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How Much Value Bathroom Remodeling Adds to a Home

Tags: Bathroom Remodeling, Bathroom Design, Hardware

Remodeling the bathroom is a great way to add value to your home. When potential buyers view a home, the bathroom is generally one of their top concerns. A home with small or outdated bathrooms can take a lot longer to sell. A bathroom that feels small or cramped can leave a person feeling uncomfortable about the prospect of living in a possible future home. While powder rooms are much-appreciated features, the master bathroom is one of the most important selling points of a home. Almost every home buyer is hoping for a reasonably large, comfortable master bath.

Every year, Remodeling Magazine publishes their Cost vs. Value report. This report includes a list of the most common home improvement projects, their cost, and the amount you can expect to recoup when you sell your home. Prior to the burst in the housing bubble, many popular improvements (including bathroom remodeling) added nearly 100% of their cost to the value of the home. For example, according to the 2005 report, the average cost of a mid-range bathroom remodeling project was $10,499. Homeowners in 2005 could expect the remodeled bathroom to add $10,727 to the resale value of their home, or 102.2% of the cost.

In 2012, the numbers are very different. Now that the housing bubble has burst and home resale values are at unforeseen lows, homeowners are not seeing the same level of return on their investment. On the 2011-2012 Cost vs. Value report, there are not any home improvements that show 100% return on the investment, thanks to the depressed housing market. However, bathroom remodeling is still one of the best home improvements projects when it comes to increasing the value of the home. In 2011, the average cost bathroom remodeling project in the United States was $16,552, while the average resale value of the finished bathroom was $10,293, or 62.2% of the cost.

bathroom remodel value graph

Interestingly, the average resale value of a newly remodeled bathroom is nearly the same as it was in 2005, but the cost of remodeling went up by 57.6%. So what does this mean for the average homeowner?

Bathroom remodeling is still one of the best possible options if you are looking for a way to add value to your home. The best way to see a higher percentage of your remodeling cost returning to you in the resale value is to spend the money wisely. For example, If the sink is old and the wall color is leftover from the 1970s, but the size and layout is otherwise good, repaint and find some moderately priced modern fixtures. If the room is too small and moving the walls is not an option, a well-placed mirror can create the perception of more space. Glass shower doors are an upgrade over curtains. If you are looking to sell your home in the current housing market, the best thing to do is to find ways to get the maximum improvement for the minimum cost output. Talk to a professional bathroom remodeling contractor and explore the most cost-effective options.

In the current housing market, one of the big concerns for sellers is the length of time their home sits on the market. It certainly is still a buyer's market. For homeowners looking to minimize the time your home sits on the market, bathroom remodeling is one of your best options, particularly if your home has less than optimal bathrooms. Sometimes, after living in a home for a while, it can be difficult to look at the situation objectively. Having someone who does lot live in your home, such as a real estate agent, walk through and objectively judge the bathrooms of your home can be helpful.

Along with kitchens, bathrooms are often the number one selling point of homes. Homes with multiple, comfortable bathrooms sell much faster than homes with bathrooms that are old, outdated, too small, or too few. Homes with only one bathroom take a lot longer to sell than other homes. If your home has one bathroom, consider talking with a contractor about the possibility of adding a second. A second bathroom will add value to your home and make it more attractive to buyers.

The master bath is one of the most important features of a home. It is one feature that can really make of break a sale for a potential home buyer. Home buyers' eyes light up with they see a beautiful, spacious master bathroom. As the master bathroom is often shared by a couple, take this into consideration when doing any major renovations. Adding a double sink if you don't have one is a great option, as it allows for more than one person to get ready at the same time. Large Jacuzzi tubs have been very popular in the last decade, but adding one may not be the most cost-effective measure for your bathroom. While they can add a luxurious feel to a bathroom, not everyone uses them as often as they use the shower. Given the choice, a large, roomy shower is generally more desirable, since people use these daily.

If you plan on living in your house for the foreseeable future, you may want to consider a more extensive remodeling project. Not only will you get to enjoy your newly remodeled bathroom, but conventional wisdom says that the housing market will rebound eventually. High quality bathroom remodeling will hold its value when done right. Experts suggest following a few simple rules to make you newly-remodeled bathroom stand the test of time. Most importantly, aim for increased functionality and comfort. Choose tiles and flooring that are durable and neutral, in order to create a flexible background of the tastes of current and future owners. Secondly, when possible, go for space. People like to feel comfortable and un-restricted when they are getting ready in the morning.

No matter what the condition of the real estate market, high quality and cost-effective bathroom remodeling is a great way to add value to your home in the long term. A newly-remodeled bathroom can not only help your home sell faster, but it can also make the experience of living in your home more enjoyable.

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About the Author:

Connie Gallerizzo is an independent copywriter based in Maryland.