for a real estate appraisal, what are the minimum requirements for a bedroom closet -- doors, built-in shelves, size...?

Asked by Ladybug, 01340 Mon Oct 4, 2010

Last time we refinanced, we got dinged on the fact that the bedroom does not have a closet, although it does have an under-eaves space and an area for hanging clothes. I personally like having the space open, but maybe we could put in a couple of partitions... would that suffice? not lookin to go nuts here...<gg>

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7
Scott A. Nel…, , 02155
Mon Oct 4, 2010
You should consult with your local building department or inspectional services department to see what they actually require but in general: a room that is heated, with a ceiling height of greater than 7 feet for more than 60% of the floor space, you can add a closet in the room as well as it's own privacty door as well as a 2nd form or egress as required by the local municipality odly benough, a bedroom is not exactly defined in any of the building codes per se. Local tradition/building deptartment interpretation are what rules the day.

Hope that helps
Web Reference:  http://www.MedfordHouse.com
2 votes
Jim Mellen, Agent, Williamsburg, VA
Mon Oct 4, 2010
I agree with Scott and Rachel completely and this is a question that frequently comes up. The appraisers I've spoken with here in Virginia don't really care about bedroom count. They are looking at square footage typically and rooms that meet the standards of ingress and egress and in Virginia 7' ceilings, heated and cooled, finished walls and ceiling. They do look at bedroom count as a comparative element of the appraisal but there's no pattern of a 5 bedroom house at 3000 SF being more valuable than a 3 bedroom 3000 SF home. Many older homes never had closets (They had 'wardrobes') but they certainly had bedrooms right!
Web Reference:  http://www.JimMellen.com
1 vote
Rachelle Kni…, , Orange, MA
Mon Oct 4, 2010
Ladybug-
Keep in mind that if you have a septic system, then the only way to determine if a room can be considered a bedroom is to base it on the size or rating of your system. No matter how many rooms (with closets or without) a home has, if it has a 2 BR septic, it must be a 2BR house.
I am not an appraiser, but when doing a CMA on a home with public sewer, my general rule of thumb seems is - enough space to reasonably have bedroom furniture, an individual entrance (not a walk through to another room) and a finished closet makes it a bedroom.
1 vote
Stephen Oates, Agent, Portsmouth, NH
Mon Nov 7, 2011
I believe the space needs to be 70 square feet. I don't believe it needs a closet but that should be disclosed when listing. Previously the septic was mentioned and that is very important to know your septic size before marketing a certain number of bedrooms.
0 votes
Scott A. Nel…, , 02155
Mon Oct 4, 2010
You could do a build out of an armoire/cubby to make a "closet" but at the end of the day the question will be does it "feel" like a true bedroom? Getting the public record adjusted will also go a long way to making sure it'll be considered by an appraiser. Be aware though that this WILL increase your tax assessment.
Web Reference:  http://www.MedfordHouse.com
0 votes
Ladybug, , 01340
Mon Oct 4, 2010
the house has 3 'possible' bedrooms that have floor space, egress, windows, and all that; I can't remember if the septic is 2 or 3 bedroom. Legally we have no problem (not that I know of, anyway!)

But I'm really only concerned about the one room we actually use as a bedroom (the others are currently office spaces) and what we need to do to closet-wise make an appraiser happy with that room!

Thanks for all your help...
0 votes
Christine Mo…, Agent, Wilbraham, MA
Mon Oct 4, 2010
It has to be considered a closet. If it is not a reasonable space with a door, to loose a bedroom in an appraisal would be far more than putiing in a cheap door.
0 votes
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