Posted by: Nick Fundytus

Question of the week:

Is it wise to turn a 4- bedroom home into a 3- bedroom home?

We have a 4 bedroom home. The master bedroom has a much smaller room next to it, around 11×12. We are considering splitting this room into a small master bath and a second floor laundry room.

This isn’t our forever home. We plan to sell 7-10 years from now. Would removing a bedroom really impact the resale value? Or would the master bath and laundry room be a good add?

Update: measurements are 11×12. Other option could be doing a 5×11 bathroom and leaving a 7×11 bedroom.

Update 2: I also want to point out that we live in a HCOL area. Our home was 545k for a 1960s colonial in need of a lot of updates. I don’t think we saw a home in our price range with a master bath. That said, a renovation like this will be extremely expensive – so trying to balance cost with potential home value.

Nick's Answer:

If the consideration is purely resale value, then don’t remove the bedroom. There are a few reasons for this:

To find a Realtor:

  • Four-bedrooms are more scarce in most markets than three bedrooms, so this will limit your potential buyer pool and place a cap on value (as your home will only be compared to other three-bedrooms rather than four-bedrooms, which will be in a higher price category).

  • Even though the ensuite could be restored to become a bedroom down the road, that won’t be visible to buyers on the MLS in the future and you’ll be off of the consideration list for many purchasers that want a fourth bedroom.

  • Although the ensuite bath has value of its own for resale, it is typically less than the value of an additional bedroom, even before accounting for the significant cost of a professional conversion. You would likely take a loss on that renovation if you sold again tomorrow, and although appreciation will occur over time, it is likely at a lesser rate than if you left the bedroom as-is.

  • On the other side of this argument is the very real and valid consideration to be made that you will be living in this home and that having an ensuite bath will add value for you while you live there. Not all considerations need to be monetary.

If there is a way to keep the bedroom and add a bath (in the basement, for example) that would work for you and your family, that might be worth considering as well.

Source: I’m a Realtor in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, which is also a high cost of living area.

You might also like …

Buying • Selling • Weekly Features — 2024/05/15

Bridge Loan Costs Ottawa: Easy & Simple Introduction


Buying • Selling — 2024/05/15

Understanding FINTRAC: Protecting Your Home Buying and Selling Journey


Selling • Weekly Features — 2024/05/15

Looking to do a FSBO for my house and wondering how much time does one book for a showing?


Get one-on-one advice