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Ask Adam: Do We Need a Tub?

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This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Adam Gallegos of Arlington-based real estate firm Arbour Realty, voted one of Arlington Magazine’s Best Realtors of 2013 & 2014. Please submit your questions via email.

Q. We own a 1,000 sq. ft., 2 bedroom, 1 bath townhouse in 22204. We’re planning to remodel the small bathroom later this year and as part of the remodel we’ll need to remove or replace the bathtub because of rust and a poorly done refinish (by the previous owner). We are not bathers — at all — and I would like to have a nice walk-in shower rather than a bathtub. Please correct me if I’m mistaken but I suspect that the tub/shower debate is purely subjective and either choice will attract and/or deter certain buyers. My primary concern is how will removing the tub impact property value?

A. I remember first considering this question when the Wooster & Mercer Lofts were selling million dollar condos without tubs. To be accurate, some of them have tubs, but most do not. Having brought dozens of home buyers to see these homes, I witnessed a decent sample size of reactions.

As you mentioned, it is purely subjective. The demographic that Wooster & Mercer primarily appealed to, loved the idea of a large walk-in shower over the “wasted space” of a tub. I’ve heard many stories of the fancy whirlpool tubs that clients had in previous homes, which were never used. These people tend to have a particular distaste for tubs, especially large ones that take up valuable space.

On the other hand, when I’m working with families who have children, a tub in at least one of the bathrooms is often on their must-have list. And then of course there are people who just prefer to take baths.

My advice is to consider who is likely to make up the target market for your home when it comes time to sell. If you expect they are going to be people much like yourselves, then go for it. Get rid of the tub. From what you have told me, I think it will end up adding value to your home.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of

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