Do you know the square footage of your home? Is it right?
There are a lot of different reasons why someone else might want to know the square footage of your home.
The State of Texas uses it so you can pay them property taxes. A contractor helping you with home renovations will use it to bid the job. And if you’re selling your home, this is one of the most popular pieces of information a buyer wants to know.
Here are 4 reasons why you should know your homes square footage — and make sure it’s right!
1. You might be paying too much in property taxes
The appraisal district for the county that your home is located in does their own appraisal to establish a value. The assessed value is the amount you pay for property taxes. If they happen to make a mistake and record more square footage, you end up paying more property tax. I’ve seen differences of over 500 square feet. Ouch!
So not only should you always consider protesting your property taxes, but you’ll also want to confirm the square footage of your home is recorded properly.
2. It’s good to know if you’re thinking about home renovations
A drawing with dimensions of each room in your home will come in handy when you decide to have that old carpet replaced with wood floors, splash some fresh paint on the walls, or any home improvement that requires you or your contractor to know the square footage.
And it never hurts to have this information when you’re gathering bids from several contractors. It would be a shame to discover that one of those bids is coming in high because your contractor thinks the square footage is a lot more than it really is.
Knowing this information up front could save you some money.
3. A must if you’re selling your home
Make sure and measure your home before you compare it to others. It helps in determining the market value and therefore the list price of the home.
If the square footage is wrong on the low side, you could be leaving a good chunk of money on the table. An error on the high side can lead to all kinds of problems.
If you, the buyer, or the real estate agent have done nothing to verify the square footage, then most of the time it’s discovered during the appraisal process (which happens after your home is under contract).
Finding out the square footage is actually a lot lower (or higher) than what everybody thought after your home has been under contract for several weeks can be a real let down for all parties involved — not to mention a possible deal breaker.
This is a great reason to know your homes square footage before listing your home for sale. It will prevent a lot of stress and help keep the deal from going south.
4. What about the home you’re thinking about buying?
Always verify the source of the measurements. The square footage source for most of the homes for sale in Lake Travis is the Travis Central Appraisal District (TCAD) — sometimes they get it wrong.
New home builders have been known for some of the biggest square footage discrepancies. Be sure to measure that new home you’re thinking about buying.
Don’t be afraid to ask the seller for an appraisal from when they purchased the home or take the time and measure the home to verify the information.
And because it is an important factor in determining the homes value, it’s a great idea to do it before you present an offer.
Keep in mind …
If you have three professional appraisers measuring a home to determine the square footage, every one of them will come up with a different total — but they should all be within approximately 25 square feet. Having measurements from several sources that are all relatively close is your assurance that you have an accurate number.
Here’s a video that shows you how to measure a home in 6 easy steps:
She’s not a professional, but the basics are here to give you the general idea.
Check out the Lake Travis Real Estate section for more information on historic landmarks, area neighborhoods, buying and selling tips, and local market conditions.