what's the square footage of this home?

Asked by Coral, New Jersey Sun May 31, 2009

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Coral: The house is listed in the Middlesex MLS. It seems to be fully available as of last report. Very little is said about it and it is listed as an as-is sale. You will have to do what is called â€œdue diligenceâ€ on this one.

You are starting out in the right direction by asking, â€œjust how big is this placeâ€? Unfortunately, you have started in the wrong place! The reason is this: The Realtor community does not, as a rule, generate the square footage measurement. If weâ€™re wrong, we get the blame. We will use the square footage in the public record but, as in many cases, this particular property has no square footage listed.

Builders often take the footprint and multiply by the stories or perhaps they will use whatever calculation a designer- architect might provide. This leaves the question of what was counted unanswered. Is a cathedral ceiling counted as two floors? Is a 10 foot wide entrance hall more useful than a 12 footer? Does a â€œlaundry roomâ€ that is no more than a hall to the back door count as a room at all? How much more impressive is a foyer that is 10 foot deep than one that is 8 feet? Is it more useful?

In the case of the house in question, the Realtor has not even bothered to measure the rooms and report those measurements, so while Ken is correct in stating that room size is more important than house size, his suggestion can only be taken by going out to the place with tape measure in hand.

The last thing I will say about square feet is that even room size is less important than layout and utility. There is a development I know of that features two houses with the same layout and number of rooms. One is two feet wider and two feet deeper. One of the â€œbenefitsâ€ of the larger home is a larger hall bath. There are exactly the same fittings in both models. The only difference that I can see is that you have to take two more steps to hang up a towel. On the other hand, the down sides are slightly larger heating and tax bills. (I doubt that guests can even spot the difference walking up the front walk, so thereâ€™s not even much additional prestige.)

With this particular house, the important things are cost of repairs, location and utility of the layout and number of rooms. Start by figuring those things out first. Room measurements are really most useful when trying to figure out if that over-sized couch will fit on a specific wall in the living room.

Lots of luck!

Bill Holt
there are many sources for square footage of homes so I suggest you dont get too hung up on that. Instead request room sizes and counts. some sq foot sizes will include basements (if finished) some dont. Most important is that the property you enquire about is not really Princeton but rather just a Princeton address.