Square Footage - Or is that Meters? Getting what you Pay For
Whether you’re purchasing a pre-construction home or condo, or one that’s already built, one of the top selling features is the size and how it will fit you, your family and your furnishings. You presume that the advertised square footage is what you’re going to receive, right? Not necessarily.
When you purchase a pre-construction home, you typically evaluate whether you’re receiving a fair price based on the price per square footage. This is the same when you buy a home or condo that’s already built. Is it a good value based on the size of the unit?
Unfortunately, there are no rules in Latin America when it comes to how the size of a unit is measured and subsequently advertised. Something else to keep in mind, many countries in this part of the world assess size in square meters (simply multiply the square meters by 10 to come up with the square footage). It’s not uncommon to visit multiple units, all with the same advertised square footage, but have some feel roomy and some feel confined. This may just be because of the layout or it could be because one unit actually is larger or smaller.
Of course, the way a home or condo is laid out can dramatically change the feeling of openness or not. However, it can sometimes simply be how the builder calculated the square footage.
Are they considering outdoor living spaces? Verandas or balconies? Storage areas? Check with your builder if the final square footage includes outdoor areas, as this is commonly included in the final square footage tally. However, you may only be paying half of what the indoor square footage price is, since outdoor spaces cost less to construct then indoor.
It’s also a good idea to ask if areas such as hallways, stairways, foyers, etc are included in the final square footage.
Basically, knowing the exact size of your new home or condo, what it includes and how it was calculated are all important to know and it’s in your best interest to ask your builder these vital questions. If there’s any doubt, measure yourself – it will save you in the long run.
Let’s say you pay more per square footage at time of purchase then you should have. You may be in for a big surprise if you wish to rent or sell. Everyone wants the best bang for their buck when it comes to size versus price, and if you’re unable to compete because of how your square footage was calculated, you will ultimately have a difficult time renting or selling at fair market price.
These rules apply to acres or hectares of land too. You should always measure the parcel or have a survey done. Confirming boundaries is imperative to knowing exactly how much land you’re buying and that you’re getting good value for your purchase.
Overall, make sure you know exactly what you’re buying. Ask your builder or broker how the size was calculated, confirm whether it’s square footage or meters and measure the space yourself to guarantee that you’re getting the best value for what you’re paying. Not only for your own peace of mind, but also in the long term if you choose to rent or sell.