Can screen porch be used in sqft?

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Submitted by Former SD resident on February 7, 2013 - 6:51pm

We're interested in a home but the listed square footage listed is different from the assors. When we asked the listing agent she said they used the original plans for the house ('57) that includes the porch in total sqft and that they had the home appraised and the appraiser included the porch in sqft age. I thought total sqft had to be heated? FYI the porch is approx 300? Realtor made it sound that the inclusion of the porch is at the discretion of the appraiser. Anyone know what the rules are here? Thank you!

Submitted by spdrun on February 7, 2013 - 7:27pm.

Who cares? Make your own measurements, judge for yourself if the price is right. Realtors' square footage quotes are to be taken with a huge grain of salt, and legality is irrelevant.

Submitted by desmond on February 7, 2013 - 7:28pm.

If your a fly it can.

Submitted by FormerOwner on February 7, 2013 - 9:54pm.

Not unless it has the same heating and cooling features as the rest of the house

Submitted by spdrun on February 7, 2013 - 10:00pm.

Considering that a lot of houses in SD have rinky-dink electric wall heaters (that's all that's needed) only in a few rooms, wouldn't that mean that a lot of houses have their square footage over-reported?

Submitted by ocrenter on February 7, 2013 - 10:06pm.

If you can't count the garage, then you can't count the porch.

Submitted by Former SD resident on February 7, 2013 - 11:13pm.

thanks. I didn't think you could count the porch. I was thinking the same thing ocrenter. I was just flabbergasted when the agent said that, they think they can get away with anything in this market. still like the house (well the neighborhood actually), guess all we can do is put in what we think its worth based on comps.

Submitted by spdrun on February 8, 2013 - 10:10am.

Again: why is precise sq ft measurement so relevant? If you like the space and the price, buy it. If not, then walk. You're not buying potatoes by the pound here.

I don't think I even knew how many sq ft my condo was precisely till I put an offer on it.

Submitted by CA renter on February 9, 2013 - 1:03am.

spdrun wrote:
Again: why is precise sq ft measurement so relevant? If you like the space and the price, buy it. If not, then walk. You're not buying potatoes by the pound here.

I don't think I even knew how many sq ft my condo was precisely till I put an offer on it.

Just guessing here, but when houses are all pretty much the same (thanks to monotonous tract housing), it comes down to price per sf. It might be different back east where they probably have more differentiation between houses/buildings/neighborhoods; but around here, if you want to know how much to pay for a house, you look at neighboring homes that have recently sold, calculate a price/sf, and then mentally add/subtract for various differences like lot size, particular location, amenities, etc. It's how appraisers value homes, and it's the simplest way to come up with an approximate value.

Submitted by Former SD resident on February 9, 2013 - 11:22pm.

exactly ca renter. the 300 sqft was approx 15% of space and at 300/sqft that's about 90k for a porch, seems a bit high for me. we decided against an offer on that house, don't feel comfortable with the whole situation and what in our eyes is misrepresentation.

Submitted by bearishgurl on February 10, 2013 - 12:50am.

The assessor would have included it in the sq footage if it was properly permitted when it was constructed. My guess is that it was not permitted and so it shouldn't be used in the calculation of the square footage.

You can't do much today about 1957 construction with a possible ("grandfathered") circa 1965 screen porch. I seriously doubt anyone down at the city would bother you about it.

In any case, spdrun is right. If you think the price is fair for the whole package, then make an offer. Otherwise, let it go.

You can't get all wrapped up in "price per sf" in older, established areas, even if they were built on tract. After 50+ years, the majority of them have been remodeled and/or vastly improved so it would be difficult to next-to-impossible to find true "model matches." For instance, you can't really put a price on a curved-glass window or an original American Standard pastel bathroom.

You either appreciate these things or you don't.

Submitted by CA renter on February 10, 2013 - 2:55am.

Former SD resident wrote:
exactly ca renter. the 300 sqft was approx 15% of space and at 300/sqft that's about 90k for a porch, seems a bit high for me. we decided against an offer on that house, don't feel comfortable with the whole situation and what in our eyes is misrepresentation.

That's probably a good move, FSD. I wouldn't trust someone who tried to include a porch in the square footage, permitted or not.

Submitted by ocrenter on February 10, 2013 - 3:11am.

CA renter wrote:
Former SD resident wrote:
exactly ca renter. the 300 sqft was approx 15% of space and at 300/sqft that's about 90k for a porch, seems a bit high for me. we decided against an offer on that house, don't feel comfortable with the whole situation and what in our eyes is misrepresentation.

That's probably a good move, FSD. I wouldn't trust someone who tried to include a porch in the square footage, permitted or not.

back during the bubble days, we bought a condo that was clearly only 870 sqft but the agent "rounded up" the sqft as 1000 sqft. we knew full well but still went for it. that was in 2004. in '05 things were so bubblelicious we sold it as "900 sqft" for $100k more and it sold on the first day.

I guess look at these BS moves as indicators for how bubblely the market is. If buyers are willing to "include" the 300 sqft of porch as part of the sqft, the market will allow for it.

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