The actual size of a home, and most importantly its Gross Living Area (GLA), is typically the most vital characteristic of residential real estate with square footage of a home having the largest impact on value. It’s no wonder that misrepresentation of a home’s size, accidental or otherwise, is the number one reason for residential real estate lawsuits. Unfortunately many Realtors rely upon county tax data for square footage of a home; this data is often inaccurate and can be a poor source for determining a home’s actual size.
At RealEstateAppraisalsAustin.com we can work with homeowners and Realtors to determine actual Gross Living Area, Total Building Area and the Area of Additional Structures that may be on the property. Our appraisers use advanced field tools such as laser measuring devices and tablet PCs to construct an accurate interpretation of your home’s actual size. There are also many rules and restrictions to how a home can be measured and what exactly qualifies as “living space” vs. what is “non-livable space”. Because of these rules additions, conversions and other changes made to a home can affect your total living area differently than you may think.
Did You Know? Real estate appraisers are the ONLY professionals that are trained on how to properly measure a home. They are also the only group that can submit certified measurements to have government records changed.
Many people do not realize that county tax records can have major discrepancies when it comes to the size of your home. This issue can arise from many different situations. First and foremost, county appraisers do not typically measure the inside of a residence. This means that any conversions such as an enclosed attic or garage may be missed completely. And it’s only worse with multi-story homes since the appraiser cannot see the layout of the 2nd or 3rd floor from outside.
Newer homes are usually less susceptible to these issues because the developers and builders provide the county with floor plans during construction. But even then mistakes can happen. Take for example a real life situation in which every new home in an entire subdivision had an incorrectly labeled size because the developer provided the wrong blueprints… crazy!