Ask a Realtor: Extra bedroom or amazing closet better for resale value?

Closet_2Question: We are a couple living in a four-bedroom house. I would like to take a bedroom adjacent to the master and turn it into a walk-in closet and dressing area, and use some of the space to enlarge the master bathroom. My husband is concerned that losing a bedroom will decrease our selling price down the line. But I’m convinced that a large dressing area and closet will bring in buyers. What is the reality?

Answer: From Los Angeles Realtor David Kean of Prudential California:

Giving up a bedroom is a risky proposition. How many does the average home in your neighborhood have? If you reduce the number below the standard, you could hurt your resale value. When buyers ask me to help them find a house, the most important requirements are usually price, location and bedroom count.

Before giving up a bedroom, consider these alternatives: Can you reconfigure the master bathroom to make it function better? Can the existing closet be gutted and professionally designed and built out to better fit your needs? Is the layout such that you can take some square footage from the adjacent bedroom to use for the closet or bathroom while retaining the fourth bedroom?

This would be my suggestion if it works. It may cost more now, but you will be adding to your home’s resale value, not reducing it.

Although a great master bathroom and closet can help sell a home, they’re just side dishes to the main course — price, location and bedroom count.

More Q&A • • More real estate news: LA Times Real Estate Section

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