Home Buying in Newington>Question Details

Jasmin, Home Buyer in Newington, CT

Is the lower level of a raised ranch considered a basement and is it counted in the total square footage?

Asked by Jasmin, Newington, CT Sun Oct 17, 2010

Help the community by answering this question:

Answers

7
I agree with the other answers of checking with town records; however, when it is appraised, FHA appraisers do not recognize finished basement space in the total square footage regardless if it is a walkout, has sufficient egress or even if it happens to be a raised ranch. Be careful relying solely upon town records because they may have contradicting information that might not be able to trump the bank.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 19, 2011
Jessica is right - especially about the recommendation to verify with the town. In my example, the bedroom was a walk out, with two large windows either of which could have easily been used for egress, and a closet. All of the standard things that would lead one to conclude that the space would qualify as a bedroom BUT the town had no record of it.

Best,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 18, 2010
Jessica is right - especially about the recommendation to verify with the town. In my example, the bedroom was a walk out, with two large windows either of which could have easily been used for egress, and a closet. All of the standard things that would lead one to conclude that the space would qualify as a bedroom BUT the town had no record of it.

Best,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 18, 2010
The answer depends entirely on the town and how the house was built. I would call the town assessor and ask them if, in general, the finished lower level for a raised ranch would be counted as living area and if it would be for the house you're considering.

If a lower level has a walkout and mostly has windows above grade, then it's possible the town is counting it. But the only way to know for sure is to call the town.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 18, 2010
Hi Jasmin, I would suggest that you contact the township to ask them how they interpret the home - I ran in to an issue with a raised ranch that had a finished lower level that included a bedroom. The home had sold many times over the years, including to its current owner, as a 3 bedroom home that included that lower level bedroom in the count. We ran in to a problem when the bank appraiser questioned the bedroom, and the deal collapsed.

Always best to be sure you are on the same page as the township - important to the seller, but just as important to you the buyer. In the example I shared, the difference between a 3 and 2 bedroom house was huge.

Good luck to you,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 18, 2010
Jasmin,
More often than not I find that finished space is counted in a raised ranch, even when it is below grade. The amount of sqft in the lower level that is included should be noted, but often isn't. Unfortunately the treatment of square footage can vary from house to house.

It can be very confusing to compare different raised ranches to each other. For example: a house might say it has 1,200 sqft (doesn't count the basement at all), and it might seem like a small house, but really the 1,200 is only counting the upper floor, which would make it a large raised ranch. Another could be listed as 1,700 sqft, but that counts 700sqft in the basement, so the upper level is no more than 1,000 sqft making it smaller than the first one.

Hope that helps.
Web Reference: http://DanburyLiving.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 18, 2010
Jasmin-

The lower level of a raised ranch is usually not counted in the square footage of a home, though that can vary from town to town, because the space is not completely above ground. However, the non-garage portion is almost always finished, so it is definitely usable space in that style home.

Best regards,
Kyle
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 17, 2010
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer