Home Buying in 97502>Question Details

Brilliant, Home Buyer in 97502

What price per square foot should I look for in a nice home?

Asked by Brilliant, 97502 Sat Apr 3, 2010

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Hi Brilliant,

That is a difficult question to answer because there are so many variables. First, what do you mean by, "nice"? You and I might mean very different things! Next, the price per sq. ft. is important, but in southern Oregon, you know there are many newer subdivisions on with homes on tiny lots, older homes with larger lots, and still home on acreage. What about the age of the home? Its location?

Lastly, add in the fact that the most recent sales data for Jackson County show the median home price for bank-owned (foreclosed) and short sale homes is 36% and 26% (respectively) below the median price of homes in traditional "happy" sales. This obviously gives you a lower sq. ft. price when comparing two similar homes (often right next door to each other).

These days in southern Oregon, a home in great condition and nice neighborhood can be found for around $100 square foot...then again there have been recent sales well under that mark, but you couldn't find a home in Jacksonville, for example, for less than that. (And again what do you mean by "nice"?)

Your Realtor should be able to search for properties available for sale and to specify a square foot price. You will see that the results will be quite varied, but it could give you a better idea of all of the factors to consider.

If you are looking in southern Oregon, I'd be happy to send you a list of homes that meet your criteria (number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, area) that are in your price range and at different square foot levels.

Good luck in your home search. If you're trying to buy before the April 30th deadline for First Time Home Buyers, there isn't much time left!

Shannon Jones
Web Reference: http://www.thealbagroup.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 3, 2010
I know everyone has said price per square foot doesn't matter. Square footage and price both do matter quite a bit! However, there is no set formula that works for an entire zip code. If it was a small neighborhood or part of town you were talking about I could probably come up with a specific formula that would be fairly significant. Of course, you would have to break that down into different condition categories - move-in-ready, cosmetic fixer, and major fixer.

Ultimately, I'd recommend shopping around and getting a "feel" for good properties, then using a Realtor to lock down the statistics once you've got a more specific question of what and where. Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 3, 2010
Hi Brilliant... I agree with my colleagues. Here's a quick way to summarize...you don't buy a house by the pound! Two houses with the same floor plan, size and lot size are for sale. One has a totally remodeled kitchen and bathrooms, the other doesn't. If you look at the price per sq. ft. you might think you are getting a better deal on the less expensive home, but you may not!

Very best to you in your search for a new home!

Alexis Halmy
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 3, 2010
Hi Brilliant
You really can't shop for a nice home based on the price per square footage. You should determine what price range you can afford. If you haven't done so already, get a preapproval for a mortgage then shop for a home with a style & features you like based on your price range that you qualify for. There are many nice homes to choose from in todays market. .Home values are typically based on comparable value of recent sales within a community. The only time you should be concerned about price per square footage is when you have a lot & you are shopping for a builder to build your house. That price will be based on the size, features & upgrades you want in the house. Every area is different & builders costs will vary so get a 2nd opinion if that is what you are doing from a local real estate agent
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 3, 2010
There are many factors that determine the price of the home, that do have nothing to do with the square footage of the home; so price per square foot isn't always a fair way to compare homes. For instance, the size of the lot may be very different, two homes the same size - one home may be on a small lot, while another is on a large lot backed by a golf course. Also some homes have outbuildings or exterior amenities, such as pools, that add value, but don't increase the square footage of the house. A savvy realtor can help you do an apples to apples approximate analysis to determine how the prices compare on homes that you are looking at. The process is similar to how an appraiser determines value for your loan.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 5, 2013
Hi, Brilliant

I know this is cliche, but it really depends upon the area you choose to live.

Hypothetical- you find a home you are intersted in, any Realtor can pull all of the comparable homes that have sold within a 1 mile range and find out the average price per sq.ft. sold. This will give you a medium average to work with.

Price per square foot is an excellent approach, for finding a home and making sure you are not overpaying in certain areas.

I hope this helps. Best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 10, 2010
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