The simplest way to break down the price of a brand-new home is to calculate the cost per square foot - this is typically done by taking the dollar value of the home and dividing it by the amount of square footage. Regardless of whether or not this number seems high or low, it’s important to recognize the other factors that play a role in the value of a brand-new home.
For instance, think about two brand new homes with the same amount of square footage. Though the dimensions are equal, home A may be more expensive than home B - for several reasons. This is why the price of a new home is based on more than just the cost per square foot. Here are a few examples:
A Walk-In Closet
Home A has a walk-in closet in the master bedroom with plenty of space for his-and-hers wardrobes and storage. Alternatively, home B has a design with an identical average-sized closet in every bedroom. Even if the actual master bedroom is smaller in home A, the walk-in closet space is a more attractive feature for many buyers.
A Modern Kitchen
In this scenario, home B has a kitchen with adequate counter space, appliances of average quality and a small pantry in one corner. Alternatively, home A has an open kitchen design with an island, modern stainless-steel appliances and a walk-in pantry. The appliances, pantry space and island in home A are much more desirable, adding more value than home B.
Home B has a large great room, kitchen, dining room and foyer on the main floor. Home A has all of those rooms as well as a flex room on the main floor. The flex room could serve as a bedroom, an office, playroom, craft area and more. This extra, versatile room adds value because it provides home buyers with many options.
The Atmosphere of a Home
Two homes with the same square footage can each have a completely different feel to them. One home may cost more because of its open floor plan. Engineered floor joists add considerable cost, but allows someone in the kitchen to chat with others in the dining room or great room while a meal is being prepared. A less expensive home of the same size may have a more traditional design with walls blocking easy communication between people in these rooms.
An Attached Garage (In Some Cases)
Both home A and B have a two-car garage. But the garage design of home A has an entrance from the garage into the home. Home B has a design requiring owners to go outside in order to move from the garage to the house. While this may be ideal for someone preferring the desirable curb appeal of a laned home, the immediate interior entrance may give home A more value (especially for busy families).
The Quality of a Home's Construction and Interior Features
The differing prices of two homes with the same square footage may also be due to the quality of the building materials. One builder may equip a home with a brand name, energy-efficient features (such as appliances) while another goes with a standard variety. Though the home with the better appliances may be more expensive, the owner won’t have to worry about replacing these items in the near future.
Convenient, Appealing Touches in the Design
One home with the same square footage as another can be more expensive based solely on the special little touches inside. Coat hooks and lockers in the mudroom make it easy to organize and store coats, jackets and umbrellas. Also, a built-in bench is the perfect place to take off muddy boots and shoes before entering the main area of the home. Other examples of appealing touches can include:
- Double sinks in the ensuite in the master bathroom
- Stone counter tops
- Upper floor laundry
- 9" main floor ceilings
- Bonus room(s)
- Built-in computer centres
- And more...
The Location of a Home
Part of the value of a brand-new home is its location. Two brand-new homes with the same square footage may be priced differently because one is located in a growing, new Calgary community while the other is in a location that’s not as desirable. If you’re looking for a certain type of neighbourhood to live in, location is a valuable factor for you.
You may want a home that allows you to enjoy a short commute to work. So, this would be another thing you would factor into your decision besides the size of the home itself.
You may be interested in living in a community with shops and restaurants within walking distance. You've decided you want to cut down on the amount of time you spend in your car. In which case, building a brand-new home in a new community with great amenities would be important to you.
It makes sense to consider value right along with square footage when envisioning the features you want in your brand-new home. In the end, you want to get the type of home you and your family will love for years to come.