It's a 2 Bedroom, Not a 3 Bedroom

Real Estate Agent with Century 21, The Real Estate Centre, 410-665-0200 Office 634480

It's a 2 Bedroom, Not a 3 Bedroom


I have a house listed for rent.


It has 2 bedrooms on the upper level and a full bath.


The first floor has a living room and an eat-in kitchen.


The basement is finished on one side and has the furnace, water heater, washer, dryer, and a sump pump on the other side.


People come to look at the house and immediately start to look at the basement as a third bedroom.


If someone needed to get out of the basement in an emergency situation, the windows would not be an option.  They are too high up to easily get to them, they are too small to get out of them, and they have glass block, which makes it impossible to get out without taking great pains to burst through them, which would probably result in injury.


There is a back door, which could possibly act as an escape route in lieu of the windows, however it is on the other side of the room with the utilities, which could be a potential danger spot in an emergency situation.


There is no door to the finished room itself, where people would like to have the bedroom, unless they consider the door at the top of the steps as the door for the room, which would mean that the entire basement, furnace and all, would be considered to be the bedroom.


There is no closet, unless one were to consider the area under the stairway to be the closet, however it is not closed off.


In many areas, a window for egress, a door to close off the room, and a closet with a door are required for a room to be called a bedroom.


In addition to these three items which are required and which it does not have, one might consider how a typical below grade room tends to have a higher humidity than other parts of the house, which is not good for a person's breathing, although a dehumidifier could be used.


And, it would be quite inconvenient to be in a bedroom on the lower level when the bathroom is two levels up on the upper level.


In spite of these concerns, many people insist on jamming more people into a house than the house is designed to hold.


Their motivation is probably related to price.  They want a 3 bedroom house for a 2 bedroom price.




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Kathryn Sparks
Zenith Realty - Baltimore, MD


It happens all of the time, but people are poor so they do what they can.

Aug 23, 2018 07:33 PM #1
Karen Krzniak
Zenith Realty - Towson, MD


Be careful.  You might find them setting up beds in the living room also.

Aug 23, 2018 07:34 PM #2
Bruce Kunz
C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100 - Howell, NJ
REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale

Hi Ron Trzcinski, 410-935-5844 

This happens all too often. As an agent, all I can do is tell people why it's a bad idea (assuming they even tell me their "plan') and show them the CO. Unfortunately, it usually takes a bad happening to get through to them, then they just blame everyone else.

Thanks for sharing & Good luck!

Aug 23, 2018 08:13 PM #3
Rhonda Burgess
Southern Living Realty Partners - Smyrna, TN
Moving to Nashville TN Real Estate Specialist

This is so true.  And as more and more areas become less affordable, we will see more people trying to make properties like this described 2 bedroom into more than what it is simply because of the price. 

Aug 27, 2018 08:28 PM #6
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Great post, and yes this happens all the time with buyers :)

Aug 28, 2018 09:01 AM #8
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

We always put in our ads which rooms are non-conforming, and explain this to our applicants very clearly.  We don't want anyone intending to use an unsafe space as a bedroom.  

Aug 30, 2018 01:24 PM #9
John Henry
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

Of course it is not legal to call out a basement as a bedroom, especially with no egress windows in case of fire.

But people will use any space for whatever they wish.

Thanks for the post.

Sep 22, 2018 08:37 AM #10
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Ron Trzcinski, 410-935-5844

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