A common complaint from Buyers after the sale is the inaccurate measurement of the floor area. For single family homes, the floor area calculations are based on the exterior dimensions of the building at each floor level and include all interior walls. For attached units, the outside dimension is the centre line of the common walls. It’s easy to see how some may view their outdoor patios or solariums as extensions of their living space, providing valuable additional square footage. While it might be tempting for homeowners to want to include those measurements on the listing, boosting their total square footage, balconies and patios, garages cannot be included in total square footage.
We are seeing construction of many strata developments with enclosed, heated and fully livable areas that provide great value to buyers. While these are often intended for the sole enjoyment of one unit, they are in fact limited common property, and as such, cannot be included as either finished or unfinished square footage. The appropriate way to highlight a closed in balcony, for example, is to simply note it in comments and to include pictures.
Patios, solariums and garages all add valuable living space, but they do not increase the total square footage of a unit. Including them creates risk of misreprensentation for sellers.
The measurements and square footages of strata lots obtained from plans on file in the Land Title Office have occasionally been found to be incorrect. This can occur, for example, when a builder, for some reason during the construction process, deviates from the original set of plans filed with the Land Title Office in the initial approval and registration stage. Your real estate professional should check all measurements by physically measuring the strata unit.