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Measuring square footage to exterior walls?

Started by duecescracked
over 13 years ago
Posts: 148
Member since: Dec 2007
Discussion about
We recently looked at a new development and the offering plan states that the gross square footage used for marketing of the units is measured to the exterior side of the exterior walls. We are new to the NYC market and were rather shocked by this practice. This could mean interior square footage is 10-15% less than advertised if the walls are a couple feet thick. Is this method common practice for new developments?
Response by csn
over 13 years ago
Posts: 450
Member since: Dec 2007

Yes, this is the way it is done. Measurements from the outside wall to halfway through the wall of the unit next door. Exterior wall are usually no more than a foot thick. You will probably find some other surprises.

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Response by duecescracked
over 13 years ago
Posts: 148
Member since: Dec 2007

Interesting. Any specific surprises you care to share that we should be on the lookout for?

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Response by realestatejunkie
over 13 years ago
Posts: 259
Member since: Oct 2006

If true square square footage or "usable square footage" is something you are greatly concerned about you should arrange to have the apartment measured prior to entering into a purchase agreement.

You will find listings for both resales and new construction tend to inflate the square footage.

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Response by malraux
over 13 years ago
Posts: 809
Member since: Dec 2007

deucescracked:

I'm surprised that this methodology is shocking to you.

Any house, wherever it's built in the 'burbs or the city is advertised in terms of square footage by the lot space it occupies, walls and all. People/brokers don't measure the interior 'usable' square footage of a house - if the overall dimensions of the house happens to be a perfect rectangle that is 40 x 100, the house is advertised as being 4,000 square feet, not the 3,400 square feet of usable interior space the house contains.

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Response by duecescracked
over 13 years ago
Posts: 148
Member since: Dec 2007

malraux - you're the man.

the reason we have never paid much attention to the measurement aspect of things is because outside of manhattan a few hundred square feet difference on a house has no impact on price. In manhattan, where we are dealing with $1500/sq ft, it can make a huge difference. So we have become more picky and really its the first time we have looked into this.

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Response by malraux
over 13 years ago
Posts: 809
Member since: Dec 2007

It's one of those things you have to balance against so many others. For instance, a well laid out 675 sf (so called) 1 bedroom unit can be far more desirable than an 800 sf 1 bedroom unit that has wasted hallway/foyer space and a terrible floor plan. So raw square footage only means something in context of other factors.

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