The engineer in me likes the explanation below. Your mileage my vary.
â€œWith regards to areas below grade, it is common for the appraiser to not include areas in Gross Living Area (GLA) as per Fannie Mae Guidelines XI 405.05 and ANSI Standards Z765. Which are consistent in definition by stating: The above grade finished square footage of a house is the sum of finished areas on levels that are entirely above grade. The below-grade finished square footage of a house is the sum of finished areas on levels that are wholly or partly below grade. Any level that is partially below grade makes the entire area ineligible for being determined in GLA.â€
Some banks will count square footage in basements. Hope this is helpful.
In my humble opinion, I feel it is misleading to use basement square footage in living area.
In MA for the general rule only above "grade" (ground) space is included in the gla. On the MLS we have a disclosure to fill out if we are including the basement in the GLA. Best with you sale.
If you need help determining whether your basement qualifies to be added to the total living area, please give me a call! I would be happy to set up a time with you to have a look! If you are planning on selling and looking for ways to maximize a sale, I can give you other ideas and suggestions that we can achieve this as well! Look forward to hearing from you!
Keller Williams Realty
Sometimes a realtor will add in the square footage of a finished basement into total living area. It should also be disclosed if that is the case. I would be more then happy to set you up on the MLS so you can see all the disclosures listed. You can give me an email back.
Finished basements can be counted in the gross living area. The tricky part is finding out whether or not the listing agent has included this info with the total living area. Sometimes they disclose this space in another section of the MLS.
Hope this helps!
Jeffrey H. Carter, ABR
978 717 9015