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February 13, 2012

Few bedrooms, big price

You'd be forgiven for thinking that pricey homes always have a lot of bedrooms. They so often do.

Take this seven-bedroom spread in Annapolis. Or this 12-bedroom, 19-bathroom mansion (who's using all these bathrooms?) in New Jersey. Or, heck, this 30-bedroom house near Orlando with an entrance designed to look like the opulent Palace of Versailles. Thirty bedrooms!

But one house selling in the Baltimore region last month in the $600,000 to $799,999 category has two bedrooms at most, according to the newest sales statistics from Metropolitan Regional Information Systems.

I don't know much about this place, except that it's in Anne Arundel County and so is probably well-above-average in price thanks to waterfront. To give you an idea of how unusual this is, there wasn't another one- or two-bedroom single-family house in the entire Baltimore region that sold for more than $400,000 last month.

Average price of a two-bed-or-less house in the Baltimore area last month: $148,000. Almost half sold for less than $100,000.

When it comes down to it, though, how many bedrooms does a mansion really need? I mean, is anyone entertaining enough to make 30 bedrooms a must-have? Also ... 19 bathrooms?

Most buyers are opting for three or four bedrooms. But most buyers aren't rolling in dough. If you were, would you drop some of it on a place with bedrooms in the double digits? (If not, what would you have in your ideal digs?)

On the flip side: Lots of bedrooms does not always an expensive house make. Here's a place with 10 of 'em in Northwest Baltimore currently on the market for $39,000. So if you really need a bunch ...

Thanks, by the way, to colleague Gus Sentementes for handling last week's January home sales story while I was on vacation!

Posted by Jamie Smith Hopkins at 6:00 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Housing stats


It could be a full-time job keeping 19 bathrooms clean and supplied with toilet paper.

Hah! Too true, Dahlink.

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About Jamie Smith Hopkins
Jamie Smith Hopkins, a Baltimore Sun reporter since 1999, writes about the regional economy. Her reporting on the housing market has won national and local awards. Hopkins is a Columbia native and has lived in Maryland all her life, save for 10 months spent covering schools in Ames, Iowa.
She trained to become a wonk by spending large chunks of time as a geek and an insufferable know-it-all.
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