Price / Sq. Ft. is King!

After choosing an area, “How much is that per square foot,” is by far the single most used phrase regarding the value of a home in this market. It is the first thing anyone looks for when they try to price their home. Its the first thing any Buyer does when they are looking for a house, land or investment property. Many markets are not quite like this. Beds/baths take a much grander role in the valuation of a property. Not here. Price per foot is King.

Shandon in Columbia is a prime example. If its great with granite, $160-$165/ft seems to be the mark. If its “unreal,” Shandon can bring $180+/ft., with some “statement” homes bringing over $200./ft. A nice home in Shandon “not granite,” that needs some updating hovers around $140-$$150/ft. depending on curb appeal and street. It makes it difficult because many times a Seller wants “what their neighbor got” per foot. More often than not, this is why homes stay on the market longer than they should.

Cross one street into Rosewood, and the price goes to $120ish/ft. Cross the street into Heathwood, and the price/ft. remains roughly the same. The difference here? The homes in Heathwood can bring a tinch more than Shandon per/ft…..but the homes are bigger and have more “wow” power.

Do you know the price per foot in your neighborhood? Do you care? You should. Get to know your price/ft. and you will be able to tell what you should do to your house to maximize the value, without “over-cooking” it.

Perfect system? No. Exceptions? Yes. Take a 270 sq. ft. dwelling with 1 bath that is on the market for over $300,000. This is a property that sits on wheels in an industrial section of Columbia, that is asking a handsome $1147./ft. Name of the property………….? Cockaboose.


  1. Arthur Suggs says

    Who is asking $300k for their caboose?

  2. hey franklin, what’s the average price / sq. ft. on undeveloped land in the areas you mentioned?

    blog looks great btw, nice job.

  3. Actually, the Cockaboose is listed for $309,900. This one has a bathroom! It is Boose #4, which is on the Key Rd. side of the stadium.

  4. Franklin,
    What price per square on Lake Murray?

  5. Aric,
    There is not much “undeveloped land” in the 29205ish, downtown area. There are some lots scattered around, and there are a few projects going on downtown such as CanalSide. The Bull Street property (Mental Health property) will be developed one day. The project known as Green Diamond looks like it will never get off the ground becuase of flood zone fighting. Most of the land around the river has been sopped up by developers already….and much of the downtown dirt is being used for condos.

  6. Sprat,

    Lexington, Irmo, Chapin or Newberry? Nice or fixer upper? Big water or cove?

  7. Lex or Irmo
    Both nice or fixer upper
    Both cove or water

  8. Sprat,

    Email me at fjones@cbunited and I will send you everything on the market on Lake Murray.

  9. Franklin,

    Any good developments in Camden you may be involved in or know of to date? Thanks, Mu

  10. Carolina Observer says

    Hey Franklin,

    What type of price should I expect in the Southeast area like the Hampton’s ? Hear it’s the hot place to be because it’s so close to town ? Blog looks good

  11. jmuha,

    Im checking my sources on Camden now. Are you asking about Camden…as in “Camden only,” or does Lugoff count too? I only ask because of Lake Wateree.

  12. Carolina Observer,

    The “Hamptons” are popular! At the moment, there are 6 Active listings, 3 Pending Contracts and 21 Closed transactions in the last 12 months between $225,000 and $500,000.

    Average $/ft….

    Active = $121/ft
    Pending = $123/ft
    Closed = $117/ft

    This includes Hampton Trace, Leas, Crest and Grant.

    Remember, this is an “average,” in the last 12 months. The highest number that I saw was $142./ft.

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