Price per square foot revisited

Are formal dining rooms becoming obsolete? Are huge master suites too “selfish” for today’s changing society? Is “keeping up with the Joneses” turning into “Cutting down with the Joneses”?

In a market projected to be flat at best for the foreseeable future, these questions are fast becoming very important for each home buyer to ask and answer, each in their own way.

In the age of “me”, me being the parents vs. the children, the places where children “go” in their home got smaller and smaller. Families used to spend more time together in the “living” room until the children were banished to the “family room” and the living room became a “formal” living room that most no one ever used. People gathered in the kitchen with friends and family, until the “formal” dining room became a place and space ONLY used once in a while when “guests” came. As if the kitchen was OK for the kids, but the visitors were somehow more important, so much so that we paid big money for a special room just for “guests” vs the family on an everyday basis.

Beyond price per square foot, it is time for home buyers to determine price per square foot of WHAT? Forget about how it currently “works”. It’s time to change how it works.

First Floor = 1,630 sf of which only 534 square feet represent rooms the children enter on a regular basis. The rest is “formal” living room, “formal” dining room, “Dad’s” study, “grand” staircase and foyer. Even if you throw in the 1/2 bath, the space the children live in is smaller than the square footage of the attached 3 car garage at 660 sf.

When did the children become entitled to less space than the cars?

Second Floor = 1,260 sf of which each child’s bedroom is only 130 sf. If you have two children and throw in the bathroom they share at 5 x 8, that gives them 380 sf on the second floor. Let’s be generous and give them an open loft “bonus” room to do their homework in at 15 x 15 and you still have a full HALF of the second floor devoted to master suites and grand staircases.

2,890 sf of home plus 660 sf of garage = 3,550 sf of which only 1,165 sf is space the children enter on a regular basis. The “children’s” place is not even double the amount devoted to housing the cars. Given the “children’s” space includes the kitchen and the family room, that’s just sad.

Let’s put a price tag of $550,000 on this home = $154 per square foot including the garage. 1,165 sf times $154 = $180,500 of that $550,000 devoted to the “family” and places where the children go on a daily basis. That’s about $370,000 for formal areas, master bedrooms and baths, showy staircases and places to put the cars.

Do you really want to spend $380,000 for places your children don’t enjoy?

Put this house on a small lot, as a zero lot line home, and we have to ask ourselves: I know we’ve come a long way, we’re changing day to day. But tell me, where do the children play?