The “Bonus Room” Makes a Comeback

Daily Real Estate News | Monday, October 02, 2017

Home builders and designers say demand is increasing for more flexible living spaces, giving rise once again to “bonus” or “multipurpose” rooms, The Wall Street Journal reports. Such rooms offer extra square footage for owners to create a space that fits their lifestyle. Baby boomers, for example, are showing interest in bonus rooms that could potentially serve as a first-floor master bedroom or suite.

Out of the 20 top-selling floor plans on Houseplans.com, 13 include bonus rooms, according to the site. However, only 14 percent of all plans the site offers contain such rooms. They are usually located off the entry hallway near the main living space and a bathroom. The location makes it easy to transform the space into an extra bedroom, if needed. Bonus rooms also may be located above the garage. Homeowners use these extra spaces for anything from an in-law suite to a home theater.

Some designers say real estate professionals shouldn’t label bonus rooms with a specific purpose when showing a home to their clients. Let buyers imagine for themselves how they’d use the room; this can also make the listing more appealing to them. “When you name it ‘dining room,’ they will always see it as a dining room; they will never get it out of their mind,” says Mark Mathis, co-owner of Hattiesburg, Miss.-based design firm House Plan Gallery. “We have found that labeling this type of area as ‘flex space’ on our floor plans best allows home buyers to decide how a particular space can be used to fit their specific family’s needs.”

Source: “Forward-Looking Homeowners Want Rooms That Do Double Duty,” The Wall Street Journal (Sept. 28, 2017)

“Copyright National Association of REALTORS®. Reprinted with permission.”

 

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