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Old 06-14-2010, 08:52 AM
 
Location: NJ
983 posts, read 2,773,201 times
Reputation: 1902

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Our house has been on the market for a long time. We've had lots of interest, many, MANY showings, several second showings... a couple buyers who came THISCLOSE to making an offer. Recently we even went under contract, but 2 weeks before closing the buyers bailed (we don't know why) and cancelled the contract. (Obviously they lost much of their deposit).

It's a beautiful, classic house and it's priced accurately. We know this based on the appraisal done by the buyer's mortgage company (I think it was an FHA appraiser).

Anyway, from all the feedback we have gotten from showings, it seems like the biggest issue with our house is that it has 1.5 bathrooms. It's a 2,500 square foot house with 4 bedrooms + 2 bonus rooms, so people expect more bathrooms. It's not a starter home...it's a "move up" home, but it seems that nowadays people just cannot live with less than 2 full bathrooms.

My question to you is....should we have another bathroom put in the house? I know it will make our house more sellable - it would probably open up our house to a whole new group of potential buyers who won't consider it because it doesn't have enough bathrooms. My concerns are:

1. We don't have the money to put in a bathroom (I am guessing it would cost somewhere around $10k?) We'd have to borrow the money.

2. Is it likely we would recoup the money we spend to intall a bathroom in this market?

3. Our house is currently on the market, so if we installed a bathroom, would we raise our asking price? Or would we just eat the $10K and be happy it helped us sell?

Here is our house's listing if it helps.

Thanks for any thoughts you can offer.
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Old 06-14-2010, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Salem, OR
15,572 posts, read 40,413,812 times
Reputation: 17473
Out here, in that size of a house, it would be a deal breaker for most buyers to not have two full bathrooms. Even if the second one just has a shower and no tub, that would make it more sellable. Does the 1/2 have room for a shower?
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Old 06-14-2010, 09:15 AM
 
Location: NJ
17,573 posts, read 46,130,040 times
Reputation: 16273
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverfall View Post
Out here, in that size of a house, it would be a deal breaker for most buyers to not have two full bathrooms. Even if the second one just has a shower and no tub, that would make it more sellable. Does the 1/2 have room for a shower?
Agreed. 4 bedrooms and only 1 full bath sounds like a major deal breaker. It would have been for me.
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Old 06-14-2010, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Austin
7,244 posts, read 21,801,403 times
Reputation: 10015
Someone looking for that age and style of home should understand the bathroom count. Do the other homes in the area have at least 2 full baths? What do the homes have that compare to yours? And if they only have 1 full bath, what are they selling for?

To answer your main questions, if you can't sell at your current price without the bath, you can't think you're going to get offers by increasing your price after you add it. You're going to just have to chalk it up to an investment to sell it. If you have a good CPA, he'll know how to write the expense off.

If your 1/2 bath has room, you should add a shower there since plumbing is already readily available. If you try to add a bath where there is currently no plumbing, your costs are going to be fairly high.
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Old 06-14-2010, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Happy wherever I am - Florida now
3,360 posts, read 12,265,553 times
Reputation: 3909
Your house is just gorgeous. Very similar to the one I grew up in. We had only one bath up but it was huge and no room for expansion up there. The half bath was on the main floor adjacent to a rather large laundry room which would have accomodated a stall shower. I'd suggest if you can't afford to install a shower for the half bath at this time that you have a plumber come in to lay out where one could be place and the cost, and give that amount to the buyers withe the estimate so they could add one.

I'd also put some new fancy knobs on your kitchen cabinets. Should only cost a few bucks if you're selective.
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Old 06-14-2010, 10:07 AM
 
Location: NJ
17,573 posts, read 46,130,040 times
Reputation: 16273
By the way your house looks very nice. Did you post pictures at some point in the NJ forum? Looks very familiar.
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Old 06-14-2010, 11:19 AM
 
Location: most beautiful place ever
1,869 posts, read 4,022,334 times
Reputation: 1493
Beautiful house!! Personally, i wouldnt buy a house without at least 2 full bathrooms. Maybe times have changed a lot, but your house seems cheap for your area. i always thought Cherry Hill was pricey. What do I know?
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Old 06-14-2010, 12:07 PM
 
28,455 posts, read 85,339,930 times
Reputation: 18728
Very nice looking home.

I scanned through some of the sold stuff as reported by Zillow (about the only thing that site is good for...) and you seem competitively priced.

I really do not advocate folks dumping money into a house that is already listed for a variety of reasons. In my experience the problems this causes tends to make it a huge losing proposition. You simply make it very hard to recapture your expenses once you are on the market. Further no matter what choices you make in finishes and such you'll inevitably get buyers that do no share your taste. Much smarter to improve while you can still enjoy...

I do think that IF you can get an estimate and maybe some sketches from a full-line home remodeling firm that can help to get some fence sitters motivated to make an offer that discounts your asking price by an amount that would cover the new bath, but again that takes you net down NOT up...

Moral of the story is do NOT delay when you know that an additional bath would make the place more valuable, do it when you are still able to enjoy!!!
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Old 06-14-2010, 03:35 PM
 
178 posts, read 540,374 times
Reputation: 149
Beautiful house. I agree with the idea of getting estimates from well-known businesses to remodel your 1/2 into a 3/4 or a full. I've seen this strategy work with buyers because they have less fear of dealing with a tangible ballpark cost rather than a complete unknown.
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Old 06-14-2010, 05:26 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
1,570 posts, read 5,985,682 times
Reputation: 1405
You may be right on target - the bathroom count is the problem. Since you don't have the money for the bathroom - here's my suggestion:
Get an estimate from a contractor - complete with drawings, costs everything. Then discount the price of the house to cover the cost of the bathroom. Your agent could market the house with the estimate and then - if a buyer would be interested - they could be given the contractor's estimate. With lender agreement, the cost of the bathroom could be included in the buyer's mortgage.
Frankly, I hate marketing homes this way. However, I'd hate to see you take out a loan for the bathroom.
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