Profile picture for CeeAnton

(Question 1: What's better: Larger rooms or more rooms?

I have a 1950's home (bought out of foreclosure) that I am currently renovating.  I live there, but I will probably sell it when the renovation is done.  It's pretty typical of a 50's home: 1 bathroom, 3 tiny 9x10 bedrooms, and small closets, (if any).  The full-size basement is unfinished and walks out to a two car carport.  It sits on a .8 acre lot in a neighborhood with a lot of retired folks. 

Question: Do most buyers prefer MORE bedrooms, or LARGER rooms?  I'm thinking about taking the wall out beetween two tiny 9x10 bedrooms and making one 10x15 bedroom with a large walk-in closet.  Then taking out the wall between the living room and the 3rd 9x10 bedroom to make a formal great room or LR/Dining room combo.  Currently the house is a 3/1, 960sf.  If I take out the walls and finish the basement, I'll be at 3/2, 1920sf.  If I don't take out the walls, I've got a 5/2, 1920sf.  Which is better for ‘real' sales potential?

Neighborhood Stats (if it helps): The average house is 3/2, 1700sf for about 150-160k.  (The houses in the neighborhood run from 2/1, 1000sf at 120k to 4/3, 3500sf for 220k.  There is one 7/3, 3200sf currently listed for 249k, I'm curious to see what it ‘actually' sells for.)

Thanks for your opinions!!!

P.S.  I do my own work (to code, with permits and inspections), so my renovation costs are far low.  I have already replaced all plumbing and am starting the electrical.  I've gutted the bathroom and rebuilt it with custom marble and new fixtures.  The kitchen will be updated with granite countertops, custom cabinets, and stainless steel appliances.  The basement will be finished with a good sized master suite, guest bedroom and a home theatre family room.  I will be tearing out the carport and building an attached three car garage, possibly with an addition above it.
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February 13 2010 - Gra-Mar Acres
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Answers (5)

Best Answer
Larger .
Most of what we do are additions to add area to make bedrooms / great rooms bigger than they currently are.
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February 15 2010
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February 18 2010
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In many areas you are not allowed to count the square footage of the basement, therefore, check the rules for your area before thinking you'll be up to almost 2000 square feet.
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February 17 2010
Profile picture for CeeAnton
Thank you all for your advice!  It really helps to get some professional input on which directions I should head.  Especially, knowing that the builder is doing more work combining rooms than adding rooms.  That's important to know.  I think I will talk to a couple of agents who know this area to get their advice, also. 

At this point, though, I think I'm going to finish like this: Combine the two small bedrooms to make one large one with a walk-in closet on the main floor.  Combine the other bedroom with the living room to make a nice great room.  Build the master suite (with large double stand-up shower), a guest bedroom, and family room in the basement, and do the 3-car attached garage, without the addition above it.  It will give me a normal-for-the-neighborhood 3/2, at around 2000sq ft.  Larger than average, but not the largest...and focus on livability and features.  I always do high-quality work.

Thank you all again!!
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February 17 2010
There aren't many buyers who expect 5br from a 2000 sq ft house. Best case scenario would be 4br, 2.5ba with an open common area and a master suite plus powder room on the main floor. The size of the secondary bedrooms is not nearly as important as your Mbr. Make sure that your basement bedrooms have 2 means of egress (normally a door and a window) or you won't legally be allowed to call them bedrooms.
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February 14 2010
 
Related Questions
(Question 1: What's better: Larger rooms or more rooms?
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Latest answer by CeeAnton
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