Profile picture for issaquahcondo

Converting Den To Bedroom

Hello,

I live in a condo building and we have had a few recent sales in our building - the difference being a $50k price difference. The square footage is 150 sqft more in one unit and the added space is more of a hallway than anything. I believe the reason it was able to sell at a higher price point was that it had a closet in the third room, qualifying it as a bedroom instead of just a den.

The unit I live in is a 2 bedroom plus den. I'm wondering if adding a PAX IKEA closet system to an existing den (fully mounted to the wall) would qualify it as a 3 bedroom unit vs. a 2 bedroom plus den unit? Does anyone know if there would be laws against selling it as a 3 bedroom this way? We'd really like to sell the unit as a 3 bedroom to see an additional uptick in price if possible. I have already put a request in to our condo HOA board of directors for any legalities there.

Thank you!
  • November 26 2013 - Issaquah
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Answers (8)

Technically a bedroom should have a closet to be a bedroom on MLS systems, but many people simply utilize a den with a variety of free standing or portable systems as you mention, which is just fine. But the big thing is the square footage and having a den for resale, as not everyone needs or wants a third bedroom. 

MLS typically notes your bedroom count as per COUNTY RECORDS so even if you did a full IKEA system it would still show as a 2 bedroom on county records, and probably MLS records. (Im not sure how your MLS deals with that). 

In a condo you own airspace only and the ability to attach anything to your walls so the IKEA system would work, I dont think you need your HOAs permission. 

The $50K in difference you mention was probably NOT soley based on a closet, probably market conditions, mortgage interest rates, etc, especially if you mention 'few recent' sales in your building. With few recent sales its hard to factor out the value of a closet, per se. You need MANY sales happening at the same time, same floor levels, same condition, to figure out the value of a den+closet vs den+no closet. 

If the IKEA system works for you, get it, if it does not I probably would not put it in - just your luck youll sell to a person who does not want three bedrooms. 

  • December 02 2013
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If you are confident in the sales prie increase then I would suggest that you send the money to have a small closet drywalled in...not an Ikea portable type closet.

  • December 02 2013
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If there really is that much difference in price, I would consider spending the money to sheet rock in a closet.
Every city is different in what constitutes a bedroom. I had a similar listing in near by Kirkland and I called the city. To be considered a bedroom by the city of Kirkland it just had to have a door and window. That being said even if you are "technically" a 3 bedroom be sure it lives like one otherwise buyers will not see the value. There are several of complexes in Issaquah that have dens with double french doors right off the living room,  those will likely still feel/live like a den.
Before investing, be sure the 50K boost in value did not come from something like better natural light, end or corner unit, top floor or other things buyers really like.
  • December 02 2013
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Profile picture for Katie Beane
If it has Egress and a closet system( as long as the IKEA system is bolted to the wall) , then yes it should qualify as a bedroom. It might not make a huge difference in pricing because it won't change your square footage but it should open the door for a larger pool of buyers. Best of luck!
  • November 26 2013
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Likely, the answer that the condo association provides you will dictate what you have to abide by.  Generally speaking, unless a closet is truly "built in" in the room, made to look like it belongs in that space, then that space would not be considered a bedroom, per se.  I would be cautious and consult a licensed contractor before doing anything, only after consulting with your condo association first.
  • November 26 2013
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Profile picture for Carole Tyne
Ikea closet system while nice is not a true closet for listings as a three bedroom.
  • November 26 2013
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Profile picture for issaquahcondo
Thanks for the reply. To clarify, the den in question is a full room, with a door and a rather large window, it's just lacking a closet at the moment.
  • November 26 2013
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I know that there are laws in California which state that bedrooms necessarily need to have windows to qualify as bedrooms. Also, these windows need to be of certain length and breadth. Simply put it should be big enough to climb out in case of fire as also big enough for the firemen to come in to rescue you. So whilst the new owners could pay you more and end up using the den as a bedroom, you cannot list it as a house with 3-bedrooms instead of 2 bedrooms and a den.
  • November 26 2013
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