Purchasing a home always requires a significant investment. There is always a lot of money involved, so you have to carefully consider all the expenses before taking this step. How big should the property be? How many rooms do you need? How much storage space do you need? Once you have decided on these requirements, it is time to calculate the approximate square footage that you need.
This feature is always added to the listings, so you will immediately know whether or not you should go and see certain homes. There is no point in exploring homes that are too small for your family, right? Since the price per square foot is the first thing that will tell you about the cost of the home, in this article, we are going to tell you how to calculate it, but also provide you with some additional information about it.
How to calculate it?
The thing that worries the people most when buying a property is that they may overpay for it. Let’s put it this way. You have found your dream home in the best neighborhood, it has everything you have always wanted – a large backyard, a garden area for your flowers or spices, a pool, patio, and more than enough rooms, but the price seems a bit too much. We are going to discuss later on what affects the cost of the square footage.
So, the first thing that you have to do is to investigate why that house is so costly, and most importantly, if it is really worth all that money. Naturally, the realtor you are working with should be the first person to speak to. They will answer all your questions not only regarding the price but also the property itself.
However, that doesn’t mean that you cannot do a little investigation on your own. There are two ways you can learn the average prices of a square foot. Firstly, you can use an app like squarefootagearea.com. All you have to do is to type in a few details and information, and the software will do the calculation. Secondly, you can find out the prices of other homes in that neighborhood, calculate the average cost of each of them, and then use that data to learn the average price in the said neighborhood. Compare it with the cost of the square foot of the home you are interested in, and this way, you will find out whether you would be overpaying for it or not.
Why is this important?
Well, obviously, if the price of the said home is higher than the others in the area, you have room for negotiation. Still, there are other factors that affect the overall cost of the property, so you have to gather all the information before starting the negotiation process. One more thing – you cannot expect the sellers to lower the price significantly, but you still might be able to get a better deal. You start by discussing the cost and pointing out that other houses of the approximately same size cost less in the area.
What are the other factors?
Since this is an average number, you have to know that there are numerous other things that you have to know about before deciding to sign the contract. There can be multiple reasons why the price is so high, or on the other hand, low, so you have to be careful.
For example, if it seems like a bargain, there might be some issues with the property. First of all, you have to inquire about the overall condition of the house. Would you have to do some major renovations and upgrade the home? This can include anything – from buying new appliances and furniture, to having to change all the pipes, electricity system, windows, and so on. This is usually one of the reasons why the price of certain properties is so low, so even if you decide to get it, you have to think about all the additional costs that you will have to pay before you move in to make the house livable.
Secondly, you have to think about the layout and the floor plan. A two-bedroom and four-bedroom homes won’t be listed at the same price, even if the square footage is fairly the same. The former one is usually less expensive simply because it is intended for a small family. Plus, we have already mentioned that the number of rooms you need is one of the initial requirements that your new home has to meet.
The same thing goes for usable space. Here, we are not talking about the size of the kitchen and living room, but some other areas of the house such as the basement and attic. Generally speaking, these are usually not included in the total square footage of the house, but, if finished, the seller is almost certainly going to increase the prices, because well, basically, it is an additional room or storage space. Do you remember when we said that you have to gather all the information? This is one of the reasons. Even if you don’t need an attic, you can always transform it into your home office or kid area.
Another thing that always affects the cost of the property is the location. This is the main reason why homes in the city are more expensive than those in rural areas. What you will choose comes down to your personal preference, but keep in mind that you cannot explore properties that are outside the city and expect the price to be the same for those that are near the city center. These two cannot, even closely, come in comparison.
To sum up, even though the average price of the square foot will give you a glimpse into the overall cost of the house, as you can see, there are numerous other things that you have to consider. Even if a certain property seems to be a steal, you cannot allow yourself to sign the contract without asking all the additional questions. You might have to invest a lot of money to renovate the home, so make sure to have all the data before deciding whether or not to go forward with the purchase. It is the only way that you will be able to calculate how much funds you will actually need.