Sticking an A/C on a sunroom

Your Questions Answered

At Ashlar, I firmly b that an educated home buyer or seller is best equipped to make their own decisions. That’s why I take time out of my day each and every day to answer someone’s real estate question.  And, when I think the answer can be useful to you as well, I share it here.  So without further ado:


Does sticking an A/C on a sunroom give me the right to call it living area?

Answer: No

Short answer is no.

Long answer is a few pieces.

1 is just because you stick an A/C in it doesn’t mean you can count it as living area. Living area usually needs to be permitted to be considered such, and there’s a host of requirements and permits that need to be pulled to arrive there.

You do need to disclose unpermitted work as well as source of living square footage numbers. Everyone is going to notice that you are saying living area is 2200 but public record is only showing 1900 and ask why.

Currently there’s a bit of bag holding with unpermitted work so that would likely need to be corrected or gone through prior to selling the home.

Secondly, price per square foot is a terrible metric to try and price a home with. But there is one general rule. In the same neighborhood, similar house that has the larger square footage will be at a lower price per square than smaller homes.

For example if you will see 800 square feet homes at $300/ sq, and 1000 -1400sq feet homes at $250/sq, I’d expect to see 2000-3000 square foot homes to be around $200/sq. If there’s a crazy outlier like 5000 square feet adjust accordingly as well.

Reason why is because typically as you get bigger the expensive part (the walls, electric, plumbing) does not increase linearly with room sizes.

Also, when people go to look at the home to buy you can usually tell a porch with an a/c stuck on versus an actual permitted, planned and insulated room.

That said, adding true living area is about most sure fire way to add to your property value. Every other type of renovation you will lose money on.

TL;DR: Real life isn’t HGTV, $/SqFt isn’t 1:1.

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