If you are buying a new home and you’ve found one with a downstairs bathroom, you may be wondering whether houses with downstairs bathrooms sell.
Houses with downstairs bathrooms don’t sell for as much money or as easily as houses with upstairs bathrooms. Many homebuyers are deterred by downstairs bathrooms, which are commonly found in old Victorian terraced houses. This is due to the inconvenience of its position in relation to the bedrooms.
Why do houses have downstairs bathrooms?
Houses tend to have downstairs bathrooms as they were built at a time when it was cheaper and easier to have the toilet and bathroom located downstairs.
They are often old Victorian mid-terraced houses that had an outside loo which had a cheap and easy ground-floor extension to house the bathroom.
Why would a downstairs bathroom and loo put you off buying a house?
- If you want to use the toilet in the middle of night you have to go downstairs.
- Most downstairs bathrooms are off the kitchen which is not ideal.
- Elderly homeowners who often get up in the night won’t want to navigate stairs in the night for the loo.
- It’s not always possible to move the bathroom upstairs without compromising the number of bedrooms.
- There’s not always enough room to extend the house to gain the space for an upstairs bathroom.
- The cost and hassle factor to move the bathroom upstairs will put many homebuyers off.
How much does a downstairs bathroom affect property value?
- A downstairs family bathroom wipes £13,580 (6%) off the value of the average UK property price (i.e. £226,351) compared to properties with upstairs bathrooms.
- Downstairs bathrooms wipe £27,000 off the value of London properties compared to properties with upstairs bathrooms.
- 44% of UK adults or 23 million people wouldn’t consider buying a property if the main bathroom was downstairs. This lower number of buyers reduces demand and hence the value of any house with a downstairs bathroom.
- 7.4 million people have decided against buying a property because it had a downstairs bathroom. This also has the affect of reducing demand and the price achieved on houses with downstairs bathrooms.
- Homeowners in London are most likely to be deterred by a downstairs bathroom (57%). It’s therefore likely the value of London homes with downstairs bathrooms are going to be the most affected in the U.K.
- Homeowners in Scotland are least likely to have a problem with downstairs bathrooms (28%). This implies that the differential value between houses with downstairs bathrooms vs upstairs bathrooms in Scotland will be less.
“Downstairs bathrooms are usually found in older properties accessed through the kitchen and despite them featuring in thousands of homes across the UK, they divide opinion. With some home buyers actively avoiding properties like this and others finding them much more convenient, especially if they are less mobile or have young children.”Dan Simson, Head of Home Insurance at Direct Line
How much does it cost to move a bathroom upstairs?
According to CheckaTrade the average cost to move a downstairs bathroom upstairs is £7,150. This total includes the cost to rip out the old bathroom and make good, plus the cost to install a new upstairs bathroom.
This cost doesn’t take account of how this change affects the value of the house after the bathroom is moved upstairs.
For example, you could move the bathroom upstairs in a Victorian terrace, which has three upstairs bedrooms. This might mean one bedroom is used entirely for the new bathroom. Or one bedroom will be made smaller to accommodate the upstairs bathroom.
The impact of changing a three bed Victorian terraced house into a two bedroom house will probably be greater than if you can carve out part of one bedroom and keep it as a three bedroom house.
Also, and before you commit to moving the bathroom upstairs, calculate the difference in house value after you’ve made the change. For example, what is the difference between a house that has three bedrooms with a downstairs bathroom vs a house with two bedrooms and a bathroom moved upstairs.
Check house prices on Zoopla and Rightmove or ask an estate agent for differences in value of a two bed house vs a three bed house in your area.
Should you move the bathroom upstairs in a Victorian terrace house?
The benefit to moving the bathroom upstairs in a Victorian terrace house is to appeal to the many homeowners who don’t like downstairs bathrooms and to create extra space downstairs.
But you need to be careful you don’t compromise the value of the house by reducing the number of bedrooms to accommodate the upstairs bathroom.
What are the pros and cons of downstairs bathrooms?
Pros of a house with a downstairs bathroom
- Guests don’t have to go upstairs to go to the loo.
- Houses with downstairs bathrooms are cheaper than houses with upstairs bathrooms. You may bag a Victorian mid-terraced house bargain, but think about the re-sale.
- Bathing the kids next to the kitchen is easier.
- Having a downstairs loo is a benefit.
- Handy for toilet training kids.
- You can flush the loo or use the shower or bath at night without waking everyone upstairs.
- If you have guests you don’t need to tidy upstairs before they go to the loo.
- Better for the elderly with mobility issues and people with a disability as the house is all on one level. But a bungalow might be better option.
- Downstairs bathrooms are great to shower or bath before going upstairs if you’ve got dirty in the garden.
- Can be used for cleaning pets.
Cons of a house with a downstairs bathroom
- Having to get up in the middle of the night to go downstairs for the loo. Especially if you’re in a hurry.
- A downstairs bathroom isn’t good if you get norovirus or food poisoning!
- Walking around the house in a towel past guests.
- More difficult to sell as there are less buyers (i.e. 44% won’t buy houses with downstairs bathrooms) who will buy a house with downstairs bathroom.
- Falling down the stairs in the night if you’re half asleep, especially applies to the elderly and infirm.
- Costly to move bathroom upstairs.
- Not ideal for pregnant mothers having to get up regularly for the loo in the night.
- Everything can be heard from the kitchen if the bathroom is next to it.
- Some consider it unhygienic to have a lavatory next to the kitchen.
- Downstairs bathrooms are often very cold.
Will a downstairs bathroom affect the type of mortgage you get?
You will be able to get a mortgage on a house with a downstairs bathroom. But the valuation, and hence the amount of loan, will be affected by the fact the bathroom is downstairs.
Final tips to consider about do houses with downstairs bathrooms sell
Given the choice, most people would prefer a house with a bathroom upstairs. But for many homeowners a downstairs bathroom is a definite no-no. But if the house has an upstairs WC this may make it a better proposition for some. Also, WC’s take up less space than a full bathroom.
Finally, you may consider a small ensuite bathroom in the master bedroom. This would keep the same number of bedrooms, but the house now has two bathrooms instead, albeit one is still downstairs.
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