How adding a 2nd bath ruined a house

I went out with a client to look at houses yesterday. This will be the 3rd time this lady has used me. She is super cool and always likes interesting houses. After totally renovating an old house on top of a hill deep in Jessamine County, this time she wants to be in town. So we are looking at older houses around the University of Kentucky.

We saw several houses yesterday, but today’s blog post is about one in particular. This house was “Renovated” after being bought for just over half of today’s list price. The materials used were fantastic. The house was in in good shape. It was all going swell until we got to the 2nd bathroom. You walked out of the dining room into this space that had a bathroom sink. Beyond the sink room was a pantry and another room that housed the rest of the bathroom. Not the end of the world if that was all….but also off the sink room was the kitchen. So, to get to the dining room you had to walk through the sink room, which felt like that awkward area of some hotel rooms that have the sink outside of the bathroom. It pretty much killed any hope of this being “THE” house for my client.

When I go into an old house that has been remodeled, I like to try to deduce what the original floor plan was like. I usually look at door trim and baseboards. If something doesn’t match, odds are that indicates a change.

Knowing a house from the 1920’s would have had a dining room, one bathroom and probably a small kitchen, I deduced that the room that was NOW the kitchen was the original 3rd bedroom. The space that was the sink room/toilet and tub room/pantry was probably the original kitchen. It was off the dining room and had one tall window in the pantry which made me think it was tall because there was originally a kitchen counter under it.

So, I go home and look up the previous listing from the last time it sold. Sure enough, it was a one bathroom house and I can see the window in tub/toilet room and the tall window with the counter top under it. I LOVE it when I am right 😉

The seller really ruined this house in my opinion. They probably did it because they heard it is easier to sell a 2 bathroom house than a 1 bathroom house. True in general, but…..If this house was a newer house, it would be harder to sell. If this house was a larger house, it would have been harder to sell. If this house was not in a cool older area with an awesome location, it would have been harder to sell. But it was none of those. It was a modest sized, older house in an area where a lot of houses still have one bathroom. You’ve really got to know your market when making these decisions. So, they would have been better to have kept it as a 3 bedroom/1 bathroom house than screw up a perfectly good floor plan by adding a 2nd bathroom. They probably would have sold their house yesterday if they had left it alone.

That is just my 2 cents, but if you want 2 more, here you go: After looking at the floor plan, I think I personally would have kept the kitchen where it is. The wall between it and the dining room could have been removed allowing a more open feel as well as a place for bar stools. It would have been cheaper too since all the plumbing was already there. I would have left the 3rd bedroom (where the new kitchen is now) alone. If you absolutely needed a 2nd bathroom, it would have made more sense to have converted one of the bedrooms into a private master bath and walk-in closet. You would have had a private master bathroom that way rather than having the new bathroom on the other side of the house between the kitchen and dining room.

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