Boost Portland Home Values with Smart Bathroom Remodels

bathroom remodels

Before listing your home with a Portland real estate agent, you may be looking around at what you can fix up to improve your home’s market value.

In my experience, home buyers in Portland are always attracted first to the kitchen and the bathrooms, and these rooms can really be the deciding factors in whether or not they love a home.

We blogged about remodeling your kitchen in four easy and budget-friendly steps, so now let’s cover bathrooms.

The most important thing to remember in any resale-focused home remodel is to be sure you’ll get a return on your investment. It seems basic but it is the easiest thing to forget in the throes of fixture shopping and bathroom-gutting. By planning ahead with a budget and an idea of what your bathroom will look like when it’s all done, you can avoid a situation where you start by replacing the shower and end up tearing down a wall to expand the space.

The second rule is to appeal to a wide audience with your bathroom remodel. Anyone who has shopped for a home in Portland or anywhere else has noticed that houses are as unique as the individuals who occupy them, and nowhere is this more true than the bathroom. The way around this is to focus on improvements that everyone will appreciate – but that doesn’t mean you can’t make some upgrades that will appeal to a more specific category of home buyer.

Talk to your Portland real estate agent about who is likely to be interested in your home – young families, retired folks, or another group?

According to, 25% of home buyers in the US are over the age of 58, and Portland sees a similar demographic, with certain neighborhoods attracting a higher volume of retirees. This group of home buyers typically want to stay in the home through the end of their lives, so they’ll be looking at accessibility. To incorporate accessibility into your bathroom redesign, think about opening up the space as much as possible. You’ll definitely want to replace the tub with a walk-in shower and install brighter lighting if the room is dim. If you’re replacing the sink and cabinetry, lower them to wheelchair-accessible height. For ADA-approved setups, see

If your Portland home is more suited to a growing family, the first thing you’ll want to look at in your bathroom is adding more storage. If there’s a way to separate the toilet and shower area from the sink so family members could share the bathroom, do it!

You can’t go wrong with a few simple fixes that will appeal to any buyer looking for a home in Portland. To make the space look larger, brighten it with light colors and additional lighting options and remove unnecessary furnishings. Update the fixtures as needed, and remove problematic flooring/tiles/counters. Carpeting, broken tiles and peeling linoleum are out!

Remember, when remodeling your bathroom to prepare your Portland home for sale, start by making a plan, and prioritize aesthetic appeal over personal wants. Keep costs in mind for every component of the project plan. And, if you’re unsure of what potential buyers will be looking for, ask your Portland real estate agent!

February 27, 2014

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. and a top 1% agent in the Portland Metro. Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales in the Portland Metro area. Call him direct: 503-714-1111.

Pay less (4.5% commission max.) and get more with his top 1% listing team or buy your next home with his excellent top 1% buyer’s team. We work from Salem, Oregon to Vancouver, Washington and beyond. Check out our full services areas on the top menu.