How Big Do You THINK Your Home Is?

Posted by Jeffrey G. Funk P.A. on Saturday, May 26th, 2007 at 12:13pm.

In recent years there have been many cases where people are buying homes and later realizing that the square footage does not measure up to what they had been told. How can this be so? Most real estate professionals are going off of the tax records which should be accurate but many are finding discrepancies.

Part of the problem lies in the fact that there are no universally adopted standards in measuring the square footage of a home. Architects measure square footage from the interior of the wall and others measure from the exterior, some include stairways and others do not. In many cases the difference in square footage can be approximately 5%.  In a 2500 square foot house 5% is another 125 Square feet in many homes that's another bedroom.  What would do if you bought a 4 bedroom and the builder only put 3 in?  How would you feel if years after you purchased your $400,000 home you come to find out that it is actually 5% smaller than you thought?  You may feel that you overpaid by about $20,000.00 talk about buyers remorse.

I have also heard of properties where the tax records show a lower square footage than the actual. This may be great when it comes to pay your taxes since taxes are calculated using square footage but, when it comes to selling your home do you really want to give away a couple hundred square feet? Heck, do you want to give away 50?  I have heard and read time after time about properties that do not measure up correctly and it is time to put an end to this.

The American National Standard Institute has developed standards ANSI Z765-2003 used for calculating square footage of a home. It is time to adopt these policies so that there can be a universal understanding of exactly what the square footage of a home is. Buyers and Sellers should not be left guessing what the actual square footage of a home really is.  In the meantime, when purchasing a home I would always ask the builder how they determined the square footage on the home and if you are purchasing a resale always have your appraiser give you his square footage total. This way you will be comparing apples to apples rather than apples to peaches when purchasing your home.

For more information regarding home square footage, please contact Jeffrey Funk at 407-438-4028 or email us

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