Did you get a chance to view any of these beautiful homes? If not you missed some beautifully finishes and grand spaces. I certainly share in your frustration on square footage reporting, but that's because the SF DBI (Dept of Bldg Insp) and the Assessor's office haven't updated their files yet and the new numbers not unlike the TARP funds haven't really trickled down the system yet...
Perhaps you can help explain the obsession people have with price per square feet? I've always looked at It is a rough estimator of value, having many more factors than a simple number could ever represent. Have you ever known anyone to buy a car simply on its MPG rating? It's simply a number which *may* give an indication gas and mileage; however I don't think it's ever dissuaded someone from buying a Hummer. Price per Sq Ft never takes into account finishes, location, views and floor plan.
BTW If you're frustrated about square footage reporting, please direct that towards the reporting system and the Assessor's office. They get the numbers from DBI and then it sits on somebody's desk from there it slowly filters through the system.
These were all gorgeous homes and those happy home buyers certainly didn't peg their hopes, dreams or lifestyle solely on a price per square foot, so tell me what is your obsession with this number? }:-)
Zephyr Real Estate Noe Valley Office
Here's what the city records show:
313 Duncan: 919 SF for 1 story only (lot size 3,001 SF).
22 Hoffman: 1,250 SF for 1 story only (lot size 2,648 SF).
731 Douglass: 2,689 SF but record says it is only 1 story and it has to be more since structure is larger than the lot! (lot size 1,341 SF).
Make sure your agent checks the 3R report for anything you want to purchase so you know that any additions were legally permitted. Good luck - right now is a good time to be a buyer in the market.
The Azari Group
This is a perfect example of why any source of information that is based soley on tax records is unreliable as they can be anything from accurate to way off. That's why you need too visit properties. It's very frustrating for us professionals as well, especially when the square footage isn't listed at all.
And Jed is correct about sq footage not being an exact science. Some sources include stairwells and walls. For example, one client was buying a property that showed 1507 sq ft in the MLS remarks but only 1385 in the condo map. From my perspective to knowingly include non-usable space such as stairs and walls in the square footage number is ridiculous and a gross misrepresentation of the property, yet it is still done.
Foregoing aside, even if all the properties had accurate square footage using the same criteria, when viewing a number of properties you're going to come up with an average price. This is not really a useful number in San Francisco where there are massive differences in building age, condition, views, proximity to projects, traffic noise, proximtity to public transportation, legal issues, etc...
The best thing you can do is make sure you have a representative who is knowledgeable about all these issues.
Lance King/Managing Broker
Most people don't realize it but square footage is not an exact number. Two different appraisers can come up with different numbers.
If the rooms down, "nanny rooms" were added with permit they would be on the tax records. Look for the reference, if it isn't there have your agent ask the listing agent where the number came from.
Also be aware of the use of wide angle lenses and the difference the lack of use will have on a photo.
Suspicion should become infomred and it's no problem at all if an agent asks me a question becasue I have taken an oath as a Realtor to treat every party of a transaction with honesty and openness.