Real NEastate: Would a half bath add value to my home?

Q: I am planning on knocking down part of my back wall and adding a $20,000 half bath addition to my Lawncrest home. If I have one-and-a-half bathrooms currently, how much can I expect to gain in value from adding this extra bathroom?

A: A “half bath” in Philadelphia area real estate terms is a bathroom with a sink and toilet but no shower or tub. And since selling real estate is all about location, priceand condition then it is to be expected that an additional bathroom would contribute to the condition and desirability of the home. But would it, in fact, even bring you the value you’re spending at sale?

A quick look at the sold homes in Lawncrest in the past year shows that extra bathrooms do bring in a higher sale price. Out of the 54 homes sold over the past year in Lawncrest, only 18 had more than one bath. The average difference in price was almost $5000 more for one additional half bathroom. The average price did go higher for a second half bath (or more) to $11,000 higher than one bathroom homes, but it did go any higher, however, for additional bathrooms.

Every little bathroom helps when selling your home, but I’m not so sure that spending $20,000 on a half bath will yield an equal amount at sale time this year. In fact, I wouldn’t advise spending that much if you’re doing it solely for the re-sale value. But if you’re adding this bathroom on for the convenience of your family, then go for it.  You can’t put a price on convenience. And who knows? If you go to sell it five years from now, it might be a different story.

Stacey McCarthy is a real estate agent with the McCarthy Group of Keller Williams. Her Real NEastate column appears every Wednesday on NEastPhilly.com. See others here. Read other NEast Philly columns here.

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