How Important is Square Footage
Buyers tend to think bigger is better, but a smaller home may actually feel more spacious than a similar home with a larger footprint. That’s what makes the emphasis on size over livability so frustrating – it’s not really an accurate gauge for living space.
Living space is roofed, enclosed, heated, cooled and finished out. But, because there is no accepted standard way to consistently measure interiors, square footage is typically measured from the exterior of the home as length times width. This is so that banks, tax appraisers, roofers, painters, real estate professionals and others can have a handy number to enable them to commoditize, price and negotiate homes and services.
Interiors are always smaller than exterior square footage suggests. The thickness of the exterior walls, insulation, wall boards and sheetrock can vary. Some spaces aren’t for walking around, like the empty space beneath stairwells, or the code-required space around water heaters and other systems.
If you’re shopping for a home and see descriptions online, you know there’s a lot of difference between 3,400 sq. ft. and 1,400 sq. ft., but a few feet more or less between similar homes doesn’t matter. If the home’s interior is well-planned, spaced appropriately, furnished wisely, and clutter-free, it will feel like there’s more living space.
If you’re selling a home, your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional can help you find ways to make your home appear more spacious. You can start with letting in more light and eliminating extra furnishings.
Buying a Historic House
Historically designated homes are beautiful and charming, but you should consider a few things before you buy one.
Historically designated homes are overseen by city preservation associations and/or homeowner’s associations. Each entity has its own rules for exterior remodeling, repainting and repairs in order to protect the character, architectural integrity and value of individual historic homes or all homes within a designated district. Keep in mind that creating, matching or complementing authentic details such as crown moldings, ironwork, tile and more can be expensive and may require the help of historic home specialists to accomplish. You could also run into environmental problems like lead paint or mold or structural problems such as a failing foundation.
But you may feel these are small prices to live in such a rarefied setting. Your home is a unique snapshot of a bygone era with features that can’t be duplicated with the same craftsmanship or materials available today. Your town and its history are something you’ll be able to share with your new neighbors. According to Porch.com, you may be able to obtain tax incentives or lower interest rates on purchase loans and remodeling loans from your state or local government.
As a homebuyer, your challenge will be compromising between what improvements you will be allowed to make vs. what you prefer to do to the home.