Author Topic: How do I calculate the square footage of a home?  (Read 1281 times)

West996

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How do I calculate the square footage of a home?
« on: March 16, 2018, 04:48:59 PM »
Here are the room sizes:
Rooms & Sizes
 Family room Basement 23 6 X 12 9    Laundry room Basement 16 3 X 10 8    Other Basement 24 X 10 4
 Living room Main level 19 X 11 6    Kitchen Main level 10 8 X 9 6    Dining room Main level 12 4 X 9 8
 Bedroom Main level 11 X 9    Bedroom Main level 10 X 9 6    Bedroom Main level 10 8 X 10
 Bath (No. pieces 1-6) Main level 4 PCS

I don't understand it, those are what the listing says but it seems like there are too many numbers.

MDM

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Re: How do I calculate the square footage of a home?
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2018, 05:00:56 PM »
Those numbers will give you the areas of each room.  E.g., Family room Basement 23 6 X 12 9 means 23' 6" x 12' 9" or 299.625 sq. ft.

The overall "square footage of a home", however, may be ambiguous.  E.g., How to Measure Your Home's Square Footage.

West996

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Re: How do I calculate the square footage of a home?
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2018, 09:23:09 AM »
Hrm, Ok thank you.

I only want it because they ask when you go to purchase home insurance.

YttriumNitrate

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Re: How do I calculate the square footage of a home?
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2018, 11:38:23 AM »
I've found that the numbers on MLS listings are often suspect. The county assessor's office is a much better place to find out the size of a house (and you can often look up records online).

West996

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Re: How do I calculate the square footage of a home?
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2018, 03:15:18 PM »
I'll look into that, the bank wanted an appraisal anyway, so I asked them if their appraiser estimated the square footage.

YttriumNitrate

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Re: How do I calculate the square footage of a home?
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2018, 03:58:59 PM »
If you're in Canada, it looks like the assessment data is available at http://www.reports.propertyline.ca, but they charge $10 per property.

Fishindude

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Re: How do I calculate the square footage of a home?
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2018, 07:20:07 AM »
Very simple .... outside dimensions of the house, width X length on each floor, then add them all together.
Unenclosed porches and patios don't count.   Garage square footage is separate.

GuitarStv

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Re: How do I calculate the square footage of a home?
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2018, 07:21:38 AM »
I always thought square footage was the total of all room, walk in closet, and hallway measurements of the above ground floors.

SeattleCPA

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Re: How do I calculate the square footage of a home?
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2018, 07:49:56 AM »
I've found that the numbers on MLS listings are often suspect. The county assessor's office is a much better place to find out the size of a house (and you can often look up records online).

I think you can't necessarily trust the assessor... a while back, I put in an offer on a property... then starting looking at Google maps and zillow maps and pretty plainly saw that property I wanted to buy and the nearly identical house right right next door would, supposedly, be 500 SF different.

I personally measured (using a laser tape measure--which is great) and confirmed my suspicions. Told listing agents. They said "not our problem."

Sale fell apart in part because seller wanted to sell 500 SF more than she actually had, seller fired listing agent, fast forward six months.

Property listed again with new agents. Made another offer. Had appraiser double-check my math. He calculated an even (slightly) smaller SF. Again told listing agents. They said "not our problem."

I always thought SFs could be a little bit off. But naively I had little appreciation as to how "off" people might be.

Xlar

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Re: How do I calculate the square footage of a home?
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2018, 12:10:25 PM »
I've found that the numbers on MLS listings are often suspect. The county assessor's office is a much better place to find out the size of a house (and you can often look up records online).

I think you can't necessarily trust the assessor... a while back, I put in an offer on a property... then starting looking at Google maps and zillow maps and pretty plainly saw that property I wanted to buy and the nearly identical house right right next door would, supposedly, be 500 SF different.

I personally measured (using a laser tape measure--which is great) and confirmed my suspicions. Told listing agents. They said "not our problem."

Sale fell apart in part because seller wanted to sell 500 SF more than she actually had, seller fired listing agent, fast forward six months.

Property listed again with new agents. Made another offer. Had appraiser double-check my math. He calculated an even (slightly) smaller SF. Again told listing agents. They said "not our problem."

I always thought SFs could be a little bit off. But naively I had little appreciation as to how "off" people might be.

That's really wild! And good to know, I never would've thought it could be that far off.

Michael in ABQ

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Re: How do I calculate the square footage of a home?
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2018, 02:25:57 PM »
I'm a real estate appraiser, though I don't do houses, just commercial property. However, I know how to measure a house if I needed to.

Homes are measured based on the outside dimensions, not including spaces like the garage, porch, etc. An appraiser should take exterior measurements then double check with interior measurements. A simple rectangular house measuring 40'x50' would be 2,000 square feet. Your interior dimensions will be smaller of course due to the walls being anywhere from a few inches to about a foot thick. Adding up all the room dimensions is meaningless as it won't include interior walls, closets, hallways, etc. Plus, those numbers are all rounded and may not be entirely accurate to begin with. Also, staircases only count for one floor so you have to deduct that stairwell opening and any other vertical openings on the second floor. There's an ANSI standard for measuring homes that goes into details about when attic or basement space counts as gross living area or if something like a sunroom should count. Basically it boils down to is that additional space the same quality as the rest of the house?

My brother-in-law purchased a house in 2007 that was basically a rectangle and was listed as being 1,600 SF I believe. They thought it felt smaller but made an offer based on comparable sales of similar size houses in the area. Fast forward 5-6 years when he goes to refinance it to get PMI removed. The new appraiser measures it and it's only about 1,300 SF. Looking at the original appraisal obviously the first guy totally messed up or just changed his numbers to fit what was in the MLS because he was 5-10' off on the length of one of the walls. So, they basically overpaid about $25,000 and when they finally sold it a few months ago had basically no equity between overpaying near the top of the market and it being smaller than was represented. The statute of limitations had already passed or they planed to sue the previous realtor and/or appraiser.

Assessor records vary from excellent to crap. Certainly don't trust the MLS or the realtors involved (or the homeowner). Get on Google Maps and use the measurement tool. That should let you know if it's close, though with a two-story house and a garage it can be a bit harder. Don't be afraid to get out a tape measure before you make an offer or actually close on the property. Or you can hire an appraiser to go measure a house and make a nice sketch for probably $100 or less. Some realtors will do this so they have some CYA when listing the square footage. Most will just pull a number from the assessor which may or may not be accurate and then disclaim any mistakes away.