Property features that increase dollar per square foot price (besides size)

Location-  A home with a higher dollar per square foot price may be justified if it's location is ultra desirable.  Here are typical examples of what many buyers consider desirable:

  • Sense of community -- consistency within the neighborhood.  This could be the majority of homes are well maintained or built alike, all of the children in the neighborhood go to the same school, or there is something unique the neighborhood is known for -- this could be annual 4th of July block party.  A low turn over rate could also contribute -- few homes in the neighborhood are ever offered for sale.
  • Newer homes in the area -- newer existing homes, newer homes being built, "green" or homes built with sustainable materials.
  • Historic/unique homes in the area -- historic or unique homes bring character to a neighborhood and create a unique feel.
  • Walking distance to shopping, restaurants, schools, parks, etc.  For some people nothing is better than waking up on a Saturday morning and being able to walk to the local coffee shop, or walking down the street to get pizza on a Friday night.
  • High property value -- this could be due to specific location or being in an area that has designated school district.
  • Views -- if a property has a full or partial bay, mountain, or open space view.
  • Privacy -- home is set back from the street, backs up to open space, or just has a good distance from the closest neighboring home(s).

Condition/Property features-  A remodeled, newer, or just well kept home can have a higher dollar per square foot price. Condition/property features of the home contributing to a higher dollar per square foot price can include:

  • New kitchen, bathrooms, hardwood floors, windows, roof, electrical, plumbing, drainage system, retaining wall, etc.
  • Home is made of sustainable materials, home is solar powered.
  • A home with a pest inspection clearance -- no termites, dry rot, fungus, rodents, found in home during inspection.
  • A home with a solid foundation or has had seismic upgrades.

Homes with "bonus" space/rooms-  Many homes in our area have bonus rooms, or I should say, areas of the home used as living space that are not included in it's listed square footage.  The reason why we call this bonus space is because the area is not recognized by the city, or governing party, as part of the living space.  It could have been that the space was not created with a permit or at the time the space was created a permit was not required.  Anyone buying a home with a bonus space/adding bonus space to their home should research the legality of doing so.  Bonus space is often a:

  • Finished basement -- many multi level homes in our area have basements that have been finished.  Some people use the area for storage or fully develop into a family room, master bedroom suite, or an in-law unit.
  • Sun room/ enclosed porch -- enclosing a porch or adding a sun room, depending on the quality, is not too difficult and can provide for added space in the home.
  • Finished attic -- Many attics that you can stand up in have the potential to become living space, or possibly a bedroom.