Value vs. Bargain – how should cost per square foot impact which house you choose to buy?

Cost per square foot.  Comparing different houses on this one metric can be tricky.

A common tool for trying to equalize comparisons between homes you are considering buying is comparing cost per square foot.    However, there are two different perspectives on this comparison factor you should keep in mind when you are deciding which home is the better choice.

Bargain!  or Bargain???

If you are comparing same size homes and one has a lower cost per square foot, consider this:   Is this really a bargain or a bigger renovation project?   Certain renovations are the same cost regardless of the size of the home or cost per square foot.   Kitchen appliances and bathroom sinks, bath tubs, toilets are the same cost regardless of the cost per square foot of the floor plan.

Value! or Value????

Comparing larger home cost per square foot to a smaller home cost per square foot can give you a false sense that the larger home is a better value because the price of the home is spread out over a larger footprint.    Now the question is the cost of replacing the roof or siding of the larger home vs. the smaller home can significantly change the “value” proposition.

Cost per Square Foot alone can not confirm the best value or bargain.

Cost per square foot is a nice metric to help you compare different homes.  However, don’t take this single metric as your only metric for making the best decision for which home to buy.   This can be a helpful metric to add to a larger list of comparison metrics to help highlight all the positive values and also identify subtle differences you might not consider right at the point of purchase.  But the post purchase impact can be significant to your choice being a short term bargain or long term value.

Happy House Hunting!

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