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Guest Rooms

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I keep reading threads on here that mention Guest Rooms. Is this a common thing?

I my experience in Australia the only people who might have a "guest room" are people who have no kids living at home and live in a larger house (ie: more than one bedroom, eg: my parents have a 3 bedroom house and just them and my youngest sister still at home so have turned the other bedroom into a "guest room"). Most people with kids have just enough bedrooms for the number of people living in the house. We are a family of 5 living in a 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom house. Houses may have an ensuite attached to the master bedroom, and then one main bathroom for the rest of the house, and sometimes an extra toilet (for eg a downstairs toilet if the main bathroom is upstairs), but very rarely a bedroom and bathroom assigned for guest use only.

From the threads I have read here I get the perception that everyone has at least a guest bedroom, and in some cases a "guest suite" that includes a bathroom. Is this true?

It really varies.  I live in the Mid-west, and housing isn't as high as it can be on the coast.    Most of the houses around have 3 or 4 bedrooms, so it's not too hard to have a guest bedroom.  I don't know very many that have a guest suite though.

It certainly can be true, but I think it depends on a really large variety of things.

For instance, my parents never had a guest room until after both my brother and I had moved away from home.  It wasn't until then that they had a spare bedroom with a double bed that they could consistently offer to guests.  Before that, they had a foldout couch in the den (a public room without doors where our computers were) or one of us kids got kicked out of our bedroom when someone stayed over.

However, I know that I personally will always try very hard to make sure I have some sort of guest room available, even if it's combined with an office or some other function.  My in-laws live extremely far away, and always will, so they won't really be able to visit unless they can stay with us.  For our own convenience and their privacy, it would be nice to have an actual spare bedroom that wasn't used for anything but guests.  It's not hugely common to have an attached bath (that isn't shared) outside of a master bedroom, although if I were building my own house and could swing it, I'd probably want one attached to the guest room.

In the end, I think it comes down to priorities.  People who know they will have a lot of visitors who need somewhere free to stay are likely to prioritize a guest room of some sort if they value those visits.  People who don't have a lot of visitors, or who don't particularly like having guests stay with them, are less likely to prioritize a guest room of some sort.  And, of course, circumstances play a role, too.  If I end up living in a part of the country where housing is very expensive, I might not be able to do better than a pull-out sofa in the living room.  If I end up living somewhere that has less expensive housing, I might be able to afford a house large enough to have a dedicated guest room.

I live in the US & really think it depends on the size of the house & family.  More rooms = more money, so when you build or buy a house you decide whether it is a desired feature.  My parents don't believe in letting people stay at hotels (a belief which was sorely tested when mom ended up with 30+ members of my dad's family for thanksgiving weekend, need to tell that story someday...) so they have always added on 1-2 guest rooms to our house.  I also think my mom secretly prefers having an extra room because my dad is a champion snorer, a fact to which I can personally attest to from sleeping at the opposite end of the house.  ::). Most people I know w houses keep a guest room or have designated a child's room which will be requisitioned if a guest comes.  Those on a tighter budget w apartments tend not to have an extra room if they have kids but often do if it's just a couple.

I am in the USA and have never had a guest room, and that probably won't change. When my children were young, we used every bedroom for family members, and like many others, when someone came to visit for a short time, one of the kids camped out in a sleeping bag somewhere else in the house.


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