How Big is My House?


Ever wonder how big your house really is? The square foot (SF) measurements of your house can be very important in determining the market value of your property, the taxes you pay each year, and the amount of insurance coverage you carry.

When an appraiser measures the OUTSIDE of your house, improvements such as decks, porches, garages, covered walkways, utility spaces, etc. are NOT included in your finished or “heated” SF. Half-stories, lofts, landings, bonus rooms & basements are measured from the INSIDE of your house, subtracting out any unfinished space from the total heated SF.

Appraisers also must distinguish between finished SF that is “above grade” and “below grade”, which accounts for the differences in construction costs between the main floor and other finished space such as basements, second floors, etc. An appraiser’s final report will include the physical measurements of your house and total SF, including extensive detail on how adjustments are made to the value based on these distinctions.

Where can you get the most accurate SF measurement of your house? Obviously, you could try to measure it yourself, but the number you come up with would not have the “authority” that a formal appraisal would have that comes from a licensed real estate appraiser. If you wanted to contest the accuracy of the SF number that the tax assessor or insurance company uses to determine what they bill you for, then a formal appraisal would carry more weight than you own measurements.

Obtaining a real estate appraisal from a local experienced real estate appraiser is the most accurate method to document your heated and total SF. It’s also a great opportunity to receive an updated fair market value of your property as compared to other similar recent home sales, which is especially important if you have plans to sell your home in the very near future.

Jean Holmes

Looking for a local licensed real estate appraiser in northeast Georgia? Contact Jean Holmes, Certified Real Estate Appraiser, at 706-499-0368 or email Jean