The challenge of comparing homes by price per square foot

What can you really learn about homes for sale by price per square foot?

Price per square foot only works if you are comparing apples to apples, that is pretty much true in life. I won't deny that it is a good way to indicate what you should relatively pay in a market but there are too many factors to consider to compare equally.

If you like two homes, are you going to buy the one that is less per square foot, just because it is less per square foot? Of course not.

Does price per square foot correlate to quality? Not at all. As a matter of fact, because you can't see in between the walls and granite does not really add much to the price, a builder could easily cut corners and not lower the price. Think about that. That is why finding a credible builder is so important!

Price per square foot does not include lot premiums like cul de sac or size of lot. How can you compare a custom home in Eagle to Parma? Should you disregard the price per square foot? Not at all. It is a good gauge of price in an area but trying to compare two homes does not work. Another good example is two stories vs single level, same square footage.

Many people won't get away from the price per square foot of homes and if you are one of them, the only way to compare price per square foot at all is to take out the lot price.

So what does price per square foot tell you?

Nothing. Yes, that is an extreme answer but what does it really tell you? It only tells you if a house is out of line of another home in the nearby area. After that, I would appreciate your feedback. Am I missing something?

Trey Langford

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