This is a commonly asked question in new construction. If you are comparing new homes, however, you need to make sure that they are comparing the same size, quality, included features, and cost of the land.
Just because homes have the same square footage does not mean that they cost the same to build. For instance the following add to the cost of the home:
- volume ceilings
- the pitch of the roof
- larger foundation size & height
- more angles, corners, bump outs (shape of the home)
- features such as walk-out basements or daylight basement
The kitchens, bathrooms, and heating systems are normally the most expensive areas in a home. Therefore, it is important to know the quality and type of cabinetry that builders use as well as what is included in the bath. Does the bathroom have fiberglass shower, a tiled shower, or even a soaking tub or whirlpool tub? Is the home Energy Star Rated? These features cost more.
Also an important point to remember is that the cost per square foot is often more for a smaller home. The cost of the most expensive parts of the home such as the kitchen, bathrooms, and heating system are spread out over more square footage for a larger home. And, if you are comparing colonials and ranches with the same square footage, the ranch will cost more as it has a larger foundation and roof.
Land values also come into play. In real estate, a lot has to do with location, location, location. Do not forget to compare homes in the same locale as well as the size of the property.