If you are anything like the average homebuyer, when touring a house for sale your focus will be on the kitchen and bathroom. While the design of other rooms is also important, kitchen and bathroom designs are tied directly to their function. A well-designed bathroom can be a place to relax and pamper yourself, in addition to its more practical functions.
You most likely have your own ideas of what sort of bathroom colors and design you would like in your new house, but there are other, more practical considerations when looking at a bathroom.
Beware of Leaky Plumbing
You don’t need to be a plumber to discern leaks in a bathroom. Sometimes, bathroom floors tell the whole story. Look for stained, raised or bubbled vinyl flooring. Use the toe of your shoe to press on the flooring around the toilet. If it feels spongy, the toilet may be leaking.
If the home is two stories, check the ceiling in the room beneath the tub. Water stains there are an indication that the tub may be leaking.
Plumbing leaks may be expensive to repair, so it’s a job many homeowners put off as long as possible. Unfortunately, the leak may cause structural damage to the home, so order further inspections if you notice leaking plumbing in the bathroom.
Bathroom Design Considerations
Pretty bathrooms are distracting. Smart homeowners and their real estate agents understand this concept and use it to their advantage. Learn to look beyond the wall color, the new flooring and fixtures to determine if the bathroom’s design works for you.
- Bathroom fixtures: Do the faucets turn easily? Do they drip? When you run water, does the water run fast or slow?
- Lighting: Is there sufficient light in the bathroom? Lighting around mirrors should be bright and clear, while softer, warmer lighting may be used to set a relaxing mood in the rest of the room.
- Plumbing access: If there is a plumbing problem, how easily can the plumbing be accessed? Do storage, vanities and other items block access to plumbing? Do pipes have shut-off valves?
- Storage: People sometimes overlook the oh-so-important aspect of bathroom storage, especially in small bathroom design. Check that there’s enough space to store toiletries, bath supplies, towels and other essentials.
- Ventilation: Is the bathroom adequately ventilated? A bathroom designed without a ceiling fan could be a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Make sure the ceiling fan vents outside the house, and test it to make sure it works.
How Many Bathrooms do You Need?
While it’s always a good idea to remain flexible enough to allow compromises when house hunting, the number of bathrooms your family requires is typically not negotiable. Any family member that knows what it’s like to stand outside a bathroom door, waiting her turn in the morning, will fight for more bathrooms. So, even if a home is perfect in every other way, or a smokin’ hot deal, think twice about compromising on the number of bathrooms you need. Besides, a home with more than one bathroom has better resale value than a single bath home.