How Big is That House?

When it come to buying a home in Colorado Springs, some of the most often asked questions I get are about how we describe the size of a house. Because every area of the country tends to do things a little different, I thought I’d cover some of the common issues.

  1. When we measure a house, it is based on the outside dimensions. When a builder displays square footage, often it is from a CAD (computer aided design) system that is working with inside dimensions. Not that we often measure homes anymore. Colorado Springs agents almost exclusively work from the tax assessors records, or an appraisal that included measurement, to ensure that they don’t make a mistake. These are adjusted for obvious errors if they are noticed, such as the assessor shows a full basement when their isn’t one.
  2. Basements are included in our total square footage. They often are NOT included in other areas of the country for several reasons. Many regions have climates ill suited for basements, either because of earthquakes, soil conditions, high water tables, bedrock or high humidity. Our climate is dry, and most homes include a basement that could be finished at some point, so we include that in our MLS (Multiple Listing Service) as part of the Total Square Footage. If it is finished, it is also included in the Finished Square Footage. If basement space is not of interest, we often resort to using the Above Grade Square Footage, which does not include basement space. Some of our national builders do not include total square footage in their sale literature. This is a big confusion to some of my buyers when we are looking at new construction
  3. Garages are NOT included in square footage.
  4. Unheated sun rooms are not SUPPOSED to be included in square footage, but occasionally they are, so if there is an unheated sun room, it is best to double check

So if you live in an area without basements, and are looking to buy a home in Colorado Springs, it is best to pay close attention to the whole basement issue. Your 2,000 square foot ranch style home you currently live in, would likely be a 4,000 square foot home in Colorado Springs. Got a 3000 square foot 2 story? The same living areas would be a 4500 square foot home here.

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