What is the best way to legally convert my unauthorized back room into a bedroom?

I recently bought my first home in Washington state, only to find out a year later that the back room (apparently popular in the ’60s) was never legally allowed. The only reason I know this is because I started measuring the square footage to convert it into a master bedroom and realized the actual square footage numbers did not match what was documented on our home documents. Obviously, I need the room to be allowed to avoid legal problems in the future if I am going to sell or rent it one day. My question is this: Should I convert it to a bedroom before I make it clear to the city OR should I get the permit first and then convert it to a bedroom? I’m not sure which would be less of a hassle if I want the value of this new bedroom to be legitimately reflected in the paperwork when I rent it out. Thanks in advance for the advice. Also, why the heck did people in the past want a second living room instead of something more useful in value anyway? This has left me scratching my head ever since I first set foot on the shag carpet and wood-panel infested room.

I recently bought my first home in Washington state, only to find out a year later that the back room (apparently popular in the ’60s) was never legally allowed. The only reason I know this is because I started measuring the square footage to convert it into a master bedroom and realized the actual square footage numbers did not match what was documented on our home documents. Obviously, I need the room to be allowed to avoid legal problems in the future if I am going to sell or rent it one day. My question is this: Should I convert it to a bedroom before I make it clear to the city OR should I get the permit first and then convert it to a bedroom? I’m not sure which would be less of a hassle if I want the value of this new bedroom to be legitimately reflected in the paperwork when I rent it out. Thanks in advance for the advice. Also, why the heck did people in the past want a second living room instead of something more useful in value anyway? This has left me scratching my head ever since I first set foot on the shag carpet and wood-panel infested room.

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