Home Selling in Saint Paul>Question Details

Mpsystemshome, Home Seller in Saint Paul, MN

We bought a house in Minnesota about 5 years ago and we are attempting to sell! When we bought the house they listed it as 2 bedrooms upstairs. My

Asked by Mpsystemshome, Saint Paul, MN Fri Mar 19, 2010

husband's father is a general contractor so we knew the windows did not meet egress code so we built a bedroom downstairs. Is it true that the windows must be egress to be considered a legal bedroom? I want to make sure its appraised correctly!

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yes, most likely, if it's an older home, those windows will not be a consideration when determining if the upper level rooms can be called bedrooms. By definition, the word "egress" means a way out. Those decision makers who determine what's code have enacted a rule that says that in order for a window to be called "egress" it must meet a certain size, which is enough to allow a fire fighter with gear on to enter through the window for a possible rescue and for a trapped person to get out. Many older homes windows do not meet that requirement in their above ground bedrooms, but are not prohibited from calling them bedrooms. And, sometimes the window has to be within a certain height from the floor of the room to be considered "legal" too. Again, there is some leeway when it comes to older homes/windows, but usually not for those that are subterranean.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 19, 2010
It is my understanding that it is the size of window, and not if they are egress or not. Call the city for a specific answer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 19, 2010
I spoke with the city inspector of Saint Paul last year about what is a legal bedroom and he said as long as it has a legal egress window, that it can be called a bedroom. It doesn't even have to have a closet in Saint Paul to be a bedroom. So to answer your question, no egress window=no legal bedroom. Hope this helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 19, 2010
This is somewhat city specific. Many times things are based on the code at the time of construction and not necessarily the current code. They are "grandfathered in".

What does your tax statement say about the house? It will normally show number of bedrooms. Now, depending when you created an additional bedroom, they may not have that one on record but otherwise they should be showing what they consider to be number of bedrooms. Chances are the City is recogizing those two rooms upstairs as bedrooms and has for some time.

It is not an appraisers or inspectors job to know all the city codes. They may know some of the obvious but it is not necessarily part of their job. As mentioned, I doubt you will see someone measuring a window.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 19, 2010
Hi, to my understanding that is correct, basement bedroom needs egress window to be consider a bedroom.

At least on my criteria, that is correct.

Anyway, there are many homes in Saint Paul that does not met that but are shown on the local MLS as a bedroom. I have notice that those homes take longer to sell because buyers are looking for, let say, 3 bedrooms, not 2 bedrooms and a storage room.

I just remmember a home I showed in 2005 with 5 bedrooms on the local MLS but buyer and me only found 3, Home Owner was at home, and she said, Didn't my agent told you? We will escrow $500 to the buyer to built to walls in the basement, and there you have 2 more bedrooms.... Buyer did not buy it, the idea.

Also, heating is important.

City if Saint Paul has a City inspection for homes for sale.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 19, 2010
Unless the windows are extremely small I have not seen an appriaser measure windows (on upper levels) to make sure they meet code. If buyers have an inspection done the inspector may flag it. You may want to call St Paul to find out the what size window they require to be egress. To answer the question, yes the windows must be egresss size to be legal bedrooms. Other things such as ceiling height can play a role as well.
Web Reference: http://www.lennyfrolov.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 19, 2010
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