Agent

Cost recovery questioned in bathroom remodel

Don't rely on real estate agent's advice

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Q: I recently bought an old home that has a "split" bathroom – the toilet is in one small closet-size room, the lavatory and tub in a slightly larger adjacent room. Because both rooms are very cramped, I'm interested in taking the wall between the two rooms down and having a nice, good-size bathroom. I spoke to a real estate agent about this, and she told me that if I took the wall down, I'd be lucky to get half of my costs back in a future sale. Do you agree with her opinion? I have an estimate from a contractor of $4,000 for taking down the wall, Sheetrocking over one door, retiling the floor and other finishing work. A: We wholeheartedly disagree with your agent's assessment. Space in old homes is at a premium. Anything you can do to increase the sense of spaciousness in your bathroom can only add value. We believe you will easily recoup the $4,000 you spend and then some, especially if you're not looking to sell the home in the near future. As we've mentioned in pa...