Boston area real estate and the square footage myth…

Many of my clients assume that there is a standard measuring process employed to arrive at the recorded square footage of a condo or single family home…NOT TRUE.  The truth is that there are many different ways that square footage can be measured (for the plans that are eventually recorded for condominium documents and/or tax records) and this can be confusing. Add to that a very strong real estate market with $1000/sq ft properties more the norm these days…every square foot counts.   So where does the number come from?  Well, sometimes measurements are taken from outside wall to outside wall, sometimes they are taken from 6” in from the outside wall and sometimes they are taken from exterior wall to exterior wall, etc, etc.

I tell my buyers that the more properties we see together the better as that way, they can begin to ‘feel’ what the average property within their price point and square footage parameters feels like spatially.  If we see 10 properties in the 1200 square foot range, some will feel smaller, some larger but I feel confident in saying that the majority will feel right for the size – a bell curve result; DESPITE there being no straightforward industry standard.  The other benefit of seeing as many properties as possible is that you will start to understand, from a market standpoint, what certain properties net in the marketplace so you can use the sale price (and price per square foot) as additional metrics to help you feel comfortable with your buying decision.