1. Square footage is calcuated by taking the length and width of the exterior of the home. Although the basement is not taken into account in the gross living area, it is used when determining market value. The distinction is that the above ground living space is worth more money per sq. ft. than the basement space.
2. The yard will have more impact in a tier 1 town than it would in a tier 3 town. Could it enhance the value $50K, Yes.
I'm surprised at the lack of clarity of the article and responses, especially since the most accurate one came from Las Vegas!
I assume you are concerned with Living Area, which is as mentioned Finished Area above grade. Many Agents will count a properly finished basement and disclose that it has been added to the finished sq footage.
No, decks are never counted, ever. Unfinished attics and basements likewise.
A finished basement to code, with proper height and egress can be with proper disclosure.
An appraiser will use above grade st footage and make a discounted adjustment based on construction cost. Truthfully though... that does not properly represent what a buyer may pay for it. A well finished basement may add more to the value and price than that discounted figure. Appraisals are fairly mechanical, using typically homes within 20% living area, within 0.5-1 mile preference given to similar style. Appraisers can make many adjustments for amenities such as garages, condition and more.
I am obviously biased, but think that a free, market analysis from a Local Realtor that compares the home in question to other sold, active and under contract listings. An appraisal will also be a useful tool, but will be fairly expensive and not include comparison to active competition.
Please feel free to contact for a comprehensive report or advice.
You're getting conflicting answers when your question is addressed by different categories of real estate professionals. I will answer your question from the perspective of the appraiser who is writing up a value estimate that was requested by the bank.
Appraisers measure Gross Living Area (GLA) for single family residential homes. They do so by measuring the exterior footprint of the house and include all above grade living space that is permanently heated. Typically we exclude basements, except when there is enough natural light to clearly make it part of the GLA. However, this is up to the individual appraiser who can make that on the spot decision. In reality, as long as we compare equally between similar homes to arrive at the estimated value, the decision to include or exclude becomes less important as we are already comparing to homes with similar amenities and lower level setups.
The same logic is true for exterior amenities such as extensive landscaping. If this is typical for the area that the home is in, it would not count towards the value as it is already part of the sales prices for the neighborhood. Again, compare apples to apples. If the extensive landscaping is atypical for the area, most likely some value will be allotted for the added amenity, although that value may be less than what replacement value would be. I myself always ask what improvements/renovations/updates were made during the last 10 years and I make sure to included these in the final report.
Hope that helps explain the appraisal process some.
RE Appraiser - Vollenberg Appraisers
Realtor/REO Asset Manager - NJ Real Estate Associates LLC
Office (908) 968-0336
Adding value to your property varies from neighborhood to neighborhood. Curb appeal is extremely important, but be careful not to over do it for the neighborhood. On most renovations you don't get every dollar back in value. Adding 50k in value, probably costs much more than 50k.
Curb appeal is great in the eyes of a prospective buyer, as long as the neighborhood follows your lead. A bank appraiser will look at the overall condition of the street to help determine value, the value will mostly be determined by the condition of your home and area where it's located. The Banks will only use the appraisers estimate to determine value.
A thorough CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) will give you a vey good estimate of your homes value and who your competition is.
If you need further assistance, let me know.
As far as the yard it does add some value but adds more desirability which makes the home more desitable than a house without a nice yard. This therefore shoudl attract more potential buyers which leads to a quicker sale at a higher price.
The square footage should be calculated by measuring the rooms - not including the common areas such as hallways and bathrooms and not including unfinished areas such as attic spaces. A finished basement can be included but it must be disclosed as being included.
The value of a well developed yard varies and although greatly adds to the marketability of your home it doesn't necessarily add value to a bank appraiser.
Do you have the link to the article? I'd like to read it!