One of the essential house hunting tools often overlooked when buyers hit the pavement to look at properties is a measuring tape or similar device. Few MLS listings include room dimensions anymore and most listing agents don’t provide even a basic floor plan of the property, so it’s up to buyers to measure for themselves.
I carry two essential measuring devices in my “real estate field bag.” As shown in the photo, they are the standard Stanley 16’ PowerLock® metal measuring tape and the Stanley FatMaxTM laser. The point-and-click technology of the laser saves a lot of time measuring rooms and larger spaces at distances up to 100 feet. The laser is also excellent for measuring exterior areas such as patios, driveways, grass areas and garden plots.
Here are some of the most common measurements that should be taken at residential properties early in the purchase process (height, width, depth):
- Room, hallway, general space dimensions
- Windows and doorways
- Closet interiors
- Vertical space between cupboards and counter tops
- Counter tops, kitchen islands, bathroom vanities, and similar built-ins
- Spaces for refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, clothes washing/drying machines
- Special features such as built-in bars, book cases or storage areas
- Floor-to-ceiling clearances at each end of staircases
- Bathtubs and showers
- Swimming pools and surrounding decks
- Patios, flower beds, gardens, and other exterior areas
If you take a laser measuring device on property visits, remember spare batteries and a means to record your measurements. Most buyers prefer a note pad and pencil, but if you’re an iPad user, try my preferred app – FloorPlans ($9.99).
Happy house hunting!
John A. Souerbry & Associates (CalDRE 01370983)