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How important is a bathtub for resale? - Ask Realtor Carla

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Preferred Realty

How important is a bathtub for future resale?

It's 2024 and for the past several years we've had this exact question. To be honest, there was a time when bathtubs were an essential part of the primary bathroom. Even if you didn't want it, you would have been wise to have one for future resale.

Times have changed and what we've noticed is some people feel bathtubs are a waste of space, use too much water, are a glorified towel holder, or one more thing to clean. The folks in this camp have rebelled and are saying "no" to bathtubs. We hear this when we show homes and see their choices in new construction homes and in bathroom remodels. 

As an experienced Real Estate expert, I have clients who absolutely don't want a bathtub. I also have clients who will not purchase a home without one. I find it's about a 50/50 mix. The majority of people are in on camp or the other and very few seem to be indifferent. 

Why are bathtubs so important to some homebuyers?

  • rehabilitation to ease muscle pain/overall health benefits
  • stress reduction and/or relaxation and mediation
  • self care/prepare for a better sleep experience
  • habit - some people grew up taking baths vs. showers
  • Cold plunge baths are the new rage for post workouts
  • beautiful addition to your bathroom

What naysayers have to say about bathtubs:

  • environment/too much water usage
  • takes up too much space
  • collects dust/one more thing to clean
  • would rather have a large shower
  • doesn't like bathing in their own dirt
  • additional expense of adding or having a tub

What I've found is it really comes down to whether an individual will use it or won't use it. For those who love to take baths, it doesn't really matter what is on the cons list. Nothing will get between them and a nice relaxing bath. For those who don't take baths, they'll list all the reasons not to have a tub but it is ultimately because they don't use it.

You might think bathtubs are only for women. In fact, I have as many men as women tell me they want a bathtub in their primary bathroom. There's nothing to be embarrassed about. Guys who are athletic or super active see the health benefits.

Whether you do or don't have a bathtub in your primary bathroom, you're going to have someone pass on it because they want the opposite. It's your home and you should enjoy it as you see fit. The resale aspect will probably be minimal.

As for me, I'm in "camp bathtub". I'm more likely to buy a house with a tub in the primary bathroom than not. I'm one who grew up in an older home with only a bathtub and not a shower. I usually only use it in the winter and on occasion because it does use a lot of water. But ooh how nice it is to take a relaxing muscle soothing bath.

*I do suggest having at least one bathtub in the house just in case you need it and because that will affect resale if you don't. People with small kids generally want at least one bathtub in the house.

Other Articles of Interest

Taking the Plunge: 5 reasons why baths are good for you - Cleveland Clinic

Is it better to take a shower or a bath? - Healthline

8 Reasons Why Baths are Great for your Health - Town and Country Magazine

When Americans Started Bathing - JSTOR Daily

Shower vs Tub? Which is right for your bathroom? - Angi

The Great Debate - Does every home need a bathtub? - Bob Vila

Shower vs. Bath - which one gets you cleaner? - SELF

Bathroom Design Tips: Tubs vs. Showers - Home Channel TV on YouTube

The Worst 3 Mistakes Everyone Makes in Bathrooms - Lisa Holt Design on Youtube




Posted by

Raleigh Cary Apex Realtor Carla Freund Realty

Presented by:

Carla Freund of Ask Realtor Carla

Carla Freund Realty Team

Keller Williams Preferred Realty

By Carla Freund Realty Team

Original Home of "Market In A Minute" Real Estate Report for Raleigh Cary CH & Durham Triangle

Carolina Life Real Estate and Relocation


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Contact Carla Freund, Broker, Keller Williams Preferred Realty,  Licensed Realtor® in North Carolina at 919-602-8489 to list your property for sale or to purchase a property in Cary, Raleigh, Morrisville, Apex, Fuquay-Varina, Garner, Holly Springs, Pittsboro, Durham, Chapel Hill, Johnston County, and the surrounding areas.

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Disclaimer: The information provided herein is supplied by several sources and is subject to change without notice. The Raleigh - Cary Home Reviews Blog, Keller Williams and Carla Freund does not guarantee or is any way responsible for its accuracy, and provides said information without warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied. Entries on Raleigh - Cary Home Reviews represent the opinions and ideas of the author(s). Raleigh - Cary Home Reviews Blog does not express the views of Keller Williams, or those of the broker.


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Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh NC




Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Carla. In the interest of time and lack of typing ability, I am going to agree with Candice A. Donofrio. She put it well. One bathtub somewhere for the grandkids but not in the owners suite. Enjoy your day. 

Jan 14, 2024 05:37 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I do not have a tub in our primary/master bath - instead we have a large walk in shower. In the main bath there is a tub. I agree that it's important to have at least one in the house.

Jan 14, 2024 06:28 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

The Bath Tub needs to be shining or it’s most likely to be torn out for a walk in shower by the new owner !

Jan 14, 2024 07:58 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Carla,

I'm glad Kathy Streib featured your post n her Sunday Series. I commented before but it was fun to run through the added comments again. I think you are right..choices might also depends on location.

Jan 14, 2024 09:12 AM
Carla Freund

Thank you so much Dorie Dillard Austin TX.

Mar 27, 2024 12:19 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

I personally don't think it is necessary to have a bathtub in the primary bathroom but there needs to be one in the second (or third or fourth) bathroom for the small children.  Bathtubs in the primary bathroom are a luxury that most of my buyers don't require - they are too busy earning the money to pay for the mortgage to spend time luxuriating in the tub! :}

Jan 15, 2024 06:17 AM
Carla Freund

Good point Lise Howe.

Mar 27, 2024 12:19 PM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

My sense is age has something to do with it as well as potential guests. We have 2 bath tubs and one will be converted to a walk in shower.  When our granddaughter comes to visit, she loves the bath tub.

Jan 15, 2024 04:15 PM
Carla Freund

Leanne Smith You make a valid point!

Mar 27, 2024 12:19 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

There might be more to this than we think. There’s always something to learn and observe.

Jan 15, 2024 09:38 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

If you have small children, you want a bathtub. IMO, all houses should have at least one tub.

Jan 17, 2024 01:59 PM
Carla Freund

I agree with you John Juarez.

Mar 27, 2024 12:18 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

There is something to be said about a really exquisite bathroom on things all together every piece has a place in the puzzle.?:

Jan 17, 2024 02:55 PM
Carla Freund

That's very true Laura Cerrano!

Mar 27, 2024 12:18 PM
Joyce Marsh
Joyce Marsh Real Estate LLC - Daytona Beach, FL
Joyce Marsh Homes

We just completed a major remodel in our Master Bath and added a free standing tub so I’m in the have a tub group. I’m in heaven actually, from my point of view!

Jan 20, 2024 02:24 AM
Carla Freund

Joyce Marsh I'm partial to a free standing tub as well. Enjoy!

Mar 27, 2024 12:17 PM
Mike McCann Nebraska Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farm & Commercial Land Broker-Auctioneer Serving Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm & Commercial Property For Sale 308-627-3700

Hi Carla Freund  We only have a walkin shower in the main bedroom.  My wife is the sole user of that.  We have 2 other bathrooms with traditional tub/shower combo.  I use the one in the basement intentionally and do not do anything in the main bathroom....fought that battle years ago.  My schedule is different from my wife's and it works for us.   Our previous home we had a huge main bath with jetted tub that was really only a playground for the kids.   I do think all houses need to have a tub but also a stand alone shower.  Thank you for sharing the links! 

Jan 20, 2024 08:20 AM
Carla Freund

Oh, I agree with you about having at least one tub and a stand alone shower. I grew up in a 1940s bungalow house. We had one bathroom with a tub and NO shower. We had 7 females in the house including mom, grandmother, me and 4 younger sisters. I don't know how we survived with only 1 bathroom.

Mar 27, 2024 12:17 PM
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

I personally don’t want, or need a tub! That said, I think no tub can reduce your buyer pool! I have never seen a house with at least one tub kill a sale! I have on occasion seen a house with no tub,cause buyers to pass on the house!

Jan 21, 2024 09:07 AM
Carla Freund

Interesting Tom Bailey. I definitely have buyers who want their soaking tub and will pass on a home without one.

Mar 27, 2024 12:15 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Carla Freund - it seems to be subjective here. For infants and small children, a standard bathtub is desirable. As you mentioned, for therapeutic reasons, it can be very beneficial. I sold homes in the past without a tub and found them to be harder to sell and they took longer too. 

My personal opinion is it doesn't hurt if a homeowner has both and could be an extra benefit. 

Mar 20, 2024 06:37 AM
Carla Freund

Yes, it can be beneficial. There was a time you wouldn't dare have a master bathroom without a soaking tub. Now it is more acceptable to only have a shower. As for me, I like the tub. 

Mar 20, 2024 11:27 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP

Carla Freund - In DFW many older and new construction now have removed the tubs and made one giant two for one shower with spa and message shower heads for the primary bathroom. Time sure has changed. The house I grew up in had a tub with the claw legs and a rubber hose to wash your hair. 

Mar 21, 2024 04:51 AM
Carla Freund

Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP we see that a lot as well. 

Mar 27, 2024 12:15 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

I hope all is going well for you, Carla. 

Have a productive spring

Mar 21, 2024 10:25 AM
Carla Freund

Thank you Roy Kelley!

Mar 27, 2024 12:14 PM
Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint-Idaho
Sandpoint Realty LLC - Sandpoint, ID
North Idaho Real Estate - 208-255.6227

Interesting Post Carla.  Personally I never use the bathtub and prefer showers.  I do however have a hot tub outside that has always been essential to my living habits.  M

Mar 27, 2024 01:51 AM
Carla Freund

Hey, with a hot tub, who needs a bathtub?

Mar 27, 2024 12:14 PM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Single full time Dad with four kids. Tub time for all four at the end of the day. I remember the scrubby dub dub in the tub. Good routine along with bed time stories, prayers, the nighty nighty don't let the bed bugs bite Carla Freund. Calgon take me away is not the same in the shower. 

air jet tub vacation property

Mar 29, 2024 05:46 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

I have been on both sides of this fence.
As a dad and a dog owner I loved having tubs to wash my son and pooch. (not together) but as a home remodeler, I took a lot of tibs out and installed accommodating, luxury showers. As an older guy now with aches, pains and a few creaks, I'm back to team bathtub. I suppose if I had a hot tub I'd not need a bathtub, but I have never like above ground hot tubs.

Mar 29, 2024 08:15 AM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
NC Real Estate Transition & Relocation 919-602-848

Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets Yes, same here. I think there are so many considerations. 

Mar 30, 2024 06:30 AM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
NC Real Estate Transition & Relocation 919-602-848

Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573 Calgon take me away is definitely not the same in the shower. Is Calgon still around? Younger generations may never know what it is.

Mar 30, 2024 06:33 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH@properties - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Carla, I  have one of each - a Jacuzzi in one bath and a shower in the other and I love them both. And I'd hate to have to choose between them.

Apr 07, 2024 07:00 PM
Carla Freund

I'm with you on that Patricia!

Apr 08, 2024 06:43 AM