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The Myth of Square Feet in Housing

The biggest myth in the home building business is “square feet”. No, not some person’s misshapen feet. I’m talking about using size (square feet) as a measurement of value. The entire residential real estate industry is obsessed with using size as the top yard stick when determining value.

Imagine approaching car buying by factoring in the number of wheels. Where the value of the car was: Price / Wheels.

If that was how value in cars was determined than pity the sucker that paid $75,000 per wheel for her new Ferrari when she could have had a new Chevy Spark for $3,200 per wheel.

Or pity the guy who buys a tailored new Armani suit $1,000 per pound (a suit weighs about 3.5 pounds) when he could have paid $50 per pound at Men’s Wearhouse.

The point is, as the wise old John Ruskin put it, “A thing is worth what it can do for you, not what you choose to pay for it.”

So when looking at homes and using price per foot as your value yard stick, then you could be unhappy with what the home does for you and the thrill of getting a cheap “price per foot” will be a distant memory while you live in a home that was built as cheaply as possible.

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