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Why is the basement sqaure footage not included in the total square footage calculation?

I was told that the basement area was not included in the square footage calculation because basements are considered below grade.  However, the condition of our basement is in as good, or better condition, as the main level of our home.  I am just wondering if I really should include the basement sqaure footage since it is as much as our main level square footage.
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January 27 2011 - North Ogden
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In Michigan, basement square footage cannot be included in the total square footage. It doesn't matter if it is finished or not, walk-out or not, it cannot be included, The only way it can be included is if 75% of the basement is above grade.

Rules may be different in your area. Check with a local realtor to get their opinion.
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January 27 2011
A basement is a basement no matter how good. I would just put in the description and note of the basement size and condition.
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January 27 2011
The guidelines for basements are probably different in various areas.  Contact your local realtor for your area.  Egress is an issues, percentage above grade, etc.  You can discuss the finished areas in your remarks.  It will most likely be taken into consideration by the potential buyers.
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January 27 2011
In Utah, the basement square footage is nearly always included in the total area.  Basements are very prevalent in Utah compared to other states and although appraisers still don't give it full value, it is definitely a feature that most buyers are looking for.  Because Zillow shows home values nationally, I believe they chose the path of least resistance in this regard (especially since, like Jim said, counting it is illegal in some states).

Thanks,
Tim
Equity Real Estate - Provo Utah
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January 27 2011
I agree with Tim. Basements are included in the total square footage in Utah. They are not valued as much per square foot because they are considered below grade. I know all the listings that I have had listed the basement with the square footage but a % is given to how much the basement is finished. Look at listing in North Ogden at www.utahrealestate.com and you will see that the total square footage includes the basement. So yes include the Square footage of your basement. Don't forget the % for the amount the Basement is finished. 



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January 28 2011
Interesting comments for the agent perspective and all correct. However, when a Lender reviews the appraisal regarding the basement he or she will find this..the below grade sq. footage is valued at 30-40% of the above grade square footage thus reducing the value of those square feet.

Personally I do not agree with the calculations set forth by appraisers add USPAP. If you have 8 foot ceilings, hardwoods, fireplace and a bar, it should be worth more than above grade. Just my thoughts.

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February 22 2011
All basements are not created equal. They may be completely below grade, daylight or walk-out. They may be unfinished, partially finished or fully finished. The quality of the finish may be comparable with the rest of the home or  a slightly lower quality. I've seen appraisers rate basements as low as 10%, and as high as 40% of the above grade value. Others discount the basement area completely.

As stated above, it does vary from state to state so do check with local agents and also local appraisers to appraise yourself of local conventions.
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February 23 2011
The basement area in Utah is most often figured into the total square footage of the home.  This is widely used common practice in Utah Real Estate.  The key in this conversation and question is who is doing the measurement and for what purpose.
This picture shows a basement at or near ground level.  Some can be 30 feet below ground or even under a garage in Utah.

Best of Luck,

Robert 
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July 09 2013
 
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Why is the basement sqaure footage not included in the total square footage calculation?
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