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Definition of Living Square Feet and What Appraisers Look At

By Jeff Lichtenstein

Here is a good question regarding living square feet, total square feet, and other items that appraisers consider.


I have found a few different terms regarding price per square foot.  The most common terms in the West Palm Beach home listings are:  “Square Feet – Living” and “List Price – Square Foot.”   I have a few questions.  No rush, enjoy the holiday weekend.

1.  Does Living Square Feet include the porch or screened in area?

Neither. Living square feet includes all of the air conditioned living area. Total square feet includes living square feet + porch + outdoor area + garage.

2.  Is Price per Living Square Feet the metric an appraiser would use in valuing a property?  Is it the metric you would use in doing a comparable analysis?

An appraiser will use living square feet.

3.  Does Finished Square Feet exclude the porch or screened in area?

Finished square feet is not a term that we use in Florida. I think you are referring to total square feet.

4.  Is Finished Square Feet ever used to value a property or in an appraisal?

Yes, they will look at total square feet and lot size. However, they don’t take into account exposures. Typically, southern exposures are best in Florida because the backyard gets sun all day long. Also different types of exposures make a house “feel” more open and bright. Open and bright are not considered by appraisers even though they have market value.



Posted in Homes For Sale, real estate, West Palm Beach homes for sale on July 8, 2015 at 4:09 am.


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