Did Your House Shrink?
Many different numbers relating to the Gross Living Area can be floating around out there for the same home built fifteen years ago, that has sold 3 times. Tax records, the MLS database, and past mortgages filed at the courthouse may vary in some degree. Additionally, some Real Estate Agents may copy an old listing that had an incorrect square footage and it just gets carried on, and on, and on. Not that the Real Estate Agent was trying to do anything unethical, but human error happens; it was raining, she was in her good shoes, etc. Now, now, I am just kidding. My wife is a Real Estate Broker and would kill me if she heard me utter that out-loud. All kidding aside, I have the highest respect for all of us that work in the Real Estate Industry, especially in today’s trying times.
Here is the short of it all, if the numbers are off by a small amount, of say a few square feet, that is very different to an Appraisal than if these numbers differ in the hundreds of square feet. Fortunately, we do not encounter too many homes shrinking over the years, but you would be surprised how many tend to grow.
Certainly, many homeowners have made additions to their homes that do increase their GLA. This can be a tricky area though because there is a strict set of guidelines set forth that define what is, and what is not considered living area of a home. Not all additions will pay for themselves in resale value but will indeed pay for themselves in your family’s enjoyment. I encourage anyone with a question before they begin an addition, to give me a call. Let me discuss with them what will and what will not add to their GLA. Also, a value can be added even if it is not in the GLA calculations, and we do take that into consideration. I am going to touch on just one type of addition in this post, one that is near and dear to my own heart. The mancave!
All the Fellas in the House Stand Up!
Wait, you can’t stand up? That is a clue that area might not cut it in GLA. Let’s say you finally get convinced to finish out that attic making it a man cave the fella’s cannot leave. Yes, being able to keep your husband and his fellas upstairs playing foosball in a nicely finished attic addition is a value all its own, but not always in the GLA. It still may have more value than the home down the street, that just threw up some plywood and called it a man cave, agreed. Here is the short of it, for lack of a better term, that addition will only count in your GLA if it has a ceiling height of at least 7 feet, and a minimum of 50% of the ceiling must be at 7 feet to be considered. Nothing under 5 feet at the slope will be considered in your GLA. Your husband is only 4’10 you say? Then it will work great for him, but still not counted in the GLA, no matter how many SEC logos are embedded into the fixtures.