Nancy O'conn…, Other/Just Looking in Cape Coral, FL

How is "living area" defined? We're looking to buy a retirement home in Cape Coral, FL.

Asked by Nancy O'connor, Cape Coral, FL Thu Jun 18, 2009

Have been looking at listings for a while, but just realized that coming from New England our definition of living area may not be the same as is accepted in SW FL. What exactly do the square feet of living area in a listing include? pool enclosure? lanai? garage? Thanks!

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Chris Lyon, Agent, Venice, FL
Thu Jun 18, 2009

Generaly LIving Area is considerd what is under air conditioning. This does not include the garage lanai or screened enclosure. I fyou want to look up the property informatiion you can Google Lee County Property Appraiser and search by property address. If you need a mortage or a quote for home owners insurance please feel free to contact me.

Christopher Lyon
We Insure
C&L Funding, Inc
0 votes
Chris Lyon, Agent, Venice, FL
Thu Jun 18, 2009

I'm guessig you've never been to Florida. We don't have basements.
1 vote
Tim Copenhav…, , Florida
Thu Jun 18, 2009
Normally Florida defines "living space" as the square footage that is under air, (air-conditioned area). So outside areas are not considered "living space".
1 vote
Kimberly Lang, Agent, Bonita Springs, FL
Thu Jun 18, 2009

I noticed you have a rather over-complicated explaination for Nancy on her question. I tend to suspect that Christopher from Venice was tactfully trying to let you know that these types of Q&A's are most often answered by locals in each area. (I do not answer questions outside my area) The people asking are looking for expertsin the field to answer them in easy to understand terms with relevant information. You living 1000 miles a way eliminates you from be "local" and also explains why you took paragraphs to explain home features that do not exist in this area of the country.

Q&A's are a great way for professionals in the industry to answer questions from consumers' in their area and many times actually assist them personally. It is obvious that a local mortgage officer is much more likely to be in a position to give a client the highest standard of service. Someone who is 1000 miles a way could give service but are they planning on going to the closing? Will they be across the table ready to answer questions when they occur?

I am sure Lyndsey that you do a fine job in your area, but are you aware of all the ins & outs of the Florida mortgage market?

I wish you the best of success in all your Ohio loans, but please stop and think about what you are doing when you spend paragraphs explaining "below grade areas". Our below grade areas are found at the beach or in the canal systems of our towns.

Unless you understand that the people asking about living space are probably trying to figure out if the pool cage & under truss lanai are included in the number they are seeing on the square foot total line of the screen print out of the home listed on their computer, you really aren't helping them out very much. I do not say this with a mean spirit. I say this in order to help clarify things. When someone asks you what time it is, don't offer to disassemble a watch.
0 votes
LLoyd Nichols, Agent, Fort Myers, FL
Thu Jun 18, 2009

Tim had the correct answer. Under Air. Meaning that an outside deck is not included nor a garage. I'm from Massacusetts originally. Please let me know if I can assist you or send you listings.


LLoyd Nichols
Right Choice Realty LLC
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office: 239-463-5217
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0 votes
Lindsey M. B…, , Ohio
Thu Jun 18, 2009

I own many properties down in FL.

Thanks for asking,

0 votes
Kimberly Lang, Agent, Bonita Springs, FL
Thu Jun 18, 2009
Hi Nancy,

The Living Area is also called the "Under Air" area. The inside of the home that you live in and use daily. Your garage and any area of your lanai are NOT included either. When looking for a home please also consider storage space. Many people looking for retirement homes have spent a great deal of time in parts of the country where basements and attics are common place.

We can tend to forget about how much "stuff" we have accumulated over the years and when the time comes to pack boxes and move, we all too quickly remember all the important items we thought we could not live without.

Having a handyman who does quality work is a great asset to have on any move. Lowes and Home Depot are great places to find storage bins, wall shelves, and many, many other types of space organization items. When you move don't be afraid to consider donating unused items. You get a tax break and your favorite charity gets to resale the treasures!

Should you have any questions with anything related to real estate, moving, or you need a good handyman- feel free to contact my team. We'd love to help you out!

Kimberly R. Lang

The Kimberly Lang Team
Keller Williams Elite Realty
24851 S Tamiami Trail Suite 1
Bonita Springs, FL 34134
When you think of Real Estate, Call The Red Realtor
239-949-8339 fax
239-949-8338 office
0 votes
Lindsey M. B…, , Ohio
Thu Jun 18, 2009
GLA - gross living area:

"The most common comparison for one-family properties (including units in PUD, condominium, or cooperative projects) is above-grade gross living area. The appraiser must be consistent when he or she calculates and reports the finished above-grade room count and the square feet of gross living area that is above-grade. For units in condominium or cooperative projects, the appraiser should use interior perimeter unit dimensions to calculate the gross living area. In all other instances, the appraiser should use the exterior building dimensions per floor to calculate the above-grade gross living area of a property. Only finished above-grade areas should be used—garages and basements (including those that are partially above-grade) should not be included. We consider a level to be below-grade if any portion of it is below-grade—regardless of the quality of its “finish” or the window area of any room. Therefore, a walk-out basement with finished rooms would not be included in the above-grade room count.
Rooms that are not included in the above-grade room count may add substantially to the value of a property—particularly when the quality of the “finish” is high. For that reason, the appraiser should report the basement or other partially below-grade areas separately and make appropriate adjustments for them on the “basement and finished areas below-grade” line in the “sales comparison analysis” grid. To ensure consistency in the sales comparison analysis, the appraiser generally should compare above-grade areas to above-grade areas and below-grade areas to below-grade areas. The appraiser may deviate from this approach if the style of the subject property or any of the comparables does not lend itself to such comparisons. However, in such instances, he or she must explain the reason for the deviation and clearly describe the comparisons that were made

Then there is Gross Building Area or GBA: Gross Building Area sometimes can be the same as GLA (Gross Living Area) and is especially true for single family homes. However, in a multi-family residence there maybe common areas that would not be considered living areas, but part of the size of the structure. "
0 votes
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