worth it to add a bathroom?

5 Replies

I'm renovating an old house and we're making 3 units in it. A 1 bedroom, a 2 bedroom, and a 3 bedroom. The 3 bedroom may become a 4 bedroom depending on costs and if its worth it to do the work. Each unit has 1 bathroom in it. As we are in a university city and close enough to the schools for student rentals, I figure the 3 bedroom will most likely go out out students. My question is: Is it worth it to put in a 2nd bathroom into the large unit? As in, will I fetch more rental money for the unit or per room if we can offer another full bathroom.

The house is in Southern Ontario (Brantford). 


Current rents are only $450/month with utilities included & the place is kinda dumpy. We're renovating & I would hope to get at least $550/month/room in the 3(or 4) bedroom unit, for the newly renovated place with brand new kitchen, bathroom(s) & living room. 

What are your thoughts please?

@Ralph Noack

Presuming, zoning allows you to convert into three units, are you separating the utilities?

If you can put utilities in the hands of the tenants, then you would be better off renting the units at a slightly lower amount with the tenants carrying their own consumption.

Despite the going rate per room for student rentals in Brantford, the 1-bedroom should be higher - on par with other 1-bedrooms in the area.

Here, the going rate for student accommodations close (within 3-blocks) to campus is $450 - $500 {furnished at the upper end} per room (utilities and internet included) or $375 - $400 w/o utilities {and unfurnished}.   We have 1-bdrm units which rent for $650 - $695 (w/o utilities); 2-bdrm units at $800 - $900 (w/o utilities) and 3-bdrm units at $1200 (w/o utilities).  We also rent 4/5-bdrm houses at $1800 - $2000/mth (w/o utilities) and furnished rooms at $450 - $500 (w/ utilities & Inernet).

On the bathroom question, we try to keep a ratio of 2-3 rooms per bath.   A 3-bedrm flat with a single bath can work (particularly if you are renting it as a single unit), however even an additional half or three-quarter bath will make it easier to rent - especially if you do add the fourth room.    If you are renting by the room, then the second bath will be advantageous.   You are not likely to realize more rent for the second bath, but it should help with vacancy and turnover.

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You will need to do your local research to find out the going rates. It is always location specific. It is however unlikely that adding a second bath, especially for students, will warrant a higher rent. Probably wasted investment.

You should also be researching having rent plus utilities. Students are generally very irresponsible and should be paying their own utilities. Again this will be dependant on your local market.

what's the expected cost of adding that bathroom..?? how long would it take for you to cover that reno cost.... is there a way to split the 3 br and make that a studio with a bath.. with a 3br unit the hold back is the limited bathroom but the entire building seems very low rent to me and makes me wonder where the profit is in it period.. More people in a unit make utility costs higher and how can you cover your expenses let alone make a profit on this type of set up. Do some reality checks on what your goal is and how hard you want to work for nothing.. this type of low rent rental to me is hard to grasp putting any huge money into I don't know your whole number story but get out a calculator...

@Ralph Noack great advice from @Roy N. I have rented to almost 1,000 college students and have studied how and why they make their choice on what to rent. It's been my experience that there is no pricing difference in renting a 3/1 versus a 3/2. I almost always lease them for the same amount. There care much more about the location and it's proximity to fun things in college (i.e. bars and football stadiums).

A 4/1 versus a 4/2 might not a make difference, either. But I would strongly encourage you to add a second bath if you're going to go the 4 Bedroom route. Three college kids sharing 1 bath is bad enough. Four kids will take it to the next level. And not in a good way.

Hi @Ralph Noack , being an investor myself in brantford ....adding a second bathroom for this type of investment will not make you more money so I wouldn’t bother.

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