Alex, Home Seller in Foster City, CA

Recently added 590 sq footage. Last home sold in our area was a 2300 sq footage at 1.3M and updated here and there. Ours is about 200 sq foot

Asked by Alex, Foster City, CA Fri May 21, 2010

smaller. How would it be compared to ours that has a new 290 sq foot kitchen with rare pattern granite counter top , all wood cabinets, walk-in pantry, all stainless steel appliances and a new bedroom. The existing home is complately updated also. Home is 25 years old. Noticed most homes are updated interior but none added sq footage. Also, who do we get to do an actual measurement of the existing home? We listed our home years ago and was not happy with the entire process hence, pulled it out. We will sell again in a year or 2 but this time, would do a thorough interview of realtors. Learned our lesson.

Help the community by answering this question:


Hello Alex,

First congrats on adding on and updating the most valuable room of a home. Knowing foster City I will assume you did it with permit. It is very difficult ot put a value on an updated kitchen. They are all done differently. Here is a quick reference.…
The return might be different when you are ready to go to market. Several years ago almost all updating got the cost back and more. Now paint and flooring are about the only two guarantees. An updated kitchen in any market it makes your home sell considerably faster and that in it;'s self money.

Your home being 200 sq. ft smaller is not a major concern. The floor plan is more important.
If you want give me your address and I will check what the county records shows for your home. No cost and no obligation.

NOt sure where you found out your neighbors home sold for $1,300,000 but sometiems the published sales price can be misleading. The factors that will affect the real value are the termite report, owner financing, seller credits to the buyer, rentbacks, etc. A good real estate agent can track down most of that info for you.
Good Luck but remember markets change and marketing activities need to change with that.
Sorry for your bad experience.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 23, 2010
Hi Alex,

Let me answer the easy question first:

"...who do we get to do an actual measurement of the existing home?"

It's quite simple to pull your own measurements using the outside walls (the garage should not be included as part of the living space). Additionally, an Appraiser will always gather the physical living space square footage of a home. However, neither of these options may be necessary as the plans that you used for obtaining your building permits (I sure hope you obtained permits!) should list this. Note: If you did not obtain permits an Appraiser will not be able to assign value to your improvements.

Regarding the question of value:

Specifics are important when determining current estimated value. An individual should never use median or average statistical values for making a financial decision. All of the specifics of your home have not been shared, which makes arriving at reasonable valuation difficult. Given this, and assuming it's important for you to know current value, I would suggest you seek out a Realtor to perform a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). A CMA always provides the best representation of market price/activity/trend direction - for the SPECIFIC property details you search on.

Best, Steve
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 21, 2010
Hi Alex,

Updating and adding square footage to a kitchen is one of the best investments a homeowner can do and you will see a good return on that work.
You could easily check the county records to see what they show regarding the square footage and then add the additional 250sq.ft to that. That does not cost you anything and will give you a quick figure.
Otherwise to have a person come out and measure will be an expense.

Let me know if I can be of any further help.

Good Luck
Michael Liffmann
Cashin Company
Burlingame, Ca
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 21, 2010
Best to look at a variety of comps to get a clearer picture. Agents can do this, so when you interview several they can provide you with multiple comps. Good way to tell if an agent knows what they are talking about when you compare the comps they bring. Other items to consider are the overall layout of the home. I have seen many additions that darken rooms, chop things up, weren't done with permits etc. Those can actually hurt a resell value. Being the biggest home in the area can also make it harder to get a good appraisal. Sounds like that isn't an issue with your location though. Does the county have info on your new addition? They may have total measurements available, but the appraiser can verify. Sounds like you have a nice place to enjoy!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 21, 2010
Alex - The square footage that is typically advertised is the square footage reflected in the original construction plans plus the square footage reflected in the plans that you submitted to receive a remodeling permit. Any additions you made without a permit cannot be used for valuation purposes and would have to be disclosed as unpermitted when you sell the house. The amenitites you've install - appliances, cabinets - will probably increase the value of the home at about 60% of the price you paid for the upgrades. Regardless of the square footage and quality of the upgrades, the major influences on the sale price will be the location of the property and a potential buyer's perception of value to them personally. I caution clients not to upgrade their home to be the best property on the block unless they intend to enjoy the upgrades themselves. When you are the best house on the block, there are no other comparable properties to support the value and appraisers will have a tough time giving it an appropriate valuation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 21, 2010
Hi Alex, the value of a home is usually based on location, condition, price and current market conditions like supply and demand. Interest rates also play a major factor.

It sounds like you need an appraiser if you want to know the sq ft of your home. If you need a referral, I have a good one who will not charge you that much if all you need is to find out the size of your home.


Cashin Company
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 21, 2010
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