An Extra Bedroom Costs Way More Than You Think

When we look for a home, there are things we need and there are things we’d like to have. Over the years as homes have gotten bigger and technology has advanced, things in the "nice-to-have" category have migrated into being essential.

Take a dishwasher as an example. 30 years ago, many new homes didn’t come with dishwashers. These days, you’d be hard pressed to find a place without one.

Another thing that’s become a necessity is the spare bedroom. We need that extra space for when family comes to visit, or even for a home office. At least that was the thought process when I bought my house.

But after a while, I began to realize something. That spare room was just sitting there, not being used. It was a total waste.

It gets a little depressing once you do the math. An extra bedroom costs anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000, depending on your location and the value of real estate. You’ll also have to pay extra interest for financing this extra space. And then there’s the additional heat needed to keep it warm and a higher property tax bill.

These costs can all add up significantly over time. In Toronto and Vancouver, it could easily cost a homeowner $100,000 extra for a spare bedroom over the lifetime of a home.

What’s cheaper: paying thousands of extra dollars to buy and finance a spare room, or to put your parents up in a hotel the few times a year they come and visit? More homeowners (and even renters) should ask themselves that question before blindly believing they need a spare bedroom.