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How Many Bedrooms and Bathrooms Should You Look for in a Home?

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How Many Bedrooms and Bathrooms Should You Look for in a Home?

Find out how many bedrooms fit your needs and how many bathrooms match.



Did you know that 70 percent of realtors say that a house should have two bathrooms for every three bedrooms? Others say there should be one bathroom for every two bedrooms.

Opinions are conflicting, but realtors don’t have the say on which works for you. You consider these ratios and numbers for the resale value, but you consider what you’re comfortable with for your actual living arrangement.

With that said, how many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need in a home? We’ll discuss what realtors recommend and how you can find the number that works for your specific situation.

Keep on reading to find out the ideal number for you.

The Ideal Ratio, According to Realtors

Some say the ideal ratio of bedrooms to bathrooms is 2:1, but that’s until we get to four bedrooms.

Many master’s bedrooms nowadays have an en-suite master bath. This already makes up half of the expected number of bathrooms for a house with four bedrooms.

This means the occupants of the three bedrooms are sharing the remaining bathroom. This doesn’t take into account the powder room, which we’ve assumed to exist in this scenario.

In this case, the 2:1 ratio isn’t that ideal anymore. In other cases wherein there’s no master bathroom, though, that ratio works well.

Now, let’s discuss another opinion from realtors. They also say the ideal number of bathrooms is one less than the number of bedrooms.

Using that tip in our scenario above, we’re up to three bathrooms. Even if the master bedroom has an en-suite bathroom, the three other bedrooms will still have two bathrooms to share. That’s plenty enough even with the occasional guest.

Is There Such a Thing as Too Many Bathrooms?

This is mostly a case-to-case basis, depending on the home and the space available. For instance, one bathroom more than either of the ideal ratios above can be wasteful.

That's because - one: you waste money on new fittings, piping, fixtures, tiles, and more. Two: you have one more room to clean you don’t use often. Three: you could have used the space for other things, like another bedroom.

Another bathroom adds value to a home, but only up to a certain point. Having the same number of bathrooms as bedrooms, though, can diminish property value.

A larger kitchen or a new room, which homeowners can turn into a bedroom, a home office, or anything else, can look more attractive in the housing market. In this case, there is such a thing as too many bathrooms.

How Many Bedrooms and Bathrooms Should You Have?

But we’re only talking about the ideal ratio and how many beds and baths a house should have. We’re not taking into account how many of both you and your family should have.

The above points are a good place to start. Nonetheless, you have more things to consider to determine the number that’s right for you.

Personal Comfort

This is the most important question to answer: what are YOU comfortable with? Here are ways to determine what’s comfortable for you and the other occupants of the house.

Determining the Number of Rooms

If, for example, you’re living alone, then one bedroom should be fine, considering that many individuals (and even couples) live in a studio without a bedroom at all.

However, some people like having an extra room for guests or their activities. In this case, then a two-bedroom house makes more sense as long as it’s within the budget.

You should also consider the future when buying a house. Will you be building a family there? If so, buy one that has enough room for your future kids.

For a family, at least two bedrooms will suffice, but three rooms are more recommended. If you can afford it, a four-bedroom house is optimal.

We say three is better than two because you need to prepare for both girls and boys. It’s also so that you don’t keep a newborn in a room with an older child.

If you’re only planning for two children, then each child gets a room, regardless of gender. If you’re more comfortable with the idea of each child having a room and you want three or more, then buy a house that can accommodate that number.

Four is optimal so you can have guests stay overnight. Of course, it isn’t a requirement, but it’s nice to have an extra room available if you suddenly need it for something.

This doesn’t include other potential occupants, like a roommate or a mother-in-law. In summary, you should consider how many people will be occupying the house now and in the future.

Determining the Number of Bathrooms

Again, the number of bathrooms depends on the number of occupants in your house. Our ratio guide above is useful for determining how many you need. The actual number you should have, though, depends on other factors.

Do you want a master bath? Then you should also consider how many bathrooms are remaining for your housemates. Make sure they have enough to share within themselves.

Do you want attached bathrooms for each room? Then you should have at least one more bathroom than the number of your bedrooms. This one’s for the guests because they won’t be able to use the private bathrooms.

Powder Rooms

Powder rooms count as half bathrooms but note that two powder rooms don’t count as one full bathroom, mind you. It only consists of a toilet bowl and a sink.

Disregarding that, although powder rooms make sense most of the time, they’re not a need in all cases. It makes most sense adjacent to the living area, allowing guests to relieve themselves or do some touch-ups without trekking the whole house.

That said, they’re a must for bigger houses, especially multi-level ones. Sometimes, you can put a powder room on every floor, but that’s only if you’re going to entertain guests on each floor. If not, a full bathroom makes more sense in the areas only your family members are going to use.

Furthermore, a half bath adds value to your home. It can boost your home’s resale value by as much as 10.5%.

If you have limited space, however, you might be able to forego having a powder room in favor of a full bathroom. A disadvantage is that it might make you feel guests are invading your privacy. It gets dirty more quickly, too, which you might stress about when having people over.

Potential Tenants

This factor is only applicable if you’re planning on turning your property into a rental down the road. Of course, plans can change, but it doesn’t hurt to think of the possibilities now.

Think of how tenants will find living in your house. What if six people live in your three-bedroom house? Do you think they’ll have enough bathrooms?

Think of future tenants as your future roommates even if you’re not going to live with them. Will you and each of them be comfortable with the number of bedrooms and bathrooms the house has?

You also have to think of the needs of the future tenants, especially if you’re planning to rent it out. Although you won’t be able to suit the needs of every future renter, you can at least try to accommodate the average tenant/family.

Return on Investment

Let’s face it, your house is likely going to be the biggest investment you’ll make. On that note, you should be looking for the biggest return on investment.

Bathrooms are going to be a big part of your home’s value, and so are bedrooms. For that reason, you should consider these when looking at how much your home is worth in the future market.

Master baths and powder rooms are the ones home buyers notice first. It helps if the house you’re looking to buy already has  these so you don’t need to spend much on remodeling. The secondary and guest bathrooms follow in terms of importance.

However, as we’ve stated above, there is such a thing as too many bathrooms. If the bathroom comes at the expense of useful space, it will diminish the home’s value. This tip mostly matters if you’re also planning on remodeling it on top of selling your house in the future.

Why You Should Care About the Layout

Aside from the home’s resale value, is there another reason why you should care more about the bedroom to bathroom ratio when buying a home?

There is, but it’s less about the ratio and more about the reconstruction. If the house you’re planning on buying doesn’t have the ideal ratio, check what went wrong.

Does the house have too many bedrooms for two bathrooms? Or is it the other way around?

Check if the previous homeowners added a room after the construction of the house. If so, you should also check to see if they were legally added. Look out for code violations that may occur if the homeowners didn’t get a permit before building that room.

Find Your Ideal Home

Finding a home is more than determining how many bedrooms and bathrooms a house should have. It’s also about finding a safe space you envision yourself living in comforts.

Find your safe space today. Check out our house listings or contact us for more details.