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What is considered a bedroom?

What is considered a bedroom?

What is considered a bedroom?  The answer to that question seems simple, doesn’t it?  We all know what a bedroom is.  As you read this, you’re picturing one now.  And yet, when it comes to determining the value of a home, it can be more complicated than you’d think.  Let’s rephrase that.  Determining what is considered a bedroom has been made to be more complicated.  There are spaces in homes that many want to be considered a bedroom because it will add more value to the property.  That’s where an appraiser comes in.  They’ve been trained and certified to determine the nuances of real estate terminology.  So what is considered a bedroom?

We thought it best to go straight to our Chief Appraiser, Matt Frentheway.  In a recent session of “Ask the Appraiser Live!” in the Ask the Appraiser Facebook group, Matt addressed this very topic.  Matt determined that things might differ a bit from state to state.  However, on the subject of defining what a room is to the appraisers in Utah he stated…

“A bedroom is a room that you can ingress and egress into through another common area that is heated or air-conditioned like the rest of the house.  It also has a window and a closet.  That is what a bedroom is whether it’s in the basement or on the upper floors.”

A follow-up question Matt generally gets is, “Well I have a house that was built in 1920 and it’s being used as a bedroom but it doesn’t have a closet.  It has a window, but no closet.  So what are you going to do Mr. Appraiser? That’s not fair that we have zero bedrooms in our house when we actually have four rooms that are being used as bedrooms.”  

I’m sure many of you reading this have been asked this question.  Matt responded stating that this is, “the exception to the rule.  Back in those days, they didn’t really build closets into rooms, they used an armoire.  So we pay attention to what year the house was built. And that comes into the factor.  So, in this case, in that 1920s house, we would count it as 4 bedrooms. It would be considered a bedroom even with no closet.”

Another question Matt often gets, especially in the Sugar House area is in regard to basement windows.  In many older homes,  the basement windows are so small.  They are a window, they let light in,  but you can’t go in or out if there is a fire.  

Matt shared that, “We still call those bedrooms because that’s how they were built back in the day and how they were intended to be. So they still have a window and a closet.”  

He finished this topic in his live Q & A by stating  “We do count bedrooms in the basement.  But we don’t give them value necessarily.  We look at the finished area in the basement compared to the unfinished area. And that’s how we give value to the basement.  On the upper floors, however, we count the bedrooms as well, but we also make adjustments for bedroom count. That’s the simple way to define a bedroom.”  

Determining a bedroom seems simple to some, complicated and confusing to others.  With Matt’s straightforward definition of how appraisers in Utah define a bedroom, you have a better idea of how many rooms are in your home or the home you’re hoping to buy.  

Please share any comments or follow up questions in the comments below!

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2 Comments

  1. Amy Gibbons
    August 3, 2020

    Thanks for sharing the link to this blog. Super helpful! Keep up the blog posts for us Realtors who rely on your knowledge as we direct our clients on their home selling and buying adventures.

    • Matt Frentheway
      August 13, 2020

      You’re very welcome, Amy! We’re glad to know that these blog posts have helped. We’ll continue to post information that we feel will be of use to you. And if there is a topic you’d like us to write about, please let us know. Thanks again!

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