What is the difference between Square footage and Square Footage under beam and Square foot living space?

Asked by Lori Hildestad, Corona, CA Wed Apr 2, 2008

What does the Tax Assessor go by and what do you use in your comparables? How can I figure it out on my home?

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David - Appr…, , Maricopa, AZ
Wed Apr 2, 2008
Square Footage is a standard mathamatical term (as oposed to metric) referring to the measurement of an area in feet, as is square inches or square yards. Example - as area measuring 3 feet wide by 3 feet long is 9 square feet or the square footage is 9. It is also a short relative term used in referring to the size of real estate property.

Square Footage under Beam is the measurement in feet of an area directly under some type of covering (roof, canopy, cliff overhang). Generally referring to support beams of a structure and all of the area which it covers. In real estate it would include all areas under roof.

Square Foot Living Space is the measurement in feet of the above grade interior area of a structure that is livable with proper access, heating and in most cases cooling. In reas estate that would exclude carports, garages, attached laundry rooms, porches, patios, basements, and attics that do not have proper ceiling height. In the case of multi-level homes (2 story, 3 story) you would also exclude any open space over the lower levels.

The tax assessor goes by the builders measurements when the plans are submitted and building permits are issued. During the next assessment date they usually use the appraised measurement if there is any large differences from time of construction and resale.

When choosing comparables the GLA (gross livable area) square footage which is also the assessors square footage is used. To calculate the square footage of your own home (assuming livable) you would measure all sides of the foundation excluding any non-livable areas mentioned above and multiply length times width. In the case of a Condo or Townhouse (attached with common walls to others) you would measure the interior air space.
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