How do you measure the size of a home in New York State?  This is undoubtedly an important question every house-purchaser should ask, especially if he or she’s in New York City where every square inch is worth its weight in gold.  
 
Rishi Bhandari, a New York local, certainly agrees with this advice.  Rishi and his wife, Heather, entered into a real estate deal in 2007 to purchase an apartment located in downtown Brooklyn for $795,000.  The real estate contract specified that the apartment measured 743 square feet and contained two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room and kitchen.  Before closing, as any wise buyer, Rishi inspected his apartment and sensed that the area was smaller than he had expected.  Upon measuring the area, his suspicions were verified:  the apartment was more than 100 square feet smaller, 634 square feet to be exact!  Feeling that he was being scammed, Rishi, a lawyer of all people, demanded that the asking price for his apartment be reduced to account for the discrepancy, which an appraiser estimated to be $111,000. When the developer refused, and offered to return his deposit plus interest, Rishi unsurprisingly sued.  
 
Since the state attorney general’s office, which oversees the sale of new condominiums, has no rules for how developers must tabulate space, it is a highly contentious issue.  What’s livable space?  Are closets counted?  What about the space between walls?  Because there is no dispute about the overall size of the apartment, marketed at 1,137 square feet, a clear-cut case of fraud is not outright available, although Rishi will certainly argue it.  Although the case has yet to be decided, five years and counting, Rishi’s wife said she hopes their lawsuit will raise awareness among future home-purchasers and prevent them from making the same mistake.