what is the definition of livable space in a residential home ?
Question Details: My home is listed for $584,900 in Grand Bay, AL. There is contention that my 4th bedroom/multipurpose room (21'x18') is not livable space yet there is a full stair case leading up to it, it has a full bath, heated, air conditioned with separate thermostat, closet. This was not an add on but part of the Buster McMullen design home. Stairs however are accessed from the garage. Is this space considered "livable space" and should be counted as part of the overall square footage of the home ?
It is liveable space, the same way a separate cottage or carriage house on the property would be liveable space. It's possible that some people might value or appraise it lower than that amount of space accessible from within the main house; on the other hand, some buyers might value a separate "apartment" like that more (perfect for teenage or grown children or in-laws).
If the issue is valuation, you might look at the valuation for completely separate space in a home (like carriage house); semi-separate, but with it's own outside access (like a basement apartment or suite); and then fully part of the house and take a sort of "average" valuation based on the different scenarios.