Ask Phyllis: a blog series of frequently asked real estate questions.
My son has an accepted offer on a condo. He went to a busy open house; there were other offers, and he felt pressured into making a strong offer. The unit was advertised as three bedrooms, but when he received the seller’s disclosures, he found out that tax records indicated it as just two bedrooms. The square footage appears to be accurate. I’m not sure if this really matters, so I wanted to check with our local real estate expert. Can you advise the requirements for a room to be considered a bedroom? Thanks for your input.
Bedrooms and bathrooms are some of a home’s most important selling features. Sellers can typically sell for a higher price the more bedrooms a home has. To be considered a bedroom, certain legal requirements must be met. I am not a city planner, but this is my understanding of what is required for a home to be considered a bedroom:
1. Minimum size: From what I understand, the room must measure at least seventy square feet. It must also measure at least seven feet in any horizontal direction.
2. Two exits: There must be two ways out of a bedroom. Traditionally, there would be a door and a window. The window opening must be a minimum size of at least 5.7 square feet.
3. Closet: The room must have a closet.
The tax assessor is sometimes wrong. If it meets the above criteria, it genuinely qualifies as a third bedroom, and the assessor is simply incorrect. I suggest your son check with his mortgage lender and ask what impact this has on the current value.
These tax records could impact future value when he sells. If your son moves forward, he should reach out to the Los Angeles County Tax Assessor to request a review and update of the data.
Best of luck to you both.