How to Measure Your Home’s Square Footage and Estimate Its Value

What counts toward the square footage of a home?

The actual square footage of an apartment is the area that is cooled and heated. This is referred to as the gross living area or GLA. Generally speaking, in order to be considered a part of the GLA it must be habitable throughout the year, have floors and walls that are finished as well as be cooled and heated as well and have a ceiling not less than seven feet tall There are certain other factors that determine whether or not an area counts in the GLA.

What makes the exact measurement of the square footage of a home vital?

The value of a house is contingent on various variables, including square footage, and although it is only one, it’s a significant one.

“The value of your home is directly tied to the square footage,” claims Henley. “During the process of selling an appraiser will be measuring your home. If you’ve marketed your property with an incorrect size, the appraiser could be a problem when the appraisal is completed.”

Think about what happens when the appraisal is completed and the property is less than you advertised it to be. In this scenario, the appraised value might be lower than the price of the sale, causing an appraisal gap. This could put the buyer’s mortgage in doubt, and you might have to reduce the price to accommodate the smaller amount of square footage.

However, “If you’ve been marketing in the house smaller than the appraiser finds, then you’ve cost yourself money,” claims Henley. “The sales price could have been higher.” An incorrect area can also affect the time required to sell the house.

Henley told a story about how a seller’s home had been put on the market for a while. The owner contacted Henley to seek benefit. When Henley arrived and measured the house, he noticed that it was less square than the amount listed, as the seller had added an area that wasn’t counted towards the GLA. After that square footage had been corrected and the price was reduced, the property was sold within just a week.

Who should measure the square footage of my house?

From April 20, 2022, Fannie Mae, a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) that buys loans from banks, is requiring appraisers to adhere to an established Square Footage Method for Calculating: ANSI(r) Z765-2021. Although this standard isn’t applied to apartment-style condos, Fannie Mae requires it for all residences that aren’t apartment-style. This includes rowhouses, townhouses and single-family houses.

Since Fannie Mae purchases about half of the mortgages lenders offer and because lenders must meet certain criteria to make loans comply with Fannie Mae standards, which currently include having an appraiser determine the home’s square footage in accordance with the ANSI standard and using a computer-generated sketch instead of a hand-drawn drawing.

Keck suggests employing an appraiser to determine the area. The cost is around $300 to $400 and “they’ll add their stamp to the measurement to warrant it’s authentic. That’s by far most likely to be the excellent and the most trustworthy method to determine the square footage.”

How do I measure the square footage of my home?

If you’re not yet ready to employ an appraiser but you still want an estimate of the dimensions of your home or want to confirm the appraiser’s estimates then you can measure your house yourself using these steps.

Gather your tools

The first thing you’ll need is a measuring tape or laser distance gauge. You probably have a measuring tape at your desk, and you could certainly use it, however, laser levels have the benefit of allowing live measurement from the form of a handheld device. With a measuring tape you might also require someone to benefit to drag your tape across the floor and keep it in place, while the laser lets you complete the task by yourself. Bob Vila recommends this one as the most accurate overall and this is an excellent price for the money.

Also, you’ll need:

  • A sketchbook or piece of paper
  • A writing instrument
  • A calculator

Check out measuring technology

There are measuring apps available, such as Ruler App or Distance Meter. However, you’ll have to fight advertisements that pop up in the app while you’re trying to determine. We downloaded several to see how they work; however, we’d prefer to use a measuring stick or a laser distance measurement.

You can also check out websites such as Calculator Soup(r), The Calculator Site, and Some square footage calculator sites also have a built-in price-per-square-foot calculator to help you estimate the value of your home.

Get out your sketchbook

If you’re measuring yourself and not in accordance with the ANSI standards, you can draw a sketch on the exterior of your home or every room, including the pantry and closets, and record measurements as you go.

When drawing irregularly shaped rooms, cut them into as many rectangles as you can to make the calculations run more easily.

Measure, measure, measure

Square footage must be measured from the outside of the building at first. Once measurements taken from the exterior are done and the building is inspected, it’s time for an inspection of the inside and make adjustments to things like stairs, which are counted towards square footage as well as the dead space below them that doesn’t.

If you’re interested in knowing the dimensions of each space by room, you should measure it room by room, drawing your sketch while you move.

Do some math

It could be an excursion back to geometry class in a way, and it is. Although you’re able to utilize a calculator for square footage, it’s not a bad idea to understand how to calculate square footage for various shapes, such as a square circle, rectangle, or.

Below is an illustration of a house with every room measured separately. We’ll assume that they’re all rectangular or square.

If you take measurements for each room and add them together, it’s essential to remember that a valid square footage measurement is measured from the outside and includes the space found on the outside walls.

How is square footage affecting your home’s value? house?

It’s a difficult issue, and it’s not easy to answer. The house is crucial to determining its value, but it’s not the only one. A 1,200-square-foot house that’s well-maintained and ready to move into could cost more than a home of 1,500 square feet that requires extensive renovation.

The listings usually have the price per square foot, and a lower price per square foot can provide a better idea of the “deal” you may be getting, whereas a more expensive price per square foot may indicate additional extras (like pools or new cabinets) that aren’t included as a square measurement.

Other spaces that aren’t considered in the GLA but can increase the value of your home could be:

  • Basement that is not finished
  • Attic
  • Garage
  • Guest house with detached guest room — sometimes referred to as the Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) or mother-in-law suite
  • Pool house
  • Rooms with ceilings that slope
  • Storage areas that aren’t connected to the house, or unfinished storage spaces within the house

The home’s amenities as well as certain enhancements can affect the value of your home and reflect in the price per square foot, even though they’re not included in an area. Some examples include:

  • An updated kitchen
  • Bathrooms updated
  • A pool
  • Outside space (fenced in the yard, patio and outdoor kitchen)
  • Hardwood floors
  • A brand new roof
  • New garage door

Another element in determining how square footage impacts how much value a house is the location where it is placed. For example the square footage within an enclosed, heated and cooled porch could be more valuable than the below grade square footage which has a lower value.

Expert tips about your home’s square footage

What’s the biggest misconception buyers have regarding a home’s area?

Henley insists his belief that the square footage of a home is only one of the many variables which determine the value of the home. “The four main factors in pricing a house are location, condition marketing and price. That’s why I always strive to get my buyers to understand that square footage is crucial but it’s not more important than how tidy your home is or how attractive your landscaping looks,” he says. It’s one of the numerous factors that contribute to pricing a home.”

In the end, he states, “It’s not as simple as calculating the square footage, multiplying by $150 and, boom, you’ve got the price.”

Another myth, alike to Henley, is that bigger is always more. He has observed instances where people have transformed their garage into living space. They collect area by having a heated and cooled spaces however they are losing their garage. Therefore, even though garages don’t count towards your total square footage,, it could negatively impact its value. house.

Do I need to employ an competent to assess the square footage of my house?

You may employ a well-qualified to assess the square footage of your house and, in actuality, it is recommended that you do. The lender for the buyer is likely to request an appraisal through an appraisal management firm (AMC) following the time the offer has been accepted and if the appraiser discovers an inconsistency between the measurements you offer and theirs, it could create difficulties during the closing. A well-qualified evaluate the home prior to putting it on the market can make it less likely that problems could arise in the future.

Can I use only the square footage that is listed on my tax forms?

Henley warns against using tax records to calculate the size of your house, stating, “The issue with tax records is that they measure from the outside. However, they don’t enter the home to look for dead spaces. They also do not go inside the garage to find an enormous garage storage space. Therefore, tax records aren’t 100% accurate.”

Are there any other sources that could have accurate measurements of the home for my house?

If your home has been sold before, it’s probably been assessed by an appraiser the last time it was sold. However, this isn’t often the case since some cash purchasers don’t require an appraisal. If the measurement was taken, it is possible to locate the report and use it as a starting point for your search. However, you might still require an appraiser’s measure to ensure your measurement is precise and in line with ANSI standards.

If you reside in a townhome, condominium, or tract home, the original architectural sketches or plans could also indicate the square footage of your house.

Work with a top agent to determine your home’s value

The bottom line is that with the square footage of your home calculating what value you can expect to get for your home is a crucial element however there are a lot of other components that play a role. There are also tools such as Realpro NJ‘s no-cost home value Estimator to provide you with an accurate, real-time estimate of the value of your house. A top realtor who is able to grant an analysis of the market (CMA) can also help you figure out the extent to which the area of your house influences the value.

Read More: Which Home Is the Best Layout for You?

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