Does Your House Measure Up, Part 3: Why Does It Matter?

So far in our series on home measurements, we’ve looked at how public records can differ from an appraiser, and how manufactured homes are measured.  If you missed either one of those blog posts, you can find them here and here.

Now let’s look at one final example of how inaccurate measurements can cost you serious money.  Last year, a home was listed in Owensboro and the total GLA was reported in the MLS as 2,382.  This was the number also reported by the PVA.  The listing agent gave me a copy the sketch from a previous appraisal completed on the subject property.  Here’s what it looked like:



Full page photo


The listing agent based the list price on what he thought was accurate measurements.  In fact, they were off by 152 square feet.  That’s right, the home was actually 2,230 square feet.  Here’s how the house actually looks:


My sketch


Notice the home is completely different, especially in the upper level.

So why does it matter?  The Realtor listed the home based on inaccurate information.  Once the true square footage was calculated, the appraisal could not support the purchase price, and the inaccurate measurements ended up costing the seller over $16,000!  Need a better reason to have your home measured correctly?

Now, we all make mistakes.  So whomever you hire to measure your house, take a quick second to look over their work and make sure the sketch at least looks like your home.  Trust me…and the seller above…you’ll be glad you did.


And if you’re still not sold, here are the top five reasons to have your home measured by an appraiser:

  1.  An appraiser knows the ANSI standards.  We follow the statewide-adopted standard for measuring a house, known as ANSI.  We know what can and cannot be included in the gross living area calculations, what is considered a basement, and what ceiling height requirements are.  Can you include the garage in gross living area?  What about that room above the garage, or the mother-in-law cottage out back?  Or the three bedrooms finished downstairs in the walkout basement?  An appraiser knows how to accurately address all of these questions, and more.
  2. Accurately measuring your home could lead to lower taxes.  If the PVA has your home listed as being larger than it really is, then you might be able to contest your taxes, if you can prove your case.  One of the easiest ways is to hire an appraiser and let us measure your home for you!
  3. An appraiser’s measurements are often used in MLS listings, and usually at no extra cost to the homeowner. Many Realtors will enlist the help of an appraiser to measure a home they’re listing.  This will ensure that when they consider the list price – and use square footage as one of their determining factors – they’ll have the most accurate information possible.
  4. Possibly one of the most important reasons to have your home measured – whether to contest taxes, help with listing/sale price, or anything else – is that an appraiser is independent.  An appraiser has no financial stake in your taxes, nor in the sale of your home.  So when you hire an appraiser to measure your home, that appraiser is acting as a disinterested, unbiased professional, whom you can trust will give you accurate results.
  5. One service Riverfront Appraisals offers is a full, detailed floorplan, complete with room dimensions.  Whether you’re selling your home and want to advertise room sizes, or if you’re buying a new home and wonder if your 8-piece sectional sofa you love dearly will fit in the living room, we can help.

So, if we can help with measuring, or with an appraisal or consulting, let us know.  And, as always, we welcome your comments!

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