How much per square foot does it cost to build a custom home?

Home Builder with Garabedian Properties

Although a common question you can no more price a home by the square foot than you can by the pound.  Just like any other product the features and amenities you include contribute to the final price.

Many Variables

Home pricing can vary due to a host of factors including the design, amount of cabinets, type of appliances and the light fixtures you select. Raw material pricing can vary your costs as well.  It is not uncommon to see the price of a lumber package fluctuate by several thousands of dollars in 30 days.  Just recently we witnessed rebar steel surge by almost 30% in two months. 

This means the exact same house built at two different times of the year can have two different prices. Another key factor in home pricing is quality and design.  

If you remember when the Hugo automobile was introduced to America, it was about the same size as a Honda Civic for half the price.  If you looked at both cars from a distance, they would seem similar. However the closer you get and you start to touch and feel it you realize there are big differences.  Once you slip in behind the steering wheel and start the engine, you know they are not the same car.

My mentor, Randall, had a saying he loved to share "The bitterness of poor quality remains after the joy a low price has been forgotten" (I paraphrased a bit).  

Why Not By The Pound

Pricing homes by square feet may be "easy" but it is not accurate.  Just as with any other product you purchase, the quality and features and design will have a big factor in the price of your purchase. Unlike other products you purchase, if you choose soley on price you could be in for years of headaches, expenses and challenges in owning your home.  

Then to top it all off you still have to be able to sell it. Just as gasoline changes in price several times a day, home prices will fluctuate over time as well.  You can't price a home by the foot any more than you can price it by the pound.

Michael Garabedian, Garabedian Properties


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