Just bought a house n Florida. Found out misrepresentation of squarefootage. Pls advice what to do.

Three weeks after we moved in, we have to change the airconditioning  and found out that the squarefootage of the house is misrepresented, they include the finish enclosed lanai.

  • November 21 2010 - Fort Myers
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Answers (9)

For Mike and Eve,
  Thank you for your answer. Yes, it affects on what we want to do with the house. We need a 4b/2b house and thinking that we can add on later because of the squarefootage but on our dismay, we are mislead. The lanai is not with the base, it's an additional flat roof that's attached to the base. it has a cealing fans but no airconditioning. It only have a vinyl paneling.  
  • November 22 2010
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Hello Again,
Now I see why you replaced the ac - a 20 year old system would certainly not be efficient.  I think you should talk to your real estate agent regarding this.  I don't think an ac technician should be giving you advice and web-sites (including leepa) are not always 100% accurate as the information is keyed in by human beings who do make mistakes.
  • November 22 2010
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For Larry Tollen
  Thank you for your answer. We have the house inspected but not appraised because we are using the money we got from our previous house. We really need a 4b/2b house and at least 2300 squarefeet house but we compromised thinking that the house is 2283sq/ft and we can add another room later plus we base our price as per square footage. On our dismay, we are misleaded.
  • November 22 2010
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For David Lang
   Thank you for your answer. The total squarefootage gross bldg area is 2,768 and the living area is 2,283 but the airconditioning man said actually it's only 1,935. He show it to us using  the website,leepa. We really felt betrayed by our agent for not disclosing that the lanai is included in the squarefootage. With the previous houses we looked at, we always emphasized the size of the house we need.
  • November 22 2010
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For Terry McCarley
Thank you for your answer. We have the house inspected and they said airconditioning is working. However, we found out, after using it for more than 2 weeks that it's not functioning effeciently considering it's 20 years old, so we had decided to change it to conserve energy.
  • November 22 2010
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Mike and Eve are correct, when a lanai is finished/closed in, it counts as square footage.  What I am confused about is why to you have to change the air conditioning???  Did you not get the home inspected prior to closing???

  • November 22 2010
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Most of the time (in our area) both areas are disclosed on the MLS (under air sqft and total sqft).  It is important to know the difference between these.  Total square footage refers to all areas under the roof line including porches/lanais even though they may not be air conditioned.
If the porch or lanai has been enclosed and A/C is being piped to this area, this area may not show up on the tax assessor's web site as "under air" even though it clearly is and would still be important to include when choosing an appropriate A/C system.
Good Luck!
  • November 22 2010
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You should get over it. You had the home inspected, (or should have) the data listed on the MLS sheet is not to be taken as the gospel and many areas of the country no longer even include room size or square foot information. You had the home appraised and the appraiser gave you a foot print and actual square footage.

 I am not familiar with Florida contracts but would bet money that there's a section that clearly states once you've closed on the house you've accepted it as is. Be honest, what has actually changed, the house is what it is and you shouldn't be looking for anything.

  • November 22 2010
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If the lanai is under air conditioning, than that should be included in the sq. feet.

Everything depends upon a lot of factors...What did the sellers disclosure say?  what caveats are in the contract? does this really effect what you want to do with the house?  how off is it?

Today, most paperwork that a buyer signs tells them not to rely on anything the agents say and to confirm size, schools etc.

If in doubt, speak to an attorney.

Eve in Orlando
  • November 22 2010
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