Losing a Bedroom When Renovating

Help I need an opinion. My wife and I are thinking of redoing a very small main floor bathroom. It is 5'x6'. There is a small room abutting it that we really don't use. I am thinking of stealing a piece of that room for the bath and using the rest to build a walk in closet and to make the family room also a bit larger.

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We have 3 bedrooms and a bath upstairs. My wife thinks we should not do this as (if we sell) someone could use the small room as a 4th bedroom or a study. I think a bit larger bath, large closet and a bit larger family room will be a better seller. Any opinions?

Thanks,
Carl from Cresskill, NJ

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You may want to utilize your local Realtor for advice on losing a bedroom vs. adding a bigger closest/bath. This decision could ultimately affect the value of your home. If you don't know anyone in real estate, check your local real estate ads and many agents offer free advice for staging or market analysis. Even if you aren't thinking of selling, a good agent will normally do this for your future business or referrals. Just a thought!

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Would the remaining space be big enough to use a murphy bed (fold down bed) in for guests? Or to make a built in study??

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I'm with you. If the room is that small, it's probably not worth preserving as a 4th bedroom. Walk-in closets for storage and a larger living area are great selling points too you know!

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How does your house compare to others in the neighborhood? If the improvements would make it lots better, you may not recoup the costs when selling, because someone looking for that type of house might want it to be in a neighborhood with others like it.

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As a buyer, I would prefer a bigger first floor bathroom, a roomy closet, and a larger family room rather than a 4th bedroom.

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It depends on how big that room is. You mention the size of the bathroom, but not the "bedroom." On the home improvement shows, it seems that the additional bedroom is usually a good selling point, but only if it is big enough to be a true bedroom. But, as others have mentioned, it depends on the market in your area.

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I don't know about NJ but here in VA nothing adds to the value of a house like bathrooms.

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If I were looking to buy I'd want 3 bedrooms; which you have; I'd want a desent size bath and a lot of storage. Seems to me that's what most people want. With the high cost of utilities these days, I think most people are scalling down. Sounds like a good idea to me but, as one suggested, you may want to talk with a real estate agent in your area.

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We bought our house after it had been on the market for over a year with 4 bedrooms, 1.5 baths. The first thing we did when we moved in was turn one of those bedrooms into a new bathroom, saving a little space to one side to expand a master bath. It has paid off like crazy. Not just in terms of convenience, but when we checked it's value on zillow.com, the value had skyrocketed. Plus, it's always nice to have a comfortable ratio of bathrooms to bedrooms.

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Hi...I'd go with your ideas. It seems like people really like bigger bathrooms and they hate small bedrooms. You've got three bedrooms upstairs. With a custom "downstairs" I think you'd get more bang for your buck when you sell. However, that's another subject....stay vs. leave, soon vs. 10 yrs. down the road. Just an idea...

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This is not what you asked, but I think you should make yourself happy and not really worry about some person that you don't know that may eventually buy your house. Especially if you plan to live in it for the forseeable future. Your own quality of life is much more important than theirs. And I do think a bigger bathroom and larger closets are good sellers.

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I am a Realtor --here's my opinion: IF you already have 4 bedrooms and would then have 3 (not 3 and would then have only 2), then you could do it and not worry about it. If you make it into a large closet area, do it with flourish--add an island in the middle with drawers. Surround the rest of the room with custom shelves, make this closet so amazing that it will be THE selling point of the house.

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Home and Garden Home Improvement RemodelingMarch 26, 2008
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