WHAT CONSTITUTES A BEDROOM?
I wrote a blog last year called What Constitutes A Bedroom? in response to an agent who was angry because our appraiser refused to deem a 42 square foot (sf) room “a bedroom.”
The appraisal came in low because the house was correctly deemed a two-bedroom instead of a three-bedroom, as it was shown on the MLS.
I of course quoted and referenced a blog by Appraisal Blogger Extraordinaire – Ryan Lundquist.
Ryan pointed out that a bedroom needs (1) to have its own entrance to the main dwelling, e.g. a room accessible only from the master bedroom can’t be a bedroom; (2) to have 7-foot ceilings for the most part; and (3) to be at least 70 square feet with no side smaller than 7 feet. Bedrooms do NOT need to have closets though – something most of us mistakenly believe. A bedroom also needs “egress” to the outside, which can be a window or a door (but effectively it means a bedroom needs a window too).
HOW BEDROOM ADJUSTMENTS DO NOT WORK
More recently Ryan wrote a blog titled How Bedroom Value Adjustments DO NOT Work.
His main point was that there is no “standard adjustment” and that no appraiser can ever simply do “$10,000 adjustments” for different bedroom counts when comparing subject properties to comparable sales.
This is particularly the case as total bedroom counts get larger and larger.
I have seen thousands of appraisals in my career, and I have seen major adjustments when two-bedroom homes are compared to three-bedroom homes.
But, I rarely see major adjustments when three-bedroom homes are compared to four-bedroom homes. Adjustments are even more unlikely when four bedrooms were compared to five.
In other words, a 3,000 sf home with four bedrooms will often have the same value as a 3,000 sf home with five bedrooms – if they are in the same neighborhood.
There are exceptions to all of these points of course and Ryan makes that clear.
Senior communities for example will often have two-bedroom homes that are every bit as valuable as comparably sized three-bedroom homes.
This is also the case for loft or condo communities designed for the single/hipster crowd.
SUBSCRIBING TO RYAN’S BLOG
As always, I highly recommend subscribing to Ryan’s Blog and reading as many of them as possible.
It is particularly relevant in this climate when we all are facing so many appraisal issues.
Agents and borrowers alike are often extremely frustrated with appraisal results, but many of those frustrations are unfortunately just a result of not understanding appraisal guidelines.
Ryan’s blog can not only help prevent frustrations, it will also help agents far better advise their clients.
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