Property Q&A in 14610>Question Details

Scott, Home Owner in 14610

What counts as square footage in Rochester, NY. It does seem that the city includes the attic as square footage which doesn't seem right.

Asked by Scott, 14610 Tue Jan 3, 2012

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Hi Scott,
Square footage refers to legal living area. In the city of Rochester, if an attic is finished living area, there must be a fire escape for egress. If there is no fire escape, the area would be unsafe to use as a living area. Sometimes people include finished basements in the square footage; however, if there is no means of egress, it is not legal living space. Also, if the basement is more than 1/4 underground, it is not generally included in the square footage. If you would like more information about this, I would recommend talking with the City of Rochester Assessor. The Assessor is VERY concerned about property square footage and legal living space!

I should mention that some realtors include space which is not legal living area. The tax records for properties are public documents which can help you verify actual square footage.

Good luck and I hope this was of some help.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 3, 2012
The square footage generally represents the living area in the property. Attics are generally not part of this measurement.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 3, 2012
Most of the properties I have researched whether the city or other communities show the square footage of the first and second floor and the third floor if finished in parentheses.
If you need examples feel free to contact me.
Thank you,
Ray Camp
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 3, 2012
There are several agents that include basement or attic sq. ft. from a MARKETING standpoint to make their listing look bigger than the competition and justify the price they have put on it. They justify the sq. ft. number by indicating "walk-out" or "finished space" but do not disclose it in the public comments. Unfortunately, if a buyer has not hired, at the seller’s expense, a REALTOR, you won't know what is and what is not included in sq. ft. until you take the time (possibly wasting time) to go visit a house that isn't as big as what you need. Plus, there are issues with code that only the town/city code enforcement office can verify.

The worst thing about an agent doing this is when it comes time to APPRAISE the house. Although the agent and the seller thinks that the finished extra space increases the marketability, an appraiser may not give it any, or as much VALUE to the price that ultimately causes the house to not appraise after you put an offer in and therefore WON'T close. (This means you're not moving.)

So the best thing to do is avoid the issue by signing the REQUIRED state forms to hire a REALTOR to represent your needs. If you are browsing the web and find yourself wasting time looking at houses that don't fit what you are looking for, I recommend giving me a call: 585-414-0855 or visit my website:

Tod A. Myers
Licensed New York Real Estate Agent
HUNT/ERA Real Estate

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“We are very fortunate to have met REALTOR Tod Myers. He’s not just a great REALTOR but he is a great person. Thank you Tod for your hard work and dedication.”
Santi Phommanirat & Sue Phommanirat – Rochester

“It was a pleasure working with REALTOR Tod Myers. He was invaluable helping us prepare Dad's house for sale in Rochester as part of our closure process. The results speak for themselves. The house is sold and we are able to move on. Our thanks to Tod.”
McLean Family – Gates
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 3, 2012
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