How do I calculate the size of the lot for the house I want to buy in St. Cloud MN?

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Results St Cloud Mn real estate

Q: How do I calculate the size of the lot for the house I want to buy in St. Cloud MN?

Most homes in the St. Cloud MN area have the lot size written on the MLS sheet as one measurement X another measurement. When you get into looking at homes for sale with over an acre of land it is usually listed on the MLS sheet with the acreage already calculated in the acreage category.

irregular lot picTake for instance a house for sale in South St Cloud MN with a lot that is 100 x 185. Is that close to an acre? How do you calculate the acerage? First you multiple the 2 numbers of the lot size, in the example of 100 X 185 the lot size works out to 18,500 square feet. An acre is 43,560 square feet, so this would equal 0.42 acre, or just under 1/2 acre. To determine acreage simply divide square feet/43,560=acres.

A good rule of thumb: 1 Acre is 208.71 feet x 208.71 feet.

Now when we get into irregular shaped lots it can be a bit more interesting to calculate the square feet for the homes lot size. If you look at the picture to the right you will see that the heavy black lines form a nice even sided rectangle in which case you would use the formula above, but when you have a lot that looks more like the trapazoid type shape in the middle, you have to do a little math in order to figure out the size of your homes lot.

Let us say you have a lot that is 150 across the front 120 on one side 200 across the back and 100 on the other side. It might look similar to the shape drawn in the thinner black lines above inside or the nice rectangle (dimensions are as an example only) the way to calculate this kind of an irregular lot is:

   Take the average of the front and back (150 and 200) or 175,  and multiply by the average of the sides (100 and 120) or110. 175x110 =19,250 divided by 43,560 =0.4419 Acres.



Posted by

Steve Baklaich RE/MAX Results 

Cell:320-260-3290 Saint Cloud Minnesota Real EstateQR code to Google Places Page

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If you are relocating to central Minnesota check out all the wonderful reasons to love St Cloud. It is a wonderful area full of things to do and lots of great houses. I would welcome the opportunity to help you find your perfect place here. Visit my St Cloud real estate website for more information about buying or selling a home, or property in the central Minnesota real estate market.


Comments (10)

Cinnamon Wright
Wilmington Real Estate 4U 910.547.1446 - Wrightsville Beach, NC
Assistant to Tish Lloyd

A math lesson this early, Steve?  Really? 

This is actually really good info.  Amazing how many times we're asked questions like this and need to have the right answer, not just, "Let's check the tax records." 

Feb 11, 2011 12:09 AM
Tish Lloyd
BlueCoast Realty Corporation - Wilmington, NC
Broker - Wilmington NC and Surrounding Beaches

Gosh, seems as though I'm using the Bookmark button alot this morning -- this is excellent information.  Seems as though you and Bill Spear are on the same wave length today!  Great minds . . .

Feb 11, 2011 01:22 AM
Liz and Bill Spear
Transaction Alliance 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
Transaction Alliance Cincinnati & Dayton suburbs

Steve, Funny world! :)  Cheeky mentioned we had parallel posts today & we do, lot sizes come up so often, good to get some understanding out there for our clients. :)

Feb 11, 2011 02:33 AM
Steve Baklaich
RE/MAX Results St Cloud Mn real estate - Saint Cloud, MN
Treating Buyers & Sellers to Full Service Always.

Cinnamon: Guilty as charged. I come from a short line of math/engineering geeks. I love it when Buyers ask questions about lot size/legal description, etc. I get to act smart:)


Tish:I'm not too surprised. Bill seems like a sharp guy and is an engineer I believe. Now I have to go look at theirs. Thanks Tish.


Bliz: I am going to check yours out. But, please know it's a legit question, and probably the #1 most asked question over the years. I wish they did more CE classes in this area because it is clear Buyers want to know this stuff.

Feb 11, 2011 11:54 AM

I would like to build a home in Florida with 2400 sq feet under air and a 3 1/2 car garage. What size lot would I need

Jun 02, 2018 12:14 PM
Steve Baklaich
RE/MAX Results St Cloud Mn real estate - Saint Cloud, MN
Treating Buyers & Sellers to Full Service Always.

Lot Coverage Ratio determines how much home you can build on a given lot. Your local planning and zoning department can furnish this information. A typical LCR for a residential single family zone would be 20%, so if you have a 75 x132 lot (9,900 sf) you could have 1,980 square feet of improvements (usually dwelling and garage). It sounds like your garage will be at least 912 sf, which would leave about 1,068 sf for your dwelling. Zoning rule differ so you should talk to the building or zoning official in your area.

Jun 02, 2018 03:37 PM
James Wheeler

Hi Steve, this gives an approximate value but is accurate only when two sides are parallel. For a multi-sided shape (polygon) with vertices (corners) joined by straight lines, an accurate algorithm is as follows:
Step 1: Give each corner (vertex) of the property a cartesian coordinate (x, y)
Step 2: order the corners either clockwise or anticlockwise in a list, and repeat the first corner after the last, so you have 1 more data points than there are corners
Step 3: Do the following for each corner: Calculate the average of the y values of the current and the next data point. Multiply this by (the x value of next point minus the x value of last point). Some values will be positive, others negative.
Step 4: The area is the sum of the multiplied values in step 3.
This works because each multiple in step 3 is the area of a quadrilateral that has 3 of the 4 sides at right angles.

Dec 27, 2018 12:00 AM
James Wheeler

Step three should read (with changes in upper case):
Multiply this by (the x value of next point minus the x value of THE CURRENT point)

Dec 27, 2018 12:03 AM
Steven Baklaich

Thanks for correcting me James Wheeler. I guess I should not post anything else here, because I might make a mistake.
Bye Bye.

Dec 27, 2018 10:55 AM
James Wheeler

No problems, Steven, it's a pleasure to help your people. Your method is simpler and is not a bad approximation for properties that are approximately rectangular. Kind regards, James

Dec 27, 2018 03:39 PM