So I'm a first time home buyer and a large master bath was on my list of non negotiables. We found a home that we really like but their master bath is tiny and needs updating. We cannot make it bigger without spending thousands of dollars and moving plumbing/walls around.
But the location, size, price and other needs are met. We could update this bath, but since there is little natural light coming in, it feels like a prison. They have one small window on top the vanity.
Our only option would be to take mirrors out the vanity and make the window bigger. The other walls face the inside of the home.
Though a big master bath is one of my non negotiables, I really like this home and were trying to check out all renovation options before completely ruling it out.
Any suggestions with anyone with bath renovation experience?
I'm also concerned about the size of the bath when it comes to ease of re selling the home.
As the old cliche goes: You can change the house, but not the location.
If you do buy this house, I suggest you consult with an architect or design/build company. They will be able to present you with two or more options on how best to reconfigure the space you have to accommodate a larger master bath. Some examples: borrowing space from a nearby closet or another room... or, even building a modest bump-out might prove to be very cost-effective.
Without seeing the actual house, it is difficult to give an opinion, but I will say very rarely does any one house meet all of ones expectations. If you would be happy with just increasing the window size, that seems to be an inexpensive change.
Don't make a fast decision, keep looking, you may decide this is the right and it will still be there. I'd rather lose the right one than quickly buy the wrong one.
Posts: 2391 | Location: Southern CA (Southbay) | Registered: Nov 08, 2005
I know the feeling. We've been living with a tiny master bath for 9 years now. When we found our land it was perfect and we had the home built following the builders plans just to keep it affordable at the time. DH was retiring from the military and we didn't know what his next job would be. We have been making changes and adding on ever since we moved here. We plan to add a new master suite with a large bath in the next couple of years.
If you have space on your lot for an addition or renovation later on that I would suggest that. Having a great location is most important. I know a lot of first time homebuyers want everything perfect at first, sometimes it's better to wait than to give up a good deal.
Whether You Think You Can Or You Think You Can't..... You're Right - Henry Ford
Posts: 6841 | Location: Central Florida | Registered: Feb 12, 2005
Installing a "SolaTube" or another type of skylight will provide natural light. If there is crawl space under the house repositioning plumbing is relatively less expensive combared to a slab foundation. If you like everything else about this house, reassess the pro's and con's....
Posts: 5016 | Location: NE of S.F. | Registered: Apr 13, 2006
Thanks for all the feedback! I am posting pics of the bathroom for you all to check out.
We like the size, it is in our price range, like the neighborhood, curb appeal and yard.
I would need to also update the kitchen, paint built ins and close in a wall opening with some sheet rock in the living room (they have a built in desk in there i want to get rid of). We also will need to rip carpet up in a few rooms.
Another drawback, as you will see in the pic, the master bedroom does not have a closet - so we probably will need to add one in to increase storage. These are my only complaints.
Let me know if you all have any suggestions based on this info and pics I post. Thanks!
Nurse, Thanks for posting back with the photographs - makes it much easier to visualize what you are describing!
To me, the master bathroom looks totally adequate - in fact, I actually like the vanity but something in your most recent post would cause a greater concern to me than the MB. And that is that the master bedroom has no closets - now, I think that is a problem especially re re-sale.
This is going to be your first home, right? Then I would suggest that you take your time and continue searching. You might a better fit down the road. Keep us up-dated and good luck!
Nurse, from everything you've said and your photos, my gut says pass on this one. Renovations IRL aren't as easy as they appear during the RE search.
Do you realize that in many or most areas of the country a bedroom may not be classified as a bedroom unless it has both an egress window and at least one closet? How about in your area? What this means is that, if you're comparing comps of similar properties (WRT location, s.f., etc.) but their bedrooms contain closets, your property will appraise for a significantly lower amount. Consequently, your financing might not be approved.
Sounds like you made the right decision to continue your search. As a first-time buyer, you may find it easier to start with a property requiring only cosmetic updates.
I think I'm with the others - a) you don't like the master bath, b) the kitchen needs work and c) NO CLOSETS IN THE MBR - that would be an absolute show stopper to me.... Actually, the small master bath would be too, but the lack of closet is just crazy. As tsr said, can that even be considered a bedroom????? I've lived in 6 states, and they all required a closet to be a bedroom........
Chuck, think it might have started with HUD financing and grew from there. Bottom line, to be defined as a "bedroom" in most appraisals, it must have at least one window with egress to the outside (in case of a fire) plus access to outside light and one closet area.
Not sure why but those are the rules... myself, I would love a bedroom with no windows since I sleep best in the dark - not happening now with all of these R/Rs, but doubt I could do without a closet! This message has been edited. Last edited by: Idaho Resident,
I have looked in the past when this came up and could never find any laws regarding bedroom requirements including a closet; they were rarely built 100 years ago and there are an awful lot of those houses still standing. What may be true is that certain realtor associations include a closet as a requirement to list a space as a bedroom - definitely not the same as something bound by law. The window makes sense from a safety point of view as an egress in case of emergencyThis message has been edited. Last edited by: Chuck Steak,
If this is a non-negotiable thing for you, I'd pass it up - especially since there are several other things that you would have to do to make the home just what you want. You're wise to consider the resale value of the home. My home in AZ was terrific but the Master bath was quite small - one vanity, a commode and a 5 ft. shower. When I wanted to sell it, that was one of the negatives prospective buyers kept coming up with - the gal who finally bought it planned to stay there the rest of her life and she was single, so it wasn't a big problem for her. Bathrooms and kitchens sell houses. I just went thru a complete gut job with a client a year ago needing/wanting to update her master bath. No walls needed to be moved, but we did take out the garden tub and replaced it with a claw foot, and expanded the shower - and some of the plumbing needed to be changed a bit to accommodate the gorgeous custom vanity she chose. I'm thinking it wound up costing about $30,000 altogether - but she did choose some fairly high end materials - vanity was nearly $4,000 (and that was my price) and the tub was almost $3,000 - without the $2,000 for fixtures - and the shower was custom made with expensive tile, etc so if you did regular (but decent) materials it wouldn't cost that much.
Oh, and as for a closet in the Master Bedroom? You defintely need as big a closet as possible. Where else would you keep all your shoes?This message has been edited. Last edited by: doodles64,
Big master bathrooms- when did that start? I've been in my house 22 years, and when we were looking, I don't remember any that were big. Ours is quite small, but since I don't spend a huge amount of time in it, that's OK. But that's all you see on the shows, everyone wants a big one.
Thanks for all the feedback everyone! We actually decided to hire a designer to come out to this home tomorrow to see what changes would be possible within our budget. The price of the home was recently lowered $8500 so that makes it more affordable to make updates to get what we want.
We also found another home where we would have to do almost no work to - but it is at the top of our price range...it's going to be interesting to find out tomorrow how much it would cost to get the master BR and bath we want. If it ends up costing around the sale price of the home that already has the updates done it makes sense to me just to try to put a lower offer on the home that is already completed to our taste.