What Is Considered A Bedroom For An Appraisal?

Many owners, homebuyers, and sellers are often confused by what is considered in bedroom appraisals. Understanding which room is a bedroom aids in determining safety and home value.

Appraisers can help or hurt your chances of getting a mortgage to refinance. Before approving your refinance request, lenders will have an appraiser establish the market worth of your house. Your lender will reject your refinance request if the appraiser gives your house a market value that is too low.

An appraiser will evaluate the interior and exterior of your home to determine its market worth. In turn, this includes a tour of your entire home, including your bedrooms. This article will discuss the key features evaluated during bedroom appraisals.

What’s the importance of a bedroom appraisal?

Before refinancing any mortgage loans, most lenders demand homeowners to have at least 20% equity in their homes. As such, this is where the role of appraisers comes into use. Lenders employ them to figure out how much a house is worth in the current real estate market.

For instance, you will have $90,000 in equity if an appraiser says your property is valued at $200,000 and your mortgage loan debt is $110,000. In turn, this equates to a 45 % home equity. 

However, if an appraiser concludes that the property is only worth $120,000, you will have $10,000 in equity. You would also have only 8% equity, significantly below the industry standard of 20%.

Often, the value of a property rises with the number of bedrooms. It is a common industry practice for sellers to have as many rooms designated “bedrooms” as possible. This is especially true if a substantial investment has been made in space, room, space, or expansion. The number of bedrooms might also affect your tax assessment. More bedrooms might imply greater taxes. Therefore, regardless of how a space is utilized, homeowners should know what has legally been deemed a bedroom.

Evaluating property value

While evaluating the worth of your property, appraisers will go through your home in roughly 30 minutes, both inside and out. Your appraiser will examine the overall condition of your property, as well as any changes you have made. These may include new kitchens or an additional master bathroom and the number of rooms available in your house. This also includes sleeping quarters.

In general, the more bedrooms you have, the more valuable your property is. However, homeowners’ not all rooms referred to as bedrooms are legal bedrooms. As a result, appraisers view every bedroom in a house to ensure that they match the legal requirements.

Ascertaining safety compliance

In relation to bedroom appraisals, adherence to safety regulations set out by the International Residential Code (IRC) is a major consideration. The IRC outlines the characteristics that must be included in a “habitable room,” consisting of the bedroom or “sleeping unit.” When designing a space labeled as a “bedroom,” builders must adhere to the IRC and their state’s building safety requirements.

Note that each state has different code requirements that dictate what a bedroom consists of and what it does not. Only if a space fulfills these code criteria, which may include stipulations on fire safety precautions and methods of egress, can it be classified as a sleeping unit.

What is the legal definition of a sleeping room?

According to the International Residential Code, the following are the major considerations during bedroom appraisals. Thus, let us discuss what is considered a bedroom for an appraisal without further ado.

Exits

Two exits are necessary for a room to be considered as a bedroom. Sometimes you will notice the grandiose phrase egress when describing this requirement, which means exit. While there may be two exit doors (one to the inside and one to the outdoors), the most frequent configuration is one door and one window. As a result, a room with only one door and no windows is not considered a bedroom.

According to the IRC, an exit window should have a minimum opening size of 5.7 square feet and a height of at least 24 inches to fulfill code standards. It also must have at least a 20-inch opening width. It is important to note that these window size standards apply to all floors of a house, along with the basement. In many older homes, basement rooms have very small windows that are not real egress windows. Even if a room has a window, it must fit the criterion of egress to be classified as a bedroom.

Minimum area and size

The IRC and the American Nation Standards Institute (ANSI), another reputable measuring standard that many appraisers take into account, consider the minimum area and size of a room.

A habitable room’s floor space (square footage) must be at least 70 square feet. These rooms must also be at least 7 feet wide in all directions. A 7×10 square foot room will suffice. A 5×13 room, on the other hand, will not.

What is not required for a room to be considered as a bedroom?

Although most purchasers demand a closet in a bedroom, the International Residential Code does not require one. Thus, just because a room does not have a closet does not imply it cannot be used as a bedroom. However, we must consider what the local real estate market expects and what the local city/county requires. Would a customer see a space like a bedroom if it lacked a closet?

It is certainly a greater concern in modern tract developments if you do not have a closet. But, in older and traditional houses where bedrooms were not always designed with closets, it is probably not an issue at all. Consider a Victorian mansion with no closets in any of the bedrooms.

While some in the real estate sector believe that closets are always essential, this is not the case here for two reasons. First, a closet is not required under the IRC definition of a bedroom; and secondly, if the market judges the rooms to be bedrooms, they are.

Buyers are unlikely to go through an old Victorian home with no closets and comment, “The house was lovely and totally perfect… but there were no bedrooms.” It makes no sense, right? All in all, the international definition does not require closets, whereas local codes may need them.

Are basement bedrooms considered during bedroom appraisals?

A frequently asked question about bedrooms is whether a room in the basement qualifies as a bedroom. Surprisingly, basements follow the same rules. That does not exclude the option of using a room on any level with no windows as a bedroom. Many beds have been observed in settings that would never be considered bedrooms.

In essence, nobody can stop you from turning your kitchen into a bedroom if you want to! This is why some Realtors and homeowners would describe a house as having “3-4 bedrooms.” In this case, it simply means that there is a room that could be turned into a bedroom despite not meeting the legal requirements of a bedroom.

Do additional bedrooms increase property value?

Many people believe that the more bedrooms a house has, the higher its value. As such, many sellers label rooms as bedrooms so long as they have windows in a bid to market and get higher value for their property. This is why it is critical to know what is considered a bedroom for an appraisal.

The fact is that adding extra bedrooms will not boost your home’s worth at some time within every market. Two bedrooms, or maybe five, can be plenty where you reside. However, the more bedrooms you add, the less important it becomes.

For instance, in the case of adding a fifth bedroom to enhance the property market value in an area where the average house has no more than four bedrooms, with the majority having only three. We would advise you not to add a fifth bedroom that is only worth a fraction of what it costs. So get in touch with a professional appraiser. An appraiser has the resources, expertise, and market knowledge to assist you in better understanding your market and how bedroom count affects market value.

Learn more about bedroom appraisals

Now more than ever, it is more complicated to determine the number of bedrooms found in a home. Although it might sound obvious, many people get easily confused on what is considered a bedroom for an appraisal and how it affects the property value.

As such, it is vital for buyers, sellers, and homeowners to know the legal requirements. Understanding these requirements will help you determine the value of a property. It also assists you in ensuring that the building protocols adhere to safety rules provided by the government.

Thus, if you are selling or purchasing a house or want to know its value concerning bedroom appraisals, our expert home appraisers team at Excel Appraise are ready to assist you. Call us at 1-801-882-2292 or request a free quote today!

 

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