Renovating - add third bedroom or make larger open-concept kitchen?

Asked by Grizzly Bear, Somerville, MA Tue Oct 2, 2012

Own a two-family house - 2 BR, 1 BA, K, LR, DR each floor - in West Somerville. We need to renovate - and plan to add a half-bath to each floor. After that, would we get most resale value by adding another bedroom or by opening up the kitchen, living room, and dining rooms?

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Bill Kuhlman’s answer
Bill Kuhlman, Agent, Needham, MA
Sat Oct 6, 2012

If you were talking about a single-family home in the suburbs, I'd say adding a third bedroom would get you more bang for your buck because it would make your property more attractive to a higher percentage of homebuyers out there. But for a two-family, condo, or apartment in West Somerville, I have to agree with the other responders that updating and opening up the kitchen will add more to the market value than an extra bedroom.
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Territory.c…, Agent, MA,
Tue Oct 9, 2012
You will likely benefit from the kitchen. Do you plan on condo'ng the units and selling them separately? You would make more money that way so worth considering.

Good luck!
Massachusetts Premier Buyer Brokerage
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Heath Coker, Agent, Falmouth, MA
Sat Oct 6, 2012
Make sure you are allowed to add the things you are forecasting.
Number of bedrooms can sometimes be restricted.

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Ellen Friedm…, Agent, Cambridge, MA
Tue Oct 2, 2012
That's a tough one but since "wow" factor is what gets a place sold I would suggest opening up the kitchen, living room, and dining rooms. You would think that bedrooms might be more important but I've seen an overpriced one-bedroom go for significantly over asking because of that "wow" factor. I live and work in Somerville and would be happy to come over at your convenience to make some suggestions--no strings.

Ellen G. Friedman, Vice-President, Keller Williams Realty Cambridge/Somerville
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Joanne Mcdon…, , Somerville, MA
Tue Oct 2, 2012
Hey Grizzly!
Adding half baths on both floors is a great idea. In general the addition of another bedroom is usually good but it truly depends on layout. Most buyers in your area don’t need extra bedrooms as much as offices so those funky little private office spaces can be just as valuable as a third bedroom. If you can open it up and still have a private office area you may win on both accounts. Another thing to think about is in-unit laundry. This is a huge money maker in the condo world. If you can find a space for the laundry do it.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. If you’d like my business partner Linda Montieth and I would be happy to come over and check out the space and give you our opinions. We’re just in Davis so it’s not a big deal and there’s no obligation.

Good Luck! Joanne
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Paul Bombara, Agent, North Reading, MA
Tue Oct 2, 2012
Great question! You'd be better off by opening up your kitchen, living room and dining rooms rather than adding another bedroom. The value of your home will increase without a doubt! Trust me, I know from personal experience as well.
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