Friday, April 7, 2017

The Square Footage Dilemma

The Square Footage Dilemma

Dilemma: Using Square Footage To Determine Home Value

I like to watch several series on HGTV. “House Hunters” is one of them. I like to see the different home values in different locations across the country. One of the things that always makes me scratch my head, though, is when they use the price-per-square-foot calculation.
In the real world of real estate, no one really does that, at least not when it comes to market value and what buyers will and have been paying for a home. Builders use price-per-square-foot calculations for their own purposes, and commercial real estate uses that statistic to price out properties for rent.
When referring to residential real estate, comparing home values from one home to another is rarely ever an apples-to-apples comparison. Determining the market value of a home is a multi-faceted process. There are several reasons…
  • First of all, a home with lots of high-end upgrades is going to command a higher selling price than a similar sized home with basic features. Buyers just aren’t going to pay the same amount for a house that doesn’t have the custom features or upgrades compared to a similar sized home with all the bells and whistles.
  • Another reason is that square footage doesn’t always mean that you have that amount of actual floor space. Take for instance, a two-story Colonial =>
    traditional Colonial square footage

    To calculate square footage, you take the dimensions of the first floor, and double that amount for the square footage. This traditional Colonial home has about 2000 square feet, 1000 on each level.
    Now consider a contemporary 2-story house of 2000 square feet…If it has a 2-story foyer or a 2-story great room, like the picture below, it still may have the same 1000 square-foot footprint, the same square footage as the Colonial without the 2 story rooms. The two don’t completely compare.
    square footageYou might pay more for the dramatic 2-story rooms than you would for the basic home, depending on the market, even though the basic home had more actual floor space.
    This is like comparing apples to oranges.
  • A third reason why we shouldn’t rely on the square footage statistic is that it doesn’t take take location into account. Remember that overused cliche: location, location, location. The values in one neighborhood can be driven by completely different metrics than a neighborhood across town, even if the homes are similar. The age of the home, the amenities that the particular builder added and the difference in construction make a difference. The neighborhood amenities and demand also greatly affect the values.
  • The last flaw you find when relying on the square foot measurement in direct comparisons is that we often find the tax record is wrong. The tax record doesn’t always reflect any renovations done on the home after the initial sale. And sometimes, its just wrong for no reason at all…garbage in/garbage out.

Buyer Beware

Because mistakes are made, and human error is always a possibility, buyers should always make it their responsibility to check the square footage of a home they are interested in purchasing, and not rely on the owner, the agent, or even the State tax record.check the square footage
There are several apps available to serve the purpose, why not do your own quick measurements yourself?
  • Stanley Floor Plan App – It creates a floor plan from your picture. How easy is that?Android and ios
  • Add to that Stanley Smart Measure Pro App – Take a picture, then measure on the photo. Android and ios
  • There are several apps for professionals that use a laser measure in conjunction with a calculator to measure for flooring, paint, and to create floor plans for designers.

Count on Your Agent’s CMA – Comparative Market Analysis

Your listing agent or buyer’s agent will be able to do a custom CMA, by carefully studying comparable homes that have recently sold and that are currently on the market. This is the best way to determine fair market value. After that, if the home is being financed, the bank will require an appraisal, which will be the deciding factor in the value of the home.
An experienced agent will do a custom CMA, taking into account all of the various market factors, unique features and neighborhood nuances. No other valuation can compare for an accurate measure of what a home is worth in the present market.
If you’re considering selling your Frederick Md Home, contact the Highland Group regarding our High-Tech, High-Touch Listing Plan. 301-401-5119

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Montgomery County, MD Real Estate Market Statistics

MRIS listing information on Montgomery County Maryland

September 2010 Summary:

Total Sold Dollar Volume321,521,934-9.33%-21.19%
Total Sales748-12.92%-13.02%
Median Sold Price329,950-0.02%-14.95%
Avg Sold Price429,842+4.13%-9.39%
Avg Days on Market72-13.25%+7.46%
Avg Sold to Avg List Ratio92.99%+1.63%-0.56%

Friday, March 19, 2010

Investors Realizing Those That Cant Buy RENT

By Janet Morrissey

May 5, 2008

One investors nightmare is another investors dream.

Home sweet home?

As the credit crunch deepens, mortgage defaults climb and the housing market turmoil shows no signs of letting up, rental apartment building owners are smiling.

Many of the issues that are decimating the housing sector are the same ones that are breathing life and new demand into the rental market, in particular, apartment real estate investment trusts.

The result is that investors are seeing opportunity on the rental rather than the homeownership side.

"People are working, and they need places to live; if they can't buy, they'll rent," said Michael Cuggino, president and portfolio manager of the Permanent Portfolio Fund in San Francisco, which holds shares in a number of apartment REITs. "That's favorable for apartment REIT business conditions."

Demand varies from market to market, however, depending on supply and unemployment levels, Mr. Cuggino said.

Gone are the heady days when cheap, easy capital caused a huge flow of renters to stampede into the homeownership market. Most are now content to sit in their rental apartments until the turmoil in the housing market passes or at least bottoms out.

"Existing tenants are happy to sit on the sidelines while the housing market continues to tumble," said David Harris, an analyst with Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. of New York.

At the same time, rental apartment building owners are rolling out the welcome mat for housing re-fugees who were booted out of their homes after defaulting on their mortgages amid the credit crunch and the crumbling economy.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Apartments Rent Too High? Rent a Room

More people are hoping to wait out the tough times by finding tenants for their house or taking in roommates to make ends meet.

Posted by Mai Ling at MSN Real Estate on Thursday, September 3, 2009 11:57 AM
Tough economic times are forcing more people to rent their homes out or get roommates. (© Cultura/Corbis)When the economy squeezes us as tight as it has been lately, we can expect it to also put a squeeze on the rest of our lives. Perhaps especially in the comforts of our own home.
Some homeowners and renters are putting practicality before privacy, taking in roommates to help balance out their finances while the the going is tough. And with home prices just beginning to rise again in many parts of the country, some homeowners are moving into new digs but holding onto their old homes, hoping to turn more of a profit if they wait a bit longer to sell. And in the meantime? They're renting their homes out, often for less than the cost of the mortgage and utilities.
So who are the winners here? Renters. With apartment vacancies at their highest levels in more than 20 years and rents falling in some areas, they have the cream of the crop to choose from.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Greener Equals Higher Rents Charged

The greener the house the higher the rental premium

Spending $20,000 to install solar panels on your home can sound like a painful financial outlay. But it's one that doesn't feel so bad when your energy bills plummet from, say, $200 to $10 a month, and you can see a clear long-term cost benefit.

If you're new to this blog please subscribe via RSS reader or Email to ensure you get the latest posts

Green features can bring financial gain in other ways, too, as a new report from the Henley Business School in the UK found when examining the rental prices of regular, non-green homes in the US versus those with LEED certification. (LEED being the US Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design system which rates buildings according to how sustainable they are.)

The Margarido House in Oakland: its LEED Platinum rating should ensure it can command a higher than average rental price.

McNichols/Paul Ivey/Mike McDonald

The Margarido House in Oakland: its LEED Platinum rating should ensure it can command a higher than average rental price.

The study found that LEED certified buildings can command a rental premium of up to 31% and that the more highly rated the buildings are, the greater the premium. The report did not ascertain exactly why people would pay more to live in a LEED home. Its conclusion? "It is not established whether the premiums observed are due to the benefits of a better image, higher productivity or lower operating costs." One can only hope this question will be addressed in the school's next report.


If your property has enough room for this and the zoning zealots don't get in the way there is a Frederick Maryland Low Wind Speed Wind Powered Generator manufacturer offering a mid size wind turbine for around $70, 000 installed.

You might also be able to sell the carbon credits you earn (if the State of Maryland enacts what they are considering as legislation)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Annoucing a new way to list your home for rent

Now Montgomery County home owners, property managers and real estate agents have a new way to help prospective renters find your property.

This blog uses an innovative approach to pairing your prospective tenets to the homes you want to rent.

All posts to this blog are going to be slanted towards what a typical Google searcher is looking for... and NOT what the typical real estate agent is posting.

If you list your home for rent in the same fashion every one else that wants to list a home does... what makes your rental stand out from the crowd?


Imagine this... hundreds of real estate agents and property managers all saying the same things about homes that are all basically the same product...

can we say Bland?

Why in the world would anyone pick your home from the crowd?

This blog will write about the neighborhoods, things to do and see, reasons for moving to a particular neighborhood. It's less like a real estate blog and more like a portal to living in the various neighborhoods.

Why does any one move? To buy a house or to buy a home? What is a home? Is it an edifice or a neighborhood?

You don't sell anything by selling it from YOUR perspective.

Nobody cares about you, they don't even care about the house, they care about what that house is going to give them!

People don't buy a camera to get a better camera.

They buy a camera to get better pictures for crying out loud.

Stay tuned... this blog is run by a Search Engine Rock Star. The next 12 posts are going to seem like jibberish. That's because they are not for human consumption.
Who cares if your site is pretty, if it doesn't rank in Google no one is going to see it any way. Web design does not make websites or blogs rank.

You gotta rank first

Leisure World

The name "Leisure World" emphasizes the area's focus on relaxed, self-reliant living. Within the Leisure World Community, more than 60 groups and organizations provide a wide variety of activities from which to choose. The Community is served by WMATA Metrobus System and is within minutes of Metrorail. For those wishing to continue their careers, Leisure World is conveniently located between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, on the I-95 corridor, in close proximity to Rockville, Bethesda, Olney, and Gaithersburg.