Post # 1
Is it ever ok to turn a 4 bedroom house into a 3 bedroom house in order to create a bangin’ master bedroom with a bangin’ en suite bathroom and walk-in closet? My husband and I own a 4 bed 2 bath house in Harrisburg, PA (in case that has any bearing on your answer) that we are currently renting out because we had to move away like 6 months after we bought it. It’s an older home so the closets are tiny. I’ve been watching a lot of HGTV lately and it’s making me feel like the house is very inadequate and we will have a hard time selling it when the time comes. Here’s why I think getting rid of one of the bedrooms might be a good idea:
1. A 4 bedroom house might scream “Perfect for families!” but the kitchen is pretty small and the dining area is even smaller. There is not enough room for a dining room table that a family might sit around. There’s just a small space for a small table that maybe 2 or 3 people could sit at if you put the table against the wall.
2. The bedroom that’s supposed to be the master bedroom has a small closet and there’s no room to expand it. The master does connect with a bathroom, but that bathroom also has another door leading out to the hallway, so it’s not a true en suite.
3. The two 1st floor bedrooms are right next to each other and they both have small closets. Furthermore, the 1st floor bathroom (which is cramped and underwhelming) is right next to them too. If I tore down all the walls between them, I would have enough space to expand the bathroom, and have a large master suite with walk-in closet. There’d even be enough room to put in a small powder room so that guests wouldn’t have to use the master en suite bathroom when they’re on the first floor.
However, this will be a very expensive renovation and I’m not sure that it will add enough value to the house to recoupe the costs. What are your thoughts?
Post # 2
Maybe not. I say this because I currently live in a 4 bedroom 2 bathroom house. I love the master walk in closet, but the bathroom is cramped and the entire house is kind of cramped. I wish they would have spent more time opening up the small kitchen area and living room area instead of shoving as many bedrooms as they could. when I bought the house I wasn’t thinking kids. Now that I have one, my husband and I are realizing how small the house is with how many bedrooms there are. We just can’t fit it all. Instead of having the master suite, I would focus on opening up the rooms instead of creating a master suite. sure what got us was the master suite, but after living there, we’d much rather the open floor plan. I’m sure there will be differing opinions, but since I’m guessing you’ll only doing one reno, I would do open floor plan instead of the bedroom.
Post # 3
mrs.joiner: Well, the way the house is set up, it’s technically already open floor plan. The kitchen, dining area, and living room are all one space. A hallway leads from that space to the bathroom and two 1st floor bedrooms. There’s nothing I can do to make the dining area bigger without stealing space from the living room and that would make positioning a couch and TV awkward.
Post # 4
idoalterations: Whoops sorry I misread your post and thought you were saying it was a closed floor plan.
Post # 5
I have a 4 bedroom house tri level home in the midwest. All of the bedrooms and bathrooms in this house are on the upper level. In my area a home with 4 bedrooms is fantastic and sells very well and quickly. There is only one “guest use” bathroom in the entire home on the upper level which is annoying. The master has a fairly large non walk in closet with an attached 1/2 bath. In a perfect world I would put in a 1/2 bath in the basement.
HGTV will mess with you everytime. Just like My Fair Wedding, it is an ideal situation and more often than not you aren’t going to recoupe the costs. I have a friend who just did exactly what you described. She bought her house as a foreclosure about 3 years ago and basically knocked down 4 walls and made a huge master ensuite with a sitting room. She had many issues selling her house for the asking price. The resale value wasn’t enough to recoupe the costs of the renos that she did.
My advice would be to seek out a realator in your area and speak with them about the different homes that they have sold and their experiences with your situation. Whatever you decided to do, best of luck!
Post # 6
- Wedding: February 2013 - Mansion House at the MD Zoo
idoalterations: Your house sounds kind of like my house! We have our bedroom on the first floor with a room connecting (technically the 4th bedroom, but it’s more like a nursery). The closet in our bedroom was teeny and couldn’t hold even just his clothes. Darling Husband hung rods and shelves and stuff in the 4th bedroom and now we have a bangin’ walk-in closet. The bathroom is right across from our bedroom–it’s also the main bathroom as it’s the only shower and the other one is upstairs–so no ensuite but I think this is more practical because we have more bathrooms for when we have parties and stuff. Upstairs we have two more bedrooms (one of which is set up as a hybrid man cave/bedroom with TVs and a daybed and pull-out sofa) and a half bath. I can’t speak to resale value but I would totally buy a house like that. Maybe before you spend the $$ to move walls and stuff try rearranging furniture and living with it set up like a closet and see if it works for you?
Post # 7
What I would do is pretend that you are looking to buy a house in that area. What kind of houses are for sale? Do they have 3 or 4 bedrooms? Do they have an en suite? Do they have master bedrooms on the first floor?
My mom is a realtor, not in your area, but I just asked her this question and she said in general, it is never a good idea to give up a bedroom unless most of the houses in your area have less bedrooms and you are the lone house that has more. Also, a lot of people do NOT like first floor masters because they are away from the kids’ bedrooms.
The renovation that generally gives you the most return is a kitchen renovation. I would probably focus on that rather than a master bedroom renovation.
Post # 8
If you were renovating to fit your personal needs, that would be one thing. But I definitely would not renovate it just to try to sell it. You will most likely not recoup the costs. I’m looking for an older home right now. Those of us who want an older home will probably have already come to terms with a smaller kitchen, small closets, no en suite, etc. That’s just how houses were built back in the day!
Have you seen the HGTV show where someone comes in and assesses the home’s value after a renovation? I’ve only seen it a few times, but I remember that most people were pretty disappointed with the assessment.
Post # 9
SunnierDaysAhead: The first floor bathroom butts up against the kitchen, so if I wanted to make the kitchen bigger, I’d end up moving the bathroom, which would take away space from the already small bedroom and then I’d end up doing my original idea anyway. The kitchen was renovated before we moved in, so even though it’s small, it does look very nice. I was thinking a first floor master would be good for an older couple. No kids living with them, and no need to climb the stairs if they don’t want to. Of course, that is catering to a small demographic…
CHristine2809: I’m not sure what show you’re referring to, but I have watched Love It or List It, and after renovations, they usually gain about $10,000 more than what they spent. But of course I have to factor in that I would be losing a bedroom. Frankly I’m ok with breaking even, I just want to sell the house faster. I have a feeling that selling it as is, it would take a few months, or longer!
Post # 10
idoalterations: I don’t belive the Love it or List it people. They ALWAYS get back an extra 10k. I think they the undervalue the homes before the reno to make the renos look better, or they inflate the list price for better TV.
I saw one last night where they spent 75k on a basement that supposedly added 85k total value to the home. The basement was already finished. I don’t believe they increased the value of the home by nearly what they said. They just can’t put it on TV and make it look like the homeowners don’t get their money back.
Post # 11
I looked it up. The one I was referring to is called “Bang for your Buck” http://www.hgtv.com/bang-for-your-buck/show/index.html
Post # 12
MsGinkgo: Yeah, you’re probably right. 🙁
CHristine2809: Wow, I watch HGTV all the time and I’ve never seen that show! Hard to believe. I really really really want to be on Buying and Selling with the Scott brothers!