How much did your phone cost per square inch?

Discuss houses with anyone, and chances are you’ll spend most of the conversation talking about square footage. “How many square feet is it?” “How much did it cost to build per square foot?” “Everything else in the neighborhood has 4,000 square feet, so you couldn’t possibly build less.”

It’s one of the few high-value products we treat this way. Have you ever considered how much your smartphone costs per square inch? Or why an Audi A3 is three times more expensive than a Honda Civic, even though both cars have about 93 square feet? 

Of course not! You assess these products on quality, styling, performance. The Audi brand stands for one thing, the Honda brand means another. You wouldn’t buy a car without taking a test drive to get a “feel” for qualitative factors like the thrill of the horsepower, or how comfortable the seats are. You may want a phone with a larger or smaller screen, but the most important features are memory, battery life, durability. You’ll even head to your local Apple store to see how responsive the touchscreen is.

Yet our most important and expensive purchase has been treated like a commodity – valued on a single unit of measure. Flour is sold by the pound, milk by the gallon, and homes by the square foot. We set home prices more on outside factors – convenience to shopping, proximity to highways, what your neighbor’s (builder-grade) house sold for – than we do on the home itself.

At Acre, we want you to be more inspired your home! We think of a home as a product, rather than a uniform commodity. Every element of our homes is carefully designed and selected to provide an elevated lifestyle. Where do you, as a homeowner, derive value from your home?

Natural light, healthy air, or the comfort of a room without drafts?

The convenience of a home that knows to unlock the front door when you are approaching with a kid in one arm and grocery bags in the other?

Peace of mind knowing that a water leak will be automatically detected and stopped before damaging your home?

An oven that knows to steam for 12 minutes and broil for 8 so that your meal is cooked to perfection?

The value – tangible and intangible – of a home that powers itself?

Operation and maintenance costs are another important consideration that have nothing to do with cost per square foot. Would you buy a car without knowing how many miles you will get out of a gallon of gas? Place a value on the weekends you won’t have to spend refinishing your deck, or replacing roof shingles.

When you look deeper, it’s clear that a simple square foot metric misses the mark. We encourage you to explore Acre homes, which are built for life. We even invite you to take one for a ‘test drive’ with our Sleep-on-It homes, available on AirBnB beginning in 2018.


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