How getting your house properly measured could put more money in your pocket

You may wonder how you could put more money in your pocket just by getting your home measured.  Well, I’m going tobirmingham house measuring explain to you two ways that this could happen.

The first situation occurs when you put your home on the market for sale.  One of the key areas of comparison an appraiser uses to compare houses is its gross living area (GLA).  The GLA is the homes heated and cooled living space.  If a comparable is smaller than your home then an upward adjustment is made, however if it is larger then a downward adjustment is made.  If homes in your area are selling for $80-$100 per square foot (s.f.), and the GLA of your home is understated by 100 s.f., then your home’s value could be off by $8,000-$10,000!  Would you want to lose that much in selling your home?  In today’s market, when prices have been lower than normal, every little bit helps.

On the other end of the spectrum if the size of your home is overstated, and your home is priced to reflect this greater living area, then it could be overpriced.  When it does go under contract it may not appraise because it was over valued based on a larger GLA.  The best time to find out what the accurate square footage of your home is would be at the beginning when you list it, not at the back end of the transaction when it could potentially kill the deal.

The second situation where knowing the GLA could help you is in you property taxes and the counties valuation of your home.  The county applies a price per square foot to the GLA of your home to come up with it’s value.  Your taxes are based on this value, so if that is overstated because of incorrect living area calculations, then you could be paying too much in property taxes.  If a measurement and sketch of your home reveals that it is smaller then what they are showing, the sketch could be provided to them so that your taxes could be lowered.  Paying less in property taxes could put more money in your pocket, right?  Do you have a positive or negative story about how incorrect GLA effected the sale of your home or the amount of your property taxes?  Leave me a message below, I’d like to hear from you.

If you have any real estate appraisal related questions you can call me at 205.243.9304, email me, or connect with me on Facebook., Twitter, or Youtube.


  1. Maria ballard says

    My FHA appraisal came back Very very low
    Half of my GLASSES WAS NOT counted.
    Which left off 1400 sq.ft. approx. At 1st glance of appraisal we thought the appraiser based it on (Below grade) sq.ft.
    (BY THE WAY NONE OF MY HOME IS BELOW GRADE.) BUT THIS WAS THE ONLY REASON…LEGALLY.SO the 2 agents sent a rebutted to lender Showing and explaining that none of my home was below grade.
    A day or 2 later I was told…He was not changing his mind and the reason it was not counted as GLAD WAS BECAUSE it is below the kitchen. ….MY GARSGE IS BELOW KIT….PLUS THERE R NO, NO, NO RULES REGULATIONS, STIPULATIONS, ETC… THAT HAVE TO DO WITH BELOW KITCHEN. THIS IS FHA….. THIS IS NOT RIGHT….IT IS CRAZY.
    AND SO I HAVE NO RECOUSE…?????????
    49000.00 DOLLARS TO BE EXACT.
    MY # IS 8504606716

    • Sorry for your problem Maria. There are some guidelines that appraisers follow regarding how living area is counted. It is called the ANSI standard and my only guess is that the appraiser is going by these guidelines. I would ask them to point out which of the ANSI guidelines they are using to exclude the area below the kitchen. Hope this helps.

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