What's a den to you? Is it a cozy room in your home where you can relax with your family and listen to the fire crackle? Or is it a small cave in the woods where animals burrow and live? A den is a lot of things to a lot of people, and that's why it's so confusing to figure out just what the heck a den is when you see it on a condo listing! After all, that listing could be telling you anything from: there's a small nook in the hallway where you can stuff a box, to, there's a small room that you can use for a lot of different things. Do you feel like it's a 50/50 chance that you'll actually get what you envision a den to be when you look at potential home purchases? You're not alone, because nobody really knows what they're going to get when they see this term listed for a place to purchase.
Okay, so what is a den in real estate terms? If you're a little bit older and can remember movies from the 80's, then you'd think of this as a movie or game room that didn't have a window and couldn't be used for much more than entertainment. You probably even had one in your home, and it was a space where you could play band with your friends, or relax on the couch doing nothing but eat candy all day. BUT, lingo for real estate today is a little bit different, and that's important to remember. There's no regulation that says a den has to be one thing or another, and that means anyone can say they have a den when they are listing their home. The truth is, a "den" is still a lot of different things, and really just depends on who the seller is. It can be a bedroom, an office space, or even a tiny little entryway in the beginning of a home.
As you can see, there are a lot of meanings when it comes to the word "den", and that's why it's important to approach homes with this word in their listings with caution. Don't stride into a condo that listed "2 bedrooms plus a den" and expect that you can potentially have three bedrooms. The reality may be that you have 2 bedrooms plus a hallway that has a little bit of extra space, which the seller is marketing as a den. How disappointing would that be if you were anticipating using that extra little den for your awesome game room, or movie theater room? Dial back those expectations and you'll be much less likely to be disappointed when you go in to look at places.
Keep in mind that there are always those really awesome sellers that will market REAL dens, and call them dens! This means a space that you can actually fit a desk and a tv in, or maybe even attach a door on and call a small bedroom. Yeah, this means a real room that's going to be around 12' x 8' rather than 4' x 2', which means you can actually use it! When you find gems like those, you'll realize that the seller isn't trying to trick you into looking at their home with false promises of the elusive "den", and you can potentially use that space for something other than shoe storage!
Various Types of Dens
I am a licensed member of the Real Estate Council of Alberta since 2005 - proudly representing CIR REALTY, Calgary’s largest real estate brokerage. I enjoy keeping my readers up to date with real estate related information that they can easily understand and use for their own benefit. I welcome feedbacks and comments equally from first-time visitors to my blog, past clients and also from my fellow REALTOR® colleagues. Thanks for stopping by!