What sells better in Georgetown – 3 or 4 bedrooms?

I got an email from a past client the other day and she was wanting some advice on a small remodeling project:

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Hey Edward – I’ve been thinking I might like to make two of our bedrooms into one large one. The bedrooms are very small here.  Do you think that would be a mistake if we ever decided to sell? It would make our house a three bedroom instead of a four. – W.T.

I’m sure many of us have considered a renovation project at some point during home ownership.  Having HGTV or being inspired by Extreme Makeover:  Home Edition has certainly given renovation projects a new twist!  Fortunately for W.T., knocking down a wall to combine two bedrooms is an easier project than most.  The only question is, “What will it do to the value of her home?”

Well, let’s look at a comparison of ALL 3 bedroom homes with 4 bedroom homes in the city of Georgetown, Texas that sold in the past 12 months:

3 Bedrooms: 453 Sold, 37 currently Pending, 219 For Sale – 5.8 months of inventory

4 Bedrooms: 300 Sold, 20 currently Pending, 244 For Sale – 9 months of inventory

According to the numbers, more 3 bedroom homes have sold and there is less competition.  But what about if we narrow the search down to the home’s price range?

3 Bedrooms: 129 Sold, 8 currently Pending, 56 For Sale – 5.2 months of inventory

4 Bedrooms: 68 Sold, 2 currently Pending, 38 For Sale – 6.8 months of inventory

Although the inventory for a 4 bedroom home shrinks from 9 months to almost 7 months, it’s still 1.6 months more inventory than a 3 bedroom home.  It’s nice to know that the numbers are on your side, at least in the current market.  However, if you’re going to be staying in that home for a long time then I would go ahead with the renovation even if the numbers were not on your side. Why?  Well, it’s not like you’re doing something that will turn off a significant portion of the market like converting your garage to another bedroom and having no garage…you’ll also improve your quality of life and get lots of use out of a bigger room. You might even sell your home to a buyer who feels most rooms in a 4 bedroom home are too small anyway!

Quick caveat: In this particular neighborhood, most of the homes that sold in the past 12 months were 4 bedrooms homes.  In fact, only 3 of the 23 homes were 3 bedrooms, and the quickest home to sell took 94 days.  There’s only one 3 bedroom home (out of 5 homes) currently for sale and I’m the listing agent on it so maybe I’ll break a record:)  The big downside of removing the 4th bedroom is restricting your audience to just the 3 bedroom market.  The home with 4 bedrooms is able to compete in both markets.

What about you? I’d love to hear from readers about your success or nightmare renovation project! If you think going to a 3 bedroom home is a mistake, tell us why!  Would it be better to split the 4th bedroom and make it a 5 bedroom home?:)

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