Why do the houses in Selling Sunset have so many bathrooms?

A property experts answers the question we’ve all been asking

Laura Hampson
Friday 03 December 2021 16:16
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Five bedrooms and … seven bathrooms? Viewers of Netflix’s Selling Sunset have been repeatedly scratching their heads at the apparent incongruity of room to washroom ratio seen in many of the properties on sale.

For the uninitiated, the reality show follows a group of ultra-glamorous real estate agents as they sell homes in the Hollywood Hills, Malibu and the San Fernando Valley. Its combination of wildly expensive properties and endless in-fighting between the agents has had viewers hooked for four seasons.

It has also had them baffled about how many bathrooms the rich and famous require.

Among listings this season is a five-bedroom, six-bathroom abode listed for US$14 million (£10.5 million).

We also see Chrishell Stause, one of the agents, show a house to Simu Liu, star of Marvel’s new film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings which has four beds and six bathrooms for US9.75 million (£7.3 million).

Stause herself purchases a four bedroom, four-and-a-half bathroom home during the season for US3.4 million (£2.5 million).

Chrishell Stause and Mary Fitgerald in the bathroom of Stause’s new home on Selling Sunset

Despite lusting after these luxury properties, we’re left with one very big question: Why do all of these homes have more bathrooms than bedrooms?

The dilemma isn’t limited to reality television. Last year, Prince Harry supersized his living situation when he moved from the five-bedroom Frogmore Cottage in Windsor to the nine-bedroom, 16-bathroom home he shares with Meghan Markle and their children, Archie and Lilibet, in LA.

According to data experts at LABC Warranty, who analysed property sites like Rightmove and Zoopla, the average house in the UK has three bedrooms and one bathroom.

Comparatively, the US Census Bureau says that 47 per cent of the 648,000 single-family homes built in 2015 had more than four bedrooms while 38 per cent had more than three bathrooms - this is nearly a bathroom for each bedroom.

It’s a question that’s been posed on forums like Quora, with users replying the reason for their three-bedroom, four-bathroom home is so there can be a bathroom on each floor of the house and an ensuite in the master bedroom.

One Twitter user pointed out that the reason for multiple bathrooms could be so the house occupants don’t have to share bathrooms, citing the episode of Sex and the City where Carrie is mortified about going to the loo at Mr Big’s house.

The Selling Sunset agents at one of their million-dollar listings

So what’s the real reason? It has to do with size and status.

“In the past half century, studies have shown that the number of bathrooms per American household has doubled,” Bruna Pani from We Buy Any House tells The Independent.

Pani says the fact that America has more land mass than Britain is why the US tends to build bigger homes.

“The bathroom has become a space that is extremely sought after on the property market, and although UK homes may not have the same ability to incorporate multiple bathrooms, we certainly try to make it one of the most appealing areas of our property,” Pani explains.

“It adds value to your home and the notion of having one bathroom for yourself, your spouse, children and so forth reinforces the idea of luxury, hygiene and privacy.”

Is multiple bathrooms the epitome of luxury? Maybe. But it also sounds like it’s just more rooms to clean.

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