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How Do Appraisers Measure Square Footage?

how-do-appraisers-measure-living-areaOne might think that measuring the square footage of a house for an austin real estate appraisal is pretty simple and methodologically basic. Many of us think that measuring the square footage is all about taking out a measuring tape, perhaps dividing the building area into measurable square partitions, then measuring those partitions and finally adding those partitions- voila, you now have a square footage measurement!

Unfortunately that is not how it is done. In fact, measuring the square footage reminds us of an old joke about an accountant being asked in his interview as to what is the answer for 2 + 2. He quickly says, “How do you want it to be?” and then he aces the interview. Measuring the square footage is just like this. There is no one-size-fits-all type of methodology and it usually varies depending on who calculates the measurement and for what purpose of the measurement is to be used.

For condominiums and Austin commercial property appraisals, measuring the square footage is done from the interior. Since floor plans of these structures are generally accurate, the records from county taxing authorities are not often questioned. However, when it comes to detached homes, there are many ways of measuring living area. Single family measurements are less likely to be revised by the county so if there have been renovations or layout changes they may not be accounted for on official documents.

Appraisers tend to use one common measurement type when it comes to measuring the square footage. They measure the Gross Living Area of your home. For condominiums, they generally just measure the interior meaning only the inside area of your unit. Some may add 6 inches to the measurement for the wall thickness. For residential homes however, they generally tend to measure the whole area of your house externally – including the walls.

How Do Realtors Measure Square Footage?

The truth is that Realtors don’t measure the square footage of your house or unit. They will likely take the values from county records. However, right now the MLS requires all agents to indicate where they obtained living area values. However, the form still allows them to indicate whether it is “estimated” or there were “other sources”.

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Austin neighborhoods we appraise

We provide real estate appraisals and related services to the following cities, towns and communities across the Austin metro area. We cover a large portion of Central Texas - if you don't see your area below, please call to confirm with one of our friendly staff.

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Anderson Mill | Bee Cave | Briafclif | Brushy Creek | Buda | Cedar Park | Creedmoor | Del Valle | Elgin | Georgetown | Hays | Hutto | Jollyville |
Jonestown | Kyle | Lago Vista | Lakeway | Leander | Manor | Mustang Ridge | Pflugerville | Point Venture | Rollingwood | Round Rock |
San Leanna | Shady Hollow | Sunset Valley | Webberville | Wells Branch | West Lake Hills

what customers like you say about our
Austin Property appraisal services

We stand behind our work and our customers have nothing but great things to say. Here are a few examples:

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Real Estate Appraisals Austin
4.8
Based on 45 reviews
Ed came out on short notice to measure a new home I was in the process of purchasing. He was professional and honest in his work. I found him online and it was not through my lender. I wanted an independent appraiser since the lender was connected to my builder. Definitely will use him again if I ever needed to. I was a first time home buyer and he was fair to me and helpful. Thank Ed!
Jennifer Nguyen
Jennifer Nguyen
The realtor that came out was very professional and thorough. I would recommend this service.
Nancy Crow
Nancy Crow
This company is contracted to my mortgage company for market appraisals to remove PMI. They contacted me right away and had the whole thing turned around in less than a week. Appreciate the speed and the quality of the service and would definitely recommend.
Jeanna Kozak
Jeanna Kozak
I was able to schedule an appraisal just two days after contacting the company. Likely this was a fluke, but it worked well for me! Our appraiser was a bit late, but that was the fault of the previous appointment. Once he arrived, he listened to everything we pointed out. Our appraisal was fair for our neighborhood we thought and the report arrived about 8 days after the appointment. We are happy and will recommend Real Estate Appraisals Austin to any others we know.
Leah L
Leah L
We used Real Estate Appraisals Austin and found them to be very professional, accommodating and efficient. Their work product was thorough and very well presented. We would definitely recommend them and would use them again.
Calvin Porter
Calvin Porter