Home buyer finds the house she purchased was smaller than advertised

Square footage was incorrectly listed

SUN CITY CENTER, Fla. - It was only after closing that Joan Madden discovered she paid for more home than she actually ended up with. What was more troubling, she could not find how why.

A large living room and light colors led Madden to believe the Sun City Center house she was 1300 square feet as advertised.

It wasn't until after the retiree moved in and someone from the Property Appraiser's office showed up at her door did she learn about the discrepancy.

Turns out the MLS listing pulled its information from the Property Appraiser's office.  I asked the team at Property Appraiser Bob Henriquez to research the case. They discovered a staff member made a mistake when measuring one of the walls in the home.

The property appraiser says his office appraises 225,000 homes each year. He calls this type of error a rarity and points to a disclaimer on the agency's website that advises users to verify square footages.

Madden paid cash for the house, so an appraisal wasn't required for the sale.  After our call, the Property Appraiser sent another staffer to measure the home.  Turns out the house is closer to 1100 square feet.

We checked and Joan's taxable value is in line with her actual square footage.  Still, she paid about $3 more per square foot compared to what other homes in the area are going for.

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