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what space should be included in sq ft ? ie basement, garage, patio or only living spaces

  • February 11 2010 - Norwalk
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Answers (8)

Thanks Don...you're right on.  The Fairfield County MLS as well as the standard practice in our area dictates that only above grade square footage be included.
  • February 12 2010
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This is a very good question, often asked by my clients. Living space is what should be included in the square footage. Therefore square footage for the garage and patio cannot be included in the square footage of the home. As far as the basement is considered, the basement needs to be finished, under heat and air, and not below grade level.
I hope this helps. If you have any other questions or would like to discuss this, please don't hesitate to contact me.
Thanks
Diane
  • February 12 2010
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Appraisers do consider only above grade finished areas of a home in the sq. footage, but if you look at our tax records here in No. GA, most counties DO include the sq. footage of the basements in their figures.  Calculations of sq. footage are figured by the exterior measurements of a home.  Something to consider--Interior walls can take up alot of floor space and the thickness of exterior walls comes in to play, too.  A 2000 sq. ft. home with many smaller rooms and 6" exterior walls doesn't have near as much sq. footage inside as a 2000 sq. ft. home with fewer, larger rooms, an open plan & 2 x 4 exterior walls. 
Our MLS does not include a category/field for sq. footage, at the present time, although we are asked about it constantly by customers/clients. 
  • February 12 2010
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Perhaps Tom and Joanne didn't realize that I am in the questioner's market place...

Yes, appraisal standards dictate that square footage only include above grade finished areas.  But, our local MLS, of which the questioner's home would be entered into if listed for sale by an agent, also dictate that square footage only include above-grade finished areas.

Agents should practice only in their areas of specialty...and in their own locations.

  • February 12 2010
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Only living space.  Basement should be included as additional in comments and noted as finished in the input.
  • February 12 2010
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Norwalk:

Contrary to the answer of the last gent it really depends on the common practice in your market place.  There is the appraisal definition which is above grade space not including basements or garage, but how are home marketed in your area? 
  • February 12 2010
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The square footage of a home includes all finished, above-grade areas of the home.

Basements, whether finished or not, are not included in the Gross Living Area, or square footage.  Likewise, garages, patios and decks are also not included.

For a single family home, the square footage is measured by the exterior dimensions of the home.

  • February 12 2010
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Hello Friend30,
There are actually two types of square footage: Heated, Finished and Unheated, Unfinished. Heated, Finished square footage is any area in the home that 1.) Has a reliable heat source  such as a heat pump or gas furnace (some lenders/insurers don't allow wood heat) 2.) Has a ceiling height of at least 7 ft. and 3.) Has some sort of finished flooring. Point #3 isn't quite as important as 1&2 because "finished floor" is open to interpretation....such as a loft in a renovated warehouse that may have a concrete floor. The bottom line is you can't advertise your basement that has 1 heating vent as heated square footage. It needs to be an actual room that is finished out properly with ceiling, walls and flooring. That brings us to Unheated, Unfinished square footage, which is quite simply everything else. If you have a garage, attic or basement with low ceilings they are probably considered Unheated, Unfinished areas. Let me know if you need pointers on how to measure your home. It's not as straight forward as you may think. Good luck!
  • February 11 2010
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