Square Footage source

I would like to know what is the source of Zillow for the building area square footage.
  • July 14 2010 - Daly City
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Answers (4)

Profile picture for Jeff Grenz
Even though Zillow pulls county records, that does not guarantee the accuracy of the square footage listed.  It is only as good as the source of the county records.  

Older homes were typically measured by the county assessor upon completion to produce an estimate.  This often overrode the square footage on the building permit as the physical measurement reflected any changes and was considered more accurate than pre-CAD drawings.  

Today's assessors may take the building department's figures without remeasuring each home, although, depending on the municipality, they may sample some homes.  Sometimes they miss the permitted addition and the square footage on record remains original, but inaccurate.  We listed a home this week that fits this description.

Potential sources of inaccuracy or disagreement:  multi-story homes - the spaces under stairs are included to a habitable height.  2 story spaces are measured once.  Garages and patios are not included.  Any bump outs for fireplaces are included.  Sometimes those who measure forget to subtract thick exterior wall claddings.  Tract home builders may build a different model on the lot than was submitted, by mistake.  Three architects and three builders could easily produce six slightly different numbers.

Finally, often written in a sales contract is "buyer to verify" which means you are relying on the appraiser that you or your lender hires to produce their expert opinion of the square footage.  And remember, it is an opinion.

 
  • July 15 2010
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You can check the actual county site to verify accuracy. Just visit: http://realist2.firstamres.com/searchaddress.jsp , input your address, and you can check for yourself.


David Gowans
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  • July 14 2010
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Profile picture for Myriah
I believe zillow gets their information from the county accessors office. 
  • July 14 2010
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Zillow gets their information from the county assessors offices through direct feeds.
  • July 14 2010
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