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10% square footage discrepancy

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chiplee

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2008
Professional Status
General Public
State
California
I read another thread here about a small difference between builder square footage and appraised square footage but I think my case is different.

Public records show 2047sq/ft on a home I just bought. It was listed in the MLS at 2203sq/ft. The previous appraisal square footage was 2035. I measured it myself and got 2245. I measured it again and got 2235. My agent measured it and got 2219.

The home is currently in escrow with a scheduled close of 16 october. What could be going on? I was very careful and I'll gladly scan and post the diagram I drew up if anyone is interested.

I don't really care personally because I love the home, but that makes a HUGE price per square foot difference and makes me feel like I got much less of a bargain if the appraiser says less than 2100. What recourse do I have if there is a 200sq/ft discrepancy on a home this size? I'm worried more about resale than anything, and getting this sorted out now.
 

Tudor

Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
If the property is larger then what was listed, the price per square foot will be a smaller number, then you are getting a better deal, that is a good thing.

Best thing to do is compare your measurements with the appraisers measurements, everything under roof is not always considered liveable square footage.

NOTE: Builders will typically have a base square footage for their models, then there may be options for bay windows, masterbedroom extensions, etc... these additions are not typically reported to the county assessor. Explaining the difference between what the county records show and MLS/Your measurments/Your Agents measurements. I have also seen more then once where appraisers thinking they made a mistake when measuring, just try to match what county records say, instead of double checking their measurements.
 

leelansford

Elite Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Illinois
OK...the house is somewhat larger (GLA) than you initially thought.

This is a problem...how?
 

chiplee

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2008
Professional Status
General Public
State
California
OK...the house is somewhat larger (GLA) than you initially thought.

This is a problem...how?

Apparently I failed to make myself clear. I don't care much about my own measurements or the agent's measurements. I care about what is entered into official public record for the home and what is mutually agreed upon by all parties involved.

Public records say 2047. What I am able to measure the house as will have little to do with what the house can be listed at in the future. I will feel obligated to list at a number that matches the appraisal and public records closely.

All "official" measurements that have entered into some kind of record have been smaller than the 2203 it was listed at when I bought it.

When I sell the home in 5 or 6 years, can I use my measurements for the square footage it's listed at? And if I do, and then that person's appraiser comes back and says it's 200sq/ft smaller than the listing said, won't there be trouble?

Right now it really all depends on what this appraiser says and I told him about the discrepancies when he was there. In fact, he asked. He said "Public records shows this house as 2047 but the MLS says 2203. Any idea why?"

I said "no, no idea, but I measured it and got 2245, and I'll be very interested to hear what you come up with."
 

chiplee

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2008
Professional Status
General Public
State
California
If the property is larger then what was listed, the price per square foot will be a smaller number, then you are getting a better deal, that is a good thing.

I'm much less concerned with the actual measurement than I am with what will raise future buyers' suspicions. I said I don't really care either way because I love the home as is. I'm concerned with resale, and the potential for someone in the future to think it was listed at a higher square footage than it actually was. That was my first impression when the county said 2047.

Best thing to do is compare your measurements with the appraisers measurements, everything under roof is not always considered liveable square footage.

NOTE: Builders will typically have a base square footage for their models, then there may be options for bay windows, masterbedroom extensions, etc... these additions are not typically reported to the county assessor. Explaining the difference between what the county records show and MLS/Your measurments/Your Agents measurements. I have also seen more then once where appraisers thinking they made a mistake when measuring, just try to match what county records say, instead of double checking their measurements.

Hopefully now that I've told him my direct measurements and the agents, this appraiser will trust his measurements and not match the county.
 

PLCG

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2006
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
Remember that a long tape will stretch or droop. That may be how you got different measurements each time you measured the home.
 

Mike Kennedy

Elite Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New York
OP doesn't indicate the age or style of the house. 200sf often/ most likely an enclosed porch or an original deck enclosed finished, heated, and converted into living area - outdated municipal assessment records reflect the original SF of GLA.

Second Possibility - if Dormered original Half Story now 3/4 story Second floor??


Recommend verification with Building Department - not JUST Assessment.


POST pics? sketch ?
 

Kevin Mc

Elite Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New York
I will feel obligated to list at a number that matches the appraisal and public records closely.

Why do you feel obligated? My own measurements trump any builders or public records. If there is a discrepancy (significant) I will go back and re-measure. I trust my own measurements first. You should too.
 

Mike Plumlee

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Texas
The truth is that 10 different people will get 10 different measurements. Some appraisers round to the foot, to the half foot, and some measure to the inch. So do appraisal districts, builders, realtors, and home owners. There will always be discrepencies and sometimes it can be somewhat significant.

But when you get ready to sell your house - use a reliable measurement for the MLS listing and disclose the source of the measurement.

Meanwhile, if your tax authority has it smaller ... enjoy the tax savings.
 

Vicki Galloway

Sophomore Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2006
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
South Carolina
Does your home have a basement? In my area real estate agents typically add the basement square footage with the above grade square footage m2:. An appraiser would not combine the two measurements.
 
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