"Many buyers will dismiss it because it doesn't have a bath. You might still get the same price for it, but it could take longer to sell." - Ben Hunter, Director, Winkworth Estate Agents
This is the opinion of one of our experts, when we asked whether not having a bath would affect the price of a property.
In this blog post, we take a look at:
- How modern bathrooms are evolving
- What estate agents and property experts have to say on the matter
- Your options when it comes to keeping your bath
The evolution of the modern bathroom
Since the post war period, when the last vestiges of Victorian living were cleared away, our bathrooms have been built around the very thing they are named after – the humble bath.
For a long time, a bath in both the morning and evening was a staple for people throughout the British Isles. But in the latter part of the 20th century, with our lives getting busier at an ever increasing pace, the shower started to gain in popularity. Quick and invigorating in the mornings, a trend to spend a few minutes beneath a steaming hot blast of water began to take hold. Before we knew it, many people had ditched the tub, in favour of a space-saving shower enclosure.
But there is one thing that holds many people back when it comes to swapping a shower for a bath. There is a popular conception that by not having a bath, your property becomes less attractive to buyers and hence you could end up selling your home for less than it’s genuinely worth.
But is there any truth in this? Do potential property buyers automatically rule out any home without a bath?
Will a bathroom without a bath affect the price of your property?
We chatted with Estate Agents and Property Experts and found out whether they felt a bath is required in this day and age.
Sarah-Jane Taylor, Operations Director at Yorkshire-based Preston Baker Estate Agents believes a bath is a necessity when it comes to selling your property:
"Not having a bath in your home can affect the marketing of your property and consequently the house price. At Preston Baker we know that the longer a property is on the market the less you are likely to get for it. So if your home is ideal for a family but doesn’t have a bath then it may take longer to sell and therefore affect how much buyers are prepared to offer.
It comes down to buyer expectations. If a young family is looking to buy a 3 bed semi, then having no bath is likely to put them off – baths are ideal for kids. Meanwhile if a single professional is looking to buy a 1 bed studio flat in an urban area and it only has a shower then not having a bath is less likely to be an issue."
Indeed, Managing Director Ian Preston backs this up:
"Not having a bath in a property can make a big difference. Ultimately if there is less demand there are less buyers which in turns affects your property price."
Ben Hunt, Director of Winkworth Estate Agents in London, also believes a bath is a necessity:
"It could have a real effect on the saleability of the property. It seems part of the British psyche that people feel a bathroom should have a bath, even if they don’t ever use it. Potential buyers are likely to walk in and comment ‘oh – no bath’ – there’s a stigma attached to it.
With a one bed flat it's less of an issue, but it can still have an impact. Even people who rarely have a bath still like to be able to have one on a Sunday evening in winter.
Many buyers will dismiss it because it doesn’t have a bath. You might still get the same price for it, but it could take longer to sell because you have a smaller pool of potential buyers."
So what are your options?
One common compromise is the shower bath. By simply fixing a screen to your existing straight bath, or purchasing a specially-designed bath, with one end larger than the other, you can get the best of both worlds, without having to rip out the tub. It’s a simple solution and one that is gaining popularity.
By simply adding a bath screen and a suitable shower set, you can turn your bath into a multi-functional shower bath
Another alternative is to go with just a shower enclosure, but when the time comes to sell your property, refurbish with a good value tub, which can be purchased from as little as £100.
A third and potentially more expensive option, is to create a second bathroom or ensuite. You may have a small bedroom you don’t use or, you could even splash out on an extension to your home. This could add value to your property in the long run and provide you with an additional space in which to create a shower room, or even a modern wet room.
Whatever you choose to do, just remember that how you design your property is down to your own personal needs. Your home is for living in, so don't be too worried about what a potential buyer might look for in a bathroom. As we have demonstrated, in larger properties a bath is desirable, but if you are looking to sell, there are plenty of low cost options open to you.