Should I add a private bathroom?

So I am buying a home next Saturday that I will partially use as an Airbnb…Question…I have two bedrooms that can currently share a bathroom…I know when I look to book a place, I always only look for ‘private bathroom’, but maybe I’m just weird…do you think the additional # of nights I will get that room booked by it having a private bath would be worth the cost to put it in??

I can only tell you what I know from what my guests have told me. I rent a private room with private bath in my home (guests share the kitchen with me) and a several of my middle-aged guests have told me that they like the experience of booking homeshares, but that a private bathroom is important to them.

Of course we all use public bathrooms, but to me there’s something kind of off-putting about sharing a bathroom with total strangers in a private setting.

That said, plenty of hosts have successful rentals with shared bathrooms. It then falls on the host to make sure to keep that bathroom clean. Like on a daily basis.

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Yes. But your market matters.

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What KKC said - in our market the majority of homestays offer shared bathrooms but people seem to be booking them during the busier months - even those at a higher price point.

That said, bookings all around our area appear to have tanked this winter. We have only had 2 nights booked in January with one more coming up. (Private room/private bath 4.98 rating, $45/night) Whole house rentals with 3 bedrooms are now being advertised at $79 a night.

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I personally prefer a private bathroom. I think adding a bathroom would add value not only to your listing but also for resale value.

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No-one can answer that question for you as we don’t know what demand is like for ensuites in your location @wrp610 .

I offer a room in my home that shares 1.5 bathrooms with me and have lots of demand for my listing.

Only you know the additional costs involved, how much extra you could generate from having an ensuite and therefore how many additional bookings you would need for this to be a profitable investment @wrp610

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As others have said it’s impossible to 100% know your market but I concur with others: yes it will make your listing more desirable.

My STR has totally tanked this winter. Worse winter since I opened in 2016 except for 2021 when I was closed. Its private suite. 1 bedroom, den, kitchenette with full dining room table and full bath. I don’t have a singlle booking right now until end of February.

I strongly agree that we can’t know if the OP could justify the bathroom investment solely by the increased bookings because we don’t know any of the facts here.

But even if we knew the knowable facts by the OP showing the marketplace by sharing a comparable Airbnb listing, we might not be able to figure out the incremental value of a private bathroom for a guest because there are so many factors that go into the pricing and occupancy of a listing.

Still, the OP could look at the OP’s market and see if it could compare home share listings where there is a private bathroom or not and get an intuitive sense of whether there is a difference in rates, and by looking at the calendar get a sense of whether one property is booked more than the other [though this is not perfect since the OP won’t know whether unavailable dates means that they are booked or whether they are blocked, but I’d guess ‘booked.’]

If the OP wants to be more scientific, I do know that on Wheelhouse you show the number of bedrooms, bathrooms and other parameters and it shows the nightly rate it recommends. [I don’t recall if a private bathroom is one of the options.] I assume PriceLabs and AirDNA do this too and the OP can explore whether there is an option for a private bathroom on one of these three tools. So the OP could buy just a month’s subscription to one of those services and, if available, toggle a private bathroom on/off to see the effect.

I’d suggest to the OP that the economic return on the private bathroom is more than the increased bookings. It’s also the increased nightly rate, the non-monetary but real value of the OP having a private bathroom for himself, the value of having a second bathroom in case the first bathroom fails, and the value on re-sale. Clearly an important part of this is the cost of the new bathroom, which also needs to account for ‘second order/follow-on’ effects like whether a different water heater is needed, whether there are AC or heating considerations.

Finally, there’s an aesthetic component – how will it fit into the look of the home? We’ve thought about adding a bathroom in our rental but when we look where it would have to be it would break up the backyard and be an eyesore. So we nix’ed it on that basis.

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When I added a private bathroom and separate entrance to my home where I airbnb I was also considering the added equity to the home’s value and it’s value to me aside from Airbnb.

I’ve always had to balance my Airbnb with in home dog boarding. Having guests interact with guest dogs was extra work and keeping the hall bathroom used by my friends and my guests was more work. I was also thinking I might have to move my sister in with me. She passed away just as the addition was completed but now, 6 years later, I’m having to think about my brother in law.

For me, adding the bathroom was worth every dime, even if I didn’t get a single additional booking. No one here can possibly know what variables will be in your calculation.

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We have one room with a private bath and one with shared. The private one is definitely booked more. We were also able to open the private one sooner when re-opening after COVID. When challenges like COVID hit, you can offer a safer experience to guests. Much will depend as others have said on your market. Look at area STRs and see if the shared bathroom listings are as booked as the private ones. You might also measure your return on investment. How much more can you charge with a private bath? If you ever plan to resell, it’s a nice feature too.

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I wouldn’t add it based just on the possibility of increased bookings. Those you can’t control and so much depends on what Airbnb does. Personally I see much more emphasis and promotion of whole house rentals on their website, and the expensive ones. Makes sense as they make more money.

We rent out the first floor of our house and it’s a much smaller market, even though we offer a private entrance…but the stairwell is open between. And personally, I would never share a bathroom. I say this only to underscore the point that you have a small audience of potentials (compared to the total) to begin with.

If all the other factors are important (home value, house resale) then the combination of them all might make it worth it.

I agree with @Atinative.

You don’t yet have any experience with the market, with yourself as a host, etc.

Before making a capital improvement to your home (and your business), I suggest that you wait a year. Learn about your market, your customers, your competition. Keep your business records scrupulously separate from your personal records. If you don’t know how, find out how to keep those records and how to do a profit-and-loss statement.

Then separately project income, return-on-investment, etc.

If you haven’t done a business plan for your startup Airbnb, I suggest that, too.

The more you run this like a real business, with the ability to identify supply costs, maintenance costs, utility costs, licensing costs, short-term rental insurance costs, etc., the better prepared you’ll be to determine whether any capital improvements are justified and how long it will take the business to pay for them.

I don’t think I know where you are, but we have an LLC (a US Limited Liability Company) with a Federal ID Number for our room-renting business. I suggest the same or the equivalent for you.

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Again, it surely depends on your market and whether or not it will bring you enough extra bookings to make it worth it. I also thought about your future plans for the property. As @KKC mentioned, it could be useful someday for family. If you decided to sell, I imagine it would add value then too. Everything everyone else said makes sense to me too.

Personally, I’d also have to weigh all of it against, plainly, whether or not I was up to the disruption that it will naturally cause for a while. As far as being a guest, I don’t care if I share a bathroom or not. I really don’t even notice it when I book.