Let’s say you have multiple families living under one roof Full House-style or a spouse who snores like a freight train. Who gets dibs on the master suite and who will be relegated to the couch, guest bedroom, or makeshift attic quarters?
If your home has “dual master suites,” everyone wins with their own equally private and comfortable oasis just for them.
Sounds pretty ideal, which is why between 2003 and 2018, the number of homebuyers seeking “two full master bedroom suites” (plus a standard bedroom) grew from 25% to 40%, according to an analysis from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Economics and Housing Policy Group.
But what is a dual master suite, exactly, and should it be on your dream home wish list?
The ‘suite’ life: Double the privacy, comforts, and luxuries of a master
A home with dual master suites comes with two (“dual″) separate and spacious master bedrooms with their own en-suite bathrooms, usually at opposite sides of the home. You can expect each master suite to have the following:
Lots of square footage
You should have no trouble fitting your California king-size bed in a master-suite bedroom. The average bedroom in a home is 219 square feet, but master suites range anywhere from 400 to 650 square feet.
Dual vanities or sink stations
Plenty of counter space and enough room to get ready in the morning eases the stress of daily life — that’s what master suite living is all about.
Spacious master suite bathrooms include a nice modern shower, soaking tub, or both depending on the size of the room.
Master showers are usually 4-by-6 feet in size and will include some kind of specialty sprayhead; some suites may also include a bench or steam shower feature. A luxury tub isn’t a must-have but appeals to the 38% of Americans who enjoy a relaxing weekly soak.
His and hers walk-in closet
Dual master suites feature closets that organizers dream of — with a minimum of 7 to 10 square feet, there’s plenty of space for his and hers.
A newer emerging feature within the dual master suite trend is the inclusion of small appliances in the bedroom that make day-to-day life more convenient, such as a microwave, mini-fridge, and coffee bar.
What’s driving the trend toward two master suites?
Home design trends evolve to reflect the changing needs of homebuyers. In this case, dual master suites have grown in popularity largely in response to the rise in multi-generational households.
In 2016, the number of multigenerational households, meaning any house with two or more adult generations living under one roof, hit a new high of 20% (or 64 million households), according to data from the Pew Research Center.
As these types of living situations became more common, one in three homebuyers in the $2-million-and-up price range started looking for homes with the dual master suite option, according to a 2016 WSJ analysis. Think: older parents moving in with their adult children, or boomerang kids who move back in with the ′rents to get on their feet financially.
New Jersey-based construction firm Gambrick reported a 50% increase in homes built with dual master suites between 2014 and 2019, as luxury home builders across the country integrate dual master suites into home designs into their offerings.
Top-selling Sarasota, Florida, real estate agents Lori Cashi-Haught and Tami Cashi, also known as Team Cashi, confirm that buyers in their area who actively search for (or seek to build) homes with dual master suites are indeed planning for multigenerational living arrangements.
Most recently, the duo helped clients build a home with dual master suites to accommodate their 50-year-old daughter and their 12-year-old granddaughter living with them in the same house.
“They’re looking for a home to suit them all, and they want to make sure they have a nice private area for their daughter,” says Lori (and nothing cramps a family’s style more than a waiting line for the shower each morning, right?).
Meanwhile, there’s also a growing desire among spouses to sleep apart when dealing with conflicting work schedules or one partner’s snoring, insomnia, and so on. A study from the National Sleep Foundation found that 10% of married couples sleep in separate bedrooms. Doesn’t sound like the most romantic setup, but who can argue with needing to get your beauty rest? And dual master suites make it so that no one has to play second fiddle in their own house when sleeping in the same space on a regular basis leaves you feeling like a walking zombie on zero sleep.
See the trend for yourself: Dual master suite home layout examples
To find out more about the dual master suite trend, HomeLight reached out to Schumacher Homes, an award-winning custom home builder across 14 states. Schumacher provided two illuminating floor plans, which both offer a dual master suite:
And below are some model home photos of the Oakley G (gorgeous!):
You can see how the second master suite includes a small kitchenette, so you don’t even have to leave the privacy of your room to have a cup of coffee.
The en suite bathrooms include a spacious tub with jets and a large walk-in shower. Nice!
Pros and cons of the dual master suite
As with any home feature, there are both benefits and drawbacks to the dual master suite; let’s cover both sides, shall we?
Pro: Privacy under the same roof
A home with dual master suites offers the best of both worlds for adults when it comes to privacy and proximity. The suites offer space to get away and a bathroom of your own, with a location just a few paces away from the other suite. Whether it’s a young adult who boomerangs back home or aging parents who need to move in with a child, the suites bring a sense of independence to each party under the same roof.
Con: Not great for kids
Sometimes the privacy dual master suites offer can take it a step too far.
“I see homes where you have two masters and the parents don’t want to have their kids in a giant master suite. It just seems sort of odd,” explains agent Lori Cashi-Haught.
Putting that much space between a young child and their parents can be somewhat isolating and could be too much space for a growing family.
Pro: An easier way to buy a home with a friend
Co-buying is on the rise: 16.3% of all single-family homes in 2017 were co-bought among friends, and dual master suites can make such a living arrangement much easier. Both owners have their own place to retreat, complete with a private bathroom and spacious bedroom, which also removes the tension of who gets the biggest bedroom. Similar to split-level homes, houses with dual master suites can also be great for young adults seeking to live with a roommate.
Con: More private space means less communal space
Dual master suites take up more square footage in a home than traditional bedrooms and, depending on the size of the house, you could be sacrificing valuable communal areas for privacy and luxury you just don’t need. If an expansive kitchen and large living room are high on your wish list, a home with dual master suites might not fit your needs.
Pro: Resale will fetch a higher price
The multigenerational living trend continues to grow, and it’s putting homes with dual master suites at a premium. Dual master suite homes are listed, on average, for 9% more than comparable homes on the market. Buying a home with a dual master suite now could mean riding a trend straight to the bank at time of resale.
Con: It’s out of your price range
If you’re hoping to renovate a house that’s smaller than 3,500 feet to create dual master suites, you’ll have to downsize other spaces in the home to accommodate the larger space. If you want a dual master suite in your home, better to buy one that already has the feature, or build one from the ground up.
You’re more likely to find luxury homes with dual master suites because of the space required to build them into floor plans. In addition, double the luxury master suite features and finishes can mean a higher price tag out of your budget.
As you weigh your priorities in a new home, consider your needs and lifestyle before doubling down on a property with dual master suites.
Header Image Source: (Aw Creative/ Unsplash)