Square Footage + Price Per SQFT
Determining a home’s price per square footage seems simple, but many property listings in NYC are inaccurate. This can happen due to agents or sponsors overestimating the size to mislead potential renters or buyers, or it could be an honest mistake. Therefore, it’s essential to do your calculations to ensure the listed price per square foot is accurate, especially in NYC’s high-priced market. To simplify the process, our price per square footage calculator can help you determine how much value you’re getting.
ELIKA New York: Real Estate Calculators
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How is Square Footage Measured?
While you can perform your measurements with a measuring tape, there can be a lot of room for error if the home has an irregular shape with lots of nooks and crannies. For this reason, it’s far better to use a laser distance meter.
When determining a home’s total square footage, you can still come up with different numbers depending on how you’ve calculated it. For instance, you can either estimate the square footage by multiplying the width by the length (ignoring any irregularities) or measure more accurately by accounting for the irregularities. The latter option is more complicated and will require some knowledge of middle-school geometry, but it will yield a more accurate result.
Why is the Actual Square Footage Different from the Listed Square Footage?
Another problem you’ll run into is that the listed square footage can be slightly higher than the actual square footage. Often what you’ll see in listing descriptions is the gross square footage, which is the square footage of the entire apartment with no account made for the space taken up by walls, columns, fixtures, or even, in some cases, the common areas. The habitual square footage can be a couple hundred square feet less than advertised.
Some listing agents, developers, and sponsors can be coy about this as they’re trying to make the property look bigger than it is. And they usually get away with it, too, because not many buyers show up with a measuring tape or laser meter.
In extreme cases where the listed size is way off from the actual, this can cause problems with your loan. Your lender will conduct their measure of the home’s square footage. If they find that its total is well below the seller’s claim, this can delay your loan or even torpedo the whole deal—all the more reason to always include a mortgage contingency in all your purchasing contracts.
Why Does Price Per Square Foot Matter When Selling or Buying a Home?
Apartments can come in many different shapes and sizes. Even when two similarly priced properties are described as being “Two-bedroom,” there can be vast differences in the square footage. This matters because it tells you how much of a good deal you’re getting (or not getting).
Knowing a property’s actual square footage can be helpful for both buyers and sellers as it lets you easily compare different properties. Sellers can tell how competitive their price is compared to a competing listing, and buyers can determine which property provides the most value.
Why Price Per Square Foot Can Also Be Helpful with Home Renovations
Knowing a home’s price per square foot can also be helpful for home renovations. Most contractors will use a home’s square footage to determine their asking quote. Knowing your exact price per square foot can ensure you aren’t getting scammed while also allowing you to compare quotes from different contractors to see which offers you the best deal. This is especially regarding renovation projects involving flooring, ceiling, sanding, refinishing, skim coating of walls, painting, or drywall replacement.
Square Footage is Important, But It Isn’t Everything
While it is advised that you carry out your measurements if you suspect that the listed size is grossly misrepresented, it’s also best not to get too caught up on slight differences between the gross and net footage. A gross square footage calculation considering the walls, columns, and fixtures might only add up to a difference of a couple of hundred square feet compared to a habitual (net) square footage calculation.
Having 200 square feet less than you thought you would get might seem like a lot, but what’s more important is how the home flows and makes you feel. Does it allow you to move around comfortably? Is there enough space for your furnishings and other possessions? Can you see yourself living in this space for the foreseeable future? These are more important questions than the habitual square footage.