Guest bedroom or walk-in closet?


Dear David,

We bought our house six years ago. It’s a four bedroom, 1,800 square foot two-storey in a neighbourhood we adore. We plan to stay in this home for as long as we can. Our kids are both in university and only home occasionally, so there’s more than enough space. We recently finished the basement with an open-concept rec room and 3-piece bath. Now we want to turn our rarely-used fourth bedroom into a primary ensuite and walk-in closet. Will losing a bedroom really hurt the resale value of our home? – RENOVATION HESITATION

DEAR RENOVATION: The process buyers go through when choosing a home is often predictable. Price is typically their primary consideration, followed by bedrooms, number of baths, and features and benefits of the home. With this in mind, you’ve made some excellent choices so far. The open-concept finished basement can be a huge selling point, along with the extra bathroom. When it comes to weighing the benefits of three bedrooms versus four, you really can’t go wrong. When your neighbourhood was first built, houses quite likely came with the option of either a three-bedroom layout with ensuite, or a four-bedroom plan with a family bath. If you take a drive down your street, I’m willing to bet that both options exist in homes that look identical from the outside. Given the size of most families today, three bedrooms is a reasonable expectation considering the size of the house, and the ensuite and walk-in closet combo is highly desirable across all demographics. I might be reluctant to turn a three-bedroom home into a two-bedroom, but changing four bedrooms to three seems much safer, especially when a future owner could potentially add a bedroom in the basement. With your kids home only occasionally, this might be a great time to facilitate your dream. Reach out to a local designer and contractor who can show you how to maximize your project in terms of enjoyment and return on investment. 

PRO TIP: When making major changes to a property, enjoyment ranks up there with rate of return. If you plan to stay in this house for a while, balance your bottom line with what makes you happy, whether you’re building an ensuite, putting in a pool, or installing a chair lift to keep the house accessible in your golden years. Every client prioritizes expenditures differently. Ask your real estate professional for their opinion about how your renovations may impact resale value. 

A FINAL THOUGHT: Given how much time we spend in our homes, I feel that lifestyle-driven choices should take some priority over economics, but it really depends on your future plans and how long you’ll be in the home. #Advice #AskDavid #TheNegotiator David is a top-selling Broker in Kitchener-Waterloo Region.


He works personally with you when selling or buying your home. Call or text today for your free home evaluation! 519-577-1212.