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How to calculate the REAL square footage of a house in Italy

If you’re looking for a home, you’ve probably seen advertisements for the same property published by various agencies and in various sizes.

I’ve also had the opportunity to speak with customers who had purchased a home only to discover that it was smaller than the seller or real estate firm had said.

In this post, we’ll learn how to avoid being duped by a property’s square footage.

My name is Jacopo Tartaglia and I am a real estate consultant. I discuss a different topic each week to help you buy a house, sell it or invest in the Italian real estate market.

Incorrect square footage creates confusion

To begin, I’d want to tell you a true story.

I was evaluating a villa near Lucca (Tuscany) a few days ago. The owner had informed me that it was being promoted by four different agencies. Real estate advertisements for the same house in various sizes.

How much is the surface area of three ads of the same house with varying sizes? (I’m sure there’s something to say already, but we’ll save it for another time…) So I proceeded to examine how the house was advertised and came across four adverts, each with a different size and price… So, what is the best surface to use?

In addition to being harmful to the seller, a situation of this type creates confusion in the heads of potential buyers! Not being able to understand the correct surface is not even possible to develop a suitable purchase proposal!

You can’t tell how big the property is from the adverts, but today I’m going to show you a few of the tools I use to expose people who want to be cunny.

Is it better to sell properties by the whole or by the square meter?

To begin, let’s state that the properties are sold by the body.

What exactly does that imply?

The area in square meters will not be specified in the deed of sale.

The size of the property is not specified when it is sold. So, how do you know you’re not going to buy anything smaller than what was advertised?

Seek the advice of a professional.

The surface of a property from the cadastral survey

The first step is to inquire with the seller or obtain the historical cadastral survey on your own.

This is a crucial document because it details the property’s history over the last two decades (be careful, however, that it has no probative value for ownership of the property, for that you need a mortgage certificate).

The property’s square footage, on the other hand, is represented in the cadastral survey.

Superficie catastale = Cadastral area

The cadastral area can be combined with the commercial one and compared to what the seller or real estate agency is offering.

If the dimensions match, the square meters claimed by the seller are most likely accurate.

ATTENTION: cadastral surveys aren’t always accurate… how can we be sure?

The survey of the property surface

The only way to be certain is to do a thorough inspection of the property. We use a laser meter to calculate the square footage of each room.

The process is not completed by calculating the house’s internal square footage.

We measured the house’s floor area (the one that can be walked on, as the name implies).

However, it is normal to sell and buy the property’s commercial square footage. The actual measured square footage is multiplied by various coefficients to arrive at this figure.

Some of the coefficients I use are as follows:

  • 100% of the living space
  • 33% Cellars, balconies, and attics
  • 10% for the garden
  • 50% of usable basements or attics

There are no legal coefficients, but there are recognized practices.

Remember to include internal dividing walls and border walls in the square footage because they are also part of the property.

In most cases, a ten per cent increase is given to the measured square footage.

Now that you have the actual square footage of your home, all you have to do is compare it to the claimed one and make any necessary adjustments to your final proposal!

If you need help on these topics in a sale or purchase you can contact me by clicking here (info@jacopotartaglia.it).

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