There was a time not too long ago when bigger was considered better for houses. This was especially true from the 1990s through the mid-2000s, as people sought large “McMansions” in suburbs and subdivisions. But after the housing bubble burst, that all changed.
With the economy having changed, there came a new way of thinking about housing. Rather than “how much space can I get?” the predominant question became “how much space do I actually need?” People no longer had the money to purchase massive houses, and even if they did, they no longer had the confidence in the market and the economy to actually make the investment.
For this reason, designers and home builders in Pennsylvania and beyond had to become much more conscientious of how to put many of the features people were looking for in their larger homes into more compact spaces with a smaller footprint, all without making the homes feel too packed or cluttered. This was certainly a challenge, but if you’ve watched any home remodeling show on HGTV you’ve seen just how today’s famous designers are able to work with spaces they’re given and transform them into seeming larger than they actually are.
The long-lasting effects on the housing market
Today, we have arrived at a point where square footage still has an effect on the price and value of a house, but an even bigger factor is the fit and finish of a home. How efficiently does the home make use of the space it has? How attractive are the designs in those spaces? These are factors that simply do not change across all homes, regardless of whether it’s 1,000 square feet or 5,000 square feet.
There are certain types of features and amenities that will also always cost the same price. For example, electric services will still cost the same (assuming a standard 200-amp service), wells still cost the same, septic systems and connections to municipal services still cost the same.
The factors that are more likely to influence the value and price of a home are the finishing elements—think, for example, oak cabinets versus maple in your kitchen, hardwood floors versus vinyl laminate or carpeting, brick or stone walls versus vinyl siding. All of these elements are going to have a significantly larger effect on the price of a project than adding an additional 500 square feet to a home.
The only exception to this is if you’re adding or eliminating a bathroom, or increasing the square footage of your kitchen. Otherwise, the reduction or addition of square footage won’t have a major effect on the cost. And what’s more, homebuyers simply don’t care as much about square footage as they used to, anyway.
So when you start looking at homes to purchase for your family, don’t consider how much space you’ll get, but how much space you actually need, and put your money into other features that will actually affect you. Contact our home builders in Pennsylvania for more information.