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  #1  
Old 03-18-2008, 04:37 AM
Marlitharn Marlitharn is offline
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Bathroom with no bathtub; bad for resale value?

Couple of years ago my husband and I purchased a little house with one tiny bathroom. Sink with cheap vanity, toilet, bathtub/shower combo; to give you an idea of size, I can lean out of the shower to the left and flush the toilet, forward and turn on the sink faucet, and to the right and open the door.

The bathtub/shower enclosure is standard small size, and my extremely large husband has difficulty turning around in it. The poor man can't even bend over to barf in the toilet without putting his butt through the glass shower doors. Our idea is to extend the wall behind the shower about 20 inches into the computer room on the other side, and instead of having a bathtub just have a tiled walk-in shower. It would be as wide as the bathtub is long, and as deep as the width of the bathtub + 20 inches, if that makes sense.

At this time neither one of us has any intentions of selling the house and moving (because I refuse to pack all that crap up again); in fact, I fully intend to remain in this house until the neighbors call the police to report that my mail hasn't been picked up in a week and they smell something funny. But if I did decide to sell, somewhere in the distant future, would lack of a bathtub be a dealbreaker?
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  #2  
Old 03-18-2008, 05:16 AM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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IANARealtor, but it would be a dealbreaker for me if I were a housebuyer. Where am I supposed to bathe the kids? Having a shower only bathroom is okay if it's a second bathroom, but I wouldn't be willing to cope with it as my only bathroom.

I'd much prefer a curved shower rod for more elbow room.
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  #3  
Old 03-18-2008, 05:18 AM
Bites When Provoked Bites When Provoked is offline
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It could be a selling point for the over-50s or handicapped - anyone who appreciates a walk-in shower with space for a chair.

We plan to renovate our bathroom and remove the ridiculously small bathtub that's in it, replacing it with a large, walk-in shower. I'd rather have a single luxury shower than a half-assed bath and a half-assed shower combo.
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  #4  
Old 03-18-2008, 05:30 AM
kambuckta kambuckta is offline
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Depending where in the world you are, water conservation is a big thing and baths (IMNSHO) are going to go the way of the dodo in the near future. Most people just shower, and a bath is just another bloody thing to clean anyway!
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  #5  
Old 03-18-2008, 05:59 AM
TheLoadedDog TheLoadedDog is offline
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Kids tend to use a bath, adults shower, so at a guess, ripping out the bath is:

In an inner city studio in a trendy area = good thing.

In a five bedroom house in the mortgage belt = not so hot.
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  #6  
Old 03-18-2008, 06:16 AM
Marlitharn Marlitharn is offline
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Well, it's a three bedroom (actually two bedrooms and an odd interior room with a closet but no windows) single level house in a slightly run-down neighborhood full of old people who dress their concrete lawn geese in holiday costumes. My house could probably be equally described as a "starter house" or an "empty-nester house".

WhyNot, I've looked at those curved shower curtain rods, but I'm afraid it would cause the curtain to take up too much space outside the bathtub. As it is, if I'm on the john, I have to slide the shower doors to the opposite side because they're RIGHT THERE making me feel claustrophobic. If I lean forward too much while standing up I bump my head. The house was built in the 60s when, apparently, bathroom space wasn't considered important.

My big honkin' kitchen makes up for it, though.
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  #7  
Old 03-18-2008, 06:21 AM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marlitharn
WhyNot, I've looked at those curved shower curtain rods, but I'm afraid it would cause the curtain to take up too much space outside the bathtub. As it is, if I'm on the john, I have to slide the shower doors to the opposite side because they're RIGHT THERE making me feel claustrophobic. If I lean forward too much while standing up I bump my head. The house was built in the 60s when, apparently, bathroom space wasn't considered important.
Oh, I'm not opposed to a bigger bathroom, I would just install a tub in the bigger space, that's all. Heck, if I could afford it, I'd stick one o' them fancy jacuzzi tubs in there and take baths myself!
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  #8  
Old 03-18-2008, 08:33 AM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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Since you plan on living there put in what you want. The bathroom will need work in a decade if you use it. Don't worry about the next people to move in, you live there now.
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  #9  
Old 03-18-2008, 09:03 AM
mmouse9799 mmouse9799 is offline
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I agree with Harmonious Discord, if you plan on living there, put in what you want and need.

IANA Realator, but from looking at a lot of houses and stat sheets on houses, yes it will detract from the house a bit if it's the only bathroom. A bathroom without a tub gets marked as half a bath on the realator's stat sheet rather than a full bath.
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  #10  
Old 03-18-2008, 09:04 AM
ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is online now
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I agree with Harmonious Discord, as someone who also plans to live in their current house until I get rotten on the floor.

However, as a data point - I was watching one of those HGTV shows this weekend where people show off their houses to Realtors and the Realtors appraise it (I think it's "My House is Worth What?!")...One of the people they showed was a lady in Seattle who had done a lot of updates to her house, including re-doing the master bathroom without a bathtub but with a high-end shower. I THINK there was a second bathroom with a tub, but the Realtor made a big stink about there not being a bath tub in the master bath and suggested that if the lady really wants to sell she needs to get a tub installed.

I was pondering having just a shower in my main bathroom, too (I plan on someday building a luxurious master bath - right now I just have the one) and I thought real hard and decided that you really need a tub if you have a baby to wash, and that's the big one. Lots of people wash their dogs in the bath tub too. My dad pointed out that it's handy to have a tub full of water if something goes horribly wrong and the water supply is cut off, too

So, for you - do whatever you want. But for resale I think probably you need a bath tub.
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  #11  
Old 03-18-2008, 09:04 AM
Hampshire Hampshire is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord
Since you plan on living there put in what you want. The bathroom will need work in a decade if you use it. Don't worry about the next people to move in, you live there now.
Seconded. Just do what YOU want to do and don't give it a second thought. Sure it might be a deal breaker some day for someone but it could just as easy be a deal maker.
Life's too short to be living in your own house worrying about what the next occupants are going to like about it.
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  #12  
Old 03-18-2008, 09:29 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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I'd say - since you plan on living there until start sleeping six feet under instead of in a bed install what makes YOU happy and let your estate worry about resale values.

That said - I've lived without a tub for nearly 10 years now and I'm Very Unhappy. I wouldn't take a bath every day, but a soak in a tub of hot water is good for when my joints ache and I find very relaxing. So, for me, if I was buying a home I'd very much want a tub. On the other hand, if the home was perfect in every other way (or even just a reasonable match) I'd buy it and put the tub in later.
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  #13  
Old 03-18-2008, 09:54 AM
fatnugly fatnugly is offline
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Since you have no immediate plans to move you should probably remodel to suit your own wants and needs. It is not a good idea to try and predict a future buyer's wants especially 5 or more years out. Location is important, what kind of buyer would that area appeal to? If the area in which you live is not improving you probably won't increase or decrease your home value very much. It might add to the time on market. The area in which the property is located and the square footage are more important in determining value.
Most important is to enjoy your home. Do a remodel that looks good and functions well. Use good materials. If you don't do the work yourself shop for a reliable contractor not the most expensive but one who is recommended. For parts and fixtures shop both locally and online. Upgrade the whole bathroom not just the tub shower
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  #14  
Old 03-18-2008, 10:24 AM
Cheesesteak Cheesesteak is online now
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If you actively dislike having a tub, by all means skip the tub. However, you shouldn't simply ignore the fact that most buyers do like having tubs. Lack of a bathtub might be a dealbreaker for some buyers, because you never know what you're going to find when doing a remodel. You start the project to put in the tub, then find out some stupid thing prevents you from doing so, and you have to throw in thousands more to get it fixed. OTOH, the house down the street already has a tub, so you don't have to deal with shady contractors and unforseen problems.

Since you are doing a remodel right now, you can set up the framing and plumbing to be entirely sure that fitting in a tub 10 years from now won't be a disaster. Then, if you decide to sell, you can have the tub put in, or not, depending on what the market looks like.
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  #15  
Old 03-18-2008, 12:12 PM
Trunk Trunk is offline
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When we redid our bathroom a few years ago and had the tub converted to a shower, everyone told us, "that's bad for resale. People with kids need a tub."

Fuck that. It's our house, for us to live in. We have a great big beautiful tile shower with tons of glass. I don't plan on selling the house ever, and if I do, you can make me an offer for $3000 less so that you have the cash left over to put in a tub.

Put in the shower.
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  #16  
Old 03-18-2008, 12:17 PM
BetsQ BetsQ is offline
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When we remodeled our bathrooms, our contractor mentioned in passing that one bathtub per house is required by code. I have no idea if that's actually the case or how common that might be, but I just wanted to mention it as something to look into before you get your heart set on a shower-only house.
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  #17  
Old 03-18-2008, 01:38 PM
Mahna Mahna Mahna Mahna is offline
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Speaking as someone who was recently in the housing market, but someone who is not an expert on overall trends in the housing market, it was a massive dealbreaker for us.

The rankings basically when from:
  • No tub and no room to add a tub = immediate no
  • No tub, but room to potentially add one: Most likely no, but willing to compromise for otherwise perfect house
  • Small tub, no room to expand: Same as above
  • Standard tub: Good
  • Oversize soaker/jacuzzi/clawfoot tub: Mega bonus points

We use our tub maybe once every couple of months, but having lived in apartments with shower-only, I have to admit that it really rankles not to have the option to take a long, luxurious soak once in a blue moon. And people really do oooh and aaah when they see that we have a large deep tub that easily fits two.

But, given that you're not planning on selling anytime soon, screw resale and go with what works for you... things'll change in 20 yrs, and you can always put one in down the line if you decide to sell.
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  #18  
Old 03-18-2008, 01:47 PM
Sunrazor Sunrazor is offline
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My wife's parents had this done in their only bathroom -- didn't drop their valuation one dime. Lots of elderly folks are doing this, and it could make the house more attractive to them.
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  #19  
Old 03-18-2008, 02:21 PM
cher3 cher3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunrazor
My wife's parents had this done in their only bathroom -- didn't drop their valuation one dime. Lots of elderly folks are doing this, and it could make the house more attractive to them.
My parents live in a gated-complex restricted to residents 55+ and they also recently remodeled the master bathroom and replaced the big jacuzzi tub with a large walk-in shower stall. I also thing it would limit the appeal for families with young children though, or just those who like a bath from time to time.
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  #20  
Old 03-18-2008, 10:16 PM
alphaboi867 alphaboi867 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmouse9799
...A bathroom without a tub gets marked as half a bath on the realator's stat sheet rather than a full bath.
I thought a 1/2 bath was a room with just a toilet & sink in it and a room with a toilet, sink, & shower was a 3/4 bath. Is there such a thing as a 1/4 bath? How would stranger setups be marked (eg just a sink & tub/shower only, or a room with more than one toilet)?
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Last edited by alphaboi867; 03-18-2008 at 10:17 PM..
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  #21  
Old 03-18-2008, 10:47 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is online now
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I have a tub, and have not taken a bath in a decade.



Yeah, yeah, I know
.
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  #22  
Old 03-19-2008, 02:14 AM
Marlitharn Marlitharn is offline
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Thanks for all the replys. I am fairly new to this home-owning business and am still over-awed by the fact that I can actually drive a nail into the wall to hang a picture without getting into trouble, let alone knock down a whole wall to enlarge a room. I'm going to install shelves, too!

I suppose we'll have to do some more research before we finally decide; we don't use the bathtub we have now, but I do like the idea of having a nice big one that I can relax in with some bubbles and a good book. Do they even make bathtubs in that size?
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  #23  
Old 03-19-2008, 03:29 AM
missred missred is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunrazor
My wife's parents had this done in their only bathroom -- didn't drop their valuation one dime. Lots of elderly folks are doing this, and it could make the house more attractive to them.
Given that the boomers are just beginning to hit retirement age and that you have no plans to sell for quite some time, you may well indeed be better off with the walk-in shower for both you and resale value.

Personally, I would love to have a walk-in shower instead of my too-small-for-a-fat-woman tub/shower. The tub is too shallow to get a good soak going and even a PITA to just shower in without dancing with the shower curtain.
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  #24  
Old 03-19-2008, 11:42 AM
Maastricht Maastricht is offline
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It may actually be dangerous for a senior citizen to have to climb inside a bath to shower every day. The risk of slipping and falling is not imaginary.

That said, a shower is more versatile then a bath. For instance, if you have kids visiting or need a tub to wash something large, you could always set up a fold-out bath in your shower space.

Here is a round fold-up bathtub for kids, that even saves water;

and here is a full lie down foldable bath.

Last edited by Maastricht; 03-19-2008 at 11:42 AM..
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  #25  
Old 03-19-2008, 11:58 AM
SnakesCatLady SnakesCatLady is offline
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The house I live in was also built in the '60s, and has two tiny bathrooms. The former owners (my late in-laws) removed the shower/tub combo from one bath and installed a tiled shower with a built in seat - much safer for my mother in law with bad hips and back. The other bath still has a tub.

My when-I-win-the-lottery-dream is to sacrifice one of the smaller bedrooms in order to expand both bathrooms and create a dressing room. Guess I'd better buy a ticket.
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  #26  
Old 03-19-2008, 12:42 PM
Dazzling White Diamonds Dazzling White Diamonds is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maastricht
It may actually be dangerous for a senior citizen to have to climb inside a bath to shower every day. The risk of slipping and falling is not imaginary.

That said, a shower is more versatile then a bath. For instance, if you have kids visiting or need a tub to wash something large, you could always set up a fold-out bath in your shower space.

Here is a round fold-up bathtub for kids, that even saves water;

and here is a full lie down foldable bath.
Along the lines of senior citizen safety... you can have safety and a mini-soak, too: Walk-in Bathtubs . I find these intriguing, and some look like they'd fit in smallish spaces. Just a thought.
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  #27  
Old 03-19-2008, 01:21 PM
Maastricht Maastricht is offline
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Those look certainly interesting.

I grew up, not with a walk in tub, but with a sit bathtub, a much cheaper version of this one.
I liked it. Sitting in a bathtub is much more comfortable then laying down, it saves water, and you can have the biggest kid in the deep end and the smallest kid in the shallow end. And a sit tub fits on a smaller surface then a full tub. Besides, sit tubs are genreally higher, so a mom supervising the bath doesn't have to bend over deeply.

Last edited by Maastricht; 03-19-2008 at 01:23 PM..
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  #28  
Old 03-19-2008, 02:23 PM
Omniscient Omniscient is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marlitharn
Our idea is to extend the wall behind the shower about 20 inches into the computer room on the other side, and instead of having a bathtub just have a tiled walk-in shower. It would be as wide as the bathtub is long, and as deep as the width of the bathtub + 20 inches, if that makes sense.
Why don't you expand the bathroom substantially instead of just adding 20"? I'm not sure what your floorplan looks like but it sounds like the extremely small bathroom is a pretty big nuisance and considering how important a room that is it might be worth sacrificing the computer room in order to make it more livable.

Your computer room (which I assume is your windowless 3rd bedroom) could probably stand to lose it's closet and become an official den if it meant dramatically improving the status of the bathroom.

If you are going to remodel and move a wall, maybe you should think about going all the way instead of half-assing it.
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  #29  
Old 03-19-2008, 02:31 PM
pinkfreud pinkfreud is offline
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My mother remodeled her bathroom, replacing the tub with an oversized shower. When she sold her house in the early 1990s, she was sorry. Several potential buyers just walked out when they saw that there was no bathtub. The real estate agent told my mom that she could probably have gotten $5000 more for the house if not for the shower-only bathroom.
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  #30  
Old 03-19-2008, 02:38 PM
Dazzling White Diamonds Dazzling White Diamonds is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maastricht
I grew up, not with a walk in tub, but with a sit bathtub, a much cheaper version of this one.
That looks really cool - would there be any steps on the inside? I could envision having one of those in small house or in a vacation home - where space could potentially be at a premium. I'd build a very small, very nice platform about half-way up, as the site suggests. I like it.
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  #31  
Old 03-19-2008, 02:47 PM
chappachula chappachula is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marlitharn
neighborhood full of old people who dress their concrete lawn geese......

My big honkin' kitchen makes up for it, though.
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  #32  
Old 03-19-2008, 03:26 PM
Zebra Zebra is offline
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At my mother's house she had the tub pulled and had just a shower. However it was some sort of modular bathroom setup and when it came time to sell, we could, if the buyer wanted, have had a simple short wall put in to make it a tub.
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  #33  
Old 03-19-2008, 05:57 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marlitharn
I suppose we'll have to do some more research before we finally decide; we don't use the bathtub we have now, but I do like the idea of having a nice big one that I can relax in with some bubbles and a good book. Do they even make bathtubs in that size?
Yes.

Bottom line, since you plan to live there for the rest of your life (or at least a couple decades) do what makes YOU happy.
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  #34  
Old 03-19-2008, 06:38 PM
rocking chair rocking chair is offline
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another vote for going with what works for you. having a shower that is easy to get in and out of is rather important the older you get. so def. go for it, when you are 100 you'll be a squeeky clean 100.
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