In most cases California requires smoke alarms in bedrooms, but not every single case either as can be seen at the following link. Are you a fan of more taxes? And if you feel like settling a friendly dispute, what is more valuable: the above mentioned 3rd bedroom or the single garage it used to be? I saw this recently in an older home in a city near Sacramento. In general we all select comps that are most like the subject. I can send you pics if you would still like. It’s honestly not easy to visualize exactly what you are describing. Hi Chad. Hi Arleen. The room they want to classify as a 4th has no window, no closet, no heating/cooling vent and is literally just a big storage area. If there was a fire upstairs and no secondary escape, that could end badly. Not only am I concerned for her safety, I am also concerned for her health since the heat is not regulated per room. ; 2) Is there a permanent heat source in the below-grade area? I completely get what you are saying though, and I think it’s safe to say the most proper comparison is likely still a traditional 3-bedroom because this is not a class 2-bedroom home because it clearly has another room. As in all things, I would make sure you check with some local real estate professionals too just to be sure. Ryan? I really wish I could help, but I see your email address (showed to me in private) is from the UK, so I’m really not in tune with what standards might be in your area. and It sounds like a perfect situation for a bedroom and then a separate office (or my home office and then a separate man cave….). My question is for it to be considered in the appraisal for an additional bedroom and full bath do I have to connect my central ac/heat to that area or can I just do stand alone or wall unit. Our bedrooms all currently have one egress window (up to code). Hi Claudia. And of course, a bedroom must be above grade. Some floorplans have an upstairs bedroom and that’s the only thing on the floor. Fannie Mae does state living area must be above grade, but there are some cases where appraisers and the real estate community can deviate from this rule to actually include a basement or below-grade area in the total square footage of the home (this could theoretically mean bedrooms below-grade could be counted in the living area). With the advent of more ADUs appraisers will have more data over time. See what the loan officer and/or lender says first before doing anything. . When there are 3 of us in the property. Is there a way to ensure this doesn’t happen again? I wish I could have helped. Do I have to get a built in closet with an extra drywall? Thank you for the comment. The walls measure 10′ X 11′. Ryan, Perhaps the greatest risk posed by rooms that unlawfully serve as bedrooms stems from the reason these laws exist in the first place:  rooms lacking egress can be deadly in case of an emergency. Content on this website may not be reproduced or republished without prior written permission from Ryan Lundquist. We have a customer and they are considering having custom built-in shelving for their bedroom and also wanted custom built-in CABINETRY. If it has a wide opening as a Den might have, I can see an appraiser calling it a Den or Study because that is maybe how it was designed to be. I have a home in a Natomas subdivision that has an office that in the original plans could have been a bedroom if one had elected to have the builder build the bedroom instead of an office. I wish you the best. Then I added a screened porch to the outside wall encompassing that window. Moreover, would the real estate community clearly recognize this as a bedroom? It also has a separate entrance to the backyard deck and two windows. Thank you-, Hi Shannon. I’ve also heard that a room cannot be a bedroom if it has a door that opens into the garage. Hi John. It sounds like there is a bedroom and then another “bedroom” only accessible through the first bedroom. You are welcome to email me a photo or two as a follow-up if you wish. The county in my area tends to want something from an appraiser, but it may not be that way everywhere obviously. Hi, it has always been my understanding that a bedroom has to have accesibility to a bathroom. Some below-grade area is definitely built for living space and considered as such in the market, but other below-grade space is janky at best. This is where you might want to ask a few local real estate professionals (agents and appraisers) what they think about your heat source if you choose a wall unit or baseboard heater or something to that effect (something other than CH&A).