The Luxury of Selfishness
Top Producing Team
Gilroy Office, 2016
Marta Dinsmore, Realtor GRI
Intero Real Estate Services
Sean Dinsmore, Realtor
Intero Real Estate Services
ow many bedrooms can you fit in an 8,000 sq.ft. home? Well, how many bed-
rooms do you want? Better question: how many do you need? Must we always
find a correlation between home space and number of bedrooms? The bigger the
house, the more bedrooms? And, accordingly, the smaller the house, the less bedrooms?
NO. I repeat: NO. Does not have to be.
An past article in the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal caught my eye.
The editor, Stephanos Chen, was writing about the perplexing questions mentioned
above. Great topic. Here goes the story, as reported by the
Wall Street Journal: a couple from Chicago is looking to sell
a beautiful 7,569 sq.ft. house for about $5 million, a rather
hefty price these days in the Windy City. But wait to see what you get
for the money. The property has a 900 sq.ft. gym—a barrel-vaulted
penthouse for entertaining—an oak-paneled library—an outdoor
theater—and all that and plenty more on five decks and terraces.
Picture perfect. Start writing your offer.
There is only one little glitch, if you may call it that: the house has
“only” two bedrooms. Wow, what’s wrong with this picture? Nothing.
Nothing at all. Why not having just 2 bedrooms, rather than three,
four, five, six or whatever? If it were your house, how many would
you have, and why? What’s your lifestyle? Who is the house for, if
it’s not for you?
You see, the choice belongs to YOU, irrespective of what others may think about
the matter. What most people end up doing is often based on arbitrary conventions
or, perhaps a lack of individual and original thinking. In the Chicago scenario we are
talking about, the owners are of the opinion that having more bedrooms than they
actually can use is a total waste of space. Besides, they cherish their privacy and don’t
care to keep the doors open for lingering guests.
Let’s be real. Who needs a lot of bedrooms? Well, if you have a lot of kids, it makes
sense, at least as long as you have them living at home. Same thing about friends or
relatives. Depends how many and how often they “pay” you a visit. Is it all year long?
Or just six months out of twelve? Or only a couple of weeks a year? Buying a house
with plenty of bedrooms (and perhaps paying more than you otherwise would) with
the thought that you might need them every once in a while does not sound like a
We are in 2017, right? And we live in a country where it is very easy to sell or buy a
new home anytime, depending on whether the family is growing or shrinking and how
personal needs are evolving. Nobody said anyone had to live in the same house all life
long and have a roof big enough to accommodate around the clock a host of relatives
from several generations. With the exception of a few countries still attached to this cul-
tural trait, most people appreciate their privacy.
It sounds a little selfish and it probably is. But so what? It’s OK. It’s your house. It’s
your money. Guests, for the most part, are enjoyable and it’s nice to share wonderful
times with them. During the day that is. When the night falls, it’s also nice to kiss every-
body goodbye—until the next day. In between the two, lodging options are plenty and
as comfortable as wished by all concerned. That’s what hotels are for. Or Airbnb if you
so choose —or other relatives.
Now, before you rush to sell your existing home and get yourself a new palatial two
bedroom pad, there is one thing you should know. When comes the time to sell, fewer
bedrooms means more time on the market waiting for a buyer. Everything being equal,
the demand for a low bedroom count is (at this point) narrower than for a three or four
bedroom house. Largely because of the traditional mindset mentioned above.
According to a study ran by Realtor.com, the typical luxury home offered on the market
last year had a median size of 4,705 sq.ft. and had five bedrooms. No surprise. What you
may find surprising though is the fact that, according to the same analysis spanning the
50 largest metro areas, luxury homes with lots of space but fewer bedrooms command a
higher sale price. Lots of people would find it smarter and more valuable to put a bowling
alley in the house rather than another useless bedroom (or more) collecting dust.
One more thing to think about next time you go shopping for a new home, a new
home that looks like you and truly fits your lifestyle.
GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN