Monday, August 17, 2015

Calculating Square Footage

Q. We put our home, a luxury condo in Miami up for sale. When we reviewed the property on, the square footage is way off! The Aventura Realtors calculation seems to be incorrect and incorrect!

Can you tell us if the garage is considered when calculating a home’s total square footage, be it a single-family home or condominium?

FYI, the garage is part of our deeded property.

A. Although your garage is part of the legal deed, it is considered not to be a portion of the home's square footage. There is a simple reason for this, and this is that only the livable space is considered in the square footage calculation.

I wish I could say that calculating a property's square footage is easy: it is not so simple.

Homes rarely are perfectly square, which is one reason for the difficulty. The most accurate calculation can be gleaned from the builder's floor plan or a by hiring an appraiser. These professionals map out the house on a piece of graph paper. They calculate all the edges and come up with "mini-areas" for each rectangle. The last step is to  add them all together and come up with a final number

There are intricate rules. For an example,  if there has been an addition to the house and the owner did not receive a building permit, then that section of the house may not be allowable as part of the square footage. This applies in particular to enclosed screen balconies and porches.

Quite often, when a home's square footage is advertised, the figure usually comes from previous sales, perhaps as far back as the builder. 

As a general rule, whether your home be a luxury condo in Miami or a Golden Beach home for sale,  Realtors do not usually recalculate the square footage. As I previously said, it is very very difficult to calculate the square footage of a home.

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