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How important is a downstairs loo?

26 replies

strawberrycornetto · 08/09/2009 12:55

We are planning to sell our house. It is a big 5 bed victorian detached house with a fab kitchen but it doesn't have a downstairs loo. It does have a study that could easily be converted to a loo and we did put in the plumbing under the floor when we did the kitchen.

The estate agent has said not to bother doing it. I am not worried about adding value but I am worried about people being put off. What do you think? It does have a large family bathroom and separate en suite shower room upstairs.

OP posts:
titchy · 08/09/2009 13:07

I would say fairly vital as you're selling to the family market.

Estate agents always say don't bother cos theywant you to put your house on with them there and then - they don't want to have to wait a few months while you do the work, cos that'll give you time to go to another agent.

Twinsmommy · 08/09/2009 13:10

If the en-suite shower room also has a loo, then I wouldn't bother. The house does sound large and, with 5-beds, TBH, I would expect there to be 2 loos (not necessarily one downstairs though)!

We have a 4-bed and have added a downstairs toilet under the staircase.

Didn't cost much, but the estate agent recently told us that it would add considerable appeal to buyers.

AnnieLobeseder · 08/09/2009 13:11

I wouldn't consider a house without one.

We lived in a house without one when I was pg with DD1, and after hauling myself up and down stairs every 5 mins, I swore I wouldn't get pg again until we had a house with a downstairs loo!

Our new house is tiny, but it does have a downstairs loo, for which I was enternally grateful while pg with DD2!!!

I'd put one in if I were you - if you've got 5 beds there's plenty for one to be a study, and it will definitely put people off if you don't have a downstairs loo.

Meglet · 08/09/2009 13:13

Very important, I wish I had one. But I think that if you have the plumbing in place then leave it as it is as any potential buyers will have the option to do it if they want. You already have an extra loo upstairs.

truthisinthewine · 08/09/2009 13:15

I think a house of that size people would be really looking for a downstairs toilet. Our house doesn't have one and if I could change one thing about the house it would be that, DD1 is perfectly capable of using the upstairs toilet but because of stairgates for DD2 she can't get up on her own, would make my life sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much easier to have a downstairs loo, and if looking for a house in the future will probably high on my list of priorites.

Also be lovely not to have guests have to traipse up stairs (which I hate as bedrooms ar usually a mess)

ADriedFrogForTheBursar · 08/09/2009 13:58

If you don't convert it make sure you tell EVERY buyer that the plumbing (in their minds the messy, expensive bit) is already in place.

CMOTdibbler · 08/09/2009 14:00

I wouldn't convert it, but I would get a price from a builder/plumber to do it, so that then you can tell people that it is ready to be done plumbing wise, and would cost x amount to do.

In my case, given the choice between downstairs loo and study, it would be the study

Fimbo · 08/09/2009 14:10

My dc are 11 and nearly 6, so I am passed the stage of them urgently needing the loo at the last possible moment, so it wouldn't bother me.

But if I was potty training or pregnant then it would make life more easy.

stillstanding · 08/09/2009 14:13

I think a downstairs loo is really important but I don't think you need to do the converting. Just tell all potential buyers that the plumbing is in place. If someone wants the house they will just put a loo in if it's something they want and it wouldnt cost very much if the plumbing is already in place.

bubblepop · 08/09/2009 14:19

I don't think it will put anyone off-they can always put one in if they want one,I don't think its a deciding factor when buying a house for most people, not like location or garden size etc

noddyholder · 08/09/2009 14:24

Its nice to have as guests don't have to troop upstairs for the loo but it won't add value or put people off.make sure they know the plumbing is there and you'll be fine

SpawnChorus · 08/09/2009 14:25

I would much rather have a downstairs loo than a study, and I think it might well be a deciding factor for me.

That said it probably depends on the cost of converting the study in proportion to the overall price of the house. i.e. it's probably a fairly standard price to plumb a room for a loo (I'm guessing £2-3k???), and that might not faze someone who is paying £500k for a five-bedroom house, but it could well deter someone who is paying £150k, iykwim.

Hulababy · 08/09/2009 14:26

It wouldn't put me off particularly. So long as there are more than one toilet in the house.

hanaflowerhatestheDM · 08/09/2009 14:31

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ABetaDad · 08/09/2009 14:36

I am with hanaflower. In a house that size, I woud not even rent it if it did not have a downstairs loo.

Kitchens (you have a nice one) and bathrooms sell houses. The other rooms can be painted magnolia with bare floor boards but the kitchen and bathroom (i.e the expensive bits) matter a lot.

LynetteScavo · 08/09/2009 14:41

Well my check list for a house is as follows;

Down stairs loo,

Enough space for fridge,freezer, dishwasher, washing machine, tumble dryer,


Large enough garden.

But, as long as you have the pluming in, I would consider buying it, so if you dont' have it fitted, make sure it's very clear on the details that the plumbing is there.

MmeLindt · 08/09/2009 14:43

I would make a point of telling potential buyers that the plumbing is there, but would let them put the loo in themselves.

You could get it done and the new owners don't like the fittings that you put in or the tiles. Let them make the decision.

It is not going to add value on to your house.

NorbertDentressangle · 08/09/2009 14:47

I would do what CMOT said -get a price from a builder/plumber so that people are aware that it can be done relatively cheaply and without too much upheaval as the plumbing is in place.

titchy · 08/09/2009 14:49

Although it won't have any bearing on the asking price, it probably will add value. If your house is on at £400k and has a downstairs loo, you'll maybe get 20 people looking round it, rather than 10 who are prepared to look without the loo. With 20 people viewing you are likely to get one offer, maybe even two. With only 10 people looking you may not get an offer at all, and will be forced to reduce the price.

sorky · 08/09/2009 14:50

It is absolutely essential in a house that size, for a family market. It's absence, even if you stated that the plumbing was there, would be a deal-breaker for us.

With 4 children I wouldn't have the time to be redecorating much nevermind plumbing in a w/c.

I'm looking for a house with the following order of importance:

5 or more bedrooms (obv)
Futility room
Downstairs toilet
Large garden
Large kitchen
En suite

scaryteacher · 08/09/2009 22:03

My house didn't have a downstairs loo when we bought it, and I managed pregnancy and potty training without it. having a study would be more important to me. When we had to move abroad and rent out the house, we converted the pantry into a loo; but when we go back, I may well reverse that, as a pantry is more important to me. Walking up the stairs keeps you fit.

It also depends on the age of the house, mine is pre victorian (1835), so a downstairs loo wouldn't have been factored into the plans when it was built.

hatesponge · 08/09/2009 22:24

I think it depends a lot on what you are used to - I grew up in a (very small) 1970's built house that had a downstairs loo, so for me it's an essential, irrespective of the size of the house.

I am currently looking for a 4 bed house; ideally I would like downstairs loo, bathroom & ensuite upstairs, but I'd consider a house without an ensuite if there was room to create one. However i'd be very unlikely to look at one without a downstairs loo, even if as in the OPs case there was space & plumbing to create one.

In your position, I would probably do the work myelf before selling, I agree you will probably get more people through the door & hopefully therefore more offers.

mustrunmore · 08/09/2009 22:26

We only have one downstairs; where does that put us in the scale of things?!
I think its one of those things, if you're used to it you dont want to give it up, but you dont miss what you've never had.

strawberrycornetto · 09/09/2009 20:23

Thanks for your replies. It seems views are mixed but there are quite a few of you who would be put off. I will speak to DH and see what is would cost, but I think the cost is fairly minimal so its probably worth doing to maximise viewings.

OP posts:
SparkyToo · 10/09/2009 19:04

Pretty important I would say. Our downstairs loo is no bigger than a cupboard but couldn't live without it! An absolute must with little children!!

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