Home Selling in Arlington>Question Details

crimson8888, Home Buyer in 20152

my mom's house has 3 bedrooms on top floor..1 bathroom..and another room we used as a bedroom, however the room did not have a closet space...

Asked by crimson8888, 20152 Tue Feb 25, 2014

it is right beside the bathroom and basically is a bedroom with out a closet...what are the requirements needed to define a room as a bedroom in arlington ma..also do we need to apply for a permit to put up a closet in the room to turn it into a bedroom and who do we get approval from and how much would the permit cost?

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You may want to list the home as a 3+ bedroom giving the new buyer the option to use the room however they see fit. They may use it as an office or even build a master bath using the room you mentioned. If you need futher clarification or I can assist in any way, please do not hesitate to contact me at Bowes Real Estate 781-645-0558.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 26, 2014
If you are on a septic system rather than a sewer system, the number of bedrooms might make a difference.
We call rooms used to sleep and that are more than the septic system allows extra sleeping areas.

A sewer system may not have restrictions on the number of bedrooms, butit may also.
I would call the sewer department in your town for the answer to that - but not give the address.

I would also call the town and ask how they define bedrooms.
In my town they are trying to change the criteria to include rooms that may be called extra sleeping areas, because people are bypassing the bedroom restrictions on their septics.

Of course choosing a local real estate pro can help you save a lot of time.
(Not me, I'm on the Cape, but I can help you choose a local pro when you are ready.)

(Please note: when you choose an answer as a Best Answer, or at least give a thumbs up, it helps those who answer questions here. Also, while I have answered over 1750 questions, and have received over 245 Thumbs up and best answers combined, I do not try to get VIP status anymore. VIP is useless to professionals, and backwards to consumers.)

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 26, 2014
You can list whatever you want however you want if we are talking about listing your home. 70 sq ft, a window, and an egress make a bedroom. In terms of use, you want a bedroom with a closet and building one does not require a permit if you're not having to move electrical wiring to accommodate the closet. I built a closet in a small bedroom recently in my own house and it cost me $2,000. I had to reframe the back wall though.
Happy to come take a look and tell you what will and won't "fly".
781-330-0152 Masha
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 26, 2014
In my town "list whatever you want however you want" might cause a legal problem - for both the broker and the owner.
Flag Wed Feb 26, 2014
People want and expect closets in a bed room however A room does not need a closet to be considered a bedroom. Guess my colleagues have not heard of armoires.

There use to be a closet tax http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closet

A room with at least 70 sq ft and an egress window is considered a bedroom.

Many town inspectional departments do not consider a room with out a closet a bedroom, so builder by not putting them in can provide can by pass their bed room counts

ie: Dover ma - 5 bed room septic can have as many baths as you want. We called one room a library, another a den, another an office, so my 5 bed room home was actually an 8 bed room home, how one uses them is up to them. And if they decide to add a closet it is up to them.

I am a certified appraiser as well as a real estate broker and luxury home builder.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 26, 2014
My colleagues are correct, the room would need a closet to be considered a bedroom for listing purposes, or you could call it a bonus room. If you decide to convert this space, adding a closet to the room, the living area will be diminished. You should contact the building department to confirm the need for a building permit. There may be a question of whether or not there will be any change to the structural integrity of the home.

If you decide to add lighting, an electrical inspection would be required. Some towns require you to bring an entire home to current building codes, should you make changes to electrical or interior improvements (Example: A Watertown homeowner added closets to a master bedroom and one hardwired smoke detector. The town required that the entire house be updated to the latest hardwired smoke detectors.)

If you need assistance, I'd be more than happy to come by and offer any assistance. Please give me a call at 857.209.6060. c21jtrano@gmail.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 25, 2014
Generally speaking having a closet qualifies a room to count as a bedroom.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 25, 2014
What would be your reason for wanting it to be considered a bedroom? The taxes might increase if the bedroom count increases. If it's so you can put the house on the market as a 4 bedroom unit, you could list it as a 4 bedroom (assuming the room is large enough) and disclose that the 4th bedroom doesn't have a closet.

You should check with the building department to see if you'd need a permit. Their number is 781-316-3390. The fee is $20 per $1,000 of estimated cost of construction. This would be an inexpensive job, so if you did need a permit the application cost would not be that high.

Let me know if you have any more questions -

Judy Weinberg
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 25, 2014
As a Real Estate Agent, my clients have asked me this type of question from time to time. Normally a bedroom must have a closet. It would be unlikely you would need a permit to add a closet to the bedroom you mentioned unless it involves, for example, touching electrical or plumbing. I recently added a closet to a bedroom in my home. If you'd like to talk, please call me at 781-856-4350 or email me at david.lenoir@nemoves.com.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 25, 2014
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