How exactly is the square footage of a new constructed condo measured? If listed for 1080 sqft does that mean open space is actually less than that?

Asked by Avyde, Hoboken, NJ Fri Oct 8, 2010

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Caroline York, Agent, St Petersburg, FL
Thu Nov 18, 2010
Square footage in a new condo or house is measured by taxable and livable square footage. So if you have a balcony that cannot be lived in 365 days a year then that space is not included. In Florida a bedroom must have a window and a closet. Find out what your State and county or if there are other specfic jurisdictional real estate requirements then find out what they are and make sure that the property you are buying meet the criteria. Or, you can do it the easy way and hire a realtor who will do all of this for you.
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Luciano Marq…, Other Pro, West New York, NJ
Tue Oct 12, 2010
I've seen contractors using the 3 inches into the walls as the measurement. Which adds 6 inches on each side to the rooms area. That is a 10x10 room is really 10'6"x10'6" adds 10 1/2 sqft to the room!
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Dean, Other Pro, Knoxville, TN
Sat Oct 9, 2010
From an appraisal standpoint, a Condo will be measured using interior measurment, unlike a detached SFR which is generally measured using exterior measurments.
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Jeff Quinlan, , Hoboken, NJ
Fri Oct 8, 2010
The technical definition of square footage comes from the Architectural definition .... This is measured from outside wall to outside wall . Some walls can be as much as 12 inches thick. So the " square footage " will always be different from actual living space . However , the most important thing is how the space appears and appeals to the buyer .
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Kevin Dowd, Agent, Hoboken, NJ
Fri Oct 8, 2010
Square footage should be measured from wall to wall and would include closets, kitchen counters and bathrooms. Square footage from garages is sometimes inluded if the garage is directly attached to the property. Terraces and patios should never be inlcuded in property measurements.

When your bank performs their mortgage appraisal they will measure to verify the listed square footage is accurate. It's very uncommon for properties to be off by a few square feet, so don't panic.

Good question.

Kevin Dowd
Broker Salesperson
Prudential Castle Point Realty
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Karina Abad, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Fri Oct 8, 2010
Hi Leah! Thank you for your question.
It can depend on the architect sometimes. Not all architects and developers measure square footage the same. Some count from the wall in - closets included. Some count from a quarter of an inch or more outside of the sheet rock then inside the walls.
For the most part square footage is measured from the walls in and closets are included before doors and all walls are put up. Square footage can change because of last minute adjustments and floor plan changes and the deed and condo docs are not always the same.
I am not sure what you mean by open space, I think you mean space that you can actually walk through. In that case, then yes because again, closets are included in that number.
So a 1080 sq foot home could have only say 900 square feet of livable space.
Outdoor space such as terraces and patio's are never counted in square footage - or I should say, SHOULD never be counted in square footage. Although, once in awhile I will see a listing that does count the outdoor space, but that is incorrect. Outdoor space is measured separately.
Also, just want to note, that when an appraiser comes in to appraise the home, he or she will also measure the space to count square footage and draft a floorplan. Most of the time, their number does not match up with what the docs say.

Hope this was helpful!
Don't hesitate to reach me if you have any other questions.
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