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Find the ideal home size for you and your family.
Dated: March 5 2019
Size Matters: The Truth About Square Footage (for Buyers and Sellers)
The Truth for Buyers:
Now that you’re house shopping, there’s probably one question that’s been on your mind often: “What size home should I buy?” At a glance, the answer seems obvious: as big as you can afford! But that’s only a small piece of the puzzle.
Home size matters on many levels from personal preference to resale value, future plans, your budget, and more.
How do you find the ideal home size for you and your family?
A foot is a foot, right? When it comes to the square footage of your future home that may not be the case. Measuring the size of a house isn’t incredibly precise. More often than not, the size will change depending on which appraiser is measuring and what mechanism they’re using to determine the square footage: measuring tape, laser measure, or eyeball.
What does this mean for you? You need to choose your home size not by the numbers but by the feel. Don’t put too much stock in the listing size on paper, but instead find out in person if each room, bathroom, and living area is large enough for your needs.
It’s not about how other individuals answer the question, “What is a good sized house?” It’s about you, your family, and how big a place feels in person.
The Truth for Sellers:
I doubt there exists a buyer in the entire world of real estate who hasn't asked, at one time or another, what is the square footage of a particular property.
The fact is, however, measuring the size of a home isn't an exact science.
An inch is an inch is an inch. Or, so you'd think.
But when it comes to measuring the square footage of a property, it's not quite that simple. You can hire three different appraisers to measure the same house and they may come up with three different measurements. Because there are multiple ways to measure and different mechanisms used, the physical act of measuring can be done differently. Some appraisers will measure square footage with a good old measuring tape, albeit a large one. Others come equipped with those new state-of-the-art laser devices. I have been present when an appraiser will just eyeball a difficult-to-measure space or even do the wide-arm measurement. The point is, there aren't any universally applied standards.
What does this mean for you the seller?
As successful Realtor I respond to buyers' "what is the square footage" question with, "I haven't measured it. Does the size of the house seem to work for you?" My point was that a buyer either feels like the space is right or not, and that feeling is more important than a figure that may or may not be real. Most often, buyers will need to turn to city tax records for that information, and that's where they need to get that information!
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