Does Square Footage Matter?


Often times I work with buyers that firmly state they want a 1,600 SF home, no less. This can sometimes work against the buyer while looking for homes as it may be limiting. Obviously, a 2,000 SF house will be more spacious than a 600 SF condo, but there is a lot more to take into consideration when you are an active buyer when it comes to square footage.

Square footage can often be very deceiving. If you have ever physically toured properties you will find that often it is not the square footage that makes the difference, but the layout. I have been in 900 SF condos that feel smaller than ones at 750 SF. The layout of a space has an enormous impact on how square footage is received/perceived. A common issue we find houses/condos is that the unit is 1,500 SF, but has is over 300 SF dedicated to oversized hallways or entrances. There are many different variables that can play into how a home feels. For example, in a condo, assuming the unit is on the top floor, it is possible the ceilings are twelve feet tall causing the unit to feel substantially larger, or maybe it is a corner unit with substantially more light making it feel larger. In homes, maybe the lack of light or windows makes the home feel smaller. It is tough to know until you see the home in person.

In this era online era, we can easily get caught up on just looking through photos of properties. At the end of the day, physically touring 5 properties in one day will be more valuable to you than flipping through photos from 20 different homes on realtor.com.

So at the end of the day, square footage does matter of course, but how the footage is used is where it really matters. I would encourage buyers to be a little flexible on the minimum level of square footage they are looking for because you just never know if that dream home you’re looking for is just a few square feet short of what your search parameters were!

© 2015 by Cyrus Fiene, Coldwell Banker Bain