Can you count an enclosed patio as square footage? I had a real estate agent ask me this question recently, and the answer was going to make a huge difference in the value and pricing strategy for an upcoming listing. The agent did not want to include the enclosed patio as square footage, but the seller did.
Question: Does a permitted “enclosed patio” built back in 1970 count as sq footage in a home? Tax records does not reflect any extra sq footage, but of course the owner wants to add 400 sq ft to the MLS listing.
Answer: An enclosed patio usually does not count in the square footage unless it is more like the home than not. The fact that it was built in 1970 is not the issue, but rather the quality of the enclosed patio is a big deal. Enclosed patios often have a lower quality compared to the rest of the house, and they don’t usually have the same feel as other parts of the home either. Moreover, they often don’t have a heat source, which is essential for any space to be considered square footage. In cases like this, a buyer would likely walk in to the enclosed patio, and think “This is a nice enclosed patio”, instead of “Wow, look at the 400 extra square feet of living space.” We have to keep in mind how buyers would view the property because if they don’t think of it as square footage, they won’t pay the same price per sq ft for the enclosed patio as they would for the rest of the house. On the other hand if the quality is very high, it feels like the rest of the home, and it has a heat source, it can sometimes be included in the total square footage (as was the case in the last photo below). Ultimately I would say the majority of enclosed patios are just that – enclosed patios. Not living space. This means in most scenarios enclosed patios are NOT included in the total square footage by appraisers. This does not mean they cannot contribute to the appraised value, but only that they are not considered as living space.
Keep in mind various portions of the country might have different rules for enclosed patios, so be sure to know your local code and how buyers perceive the market too.
NOTE: Photos in this post are not of the home in question, but rather of two different homes in the Sacramento area.
I hope this was helpful.
Question: Any further insight, questions, or stories to share?