Homes in Sunset Beach, Ocean Isle Beach & Vicinity
George and Elisabeth Smith

What is Heated Square Footage, and Why Should You Care?

Residential living space is generally described in terms of size as a major consideration. Heated square footage is one of the most-quoted items about a house, townhouse or condo. So here are a few facts that might interest you; let’s take a single-family house as an example. First, the square footage is measured by taking the outside dimensions of every floor and putting them on an accurate drawing of the overall outline of each floor. It is not based on adding up the sizes of the rooms and hallways inside the walls. For the second floor and above, we measure the outline dimensions of that floor from the inside, and then write the dimensions on our drawing as if we were magically able to walk around in the air on the outside of the house. Of course, a two-story living room or foyer can only count once, since there is just one floor area involved.

An important point for buyers and sellers to know is that any living space that was finished without a building permit cannot be counted as heated square footage when we report that figure in putting the house on the market. Homeowners may want to save money by doing the finishing work themselves and without bothering to get a permit, but that is often a problem when it is time to sell the property. It is not unusual for buyers to want the seller to obtain a retroactive permit from the local government, and that can be a burdensome and expensive process for the seller.

Another point for buyers to consider is that the way a house feels and how it flows varies widely, even in houses with the same square footage. Things like the quality of the finish carpentry, the style of architecture, the practicality (or impracticality) of the floor plan make a huge difference in the desirability and livability of the house. Even within the same price range or the same neighborhood, not all square feet are created equal. So don’t overly emphasize the exact square footage of a home; consider the way it feels to be in that house when you are there.

For Elisabeth and George, our method is to personally measure every home that we list, and we calculate the heated square footage as accurately as possible. We know it is still one of the first things buyers will look at when they are considering whether or not to arrange a showing.

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George and Elisabeth Smith


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Sunset Beach and Beyond Realty

211 Olde Oak Lane, Sunset Beach, NC 28468

George and Elisabeth Smith are the Realtors of choice for those who want real personal attention. They are proactive professionals who are on your side! Elisabeth is a Strategic Pricing Specialist (SPS), and she is fluent in German. George is a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), a Graduate of the Realtors Institute (GRI) and a Certified New Homes Sales Specialist (CSP).