If you don’t have an adequate number of bathrooms in your home, it’s a lack that’s obvious to everyone living there. Having to queue outside a bathroom isn’t a pleasant experience for the people waiting or taking their turn. If you’re considering putting in a new bathroom, take heart. Not only will it make the necessities of life easier for you and your family to deal with, but it’s a decent return on investment when you want to sell your house. In fact, lack of bathroom space is often a deal-breaker for potential buyers who otherwise like your home.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
If you decide to renovate your bathroom before selling your home, potential buyers will be more interested if the bathroom has a great amount of space and updated fixtures and appliances.
The Return on Investment for New Bathrooms
Adding a new bathroom isn’t cheap, and it doesn’t have the ROI of a kitchen remodel. Update your kitchen and you’re looking at an 80-percent ROI when you sell. Add a new bathroom and expect a 50-to-60 percent ROI. Where you live also makes a difference.
In the East, you may get less than a 50- percent ROI for a new bathroom. In the West, the ROI is closer to 70 percent. As noted, if you want to sell your home at all, a new bathroom may prove essential. In the 21st century, no one wants to live in a three-bedroom home with a sole bathroom.
Exploring Full Three-Quarter or Half-Bath
Another consideration is whether to create a full, three-quarter or half-bath. A full bath has a sink, toilet, shower and tub. A half bath is just a sink and toilet. Then there’s the three-quarter bath, which is a sink, toilet and shower. It’s not only less expensive to put in a half bath, but it’s easier to convert another space in the home, say a utility closet or dormer window, for the purpose.
For practical and cost-conscious consumers, a three-quarter bath can save money while providing the basics of hygiene and cleanliness. Most people prefer a quick shower to a long, hot bath, so as long as you have at least one bathtub in your house, you may not need a second full bath. Another option: Converting a half-bath into a full or three-quarter bath.
The appeal of another full versus a three-quarter bath depends on the buyer. Families with little kids often want another bathtub, while those with older children prefer a shower. If your house has only one bathroom and your budget is really tight, install the half-bath. People usually don’t mind waiting to take a bath or shower but waiting to use the toilet is another matter.
New Bathroom Costs
If you’re converting existing space to a half-bath, you may end up spending $5,000 or less. If you have to add on to your house, figure on spending at least $25,000 for a bathroom, and if you want a true state-of-the-art full bathroom, expect to spend $75,000 or more.
Remodeling the Bathroom
What if you don’t need an extra bathroom, but want to remodel a tired old bathroom to make it more appealing to buyers? If that’s the case, you don’t want to spend a great deal of money. Have the tile re-grouted and add some fresh paint or wallpaper and upscale hardware. You won’t spend a lot and it could make your house sell more quickly.
A graduate of New York University, Jane Meggitt's work has appeared in dozens of publications, including PocketSense, Zack's, Financial Advisor, nj.com, LegalZoom and The Nest.