The “Purple Apple”
True Cost of creating a desirable Sense of Place: Why price per square foot doesn’t work as a measure of value.
When it comes to determining the value of a home, there are a variety of methods that can be used. A method that is often thrown around during discussions of real estate value is price per heated square foot. But what exactly does price per heated square foot measure? And how effectively can it be used to measure the true value of a home?
To simplify… Price per square foot is calculated by taking the price of the home and dividing it by the heated square footage of the home. For too long this has been a common practice in real estate—to compare apples to apples—properties compared to each other, each similar in heated square footage. This is not an issue when the properties are truly similar in build and location. However, the “art” of Place Making is not simple, in fact, it’s quite complex and quite expensive. And when a property has extraordinary quality differences like design, craftsmanship, quality materials, neighborhood infrastructure and neighborhood amenities that home now becomes what we call a “Purple Apple.” Something special. Something unique. Something of much higher value.
It is important to keep in mind the different variables that can affect the price of individual homes. Desirability of a neighborhood, as well as design, condition, and layout of a home, are all factors that affect the price.
Today, most homes are built from plans found online or re-used from previous projects, and these generic plans usually do not respond specifically to each site and are not unique. Often, these homes are “value engineered” by builders to respond to trends, include synthetic materials, and lack craftsmanship & design character.
At the Village of Cheshire, we purposely went in another direction.
From the very beginning of our story, The Village of Cheshire has been a Master Planned Community involving many world recognized Land Planners and Architects alongside the best local engineers, surveyors, attorneys, and other professionals. This team is responsible for laying the groundwork for our “Outdoor Rooms,” our tree-lined streets, our sidewalks and rock walls, our parks, and even the paths that meander along with the streams. Take for example our Street’s connection system that allows for a variety of ways (both pedestrian and vehicle) to navigate the neighborhood all leading back to the Village Center. Or our Purposeful visual terminus(s) at the end of each street that gives even more visual excitement and value to our streets. Or our homes that have been thoughtfully designed for living and with less wasted space—Many of our homes do have smaller footprints but live much larger than comparable poorly designed homes.
The Village of Cheshire is not a housing development, it is a unique mixed-use community of architectural gems that only gets better as the full vision is realized.
As such, it does not fit into the standardized evaluation metrics that some folks use, such as the cost per square foot, (which only measures heated sf).
Yes, you are probably going to spend more per square foot for a home here, but what we are really selling here is a better way to live not just a structure to live in. A truly walkable neighborhood, with fellowship and community woven through by like-minded people, architectural standards that provide pleasing vistas and details that give our residents pride in the place they call home.
Building a Community takes time, resources, and an engaged relationship within the community for it to work. Throughout my 20 years of steering The Village of Cheshire, I have seen the relationships in this community grow organically and beautifully to create this Place. It is a true Artistic story. As I continue forward to create a new sense of place with the Jacobs Cottages, Village Flats, and The Town Center the Purple Apple remains my focus in leaving behind a place that will have everlasting value.
If you are in the market for a new home we ask that you consider The Village of Cheshire. Come spend the day and walk our trails and sidewalks and talk to your residents. We’re sure that they will convince you to come and experience life here.