jgripp, Home Buyer in 92101

How important is price-per-square-foot to me as a buyer when comparing condo units in the same property and in different properties?

Asked by jgripp, 92101 Sat Oct 19, 2013

What is the most common way to measure square footage of a condo?

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This is a question that begs for many follow-up questions and answers.
With regard to 'different properties' the variable here could be dissimilar amenities, views, age, condition, cost for monthly HOA fees, etc.
Within the same property, square footage is not the best measurement for value.
Most simply, a bank will use an appraiser to establish value by comparing the last 3 sold properties most similar to the subject property, within the last 90 days, in the most similar level of condition, with the most similar amenities, same size, same square footage as is possible. This is typically what a buyer will pay for the subject property at that particular time in the market.
So, a lot goes into establishing value and using price per square foot can be restrictive.
I use a Comparative Market Analysis to advise and consult with my Clients.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 19, 2013
Keep in mind that square footage costs do vary, and don't account for exact location and other considerations; therefore, it's really in your best interest to also review closed recently sold similar properties in the immediate area, and their final sales price...
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 19, 2013
Great question!

Price/sqft is a broad measurement, and is ONLY factoring in livable square footage. So it won't factor in garage space, lot size, orientation, views, condition, proximity to noise like a freeway, etc.

Thus, it has limited use and simply acts as a reference point. If the condos are very similar, then it can be a good guide to help you formulate your opinion of value.

The common way to measure a condo is to measure the dimensions of the inside of the exterior walls.
Web Reference: http://www.roycekemp.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 19, 2013
Price-per-square foot is a quick and easy pricing model, BUT do you want a quick and easy model when spending hundreds of thousands of dollars?

A great agent should be able to price any home you are looking at. As a licensed appraiser, I use the years of experience to determine pricing. But price per sq ft ignores: upgrades, floor location, views, layout variances in demand, etc.

Hope this helps and best of luck!

David Rudd
Kindred Real Estate / KW
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 22, 2015
Good question for buyers and seller alike. It is only a deciding factor. You have bevy of more important issue such as location, HOA community and building. What if the condo you are looking at is end-unit with extra windows and/or view? Or, it is totally remodeled or has original bathrooms and kitchen? What one HOA is flush with cash while another is severely under-funded and poorly managed? There are countless “what if’s” that render dollar-per-square-foot a much smaller role in the decision-making process than one would think.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 12, 2015
Good question for buyers and seller alike. It is only a deciding factor. You have bevy of more important issue such as location, HOA community and building. What if the condo you are looking at is end-unit with extra windows and/or view? Or, it is totally remodeled or has original bathrooms and kitchen? What one HOA is flush with cash while another is severely under-funded and poorly managed? Countless “what if’s” that render dollar-per-square-foot a much smaller role in the decision-making process than one would think.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 12, 2015
Hi there, it's of course important to compare the price per sq foot but since each condo complex is different (location, views, amenities, unit size & layout, etc), it is not the best indicator to evaluate a property. It works if you are trying to get a steal of a deal and you are paying below what the rest of the condos are going for.
The best evaluation comes from the units in the same complex. Usually you will find other similar condos and that's when the price per sq foot becomes important.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 23, 2015
Hello JGRIPP,

I see that you have gotten a plethora of answers below, so no need to beat a dead horse. What I would like to add is that looking at the price per square foot is certainly a valid thing to do. This will enable you to understand what differences exist among the various units. Any time you can analyze numbers,the more power to you. Of course, it is of paramount importance the you make sure you are comparing apples with apples and the information being input is correct. Naturally, sellers will do everything possible to make their units appear as enticing as possible. When looking at price per square foot, I would compare it to units within the same complex, neighborhood, and zip code and then look at them on a historical basis as well. There is a lot of information to be had out there and price per square foot is certainly one that can help you make the best decision.

Sincerely,

Chad Basinger, REALTOR®, CPA, CFP®
858-997-3704
chad@chadbasinger.com
Web Reference: http://www.chadbasinger.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 22, 2013
Not at all. Look for model matches and compare to adjust for valuation. For example, two condos with the exact same square footage, in he same complex ill sell for vastly different prices if one is upstairs with a small balcony and the other is downstairs with a large private patio.

J.R. Thrasher
http://www.SanDiegoRealEstateVeterans.com
619-929-0105
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 21, 2013
It really depends on the condition of the property. It is more realistic to compare the overall property condition with like properties in the same complex.
Thanks for asking.
Nancy Foley
Keller Williams
nancyfoleykw@gmail.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 20, 2013
If it is the exact same condo in the same building, price per sqft is a starting point, but thereafter each unit can still be very different from the other, view, direction, upgrades, updates, newer appliances, hardwood flooring put in, etc. and you have to make those adjustments. You also need to look at what
you compare two exact same units currently for sale, or a unit for sale and comparing it to sold units
then make sure to double check when they were sold and what the market was like then.
Good Luck to you

Sincerely yours,
Edith YourRealtor4Life & Chicago and Northern Illinois Expert

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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 20, 2013
Thanks for your question!

When comparing condo units, price-per-square foot can be a great place to start, and then you evaluation should be followed up with investigation of other factors such as comparable sales information, location, neighborhood characteristics, schools, amenities, etc.

Additionally, when considering a condo, the association's stability and solvency need to be considered. Often times, this can have an impact on the availability of financing for future buyers. (I know it's hard to think of selling the condo before you've even bought it, yet unless you intend to live in it forever, resale must be a consideration.)

For some great resources on local information for schools, demographics, and other market trends, visit my site! http://www.jshoop.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 19, 2013
Comps generally start with price per square foot. From there, we take into account the location, condition, upgrades, and views of the unit, So, we start with the statistics and just them according to the unique features of each unit,

Please let me know if I may be of further assistance.

Cindy Davis, Broker
SD Home Source Realty
Phone: (619) 379-8616
Email: cindydavishomes@gmail.com
Web: http://www.1sandiegohomesales.com
CA DRE #01363537
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 19, 2013
Good answers below. One thing to keep in mind particularly within a given community. Smaller units nearly always sell for more per square foot than larger units. The larger will sell for more if generally the other factors are reasonably similar. i.e. location, condition, garages etc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 19, 2013
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