Walk through bedroom

9 Replies

Hello everyone. 

I have a SFR that I'm rehabbing. It's a two story house that I'm currently adding a bedroom to the downstairs. Upstairs it has what I call a "walk through bedroom". It is two rooms that have a shared full bath (two entry doors). The problem is you would have to walk through one bedroom to get enter the other bedroom. Would I be able to market this as a 3 bedroom house, or just a 2 bedroom?

My thought is that a family would use both rooms upstairs as bedrooms whether I list it as a two bedroom, or a three bedroom. Does anyone have any thoughts, or experience with this? 

Thanks, Kyle. 

In Michigan if you have to walk through the 1st bedroom to get to the 2nd bedroom then the 1st bedroom is NOT a bedroom and you can not refer to it as a bedroom. Although the tenant can use it as 2 bedrooms and that's ok.

On more food for thought, where I live in Louisiana, it would definitely be considered 3 bedrooms.  We even have a common style of house here in New Orleans called a "shotgun", where you literally have to walk through bedrooms because there are no hallways.  Sometimes no bedroom doors either.  They are essentially long houses that are the width of one room.  Designed back in the days before a/c and you basically wanted to turn your house into a wind tunnel in the summer months.

They are called "shotguns" because the joke is that, if you open the front door and the back door, you could shoot a shotgun shell from the front door.  And the bullet would fly through the house and out the back door, without hitting anything.

We have shotgun houses here also. That’s a some food for thought. I probably should have specified in my original post that this house will be used as a rental.

I believe renters will definitely use it as a third bedroom so maybe even if I have to rent it as a two bedroom I could get closer to a 3br rent price. 

@Kyle Sorrels in my experience talk to realtors and other investors in this area, it counts as another bedroom as long as it has a window and a closet/cabinet that you added yourself. Most tenants are fine with it and if they're not, well they move on to the next home. I'd look up Indiana laws but it seems to me that it's allowed and if so, I'd definitely market and price it as a 3 bedroom.  You mentioned you're making an additional room? Curious how this is going and where you've done this? Congrats on getting a property as well

There is already closet in the room, so I’m okay there it sounds like. I just have to add a doorway at the top of the stairway which I had intended on anyways. 

I haven’t put up the wall for the third extra bedroom yet, but the house has a large living room which will allow me to do so. 

This property is located in Salem.  My intentions are to look for multifamily properties in the Clarksville/Jeffersonville/Louisville area moving forward though. 

I see you’re from southern Indiana. Which part if I may ask?

I have a house in Michigan that is a 5 bedroom but you have to walk through one bedroom to get to the other. It is listed with the city and county as a five bedroom it was advertised as a 5 bedroom when we bought it. When we advertised it for rent we listed it as a 4-5 bedroom. The thought was that if people came looking for a 5 bedroom many would be disappointed by the setup of this house. If we listed as a 4 bedroom most would be happy about the bonus space. So we listed as a 4 bedroom but in the ad headline called it a 4-5 bedroom. I was also going to get the floor plan drawn up for online advertising but ended up renting it out before I could do that. This is a college town so bedroom separation can be more important than if a family was renting the space.  but we had a good mix of students and families that wanted to live there but it ended up going to 4 students. I was told by our building inspector that to be considered a bedroom it has to have 2 points of egress and there is a min sq foot requirement and min ceiling height requirement. (closet is not necessary) however all 5 of ours have closets.  

Great information. I’ve spoken with a few people locally and they all agree that it is considered a bedroom in this area. Several mentioned renting or owning houses that were set up this way. It appears to be more common that I realized in my area. 

It works out well since this was an REO listed as a 1br/1.5ba (1500 sq/ft) Once completed it will be a 3br/1.5ba.

I appreciate everyone’s thoughts and advice on this. It’s greatly appreciated.