5 Common Mistakes in Measuring Square Foot Living Area in Baton Rouge Homes

February 2nd, 2017 By H&H Real Estate Media in Blog.

There are 5 common mistakes that homeowners and even real estate agents made in measuring square foot living area of Baton Rouge Homes and homes in other communities:

  1.  Not following the FHA 5-Foot sloped ceiling rule for counting living area
  2. Measuring the inside instead of the outside walls
  3. Not subtracting openings in 2nd and 3rd floor measurements
  4. Not accounting for above and below grade finished areas
  5. Counting finished areas not connected to the main home floor.

In some parts of the country appraisers use square foot living area as a base of establishing the home’s market value.  Other parts of the country don’t pay much attention to that value.  Here in Louisiana it is a critical measurement.

First you need to know there are several measurements in a Baton Rouge home.  One is total living area which includes porches, storage, etc.  A second is the living area.  And another is the square footage and dimension of the lot on which a home is built.  All 3 or these can influence value.  For example if you have only a carport (total living area) and all other homes in your neighborhood have garages, you will most likely lost value compared to the market value of your home.  Conversely, if you have a nice 2 car garage and most homes have no covered parking, it may add value to your property.

Appraisers use standards of measurement, one of the most common is the ANSI standard.  These rules establish uniformity when several different people measure and calculate square foot.  It is important is selecting your appraiser that they be qualified and know ANSI standards.  These standards give a value estimate to home features like garages and establish condition grades such as excellent to poor so appraisers deduct or add value uniformly.   Appraisers are trained to know about above and below floor grades in a home and how to value those.

One of the most frequent mistakes is accounting for the FHA 5-Foot Celling Rule.  This diagram shows how that is done:


Be aware that determining your correct square foot area is not just as simple as putting a tape measure around your home’s perimeter. You need to find a qualified ANSI appraiser to do your values. Trained Real Estate Brokers can give a broker price opinion and are trained to measure and get approximate values, but it is always wise to get an appraisal or at least a home measurement by a trained appraiser, especially if your broker or agent recommends one for your Baton Rouge Home.

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