When determining the square footage of a home many clients find that resources such as Zillow and public records could have pretty inaccurate information. Zillow for example can be fairly inaccurate because it collects information from unverified resources such as home owners, public records, and realtors. Almost anyone can change a home’s square footage on sites such as this without any proof of measurements.
One would think that measuring the square footage of a home would be pretty straight-forward. Just break out the trusty measuring tape right? Not quite. Some say, coming up with a square footage is kind of like the old joke about the accountant who aces the interview question of how much is 1+ 1 by answering "What would you like it to be?" And, unfortunately, the square footage that is calculated very much depends upon who is doing the measuring and for what purpose.
Real estate appraisers measure the shell of the home to get what they call Gross living area or GLA. Depending in the home type different procedures are used. For a condo they have no choice but to start with the internal measurements - from the inside of the walls - but they might add an additional 6 inches for the wall thickness. For a single family home they usually use the outside dimensions, so the thickness of the exterior walls would be included. No matter the home type, they only count the space that you can actually live in.
Here’s a quick list of the most commonly mistaken areas of the home included in the GLA:
The most honest and logical measurement is the one that appraisers use. Appraisers will usually have the most unbiased opinion in both property value and square footage. Thus, they would be your best resort. Appraisals By Michael is committed to providing a service of excellence. As Georgia Real Estate Appraisers (AGREA) members are committed to adhering to strict industry standards and a professional code of ethics, you can be confident that an appraisal done with us is done with integrity and accuracy. Call us today for more information or to schedule your home's appraisal.
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