You’ve undoubtedly heard the saying: “Kitchens and bathrooms sell houses.” And it’s true. Nothing will appeal to buyers more than clean, fresh, modern kitchens and baths.
If you’re about to embark on a bathroom remodel, it’s important to know your goal. Are you undertaking this project to suit your family and your tastes for years to come, or do you have an eye on selling your property now or in just a few years?
If your answer is the latter, you’ll want to choose colors and products that have mass appeal and reflect the size and scale of your home. Otherwise, your investment in your bathroom actually could cause the value of your home to drop.
“One renovation that reduces a home’s value related to the bathroom is making it too luxurious, especially if the property is on the lower price range and the renovated bathroom does not match the overall home style,” said Daniela Andreevska, the vice president of content for Mashvisor, a real estate data analytics company. “Luxury bathrooms with expensive tiles, dark colors and a freestanding bath can be great, but they belong to spacious, traditional, luxurious properties. But redesigning the bathroom of a relatively small, modern, affordable home is a huge mistake.”
Installing a Luxury Tub
Soaking in a luxury bathtub with water jets and bubbles might be your dream, but not everyone wants that or other fancy features.
“The two biggest reasons that bathroom remodels don’t last are fixtures that become dated and improvements that aren’t universally appealing,” said Martin Orefice, the CEO of Rent To Own Labs in Orlando, Florida. “Examples of fixtures that aren’t universally appealing include jacuzzi-style bathtubs, exotic fixtures like bidets (in the United States) or saunas. These things may be nice, and they may be selling points for some people, but they’re going to be turnoffs for others, limiting your market.”
Removing Your Bathtub
You never use your bathtub, so why not replace it with a big, beautiful shower? Jordan Fulmer, the owner of Momentum Property Solutions, a real estate investing company in Huntsville, Alabama, said it’s a bad idea.
“Homeowners often elect to remove a tub and shower combo and replace it with a stand-alone shower,” he said. “While this may meet your current needs, that bathroom cannot be classified as a full bath on a future real estate listing. When looking to increase the value of a home, we often go the other direction by adding a bathtub where there was once only a shower.”
Homebuyers with children, especially, will appreciate the bathtub.
Turning to a Pedestal Sink
“Sometimes homeowners will replace a bathroom vanity with a pedestal sink,” Fulmer said. “However, this is not a good option when considering the home’s value. Most future buyers will want the storage space that a vanity offers and will be deterred by the lack of functionality of the pedestal sink.”
Using Uncommon Paint Colors
Your kids might want neon orange on their bathroom wall when you remodel. Talk them into a different hue.
“For bathrooms, the biggest thing we’ve seen is painting it funky colors,” said Chris Gardner, the owner of PaintRite Pros near Sacramento, California. “You might think it would only lower the value a little to cover the cost of painting, but it often makes the house much harder to sell because people don’t like the way it makes them feel when they’re looking at the home.”
Installing Unique Tiles
A revamped shower with clean, fresh tiles will appeal to buyers, but choose the tiles wisely.
“Eccentric or creative tiling in a bathroom can be off-putting to a lot of buyers who don’t want to make any renovations,” said Ryan Fitzgerald, the owner of real estate brokerage UpHomes in Charlotte, North Carolina. “Tiling requires a lot of effort and money to replace; so, if you install tiling that is quite different and unique, the value of your home could be reduced because a buyer might not want to pay to have it changed.”
A bathroom with metallic, flocked wallpaper was a sign of opulence in the 1970s. Today, you’re probably better off skipping the wallpaper.
“A bathroom renovation that could be a negative for buyers is too much wallpaper or bold wallpaper,” Fitzgerald said. “Wallpaper is known to be difficult to remove; so, if you have some in your bathrooms that are quite quirky or bold, it might be off-putting to the buyer. The thought of wallpaper removal could be the one thing that turns their head in a new direction.”
Adding Ornate Fixtures and Faucets
Like fancy wallpaper, glittery golden faucets once screamed elegance. Today, only a minority of buyers will appreciate them.
“Gold bath and sink faucets don’t appeal to most of my home buyers, and they deduct a few thousand dollars from an offer for replacing them,” said Kurt Grosse, an agent with Realty One Group in Las Vegas with experience as a construction engineer.
Carpeting Your Bathroom
“One of the absolute worst bathroom remodeling mistakes is using carpet or Pergo flooring. Both of these flooring choices are a huge turnoff for the vast majority of homebuyers,” said Bill Gassett of Maximum Real Estate Exposure in Massachusetts. “Both choices scream, ‘I am cheap!’ They can take a new space and turn it into a resale disaster. Not only is carpet in a bathroom downright ugly, it is a sanitary issue as well.”
If you’re planning to stay in your home and love it forever, personalize your bathroom remodel. If selling is in your future, think neutral and mass appeal.
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