Housing Yellow — and Red — Flags

Foundation Size:   1,700
AbvGrdFinSqFt:   2,300
BelGrdFinSqFt:   1,900
Total Fin SqFt:   4,200            

 –Excerpt, MLS listing

What is the maximum number of finished square feet in the basement of a home with a 1,700 square foot foundation?

You’d guess 1,700 square feet, right?

In fact, the maximum is usually 80% – 85% of the foundation size, because the mechanicals (forced air furnace or boiler, hot water heater, etc.) are typically located in an unfinished utility room, and most basements that size also have additional, unfinished storage space.

Daunting Math

So, to return to the example above, you’d expect a home with a 1,700 square foot foundation to have at most 1,400 or so below ground finished feet (“BelGrdFinSqFt”).

How’d the listing agent/owner come up with 1,900?

Search me . . .

*In addition to Ulysses S. Grant, his wife, Julia, is also buried in Grant’s Tomb.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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