What is a bedroom?

This is like my post the other day about 1/4 baths except today I am going to write about what a bedroom is and it is complicated.

On the MLS a room listed as a bedroom must have an egress window and a closet.  I am not sure why it has to have a closet but those are the rules and I don’t make them.  We do see homes that are listed as three bedroom homes that do not have three bedrooms.

Loft
Loft
 

It is possible to have a room that is being used as a bedroom that does not have a closet or an egress window but that just makes it a room used as a bedroom not a bedroom.

Then we have the term “legal bedroom” which doesn’t mean all that much.  A legal bedroom in St. Paul has an egress window that is a window large enough for a firefighter to go through in full gear and a closet.  

There isn’t such a thing as a illegal bedroom and it is legal to sleep any place in your home that you want to.  There is such a thing as a non-conforming bedroom which is a room that can be used as a bedroom but it is missing the closet or the egress window or both.  These rooms are often listed in the MLS as a den or sometimes they are listed as a bedroom but there is a note indicating that it is a non conforming bedroom. 

The loft in the picture may show up on the MLS as having no bedrooms because it is one large room with one or more bathrooms in separate rooms.  Some of the larger lofts house several people and sleeping areas are walled off with partitions.  For some reason the sleeping areas do not qualify as non-conforming bedrooms, they are not bedrooms at all.  Some lofts have raised sleeping platforms.  They end up being called bedrooms but most do not have closets or egress windows.  

Real estate is local and locally regulated it is possible that the term bedroom means something different in other parts of the country.  The definition of a loft is not universal either. 

Home Buyers should verify measurements

tape measure

Our MLS shows the measurements for homes that are on the market. Including room sizes, which floor the room is on, the foundation size, the total finished above and below ground square footages.

There are some things home buyers should know:

1.   Not everything you read in the MLS is 100% accurate, which is why if you read the fine print it will say the information is “deemed reliable but not guaranteed”.  We strive for accuracy and there are checks and balances, but mistakes are made. Total square footages and room sizes are not always accurate.

Generally agents do not deliberately misrepresent room sizes or square footages but sometimes they make mistakes and sometimes they just use the last set of measurements that were in the MLS without verifying them.

2.   Finished Square footage is not equal.  What I mean by that is that below ground square footage is not as valuable as above ground square footage is so when looking at the totals check to see how much is above ground and how much is below.

3.  Property tax records do not always show an accurate square footage and the square footage is used in the record to calculate the value of the home.  Sometimes buyers like to use tax records as a source of information about property values.  If the square footages are wrong the value could also be wrong because size matters.

There are rules about what can be included in finished square footage. Certainly closets, hallways and bathrooms are included even though we don’t see measurements for them separately in the MLS.  If there is a finished room that is surrounded by unfinished space we can not include it in the finished square footage.  Sometimes there will be one room finished in the basement but the space outside the room is unfinished.

It isn’t always easy to get accurate measurements.  Some rooms have irregular shapes and we are only allowed to put two measurements in the MLS for each room.

It should be noted that the source of the information about homes for sale is the Northstar MLS which feeds data to sites like Zillow and the web sites of real estate companies. MLS online is not the MLS but a real estate company. Confusing I know but it is what it is. 

**real estate is local if any of these rules apply outside of Minnesota it is purely by chance. 🙂

Also see Legal Bedroom

Finished square footage

Square footage, location and condition are the big three when it comes to determining the dollar value of a home.  Getting the correct square footage using existing records on the home is not easy.  I can look in the tax records and find one number and then go in the MLS and see that the Realtor is using another number.  

itape
 

Our MLS shows the measurements for homes that are on the market. Including room sizes, which floor the room is on, the foundation size, the total finished above and below ground square footages.

There are some things buyers should know:

1.   Not everything you read in the MLS is accurate, which is why if you read the fine print it will say the information is “deemed reliable but not guaranteed”.  If you need accurate measurements you might want to take your own.  If you need to challenge an appraisal or a price start by taking measurements.  

Generally agents do not deliberately misrepresent room sizes or square footages but sometimes they make mistakes and sometimes they just use the last set of measurements that were in the MLS without verifying them. 

2.   Finished Square footage is not equal.  What I mean by that is that below ground square footage is not as valuable as above ground square footage is so when looking at the totals check to see how much is above ground and how much is below.

3.  Property tax records do not always show an accurate square footage and the square footage is used in the record to calculate the value of the home.  Sometimes buyers like to use tax records as a source of information about property values.  If the square footages are wrong the value could be just as wrong.

There are rules about what can be inlcuded in finished square footage. Certianly closets, halways and bathrooms are included even though we don’t see measurements for them seperately in the MLS.  If there is a finished room that is surrounded by unfinished space we can not include it in the finished square footage.  Sometimes there will be one room finished in the basement but the space outside the room is unfinished.

It isn’t always easy to get accurate measurements.  Some rooms have irregular shapes and we are only allowed to put two measurements in the MLS for each room.  The accepted way to get the total square footage for a home is to measure the foundation.  Unfinished spaces are subtracted to get the finished square footage. . . well there is more to it than that but you get the general idea. 

**real estate is local if any of these rules apply outside of Minnesota it is purely by chance. :) 

Also see Legal Bedroom

Measurements – Buyer Beware

itape
 

Our MLS shows the measurements for homes that are on the market. Including room sizes, which floor the room is on, the foundation size, the total finished above and below ground square footages.

There are some things buyers should know:

1.   Not everything you read in the MLS is accurate, which is why if you read the fine print it will say the information is “deemed reliable but not guaranteed”.  If you need accurate measurements you might want to take your own.  Generally agents do not deliberately misrepresent room sizes or square footages but sometimes they make mistakes and sometimes they just use the last set of measurements that were in the MLS without verifying them. 

2.   Finished Square footage is not equal.  What I mean by that is that below ground square footage is not as valuable as above ground square footage is so when looking at the totals check to see how much is above ground and how much is below.

3.  Property tax records do not always show an accurate square footage and the square footage is used in the record to calculate the value of the home.  Sometimes buyers like to use tax records as a source of information about property values.  If the square footages are wrong the value could be just as wrong.

There are rules about what can be inlcuded in finished square footage. Certianly closets, halways and bathrooms are included even though we don’t see measurements for them seperately in the MLS.  If there is a finished room that is surrounded by unfinished space we can not include it in the finished square footage.  Sometimes there will be one room finished in the basement but the space outside the room is unfinished.

It isn’t always easy to get accurate measurements.  Some rooms have irregular shapes and we are only allowed to put two measurements in the MLS for each room.  

**real estate is local if any of these rules apply outside of Minnesota it is purely by chance. :) 

Also see Legal Bedroom