By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine
Kitchens are usually considered a key ingredient in luring home buyers to a home and, as such, are often the top project targeted by remodelers to increase a home’s value. But it’s been dethroned by the bathroom.
Bath remodeling projects are now the top remodeling project, according to a recent survey of remodelers by the National Association of Home Builders.
Bathroom remodels nowadays have gotten much more modest in the past. The key factors driving today’s bathroom remodels are:
Easy upkeep, cost, and adding accessibility.
Home owners aren’t doing the “McMansion bathroom. … They're doing more intimate spaces," designer Stephen Saint-Onge, author of "No Place Like Home," told USA Today.
Once a main-stay in many bathrooms, the spa-like tub is increasingly vanishing from master bathrooms. Labeled just as a “dust-magnet” by some, more home owners say they prefer a fancy shower with a bench (and maybe a ceiling-mounted rain shower head too) over a tub. For home owners who do want both a tub and shower in the master bath, they tend to downgrade the tub to a soaker tub over a luxurious whirlpool. (The sinking away of the luxurious tub trend is something we’ve mentioned before here at Styled, Staged & Sold. Read: Luxurious Bathrooms Don’t Always Need a Fancy Tub)
Also, driving bathroom remodels nowadays: Home owners are looking to save money. They even may be willing to pay a little extra upfront to get fixtures that will bring about savings in the long-term. For example, home owners are increasingly concerned about rising utility costs and the shortage of water in some drought-prone areas. Therefore, more home owners are opting for LED fixtures and water-saving toilets and faucets.
Also more home owners are looking at adding accessibility into bathroom spaces, like with doorless showers.
5 Ways to Spruce Up the Bathroom Without Remodeling
Bathrooms are important in selling a home. But some home sellers may not be willing to tackle a costly remodeling project in the bathroom for a home they just want to sell. A recent New York Times article offered some tips from real estate professionals and stagers for sprucing up a bathroom without remodeling.
1. Unclutter the bathroom and have it look similar to what you’d see in a hotel (remove all toiletries from counters and empty the trashcan).
2. Clean it until it sparkles.
3. Use fluffy towels and bath mat (preferably in white).
4. Display flower vases.
5. Fix any grout or caulking to remove any mildew stains.