DEAR BARRY: Our 70-year-old house was appraised this morning, and the appraiser refused to count two of the bedrooms. In fact, she officially downgraded our house from a three-bedroom to a one-bedroom home. One bedroom was discounted because it is too small -- about 7 feet by 8 feet -- and because it has no closet. The other bedroom is in the basement and the window is too small to meet code. The appraiser listed both rooms as dens. This doesn't seem fair because these rooms have always been used as bedrooms, and this appraisal drastically lowers the value of our home. What can we do? --Jeff DEAR JEFF: Regardless of how those rooms were used in the past, appraisers are bound by the constraints of established building standards and the risks of professional liability. If your appraiser had counted the rooms as acceptable bedrooms, she could have faced legal consequences -- even a lawsuit -- at a later date, once the code violations were discovered. If the appraisal is unac...
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