Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Master Bath Ensuite, A Master Bath Ensuite, A Million Crowns for a Master Bath Ensuite

Two years ago The Swede and I gave up on our pursuit of purchasing a house in Sweden. We did this for many reasons. The main ones?

  1. Someone forgot to tell Sweden about the housing crisis and falling housing prices everywhere.
  2. The bidding process is this frantic text messaging process where code names are given for supposed prospective buyers while prices go from 2.2 million to 3.5 in the course of an afternoon fika
  3. Those 3.5 million crown houses look like something your grandmother might sell - full of busy crazy bathroom wallpaper, 1984 kitchens and wood paneling. All the nice houses? The bidding STARTS at 3.5.
  4. Did you read that about the bidding process? It gave me a heart-attack every single friggin time. Do we have the highest bid? Do we have the highest bid because we are insane to pay so much money for such an ugly house? Someone has a higher bid? Oh, maybe that house wasn't so ugly? Oh, we hit our max bid? Too bad. Oh wait that's the agent calling to say the owner rejected the bids higher than ours and wants to accept ours? Why did they do that? Who is this agent anyway? And I only saw the house for like 30 minutes while it was packed with 50 other people.

So we rent. After a variety of calculations we came to the conclusion that our rent – which includes heat and hot water, is equal to or slightly below what we would have paid for to buy a similar place per month – if you include interest rates, heat, hot water, garbage removal, etc.

Anyways, enough about how we live – the real point is – I probably would have busted right through my max. house price bid if I managed to find a decent size house with a master bedroom and a master bath ensuite (FYI this means the bathroom is only accessible from the master bedroom.)

Recently, on Swedish house repair/real estate/DIY shows there has been a trend to call the large bedroom in the house the 'Master bedroom.' 'Whose lousy excuse for a Master bedroom is that?' I rant from the sofa 'Is that because it is the only bedroom with closets? I admit, I know zero, zilch, nada about architecture. But I don't get the point of a master bedroom without a master bath. And now that we have kids – man I would love to have a bathroom without bathtub toys and brightly colored stickers everywhere.

A master bathroom is a great thing. You don't have to traipse down the hall in the middle of the night. You don't have to worry about waking the guests, or the baby or anyone.

How can you be the Master of your house, if you aren't the Master of your own bathroom?

All of these huge new houses are being built not so far from where we live, and how many of them have master bathrooms? None!

So here's to hoping that by the time I build up the stomach (and nest egg) to invest in Swedish property, Master Baths will be the newest, hottest trend.  


  1. Now, it doesn't get much more American than me, and I grew up having my own bathroom en suite, in fact, but here in Sweden of course we do not have a master bathroom and I honestly don't mind.

    We have a big (newly renovated) family bathroom and not having it attached to our bedroom has a few advantages.

    More privacy (if you like privacy from your spouse that is)
    No steam or smells from bathroom coming into bedroom
    Um, I guess that is it.

    Plus, it means that overall, there are fewer bathrooms in the house, which sounds bad, but is really nice from a cleaning standpoint!

    Now, of course, if it had been feasible, I would have preferred to do it the American way, with a nice master suite. But as it happens our bedroom is, I think, the smallest one, and it has another room off it (which Swedish people insist on calling a closet even though it has a window!) which we will have be a nursery, so it'll be kind of a suite. But I'm surprised that NEW homes don't do it The American Way. I thought our lack of a master bath was some country-house quirk!

  2. I could not agree with you more. What you just wrote is exactly what I would write too. We also rent. That is so fine with us. We were very lucky to find this place to rent and even if it is a bit small it is great in many ways. Everyone keeps asking us when we are going to buy something. Well we are not as long as this works for us. We are not even convinced we want to live here forever. I so miss having a master bedroom WITH a master bathroom of course. Swedes building and buying houses just don´t get the great point in having that master bathroom. I want to have my own bathroom and not share it with guests or kids.
    The housing market here is so crazy and so over priced. So we stay put here in our rental :-)
    Have a nice weekend.

  3. @Antropologa - I guess there are some advantages, but man if I'm paying all that money for a house, I want one :)!

    @Desiree - glad to see other happy rentals.

    Some of the nicer newly built places I've seen have guest bathrooms, but oddly enough they are placed next to or across from the apartment owners bathroom. I've always found this a bit weird. Sometimes I don't know which bathroom to use - at least have them far enough away from each other.

    Ah well, viva la differance :)

  4. Well it toke a while for Swedes* to get the notion of even having more than one batromm. To dedciate one of those two soley for one bedroom would be exessive ;)

    * I am only refering to the ones that is from rural stock until the industrial revolution (98-99% of all Swedes). The nobility and mechants (<1%) already was accustomed to it.