interested in converting unused formal living rm into master walk in closet, so current closet can expand master bath. will it hurt marketability?

Asked by Diynuts, Greensboro, NC Sun Oct 2, 2011

Large 3600sq ft home. Have family room and separate dining room. Current formal living room off of entry way is not being used.

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Nathan Wolf, Agent, Charlotte, NC
Thu Mar 8, 2012
I would generally say: NO.

This is exactly the renovation I recently recommended to a client. They didnt use the formal living room. Most future buyers are not really looking for formal living rooms.

But EVERYONE loves large masters, renovated bathrooms, and huge master closets.

So I think it's a good move.

Call me if you have more questions: 704-858-2345
Give me a "BEST ANSWER" or "THUMBS UP" if this answered your question. Thanks!
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Jannis Vann, , 30188
Sat Oct 15, 2011
If the living room is located as you describe and your family room is at the end of the foyer, I don't think there will be any issues with closing this space of and redesigning it as part of the master suite. Converting the space to a library serves no purpose for what you want to do, as suggested in an earlier post.

My only suggestion for closing the space to the foyer would be to utilize a small part of the new closet space as a recessed niche in the foyer allowing for a piece of furniture or art to be an accent in the foyer. Better than just a flat wall where the opening was.

I see plenty of potential with what you want to do. Contact a designer to help you work out the details. It's amazing what a trained eye can see to maximize all of the space you will be converting.
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Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Tue Oct 4, 2011
Good luck with whatever you decide!

Seeking the advice of a local agent will be the best way to proceed.
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Diynuts, Home Owner, Greensboro, NC
Tue Oct 4, 2011
Thank you to everyone that responded. The current living room is approximately 12 x 12 right off foyer as you walk in. stairs and dining room to left. Our current bathroom does not allow for more than an oversized tub and very small shower. We wanted a larger bath but that means sacrificing the closet space which is 10 x 12. The only adjoining space to the master is the living room so that was the logical choice. We have a bonus room upstairs and a finished basement. We will definitely get some expert opinions from our local realtors. Thanks again for your comments and advice. Great help!
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Barbara Kelly, , Greensboro, NC
Mon Oct 3, 2011
This is a difficult question without seeing the floorplan of your house. Will you still have a livingroom if you convert the space you want? I t is common today to see small livingrooms or parlor as some would call it. I think that could work and perhaps improve the homes value. Everyone wants a large closet and bath in the master bedroom. Hope that helps.

Barb Kelly
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Mary Ann App…, Agent, Greensboro, NC
Mon Oct 3, 2011
It depends on many factors, most importantly is where the living room is located in relation to the family room and formal dining room. If it's separated by a hallway, I think you're OK. The idea is to make the renovation look like it was originally part of the floor plan, not an afterthought. If this can be done, and you are sure that you won't miss the living room space, then I say do it! A well planned walk in closet in the master bedroom is always a great selling feature, and with today's casual lifestyles, a formal living room isn't necessary. And, if you want a free estimate, my husband and business partner is a Realtor and a general contractor, remodeling homes in the Triad for over 30 years. Contact me for information!
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My NC Homes…, Agent, Chapel Hill, NC
Mon Oct 3, 2011
Interesting question. Formal living rooms definitely aren't as popular today, and a great master bath and walk in closet will add appeal to any home. Without being able to visualize your floorplan it's hard to know if you're creating a future sale problem or not. Can you do what you want and perhaps leave a 10X12 or 12X12 room that could be considered a formal living room / sitting room / home office? If so I think this would be ideal.
Think about total living spaces. If all you will have left for communal living sapce is going to be the family room, then you may not wish to do this, but if you have a bonus room, or basement area in addtition to the family room it should be fine.

The final issue you should consider is the length of time you plan on being in the house. IF you're only going to be there a few more years, don't do it, if you have a 10 year time line and you're going to enjoy the new space then it's easier to justify the work and expense.

Good Luck.
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Sharon Lewis, Agent, Cary, NC
Mon Oct 3, 2011
Great depends on a lot of things, the footprint of the house, size of the home, size of the master bathroom and closet.
How does it fits into the overall flow of the house?
Is the formal living room right off the foyer? Will it look odd with it not being there?

Personally and professionally, I think a larger closet and larger master bath or owners retreat is more valuable.prospective buyers enter your home and go, whoa, this is weird or not notice anything?
Again, this all hinges on the overall look of the home after this work is done, will p
Make sure you get this work 'permitted' or it will be a nightmare for you when/if you go to sell it.
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Stanton Homes, , Raleigh, NC
Mon Oct 3, 2011
We are finding that the formal living room is most often replaced with an Office on the first floor. If the formal living room is right off the foyer, using a pair of French doors to lead to the office can help keep the Foyer from feeling too dark or enclosed. Kirsten suggested splitting the Living Room into a pocket office and master closet - that may be a good solution, depending on the layout.

The most common requests right now (if you are considering future resale) are homes with a Master Bedroom, Guest Suite, and/or Office on the first floor of the home.

Good luck with your project!
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Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Sun Oct 2, 2011
Generally speaking, yes, imo, it would hurt marketability to totally eliminate the living room.
would imagine that a 3600 sq ft house would have a nice size living room...........

Can't you just use part of the living room for the closet, and at least leave a slightly smaller sitting area (it could also be considered a library or office, and still a usable room)?
How big is the family room? If it's a "great room" size (maybe 18 or 20 x25, for example) then having a small formal sitting area/living room would be ok..........but I wouldn't take away the living room space all together..........just my opinion

(how big of a closet do you need?)
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Kirsten Wall…, Agent, Meridian, ID
Sun Oct 2, 2011
Hello there,

I think it definitely depends upon what other people in the area have done with their home. It may be worthwhile to consult both a realtor and contractor who can give you a good idea of what other homes in your neighborhood have as far as features. Do they have walk-in closets and large master baths? Or are formal living rooms a selling point in your neighborhood? Have other people remodeled? What does a trusted realtor say as far as resale value?

That being said, if YOU are not using your current formal living room, and you would gain enjoyment from an expanded master suite/spa with a walk in closet, and you plan to stay in your home for some time, by all means consider the renovation. You're not talking about a major renovation in terms of cost, and right now, kitchen and bath renovations give owners the most return on investment. In addition, the current construction trend is away from "formal" living rooms and toward the great room concept, which is more casual. Also, master bath renovations are trending toward "spa-like" spaces, complete with generous closet space. Often, new homes have his and hers closet spaces. So, based upon current building trends, the investment may be worthwhile.
Good luck!
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