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Author: inparadise Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 127684  
Subject: Preparing for Sale Date: 1/31/2013 10:40 AM
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I am organizing and executing the last round of projects in the next couple of years, in preparation to sell the house. The previous owners put a couple of large additions on to the house, and IMO they did not use the space wisely. One area I would appreciate some feedback on is the upstairs laundry room.

The laundry in this house is well traveled, starting in the basement, going to the kitchen, and finally having a bedroom converted to a laundry room upstairs when the master bedroom was added on. A bedroom is a large space for a washer and dryer. The room is linked to the master bedroom, and would make a great nursery/child's bedroom, home office, sitting room, but not if the washer and drier stay there. In the master bathroom there is a separate shower and tub, the tub being a basic $120 kiddie tub from Home Depot or the like, and is in no way special. The only time we use it is to store water for flushing the toilet, when we anticipate a power outage. Even that use will need work since the tub, or more likely the drain, leaked into the ceiling below last storm.

So I was thinking of ripping out the tub and putting the washer dryer in there, opening up the small now 5th bedroom for another use. The house has 3250 SF, in an area where 3,000+ is typical. From a marketing POV, which use do you think is best? I appreciate your answers and realize that to some extent this will be market driven, but these posts in the very least help me think things through and often result in telling me something I had not thought of previously.

IP
cross posted to building/maintaining a home board
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Author: ptheland Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124633 of 127684
Subject: Re: Preparing for Sale Date: 1/31/2013 12:14 PM
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If there is room in the master bath to put in a larger soaking tub or a jacuzzi-type tub, I think I'd leave that space alone. I wouldn't put one in if you're not going to use it, but I'd leave that space available for the next owner to improve if they so choose. I'm hearing a bit of a trend towards making larger bathrooms into a bit of a home spa area. A small steam room or sauna might be another possibility for that space.

But I'd think about finding a way to move the laundry area. It sounds like the current layout is not ideal. Improving that might be a worthwhile job. And it would add to the bedroom count.

My main concern with all of this is I'm not sure if you'd be able to recoup any significant portion of the costs of these changes. Perhaps they'd help the house sell faster by making it more attractive. But would a price reduction accomplish the same thing? If the price reduction would help speed a sale AND the reduction is less than the cost of the improvements, then it would make sense to just use a lower price to speed the sale. You'd be dollars ahead, plus you'd avoid the headaches and time of making the improvements.

Just some rambling. Not sure if any of it would work in your situation.

--Peter

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Author: PSUEngineer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124634 of 127684
Subject: Re: Preparing for Sale Date: 1/31/2013 12:32 PM
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But I'd think about finding a way to move the laundry area. It sounds like the current layout is not ideal. Improving that might be a worthwhile job. And it would add to the bedroom count.

A lot of the new home construction going back more than 10 years around here have a laundry room located on the second floor near all the bedrooms. It may not be ideal for it to be linked off the master bedroom but buyers may like that over 1st floor or basement locations. Personally for us, a small bedroom sized laundry would be perfect. We would have a large table in the room for folding laundry. There would be a space for ironing. Then we would have a number of hanging rods to hang wet shirts on hangers and maybe even have some drying racks.

PSU

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Author: crackdclaw Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124635 of 127684
Subject: Re: Preparing for Sale Date: 1/31/2013 1:03 PM
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IP,

Since you mentioned that it's a 5 bedroom home, with one of those bedrooms converted to a laundry, having "only" a 4 bedroom should not hurt marketablity. Personally I see benefit in a having a large laundry room. Others who look at the home would also be able to easily that if they needed a fifth bedroom they could convert the space. I would be more concerned with the "link" to the master bedroom. Would prefer that this laundry area have it's own access, so older children would be able to do their own laundry without having to gain access to the laundry room thru the master bedroom. Or if there is seperate access, that the link to the master be sealed, for privacy.

Your idea of putting washer and dryer in the master bathroom would be an issue for me as a potential homebuyer. When my children were in high school, they started having to do their own laundry.

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Author: CCinOC Big funky green star, 20000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124636 of 127684
Subject: Re: Preparing for Sale Date: 1/31/2013 3:04 PM
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Since you mentioned that it's a 5 bedroom home, with one of those bedrooms converted to a laundry, having "only" a 4 bedroom should not hurt marketablity.

As long as the laundry room has a closet, it's still considered a bedroom even though IP uses it as a laundry room.

At least that's the way it works in CA.

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Author: inparadise Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124637 of 127684
Subject: Re: Preparing for Sale Date: 1/31/2013 4:01 PM
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Thanks Peter. Increasing the bedroom count was one of my goals. I don't know that it would be that expensive to move the laundry. Water and drain is there already, would need to move electrical line and vent for dryer. Tub is on an outside wall, and the ceiling below needs work.

IP

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Author: inparadise Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124638 of 127684
Subject: Re: Preparing for Sale Date: 1/31/2013 4:04 PM
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We would have a large table in the room for folding laundry. There would be a space for ironing.

I don't iron, (nor does anyone else I know,) and use the king sized bed next door for folding. A table would interfere with opening all the closets in this room. Very little wall space, which is why the washer/dryer would need to go to use it as any other kind of room.

IP

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Author: inparadise Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124639 of 127684
Subject: Re: Preparing for Sale Date: 1/31/2013 4:06 PM
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Would prefer that this laundry area have it's own access...

Has a door to the hallway as well. Good point about others being able to access laundry, not that it seems to matter in this house.

IP

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Author: inparadise Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124640 of 127684
Subject: Re: Preparing for Sale Date: 1/31/2013 4:07 PM
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As long as the laundry room has a closet, it's still considered a bedroom even though IP uses it as a laundry room.

Has closets galore, (and second egress,) which means there is very little space even for a twin bed if you want access to the appliances and closets. Heck, even the washer/dryer is in a closet.

IP

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Author: determinedmom Big red star, 1000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124644 of 127684
Subject: Re: Preparing for Sale Date: 1/31/2013 6:20 PM
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I would not put the washer and dryer in the master bath. I think the people who would like that would be very, very small. I actually like the separate room that you seem to have now.

As far as the small tub in the master bath, if you have other tubs in the house you could possibly remove it and put in a large shower if the layout would work. If not, then maybe just leave it as is (or if it needs work then just replace the tub itself and do any needed repair).

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Author: PolymerMom Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124649 of 127684
Subject: Re: Preparing for Sale Date: 1/31/2013 11:45 PM
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When we were designing our "new" house, we thought about using a shorter tub. The architect advised having a full-size tub for resale value. You never know when a potential buyer might be 6'6"<G>.

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Author: Jennlee222 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124650 of 127684
Subject: Re: Preparing for Sale Date: 2/1/2013 7:33 AM
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My thoughts would be to put the laundry back in the basement, turn that space into a home office. I'd also swap out the cheap tub for a nice one in the master bath.

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Author: foo1bar Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124651 of 127684
Subject: Re: Preparing for Sale Date: 2/1/2013 2:37 PM
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My thoughts would be to put the laundry back in the basement, turn that space into a home office.

If it's a bedroom sized room, I don't think office and laundry room as being incompatible uses for the room.

I wouldn't move washer/dryer to the basement.
I *would* think about staging the room with a small computer desk and small file cabinet. (actual computer isn't necessary - and probably better if it isn't there as the cables always look messy.)
(My home office is a bedroom - has a desk, houseplants and drying racks for clothes - the washer/dryer is ~6 steps away)

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Author: Rayvt Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124653 of 127684
Subject: Re: Preparing for Sale Date: 2/1/2013 4:55 PM
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Because laundry rooms involve heat and water, the water especially can have or create issues. I would not EVER purchase a property with laundry facilities on the top floor -- simple as that.

Kahuna, CFA


Heh, you're not the one who does the laundry, are you? Your wife is the one who has to shlep the laundry down 2 floors to the basement and 2 floors back up to the bedrooms, right? Try that with laundry of 2 adults and 3 kids.

If you are really concerned, there's a nifty device called a washing machine overflow tub.

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Author: JAFO31 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124654 of 127684
Subject: Re: Preparing for Sale Date: 2/1/2013 5:17 PM
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kahunacfa: "Because laundry rooms involve heat and water, the water especially can have or create issues. I would not EVER purchase a property with laundry facilities on the top floor -- simple as that."

So do bathrooms (especially full bathrooms); do you, kahuna, also avoid houses with bathrooms on the tope floor?

Regards, JAFO

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Author: inparadise Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124658 of 127684
Subject: Re: Preparing for Sale Date: 2/4/2013 3:05 PM
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Because laundry rooms involve heat and water, the water especially can have or create issues. I would not EVER purchase a property with laundry facilities on the top floor -- simple as that.

Kahuna, CFA


LOL. By that reasoning, no bathroom facilities upstairs either.

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Author: TMFPMarti Big funky green star, 20000 posts Home Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124659 of 127684
Subject: Re: Preparing for Sale Date: 2/4/2013 3:56 PM
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By that reasoning, no bathroom facilities upstairs either.

Speaking of the placement of bathroom and laundry facilities....

The first time I saw "upstairs" laundry facilities was when friends renovated a row house in Baltimore. I thought the was just about the most clever thing I'd ever seen--putting the laundry on the same level as most of the dirty laundry. Not so clever was that there was no toilet on the main living level. I spent a lot of time in that house, and I'd never house myself in a place that didn't have a toilet on the main living level.

Phil
Rule Your Retirement Home Fool

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Author: Retrograde Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124682 of 127684
Subject: Re: Preparing for Sale Date: 2/6/2013 5:05 AM
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If you are really concerned, there's a nifty device called a washing machine overflow tub.

That will look real nice in the master bathroom too.

Aside from washer overflow, there's also the possibility of a hose failing. I know people who have upstairs laundry who turn off their washer inlets whenever it is not in use due to concern about this happening. Once you know someone who has had a flood it's hard to ignore the potential for lots of damage.

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Author: 2gifts Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124683 of 127684
Subject: Re: Preparing for Sale Date: 2/6/2013 8:42 AM
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Aside from washer overflow, there's also the possibility of a hose failing. I know people who have upstairs laundry who turn off their washer inlets whenever it is not in use due to concern about this happening.

My laundry is on the first floor, and I still turn off the water after every use because it would flood the basement. My mother's laundry was in the basement, and she also always turned off the water. It's just a good habit as things can go wrong, and usually at the worst time. I even opted for one of those fancy valves that turn off both the hot and cold water with one flip of the valve to make it easier.

I had a first floor laundry in the last house as well, and the hose came loose out of the drain pipe while I was doing laundry one day. It flooded part of the first floor and a good portion of the basement, so things can go wrong at any time. I just like to prevent the ones that I can, especially when it is so easy to take precautions in some cases.

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Author: Jeanwa Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124684 of 127684
Subject: Re: Preparing for Sale Date: 2/6/2013 11:02 AM
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I had a first floor laundry in the last house as well, and the hose came loose out of the drain pipe while I was doing laundry one day. It flooded part of the first floor and a good portion of the basement, so things can go wrong at any time. I just like to prevent the ones that I can, especially when it is so easy to take precautions in some cases.
===================================

Did/do you do anything to prevent this from happening again?

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Author: 2gifts Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124685 of 127684
Subject: Re: Preparing for Sale Date: 2/6/2013 11:50 AM
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Did/do you do anything to prevent this from happening again?

Yes, DH used duct tape to tape the hose to the drain pipe so that it can't come loose.

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Author: Jeanwa Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124686 of 127684
Subject: Re: Preparing for Sale Date: 2/6/2013 12:05 PM
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Yes, DH used duct tape to tape the hose to the drain pipe so that it can't come loose.
=============================

That certainly works.

Our hose has a tab with a hole in it attached to it. I figured it was to be able to use a zip tie or something to keep it in. Maybe I should do that, one of these days.

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Author: Retrograde Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 124687 of 127684
Subject: Re: Preparing for Sale Date: 2/6/2013 1:31 PM
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Has a door to the hallway as well. Good point about others being able to access laundry, not that it seems to matter in this house.

If I have houseguests I wouldn't want them having to use the laundry in the master bath. And what do they do in the middle of the night when there's a laundry emergency (kid barfed on blanket, etc.).

If I was doing laundry I wouldn't want the room to be a bathroom where you have to deal with humidity from the shower and smells from the toilet.

If I bought a house like that I'd consider it a negative for the house value & resale. I'd immediately look towards moving the laundry to the basement if nothing else. Then we could use room in the bath better and have a hanging bar & storage in the laundry area.

Perhaps you could make sure there are laundry hookups somewhere else in the house for prospective buyers who also dislike this idea. To me I would take off $5-8k from what I would pay for that house.

You could also ask local realtors what that sort of configuration does for a house that size in you area.

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