Homebuyers tend to place a great deal of emphasis on the number of rooms in the houses they consider. It’s common for home descriptions to prioritize the number of bedrooms and bathrooms in the house, serving as a high-level assessment of the home’s functionality.
This makes sense as a concise description of the home. You can count on most homes having a kitchen, a living room, and a dining room, but the number of bedrooms and bathrooms is completely variable. Plus, the more people you have in your home, the more bedrooms and bathrooms you’ll need.
You can estimate the number of bedrooms you need easily based on the number of people in your family. For a traditional family, that’s one master bedroom for the parents, or one each (or close to one each) for the children. But how many bathrooms should your next home have?
Full Baths, Half Baths, and Three-Quarter Baths
First, let’s define what we’re talking about, since bathroom descriptions aren’t always as straightforward as bedroom descriptions. You might hear a house described as having a certain number of “full bathrooms,” but also a “half bathroom,” or even a “three-quarter bathroom.” So what’s the difference?
The basic idea is that a full bathroom has everything a bathroom might need. It includes a toilet, a sink, a bathtub and a shower (or both in one as a bath/shower combo), the four main components of a bathroom. It may include other features like a double sink or a linen closet, but these aren’t strictly necessary for the room to be considered a full bath. A half bath, sometimes called a guest bathroom, has two of the four main components—usually the toilet and the sink, lacking a bathtub or shower. A three-quarter bath has three of the four main components—usually a toilet, a sink, and a shower, with no tub.
The General Rule
The general recommendation for maximizing your family’s comfort is seeking a home with approximately one bathroom for every two bedrooms, rounding as you see fit. If you’re looking for a home with four bedrooms, you should aim for at least two full bathrooms. With just three bedrooms, one full and one half bath may be plenty.
Obviously, there are other considerations that should factor into this decision. If your family is constantly bickering over bathroom space, it may make sense to get an extra bathroom or half bath to quell those needs. If you find a dream home with slightly less than the one-bath-per-two-bedroom rule, it may still be worth getting.
You may also want to consider the layout of those bathrooms, since they can serve very different purposes based on where they’re located.
- How easy is it to access this bathroom? Bathrooms conveniently located as a kind of extension off the master bedroom tend to be popular, as do bathrooms near central socializing areas, like the living room.
- You may also wish to have a bathroom on every floor, or nearly every floor of the house. This isn’t a strict requirement, but can help you make a decision on a home with an insufficient number of bathrooms; for example, will you often be heading upstairs or downstairs to access a bathroom?
- Finally, consider the traffic flow of the home, and where the bathroom is located in relation to that traffic. When guests come to visit you, will they have to walk a labyrinth to find the bathroom? Or is it on the main walking path?
In general, more bathrooms are considered more of a luxury, so if two homes are practically identical with the exception of one having an additional bathroom, that one should win your favor. However, bathrooms tend to increase the value and price of a home, so you’ll end up paying more for a home with more bathrooms.
There’s no rule to determine how much value a bathroom can add, but they tend to be high-ROI renovation projects. Depending on your area, the newness of the bathroom, and dozens of other factors, a full bathroom could add at least several thousand dollars to the overall price of the home. A half bath will add less to the total price.
Important Questions to Ask
When making your decision, ask yourself the following questions to come to a solid conclusion:
- Who will be living here? How many people are going to live in your home? This will determine how many bedrooms you get, and should loosely determine how many bathrooms you need.
- How often will you have company? Also consider how often you’ll have company, and whether that company will be staying overnight (and needing a shower). A half bath is plenty for only occasional company, but if you’re having overnight guests often, an extra full bath or three-quarter bath would be ideal.
- How many bathrooms do you currently have? Think about your current home, including how many bathrooms you have and how you’re using those bathrooms. Do you find yourself constantly wishing for extra bathroom space? Or are you cleaning bathrooms that aren’t getting used regularly?
- How much are you willing to spend? Bathrooms can add significant value to a home, so think carefully about how much you’re willing to spend for the luxury of having them. The true value of an extra bathroom is going to be different for every family.
- Can you add or remodel in the future? The layout of the home may or may not be conducive to adding bathrooms in the future. Is it possible for you to buy a home with fewer bathrooms than you’ll eventually need, with the intention of adding a new one after a few years, when your budget can tolerate it?
If you’re ready to start looking for a house in Katy, Texas, or anywhere near it, contact Green Residential today! We can introduce you to a suite of properties that fit all your needs—including having the right number of bathrooms for your family’s needs.