one bath, I'd add another bath.
3. If it is a small three bed, two bath look at adding a family room.

In general the cost of construction is less than purchase. For example, according to Trulia the average price per square foot is about $200. So if you could build a bedroom for $100 per square foot, you'd be "making' $100 profit per square foot.

Talking with a Realtor that knows the local market would be a great way to start.You want to avoid over-building.
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Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Sun Aug 24, 2008
The first thing to consider is how much value it will add to your property. Whether spending $1000 or $50,000 if it only briongs back the same exact value, your money has not gone well spent. You want to add value at an increased rate of just equalling value. Without knowing how big your house is now it is hard to quote exact value. For instance if you have a 2BR home and are increasing it to 3 bedrooms that is huge, if you have a 5 br home and will add a 6th there isnt any greater value except to a person who needs 6 brs which may be limited. It is more important to look towards structural items and mechanics. Roof, siding, windows, heating system, electric, plumbing, flooring then kitchen, then bathroom. Before you start any work you should evaluate the cost of the work versus what a local realtor can give you for value added. It differs betweens neighborhood, town or type of buyer you will be atracting. Goo dluck with the remodel and the sale of your home.
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Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Sun Aug 24, 2008
The answer depends on a lot of factors and bits of information not provided. For instance: What's your competition? How does your house compare to the competition as far as number of bedrooms or condition of bathrooms? If you said that your competition all had 5 bedrooms and you only had 3, then my first thought would be that you might want to add a bedroom. On the other hand, if you said that all the competitive houses were the same model in the same community--so they all have the same number of bedrooms--but that some had upgraded master baths, then the bath might be the thing to consider.

Just one quick thought, too: $50,000 to remodel a master bath is a lot in most communities. Again, I don't know your house or area at all, but $25,000 is a lot more in the range I'd expect...perhaps less. And recognize that while remodeling the master bath will certainly make your house more saleable, it won't return anywhere near 100% of your investment.

And if you're not planning on selling right away, you have to factor in your own preferences. Which do you need and want more? Which is of more value to you? Even though, as I said, a major remodel of the master bath won't return your investment, still--if that's what you want and what you'll enjoy--then that's what you should do.

Hope that helps.
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