Is it legal to use garage space when adding up the square footage of a house for sale?

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Is it legal to use garage space when adding up the square footage of a house for sale?

I have been looking to buy a house and the room size that are give do not add up to the total square footage of the living space it the home.

Asked on November 29, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It would appear to be deceptive to include the garage in the square foot area of the home. First, a detached garage would not count inasmuch as it is not on the same "slab" (or foundation) as the rest of the home and is not within the four walls. An attached garage is within the four walls, but the standard followed by real estate appraisers is to only count finished, liveable space. (So, for example, finished attics and basements can be counted, but not unfinished ones.)

If the "garage" was actually converted into a "room"--e.g. an office, a bonus room, a home gym--then even if it still had garage-door access, it would likely be legal to count it; but not otherwise. (Though it could be mentioned separately: e.g. "1,900 sq. ft. home with 400 sq. ft attached garage/workspace.")


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