Posted by: Timothy Ellis (The Tim)

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

21 responses to “Poll: If your master bedroom could only have one, which would you choose?”

  1. Jillayne Schlicke

    At this particular moment in time I would vote for completely separate living quarters for my teenagers. Please and thank you.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 7

  2. Ira Sacharoff

    By Jillayne Schlicke @ 1:

    At this particular moment in time I would vote for completely separate living quarters for my teenagers. Please and thank you.

    This too shall pass.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3

  3. Matt the Engineer

    If these poll numbers hold up, a lot of people wasted a lot of money on big bathrooms. Closets are probably the cheapest space to build in a home (few lights, no plugs, no fancy surfaces), bathrooms (plumbing, tile, lots of light, plugs, etc.) are second only to kitchens.

    I voted neither. A good size bath is all I need, and the more storage you give me the more junk I’ll end up collecting. Closet too full? Time to visit the Goodwill.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4

  4. Blurtman

    The missus is considering turning a bedroom next to the master bathroom into a very large walk-in closet, reducing our home from a 4 bedroom to a 3 bedroom home. The master bath has 2 sinks, an unused Jacuzzi tub (bye-bye), shower, and a smaller walk-in closet. How might this affect re-sale value? I suppose the proposed large walk-in could be turned back into that 4th bedroom if desired.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  5. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: Matt the Engineer @ 3 – The numbers don’t surprise me. Some people, particularly women, have a lot of clothes. What Blurtman mentions doing in post 4 is often joked about by buyers, but I’ve never seen it done.

    Unless there’s an expressed desire for a tub in the master, the main thing that would make a bathroom too small for most people is a very small shower, or only having a half-bath.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  6. No Name Guy

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 5

    Good to have you back Kary. I don’t always agree with you, but you have a lot of interesting things to say.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 5

  7. Jonness

    By Jillayne Schlicke @ 1:

    At this particular moment in time I would vote for completely separate living quarters for my teenagers. Please and thank you.

    LOL! You are too funny. :)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  8. ray pepper

    KARY IS IN THE HOUSE! Sweet Jesus!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 5

  9. ARDELL

    RE: Blurtman @ 4

    I saw that done recently in a house that was for sale. What made it particularly odd is you still had to enter that master closet from the original bedroom door in the hallway. They didn’t provide any access to it from inside the master bedroom. That was just too bizarre.

    I didn’t look back to see what happened after I showed it to my clients. Will see if I can find it and determine the negative impact for you.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  10. Ira Sacharoff

    RE: Blurtman @ 4
    There are more people looking for three bedroom houses to buy than four bedrooms.
    But if you do the bedroom to closet conversion weirdly, it could hurt resale value. I’m thinking along the same lines as Ardell. How the new walk in closet is accessed is important.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3

  11. ARDELL

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 10

    The appraiser will still deduct for a 3 bedroom compared to a 4 bedroom even keeping the same square footage and will not add for a big closet. The appraiser will also deduct for the now 3/4 bath when he says “bye-bye” to the tub and it is no longer a full bath.

    Changing a 4 bedroom 2.5 bath to a 3 bedroom 2.25 bath will clearly reduce appraised value. Still looking for that house with the “4th bedroom as closet”. Yes, it would be very easy to turn that closet back into a bedroom but there would be no closet in the master if you did. Most times when someone converts the 4th bedroom to a master closet, they also eliminate the existing closets in the bedroom for more room space.

    Blurtman, if you took a whole bedroom and turned it into a closet, you wouldn’t keep the existing master closet would you?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  12. Kary L. Krismer

    By ray pepper @ 8:

    KARY IS IN THE HOUSE! Sweet Jesus!

    It’s your roads in Tacoma that sucked me back in (one of the weekly threads). That and Obamacare killing my monthly budget.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  13. Corndogs

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 12 – ‘That and Obamacare killing my monthly budget.’ I’d love to find a thread to hash that one out.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 5

  14. joe dirt

    If my master bedroom could only have one, it would be Kate Upton.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4

  15. Blurtman

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 10RE: ARDELL @ 11 – Hi Ardell and Ira, Thanks for your thoughts. The bedroom we are thinking of converting into a closet will be accessed from the master bath. We’d remove the unused jacuzzi tub, and put a door from the master to the bedroom/closet where the tub is. This bedroom is currently accessed from a door off the hall. What to do with the current closet is a good question. As you enter the master bathroom from the master BR, that closet is on the right, double sink/cabinets on the left. Proceed forward and there is the jacuzzi tub. So removing it and putting in a doorway creates a straight path to the new closet. To the right of the tub is a reasonably sized shower, and to the right of that, the toilet, which is behind a door. I cannot fathom bathrooms where it is out in the open. Removing the existing closet would open up the bathroom a bit. But it is informative to learn that the value of the home would be negatively affected by the conversion.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  16. ARDELL

    RE: Blurtman @ 15

    To be clear the negative impact I was mentioning is from an appraiser’s standpoint and not necessarily reflective of what buyers may or may not be willing to pay. My client found that house for me I was talking about.

    http://www.redfin.com/WA/Kirkland/11220-NE-61st-Pl-98033/home/460638

    You will notice that the listing says 3 bedrooms and the tax record still says 4 bedrooms. This is the one with no access to that room-closet from inside the master bedroom or master bathroom. The “closet” is picture #9. It sold pretty quickly at asking price.

    It looks like the previous sale in 2011 already had the bedroom as closet but not some of the other upgrades like granite in the kitchen.

    Given it sold in 2003 for $630,000 and this is a super hot area this year, I would say that the fact that it sold for $675k this summer would indicate a negative impact. I know my clients did not want it largely because of that change. The appreciation since 2003 plus the upgrades should have brought a higher price than that. But again, the idea that a closet would be accessed from the hallway the same as it was when it was a 4th bedroom likely had a lot to do with that.

    So where your house is (generally) and the price range will help me determine the range of impact on market value and appraised value. They are not one in the same. The market is usually a lot tougher on negatives than an appraiser. Also, the appraiser sometimes makes a negative out of something buyers would view as a positive.

    My clients who sold this house took out the master tub and replaced it with a big shower and that had a positive impact on market value. Also picture #9

    http://www.redfin.com/WA/Kirkland/11250-Champagne-Point-Rd-NE-98034/home/280388

    Again the home had such significant upgrades aside from the change in the master bedroom that it’s hard to pinpoint what the drop by .25 baths might have been except on the appraisal. The kitchen was awesomely remodeled, so you really can’t say from a market value standpoint.

    This one is the one I thought about when Ira said that more people look for 3 bedroom homes than 4 bedroom homes, which I would generally say is not the case except in areas where more homes are 2 bedroom homes like this one vs the homes and area above.

    http://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/7907-S-112th-St-98178/home/198722

    The comps on the appraisal on that house were 2 bedroom houses and the appraiser only added $2,000 for the third bedroom. That could be because the home was originally 2 bedrooms on the main and my owner made those two bedrooms one big master bedroom, but with no closet at all. They knocked through and made access to the hall bath from that big new master bedroom and used free standing furniture instead of a closet. We sold that furniture with the house.

    The previous owner had added the two bedrooms up in the dormered attic space, but the County doesn’t count some of that floor space because the ceiling height doesn’t go to the minimum 5 feet required at the sloped edges of each room. The “bedroom” in the photos in the basement I did not count as a bedroom because the window size doesn’t qualify. I kept the bed in there because it had always been there, but I did not list the room as a bedroom.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  17. Peter Witting

    By removing my unused Jacuzzi and turning the space into a second master closet, I would have the best of both worlds.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  18. Peter Witting

    And Kary: welcome back.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  19. Mike

    On the conversion of a BR to a closest issue. Do you really need that much walk-in storage right off the master? Unless the existing closet space is really inadequate don’t most people achieve the same result by just putting an exercise bike or eliptical in the extra bedroom and hanging stuff there once the kids are gone and you don’t need it as a br? What might be called the “Precor Remodel”.

    The random dress or suit you wear once a year can still live happily in that space you have already and there isn’t that much inconvenience to occasionally having to go out through the hallway for those infrequent items.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  20. Blurtman

    RE: ARDELL @ 16 – Thanks, Ardell. It sounds like there are multiple variables.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  21. Blurtman

    RE: Mike @ 19 – Ha, ha, ha. We are already experiencing closet creep, and have taken over one guest BR closet. We have an unusually large bonus room that in addition to housing my office, contains a treadmill (currently unused), an elliptical (used routinely) and a recumbent cycle (used routinely.) and weights. The sad fact is that as you get older, you absolutely must exercise. We really don’t use these as clothes racks, but instead take over guest room closets. One BR closet contains ski stuff and other outdoors clothing and paraphenalia.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

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