Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What do you call it?

Courtesy of Tonja Schiltz & VP Builders
at Kensington Village in Kernersville
"I think I already know the answer to this, but if a room has a window can it be considered a bedroom?"

This was asked by one of our agents and thought for sure he wasn't the only one who needed an answer to that. It can be easy for listing agents to categorize a room as a bedroom in the multiple listing service and not really know how to truly define what that room is.  Have you ever showed up to a house chosen specifically because you 'must have 4 bedrooms,' and you get to the house and there are only 3 bedrooms with an office? 

This question has and will come up over and over, because the answer is clear as mud. So, let's attempt to answer the broader question - "what makes a bedroom, a bedroom?'  

 In this area, it is commonly understood that a room can be counted as a bedroom if:
  1. It has a closet
  2. It has a window
  3. It is not passed through to get to another room
  4. It is ‘finished’

Let’s see what the North Carolina Real Estate Commission said…
According to a bulletin from the NCREC:

“Although there is no clear answer, here are some factors to consider when classifying a room as a bedroom:”

1.        Is there a closet in or conveniently available to the room?  Don’t  disqualify if the room in an older home does not have a closet and the room was clearly intended to be a bedroom. You can tell this by answering the following question…

2.       Is there sufficient space in the room to accommodate standard  bedroom furniture? The suggested standard size for a single bed is 8’ x 10’  and for double beds it is 10’ x 11 ½'
            3.    Does the home comply with governmental regulations when 
                   pertaining to bedrooms, such as septic tank requirements, fire and 
                   safety codes, etc.)? 
                   Who will answer this question?

Generally speaking, if a particular bedroom comes up in question answer the above questions since 'bedroom' doesn't have a national standard. If you need further clarification, explain to your buyer or seller it will have to be confirmed by a local appraiser or inquire with the city where the property is located to understand how they define that particular home and to further understand their building code requirements.

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