What is a Pass-through Bedroom?

Things to consider with a pass-through bedroom

You may not have heard it called a “pass-through bedroom” but I’ll bet you know what it is.

Things to consider with a pass-through bedroom

If you’ve ever been in a house where you need to pass through one bedroom to get to another one then you probably know what I’m talking about. These are more common in older homes or homes that have been added on to.

In newer homes, where the floor plan is more functional, each bedroom is entered from a hallway or other non-bedroom part of the house. This is the preferred configuration because no one is disturbed in one bedroom when someone wants to go into another bedroom.

This may not be a major problem if the house has sufficient bedrooms to match what is typical and expected in the neighborhood. It can have a negative impact on the marketability of the home if this arrangement reduces the number of usable bedrooms from what is typical.

A case of functional obsolescence

This type of flaw in the floor plan falls under the category of functional obsolescence. I described what this is in a prior post which you can read here.

Some forms of functional obsolescence can be fixed but each situation is different and the cost to fix the problem can vary. If the home has sufficient bedrooms to meet what is typical then you may not want to “fix” it but just leave it like it is.

Whether the floor plan is modified so the room can be used as a bedroom or just left as-is the square footage will still contribute to the property’s overall value. Again, depending on the number of bedrooms the property has compared to what is typical for the area an additional bedroom may or may not add significantly to the value.

The cure

So how can a pass-through bedroom be fixed? As I stated previously it will depend on where the room is situated in the house and what the adjacent rooms are.

It may be possible to move the entry to the bedroom to another wall if there is access and close the existing door. This would be the easiest fix if it is possible.

If this is not an option it may be necessary to to make more extensive modifications.

The cost can vary depending on what needs to be done so a cost-benefit analysis should be done to determine if it would be worth doing. If the value added to the home is greater than the cost to fix the existing floor plan then it would be a good candidate for the floor plan change.

If it turns out that the cost would be more than the value-added you may still want to consider the value it brings your family over an extended period of time. Your final decision will depend on how long you’re going to be in the home as well as the cost.

Takeaways

  1. The floor plan layout of a home can have an impact on its market value: The impact on value is determined from market data and how buyers perceive it. Did the home sell for less because it has a different floor plan than what is typical and expected?
  2. The cost to fix can vary: Depending on the current floor plan configuration and the location of the bedroom in relation to other rooms the cost can vary widely and this should be taken into consideration when comparing it to the value added by fixing the problem.
  3. The time in your home will affect your decision: The decision you make may be influenced by the time you plan on being in your home. If you want to sell your home in the near future you will probably want to pay closer attention to the cost vs value approach.

If you are going to be in your home for a long period your decision may be different depending on the value your family gains from changing the floor plan.

As you can see there are several things you will need to consider if your home has a pass-through bedroom. By knowing what options you have you’ll be able to make a better-informed decision.

Question

Do you have any other questions about pass-through bedrooms? If so leave a comment below and as always thanks for reading.

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Comments

  1. That’s a good term to call this type of room, Tom. As an appraiser I typically “pass” on calling this a “bedroom”. It’s just an awkward layout void of privacy.

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