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The inexact science of square footage

From The Real Deal

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Editor's note: This article is reposted with permission by The Real Deal. Click here to view the original article. By CANDACE TAYLOR NEW YORK CITY -- During the boom, New Yorkers increasingly relied on price-per-square-foot as a way to compare rapidly rising apartment values. The metric is even more popular in the downturn, as discount-crazed buyers look for good deals. But price-per-square-foot isn't as reliable a measure as they think. Unbeknownst to many shoppers, it's extremely difficult to determine the true square footage of a Manhattan property, experts say. "When it comes to square footage in New York City, it's the Wild West," said Bill Staniford, the CEO of real estate data Web site PropertyShark. "It's measured in so many different ways." And in the current downturn, the difficulty of determining square footage is contributing to a number of other problems, from low appraisals to ruined deals. Staniford, who constantly fields questio...