What qualifies as square footage when you have a below grde bsemnt w/walk out door?

Asked by Cdd, Pinehurst, NC Sun Jan 6, 2008

and windows in the bedrooms that are half above grade?

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Marie O'brien, , Pinehurst, NC
Thu Aug 20, 2009
Over the years it has always been acceptable to add the square footage of a below grade basement with a walkout if it is heated and cooled. In other words considered part of the living space of a home.
Also in NC we must measure the outside of a home to get to the square footage, that would give you the best results in my opinion.
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Mortgage Svcs…, , Charlotte, NC
Mon Jan 7, 2008
For this I would recommend speaking to a licensed appraiser. This will probably be your safest and best bet.
Web Reference:  http://www.ednailor.com
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Stanton Homes, , Raleigh, NC
Mon Jan 7, 2008
In this situation, the basement square footage would be included in the "finished" square footage if the basement is finished/drywalled and has heating and cooling installed, according to North Carolina building code. There must also be smoke detectors installed, and the minimum ceiling height is 7'6". There are more specific requirements if a bathroom or bedrooms are included in the basement, but a finished basement is not required to have a bathroom or bedrooms.
Web Reference:  http://www.StantonHomes.com
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Jim Welden, Agent,
Sun Jan 6, 2008
CDD - this is a city/regional issue and at least in Colorado, it can be different between different MLS's - most MLS's have a definition for this very issue. In Denver, the "Square Feet field" includes just main floor and second (and third) floor square footage. A walkout basement square footage would be included in the "Total Square Feet" field, in the "Basement Square Feet" field, and in the "Total Finished Square Feet" field (if the basement was finished). So you would need to ask an agent familiar with your area - some agents will include the walkout basement square feet, particularly if they are not aware of what the definitions are, or if they are trying to make their Seller's home look bigger than it really is - at least in the Denver area, an agent can be fined for misrepresenting the home if they do this.

In my experience, if the square footage listed is calculated differently than all the other homes that the Buyer is looking at, all it does is annoy the Buyer because the home it is much smaller than the other homes they are considering. I hope that helps.
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