Square Footage: It Depends Who is Counting

It’s mathematics, it’s just numbers, it’s not complicated. The Canadian Real Estate Encyclopedia which is applicable in all Provinces except Quebec set out the formula. MPAC adopted that exact same formula and it has been mentioned here several times over.

Some people would like an area to be bigger than it really is. Others, would like it to be smaller than it really is.

However, “it is, what it is”…….. and that doesn’t really change.

Builders want to mention higher numbers. That means buyers will likely pay more. So, they add in some extra space. They have to be careful what to call it otherwise there could be a problem. Suddenly, they add the garage, the basement, the deck, the window sill area near the attic, the space above the staircase on the second floor etc. Every extra square foot makes the building appear bigger and permits a purchaser to justify paying more.

Now, the initial Buyer becomes a Seller and rather than use the MPAC numbers, would prefer to use the Builder’s numbers. After all, the builder came out 18% bigger, and that translates into “money in the pocket”.

This next step involves the second Buyer. They want you to tell them how big the place is. If you as the Buyer’s agent get this wrong, you could value the building on the property 18% more than it really is.

Certainly everyone knows that there is a standard formula, and it’s just “math”. The building doesn’t change in size depending upon who is measuring it.

By the way, the most expensive parts of a building are located in that last one foot around the perimeter of the building. Remove that perimeter and the building will cost 65% less. The cheapest square foot, is the one in the middle of the room.

Humans react to room sizes based on three dimensions, not two. A room with a 12 foot ceiling will seem to be substantially larger than the same room with an 8 foot ceiling. And, that’s a little trick used by the condo builders.

Architects, engineers, and contractors all need the proper measurements. Once it slides over into the hands of someone who profits from an increase in size, it will grow!