William Flet…, Home Buyer in Cary, NC

I have viewed several properties some with basements some without and was wondering the same question? What are the guidelines when calc sq ft?

Asked by William Fletcher, Cary, NC Sat Feb 16, 2013

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Margaret Moo…, Agent, Chapel Hill, NC
Sat Feb 23, 2013
The North Carolina Real Estate Commission has a publication that specifically addresses residential square footage guidelines. Figuring square footage can sometimes be confusing, so the guide is a great reference. You can click the link below for a complete explanation.
Margaret Moore
Triangle & Coast Realty
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My NC Homes…, Agent, Chapel Hill, NC
Sat Feb 16, 2013
Without knowing a specific property that you may be asking about here's the basic rules for counting square footage. In order to be included as finished square footage the room must be finished, heated and cooled and have a minimum ceiling height of 7'.

Finished basement square footage (even if finished to the same level as the rest of the house) will never be given the same value by an appraiser. The finest basements out there will be lucky to get credited 1/2 the dollar per square foot value as above grade square footage. Most will get a valuation of between $25 - $40 per square foot.

Now many Realtors do not list homes properly so it' not uncommon to see basements included in the total finished square footage of a home improperly. If you have a specific home you're asking about and will contact me directly through my profile here on Trulia I'd be happy to let you know whether it's being included in the square footage or not.
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Elizabeth Sc…, Agent, Apex, NC
Sat Feb 16, 2013
Hi William: Here in NC, square footage of a residence includes "heated living area" of the home. The "heated living area" of the home consists of only those portions of the home in which the occupants actually live and which are heated by the home's primary heating system (for example, the living room, den, kitchen, dining room, study, bedrooms, bathrooms, closets, pantry, foyer, utility room, and hallways). So, if it heated, this would include a finished basement. It includes the areas occupied by any stairwells, but excludes any floor space which has a ceiling of less than five feet. "Heated living area" does not include a garage, carport, attic, unfinished basement, outside storage room, porch, balcony, or deck, whether or not any of these features are attached. It would not include an unheated workroom off a garage. Hope this is helpful. Do you have any other questions I can help with?
Elizabeth Scott, Realtor®, Broker
e-PRO, Strategic Pricing Specialist
Fathom Realty NC, LLC
Phone: 919.306.9699
My LinkedIn Profile
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Mike Jaquish, Agent, Cary, NC
Sat Feb 16, 2013
If the basement is finished at a level of quality similar to the above grade space, and is heated, it's square footage will be counted as living area.

Basement space will generally carry a much lower value than above grade space.

Bear in mind, any level with any portion below grade is basement level. Any dirt against an exterior wall for a level means that level is below grade.
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