Like others in decades-old homes they want to sell in a few years, my wife and I face an immediate financial dilemma: Rehab an out-of-date master suite bathroom in a home we will sell in two years, or go for the low-cost solution and just add new sinks, a new shower, a toilet and some other touches. (Doing nothing is not an option; the 25-year old bathroom needs help.) We are confident we can recoup up to 70% of the cost of the bathroom when we sell the house -- the experts say as much as 86% -- but that other 30% would pay for a used car for one of our kids, or a family golf trip to Scotland.
, the real estate broker I work for in Connecticut, says it is less about the cost of the remodel than it is the ease with which our house will sell. Prospective buyers will look at the gourmet kitchen we built a couple of years ago, which opens up to a huge sunroom area surrounded by glass, and think "Wow!" according to Paul. Then they will see the modestly accoutered bathroom and say one of two things to their real estate agent: "Next house, please," or "How much to renovate the bathroom?" That is especially true in the currently strong buyers market.
Mrs. and I will have some intense conversations today before we render our decision to the bathroom contractors. I think we are going to tell them to go ahead. It may be the wrong decision financially, but we will never know. Ignorance is bliss, especially if it comes with a fancy new showerhead.