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Are ground floor bathrooms a problem when selling a home?

  1. Amy P from Birmingham
  2. Selling a home questions and answers


I want to buy a 2 bed terrace house. However, it has a bathroom off the kitchen area. Is this a disadvantage and will the mortgage company value it for less than a home with an upstairs bathroom? Amy P


Generally most people like conventional layouts in their homes; hence these types of property attract a “normal” market value. For example, a modern two or three bedroom house that has been converted so that the downstairs cloakroom is now a bathroom (or disabled wet room) and the upstairs bathroom made into a bedroom, or office, is not likely to be as desirable to most people and the value could drop as a result.

Obviously, the extent to which it is possible to easily access the bathroom, without going through the kitchen or another bedroom will have an effect, as will whether there is another bathroom. A common scenario is the traditional Victorian Terrace which had a rear bathroom and possibly outside toilet. These have often been converted to give a bathroom to the rear of the kitchen.

Whilst such layouts do not comply with current requirements many people buying such a property accept that this layout is quite common and to some extent inherent in the basic design of the building. As such, the value should not be diminished by the basic layout, although providing an upstairs shower or bathroom may well increase the value to that more in line with later more conventionally modern layout properties. With regard the mortgage company valuation, this is primarily to safeguard their loan and as such, they are really just assessing whether they would get their money back if the purchaser defaulted.

A more important issue for most people is whether the amount they are paying for a property is likely to be recouped on future sale. An important issues to consider is whether the downstairs bathroom is a “conversion” or has had a major refurbishment, in which case it may have required Building Regulation Approval.

In addition to breaching the law many “ad hoc” conversions do not comply with important regulations regarding ventilation, plumbing and waste pipework. In addition to causing problems when the property is sold these issues can impact on your everyday enjoyment of your house.

Chris Arnold FRICS

Chris Arnold FRICS

Arnold Faulkner

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