Helping people find the right home can be a very intimate process. Not only do I learn all about my client’s families, and see them make important decisions, I also work through the nitty gritty details of houses and how they live. What does that mean? All things bathroom related! From the lighting being bright enough for doing make up to the sewer line, I think about it all! Here are a few of my top bathroom things to consider when buying a house:
Bathroom location: My biggest pet peeve for powder rooms is location. Why would anyone put a guest bathroom adjascent to the dining room? Just imagine it for a moment. It’s Thanksgiving, you’ve all been eating and drinking too much, then Great Uncle Joe gets up to use the bathroom. It’s only separated from you and your food by a hollow pocket door… If you host meals or game nights frequently, the half bath location is important!
Lighting: There is some terrible lighting out there. The best bathrooms have two sets, a bright overhead for cleaning and daily use, and a softer light for early mornings and general use.
Giant Tubs: Do you or your kids take a bath on a regular basis? Is the 1990s Tub Shrine (an elevated, jetted, two-person tiled platform) a good use of space? More and more large showers are taking over the master bath. Make sure that the bathing options fit your lifestyle and needs. A seat in the shower, a smaller tub, a tub you can get in and out of, these are the things you need to factor into your home search.
Bad Toilets: Low flow toilets are very important. Toilets that flush well with just one flush are also important. As long as they are functional, mostly clean, and not loose, toilets get overlooked in the shopping and inspections. It makes sense, it’s not really a topic that is discussed in polite society, but real estate is not polite society! So try out the toilet when you are at a house you want to make an offer on, try it again at the home inspection, look up the reviews, and be ready to replace it when you move in. I found an amazing resource for toilet reviews! MaP-Testing.com tests and rates all toilets, and they use a soybean paste to test the flush! It’s awesome.
Sewer Lines: This is a little more traditional in the real estate realm. Sewer lines from the front of the house to the city main line are routinely scoped during the inspection period. I’ve seen rats, lots of tree roots, cracks, separation, pools, built up blockages, and even a line terminate into a hole under a main road way! The line had collapsed before it met up with the main, and a hole under Holgate Ave in SE Portland was acting like an informal (and gross) cess pit. For $120-150, a sewer scope is well worth avoiding thousands of dollars in repairs. Here’s another good tip no one likes to talk about: tampons and flush-able wipes are not flush-able, and are really bad for sewer lines. Blockages build up quickly, can exhaserbate a minor issue, and cause giant expensive repairs.