How much flexibility is there with square footage, # baths, etc?

LeahRWHSeptember 9, 2013

No, I don't want to claim our house is bigger than it is! No funny business here. :D

The trouble is that it's technically around 3500 square feet with 5 bedrooms and 3.5 baths. However, only about 3000 square feet and 4br/2.5ba are in what I would consider to be the real house. The other 500 square feet and bed/bath are in what used to be the garage, which the previous owner shoddily converted into living space. The ex-garage is now a small storage room, a cavernous and oddly-shaped work area, and a 'bedroom' (ie, room with windows and closet) with a teensy full bath. The entire space is poorly finished and cold and just unpleasant. We haven't actually been in there since we bought it, since we don't need the space and have more pressing renovation issues.

So, my issue is that I don't want people to come in expecting to see a 3500 square foot house with 5 beds and 3.5 baths and be disappointed by our 3000 sqft house with 4 beds and 2.5 baths plus this crappy converted garage. Would it be kosher to list it as 3000sqft / 4br / 2.5 ba, and just add a note in the description saying that it also has a 500 square foot attached converted garage that could be turned into a workshop, MIL suite, etc.?

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How was it listed when you saw it first. And what features of the home made you purchase it?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 12:52PM
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It was listed as 3600 square feet, 4 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. I have no idea how they figured that. We bought it primarily for the acreage (6 acres, not huge but large for the area). Features of the house that we liked were the enormous living rooms, rustic fireplaces, and giant picture windows in the kitchen and dining room. The garage area was a definite downside, and we'd convert it back to a garage posthaste if we didn't have more pressing issues inside the actual house.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 2:53PM
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Was the garage conversion permitted? If not, there are plenty of buyers who would demand that it be returned to it's former use. The local codes office might even demand that if they knew it existed also. People aren't real happy to see crappily done DIY work in a home and usually want price concessions for that. It might benefit you to tear it out before you ever list so that what you're selling matches the official description.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 3:05PM
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It was apparently permitted and up-to-code when we got it. Our bank was reeeeeally thorough with their appraisals and so forth since it was a foreclosure, and they decided it was okay. It's just kind of unsightly inside. We're currently debating spending the money to return it to being a garage, but I'm not sure if that will give us a better return or not over replacing the nasty upstairs carpeting for about the same amount of money.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 3:34PM
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Is there another garage?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 11:04PM
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You will definitely take a bigger hit on value if there is no garage.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 7:03AM
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No, there's no other garage, but very few other houses in the immediate area have garages, either. I'll look into how much it'll cost to convert this one back to being a proper garage.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 12:04PM
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And then ask a knowledgable agent how much the garage will increase the value of the home vs. not having one. Then compare the two #s. There's your answer.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 4:25PM
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I would not include the converted space in the description, but would add "potential in-law apartment." But I would list the entire square footage.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 12:37AM
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