I finished my attic and basement in my 2 bedroom town house in Waltham ma can I list it as having more bedrooms

Asked by jenny.m@comcast.net, Waltham, MA Tue Feb 25, 2014

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Daphne Roman…, Agent, Worcester, MA
Wed Apr 30, 2014
In addition to the very helpful answers posted here, here is my comment: Bedrooms are not legal in basements. The only exception would be, if there are regular-sized windows present (not the typical basement windows). Sometimes with houses built on sloped lots, there are large windows in the back. If this is the case (not too common), the decision to count a bedroom, (and any legal square footage for that matter), is often at the discretion of the local Assessor. I have found that there is much room for interpretation among Assessors!
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Nancy Butter…, Agent, Ashland, MA
Tue Mar 11, 2014
The first thing that comes to mind is "did you pull permits when you finished the attic and
basement?" When I am out with Buyers, they always want to know this - if you have the
paperwork make it available to the potential buyer. Laws determine what is a bedroom -
the property card on record with the town will only have it listed as 2 bedrooms - so in your
marketing material you will want to stress the importance of these NEW rooms. Closets and
storage are important to my Buyers - if you are looking for a Realtor to take a look at the property and give you an assessment of value, I would be happy to do that for you. Good luck!
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Greer Swiston, Agent, Newton, MA
Wed Feb 26, 2014
If you wish to list it as having more living space, you can ... though realize that most buyers will still be comparing your town house to other similar townhouses without the finished space and see the finished basement and finished attic as a much smaller bonus than they would a property with that much living space as main space an unfinished basement and attic.

As for bedrooms ... check the state building code for a legal bedroom ... and, as stated below, there may be some local ordinances as well ... though I think that is more pertinent in towns with private sewer systems. (Often a septic system is approved for a certain house size ... often measured by the number of bedrooms in the house). The state definition of a bedroom is something ... like it must be at least 70 sf in size, have direct access to a common area (not a bathroom or closet) and have a direct fire exit (i.e. a window, door or opening no more than 4 ft off the ground, large enough to fit a person), Most people expect to see a closet or wardrobe in the room, but I believe it is not legally required.

If you include your finished attic and basement space in your numbers, you would be best served to indicate as much in your descriptions (# of bdrms and living space includes finished attic and basement) .... OR you can NOT include them and say (# of rm do NOT include finished attic and finished basement) ... however you wish to present it.

If you'd like professional help, of course I work in the Waltham area and would be happy to give you my professional opinion. If you're looking to sell your property, I would be happy to be of service.
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Green Home T…, Agent, Cambridge, MA
Tue Feb 25, 2014
It depends on zoning and local codes. What is the ceiling height in the attic? Are there standard sized windows in the basement? How far off the floor are they? Different locales have different requirements. Contact me and we can discuss.

Damian Musello


GreenHome Realty, LLC

26 White Street, Cambridge, MA. 02140

Email: GreenHomeRealty@gmail.com

Phone: 617-650-6480

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John Stewart, , Arlington, MA
Tue Feb 25, 2014
It depends, did you add closets? It is hard to say sight unseen but if you are interested in testing out the market The DiGiorgio team would love a shot at marketing your listing. Please get back to me at your convenience and we can discuss a time to come preview your condo. I look forward to hearing from you
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