Square Footage that Counts

May 20, 2021

Square Footage that Counts

When it comes to the value of a house we typically start with square footage. In real estate we refer to the gross living area when measuring square footage. This includes bedrooms, living rooms, bathrooms, hallways, closets, and the kitchen. A garage does not count. An enclosed patio will not count either.

I like to see proven square footage. I’ll consult the local tax rolls to see what the county assessor counts for the living space. Oftentimes, we’ll see listings that include square footage that is not permitted. We’ll see people including enclosed patios, sunrooms, and converted garages too. Appraisers take issue with un-permitted space, and so should the consumer.

With more and more accessory dwelling units being constructed that square footage has come into place. It’s interesting to note that very few people build an ADU and then sell. This means there is little data for an Appraiser to use when providing a valuation on a property. We recently sold a 2,000 square foot home with an ADU. That ADU added about 500 square feet of space, but the Appraiser didn’t include that in the price per square foot valuation. The Appraiser treated it more like a special feature, like a pool or pool house.

Price per square foot really leads the charge when pricing a home. I once had a client with a dialed in garage, but that garage didn’t add square footage to the home. The price per square foot also goes up as the size of a house goes down. For that reason, It’s important to compare like-size dwellings when price a home.

Reach out to Market Real Estate for any questions about square footage.

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