If you are looking at older homes that you would like to renovate and resell for healthy profits, here’s a piece of advice . . .

Add a master suite

A master suite – an area of a home that contains a large bedroom, a master bath, as well as closets and possibly a dressing room – is one of the most desirable features that buyers look for today in homes they are considering. If you buy a house that has the potential to contain one, you might have found a house with the potential to offer you a good return on your renovation dollar. You could be able to invest about $50,000 in a master suite and increase the value of a property by $80,000 or more.

The challenge is to identify properties that will pay you back if you add master suites to them. Here are some considerations you should weigh . . .

  • Comparable sales in the area. Look at other houses that have sold in the last 18 months. Have they contained master suites? What have the selling prices been? Also, resist the temptation to over-improve a property. If none of the three-bedroom houses in a neighborhood are selling for more than $275,000, for example, you are not going to raise the value of a house too much above that level, even by adding a highly desirable feature.
  • Square footage and floor layout. The property you are considering needs to be big enough to accommodate a master suite. And remember that installing a master suite usually means claiming adjacent bedrooms and making them part of the suite. For that reason, you need to consider the overall impact on the number of bedrooms and their layout.
  • Systems. In most cases, the best approach to adding a master suite is to build around a bathroom that is already in place. It is far less expensive to expand on an existing bathroom (where supply and drain pipes are already present) than to install a bathroom that is completely new.
  • Other bathrooms. If you install a master suite with a bathroom that serves it exclusively, will there still be a bathroom to serve the other bedrooms on the floor? If you need to install a second bathroom to serve them too, the cost of your renovation will rise substantially.

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