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Old 04-24-2011, 10:49 PM
 
Location: Desert SW
121 posts, read 219,763 times
Reputation: 66

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I ask because I know it can differ from state to state. For example, where I live, every square inch (closets, hallways, bathrooms, basements) is counted. In New Hampshire, only finished living space is counted (from what I was told and could glean from reading MLS info) and I seem to recall from my younger days, househunting with my parents, in California the closet space is not included.

I have been looking at homes in the area on realtordotcom and often find myself thinking that the sf could not possibly be counting some habitable areas of the home. For example, I saw a 3br, 2ba that claimed only 1,230 sf, yet judging by the pictures of the rooms (there were 16 pics) and taking in to account the amount and size of the furniture in the rooms, the house looked as large as my 2,100 sf home. I encountered this confusion/incredulity with many other homes I looked at.

Can anyone offer any insight into what areas of the home are included in the total square footage? I really don't feel like calling a realtor and bugging them with this question until I am in a position to actually be serious about buying a home.

Thanks!
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Old 04-25-2011, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Nutmeg State
1,176 posts, read 2,562,373 times
Reputation: 639
I think it should be the same everywhere, some places are just more lenient of tolerating unfinished space.

In Portland, at least during our house hunt, it has been only finished space that should count. I am not sure about closets, but most of the places I've looked have pretty small closets anyway.

We have been in a few houses where our realtor has been annoyed they counted a dirt basement or something like that as finished space.

3br, 2ba in 1200ft is not a far stretch at all. They can do interesting things with camera angles.
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Old 04-25-2011, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Portland, OR
1,657 posts, read 4,483,032 times
Reputation: 907
FYI:

user Silverfall, who posts mostly on the Oregon forum (parent to this Portland Forum), is a licensed broker out of the Salem are. I recommend you refer your question to her attention, as she is articulate and lucid in her posts.
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Old 04-25-2011, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
10,990 posts, read 20,561,057 times
Reputation: 8261
BTW, condo square footage is calculated from the center of the common walls and SHOULD exclude common chases. It does not include the area of owned parking space or storage outside of the unit.
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Old 04-25-2011, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Portland
117 posts, read 274,356 times
Reputation: 123
putting on my appraiser hat (which I admit I havent worn in a few years)....

Square footage of "living area" should count all finished areas above grade that are heated/cooled... you dont count garage, patio, etc... you do count bathrooms, closets, stairs...the discrepancies usually are basements, which many people count as living area whether finished or not. A fully finished basement should be considered separate as "living area below grade".... an unfinished basement is like a garage... it is part of gross building area, but not part of gross living area.

Last edited by Dom1964; 04-25-2011 at 09:02 PM..
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Old 04-25-2011, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
10,990 posts, read 20,561,057 times
Reputation: 8261
Don't trust RE square footage listings at all. If you find a place you think you are interested in making an offer on bring your own tape measure.
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Old 04-25-2011, 09:28 PM
 
3,928 posts, read 4,906,586 times
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I think the finished basement must be seven feet minimum to be counted as square footage in your living area.
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Old 04-25-2011, 10:11 PM
 
Location: Desert SW
121 posts, read 219,763 times
Reputation: 66
Thanks so much for all the input. You guys (and gals!) rock!
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