The fact that you are a first time home buyer should not come into play. Your specific loan type might. Have you looked into other possible financing? There are ways to make your offer stronger, other than just price. Things such as time frame for inspections, initial earnest deposits and many more, Your agent can go over these with you. One risky move would be to have a home inspection, if you are electing to have one, prior to submitting an offer. You run the risk of never coming to terms or being out bid by another offer, but if you pre inspect, and the home is acceptable to you, you could make an offer without a home inspection contingency, which could be very appealing to a seller. Consult your agent about this first and make sure that you understand all of the risks. Multiple offers are becoming very common again and if you have a plan of action, you will get what you want. Best of luck
Renovations are a great way to improve the value of your home. In my years of experience with home buyers, I have found it to be very important to have at least one bathtub in the house. On the rare occasions that a Single family home did not have a bathtub, my clients have expressed concerns. Your question asks about resale value, and in my opinion, keep the bathtub in the hall bathroom. The master is a whole different story. I have found it to be desirable in the eyes of home buyers to have a master bathroom with a nice tile shower, as you have described. A soaking tub can be nice also. I would design them with differences in appearance as well. Two baths, that look the same, will most likely be viewed as a negative in the minds of buyers, even if they are both beautiful. Try to incorporate noticeable differences, that stand out. This will show the potential buyers that you have thought about the designs and it will add character. Today's buyer pays much more attention to detail, and this type of attention to detail can help greatly, in the resale value of your home.