What Is A Bedroom

Dated: October 7 2018

Views: 375

What Is a Bedroom?...Legally Speaking...

Make Sure You Know the Legal Requirements

Does anyone  need to ask, “What is a bedroom?” Actually, Yes. 

"Since a home and/or bedroom can go through many incarnations over its life, sellers should be familiar with what makes a bedroom a legal bedroom prior to listing their home, to ensure there are no issues holding up the sale when a buyer has been secured,” says Carl Ekroth of Douglas Elliman in New York City.

Bedrooms are one of the most important selling features of a home, notes Mark Abdel, a real estate professional with Re/Max Advantage Plus in Minneapolis–St. Paul.  So it's no surprise that homeowners want to slap that label on as many rooms as possible.

“Sellers can usually set and get a higher price the more bedrooms a home has,” Abdel says.

Six features that define a bedroom

The laws vary by state, but here are six ways you can tell if your room is a bedroom rather than just a “room”:

  1. Minimum square footage: This is the top issue, says Shaun Anders of Douglas Elliman. Although this can vary from state to state, 70 to 80 square feet is generally the acceptable minimum. Sellers in urban markets such as New York City and Chicago would love 5-by-7[-foot] rooms to qualify as a bedroom, but no go, says Anders.

  2. Minimum horizontal footage: The minimum square footage doesn't tell the whole tale. A bedroom must also measure at least 7 feet in any horizontal direction. That is why you cant call a hallway a bedroom!

  3. Two means of egress: There have to be two ways out of a bedroom. Traditionally, these would be a door and a window. Ekroth adds that in most markets, a skylight would also qualify as that means of egress.

  4. Minimum ceiling height: At least half of the bedroom ceiling has to be at least 7 feet tall.

  5. Minimum window size: The window opening must be a minimum size, usually 5.7 square feet.

  6. A heating and cooling element: We're talking a heater (a space heater won't qualify) as well as a way to cool it down, whether that's by opening a window or good old AC.

Does a bedroom need a closet?

A bedroom does not have to have a closet to be considered official. Legally, at least in most states, it does not.) Closets are expected in newer homes, but older ones might require a more creative approach to stowing your clothes.

So what can you call a room that doesn't hit these requirements? Based on your state, you could get away with calling it an "office," "nursery," or the ultimate catch-all, "bonus room." Because bedroom or not, just about any indication of extra space will make most buyers' eyes light up.

Here's the Ohio State Law that constitutes a legal bedroom.

Blog author image

Jim Sfarnas

My goal as a Realtor is helping people find their perfect place to call home and helping sell their wonderful house they’ve called home. Whether you’re a first time home buyer or looking for your ....

Latest Blog Posts

Jan 19 2022 64070 1

In 2022 the Real Estate market is unlike any other market we have seen.  While some are predicting the market will bottom out others are suggesting that this is no peak are are finally catching

Read More

Beaches And Parks In Sebastian And Vero

Sexton Plaza Beach1050 Beachland Blvd, Vero Beach, FL 32963 Located at the end of Beachland Blvd, Sexton Plaza is one of the best places to catch a sunrise in Vero Beach.

Read More

There May Be A Slight Correction In Pricing Real Estate Attorneys And Economists On What Buyers Need

Though housing prices have been rising, mortgage rates remain near historic lows — some 30-year rates are still around 3% and some 15-year rates around 2%, as you can see here — though many

Read More

List Of Charming Old Victorian Walkable Cities

Check the list for the charming old Victorian in a walkable city neighborhood or that expansive, modern suburban home with room to grow. The minimum size for a house to be considered a mansion is 5

Read More