Does only having one bathroom hurt my home value?

When people are looking to buy a home, there are a three pieces of information they always want to know: how much square footage there is, how many bedrooms there are, and how many bathrooms there are. A common misconception is that bigger (and more) is always better. That’s wrong – some people want smaller homes with fewer bedrooms to clean and worry about.

But what about bathrooms? Many homes only have one bathroom – is that a problem? Or, more to the point, if my home only has one bathroom, will it definitely sell for less money than a multi-bathroom home?

Not necessarily. The general rule of thumb is that a home you should have no less than half as many bathrooms as it does bedrooms. So a two bedroom home is fine to only have one bathroom, but a three bedroom home should have at least one and a half bathrooms (a half bathroom is one with a toilet but no shower/bathtub), and a four bedroom home should have at least two bathrooms.

However, many people have three bedroom homes with only one bathroom, particularly if the home was built 30+ years ago. Will having only one bathroom be a problem when the home is sold? In other words, is the lack of a second bathroom something that will cause the home value to go down?

The answer, generally speaking, is: yes – the home value will be diminished by the lack of the second bathroom. These days, if a person is looking for a three bedroom home, it is likely because they have children or plan to entertain guests. No one wants to have to share a bathroom with their entire family or with guests. It is inconvenient and can cause problems. Heck, when I was a kid, I didn’t even want to share a bathroom with my two siblings, let alone have to share it with my parents and any guests as well!

If you’re looking to sell your three bedroom/one bathroom home, you have essentially two options: a) sell the home for less than what it could be worth with multiple bathrooms, or b) have a contractor add a bathroom to your home in order to increase its value.

Adding a bathroom can sound appealing, but it has to make sense. The total cost of a project like that will likely be around $10,000-15,000 and there are usually risks involved. For instance, if your home is on a concrete slab, then the contractor will have to cut into your foundation in order to run plumbing to the new bathroom. That’s risky and could cause foundation problems to the home, which is every homeowner’s biggest nightmare. Additionally, there is always the possibility that adding the bathroom to your home will cost more than the increase in home value. This is where other factors, such as the home’s location, condition, and square footage play a large role. If you assume that spending $15,000 to add a bathroom will increase your home value from $70,000 to $90,000 but it only increases it to $80,000, then you are out $5,000. That’s a big problem.

That said, Upstate House Buyers loves to buy one bathroom homes. As of this post, we are actually working on a project where we are adding a second bathroom to one of our homes in order to resell it for the full value that we feel like it deserves. We understand how this process works, and so we are willing to take the risks that you may not be able to. So if you have a one bathroom home that you would like to sell, let us know by filling out our “Sell Your House” form. We would love tackle a new project.