Is it cheaper to upgrade to a bigger house or add space on your current property?

The answer depends on real estate trends in your local area, including current home prices, labor, and material costs trends. Realm’s exclusive cost per square foot index uses up to data data to help you determine if it is better to buy a bigger house or build more square feet in your county.

If you do live in an area where it is cheaper to build more space than to buy a bigger home, look up your property at Realm for a free analysis of cost & ROI for various home addition projects.

To get started, search for your county in the table below. Note: a county with a ratio > 100% means it is more expensive per square foot to buy than to build. We only include counties with enough data to have a significant sample size for this calculation. Feel free to email us at learn@myrealm.co if you are looking for data on a county not shown below.

StateCounty NameSample SizeBuildBuyRatio
CA San Francisco $302 $1,061 352%
CA San Mateo $297 $1,008 340%
CA Santa Clara $285 $803 281%
DC District of Columbia $226 $618 273%
VA Arlington $220 $559 254%
FL Monroe $203 $513 252%
CA Santa Barbara $256 $634 248%
MA Suffolk $236 $538 228%
HI Maui $233 $508 218%
CA Alameda $286 $616 215%
HI Honolulu $277 $571 206%
VA Alexandria city $222 $452 204%
NY Kings $308 $592 192%
CA Los Angeles $256 $486 190%
CA Orange $257 $477 185%
CA Monterey $271 $489 181%
CA San Diego $257 $445 174%
NY Queens $307 $518 168%
CA Contra Costa $285 $479 168%
VA Fairfax $219 $357 163%
CA Ventura $260 $417 161%
CA San Luis Obispo $258 $408 158%
MA Norfolk $228 $341 150%
OR Multnomah $243 $364 150%
RI Newport $197 $293 149%
MA Middlesex $230 $336 146%
MA Barnstable $228 $328 144%
CO Garfield $210 $288 137%
NY Nassau $285 $378 132%
FL Miami-Dade $203 $260 128%
CO La Plata $209 $263 126%
MI Washtenaw $201 $252 125%
MA Essex $243 $301 124%
MA Plymouth $219 $272 124%
CO Jefferson $213 $263 124%
AZ Coconino $212 $260 123%
NJ Cape May $215 $254 118%
NJ Monmouth $214 $251 117%
FL Collier $200 $232 116%
OR Deschutes $240 $277 116%
VA Loudoun $226 $259 114%
SC Charleston $204 $230 113%
NJ Somerset $215 $241 112%
NJ Morris $207 $231 112%
MA Bristol $210 $232 110%
NC Buncombe $199 $218 110%
NV Carson City $227 $245 108%
AZ Yavapai $209 $225 108%
NJ Middlesex $225 $241 107%
FL Broward $205 $217 106%
NJ Essex $217 $228 105%
NJ Passaic $223 $235 105%
FL Pinellas $204 $214 105%
OR Lane $242 $252 104%
CT Fairfield $227 $235 104%
VA Albemarle $212 $218 103%
OR Yamhill $243 $250 103%
CA San Bernardino $255 $260 102%
FL Palm Beach $200 $205 102%
NJ Union $243 $245 101%
WA Clark $246 $249 101%
AZ Maricopa $208 $206 99%
NY Rockland $253 $248 98%
TN Davidson $212 $206 97%
CA Riverside $256 $246 96%
SC Beaufort $199 $188 95%
MI Ottawa $210 $197 94%
VA Richmond city $212 $198 94%
OR Marion $243 $228 94%
OR Jackson $239 $223 93%
GA Fulton $213 $193 91%
AZ Navajo $207 $187 90%
MD Charles $218 $196 90%
CO Pueblo $211 $187 89%
MA Worcester $236 $206 87%
MD Harford $223 $195 87%
GA DeKalb $213 $185 87%
FL Seminole $202 $175 86%
NJ Ocean $228 $197 86%
VA Culpeper $218 $186 85%
WA Franklin $230 $196 85%
RI Providence $218 $184 85%
NJ Mercer $233 $196 84%
FL Lee $200 $167 84%
FL Manatee $221 $185 83%
NC Mecklenburg $208 $167 80%
FL Hillsborough $203 $163 80%
AZ Pima $205 $165 80%
CT Middlesex $211 $167 79%
FL St. Lucie $200 $155 77%
NJ Sussex $195 $150 77%
CA Fresno $263 $201 76%
CT Litchfield $199 $152 76%
MN Hennepin $251 $191 76%
NV Clark $248 $189 76%
CA Merced $267 $201 75%
MI Oakland $225 $170 75%
IA Polk $223 $168 75%
NJ Warren $201 $149 74%
OH Franklin $219 $163 74%
FL Lake $203 $150 74%
WA Yakima $244 $180 73%
MA Hampshire $277 $202 73%
NJ Hunterdon $266 $192 72%
MA Franklin $235 $166 71%
CA Tulare $258 $182 71%
GA Hall $198 $139 70%
PA Lancaster $225 $158 70%
GA Cobb $213 $149 70%
CA Kern $255 $178 70%
AZ Mohave $219 $153 70%
MN Ramsey $253 $176 70%
CT New London $226 $157 70%
FL Clay $201 $139 69%
MI Kalamazoo $211 $145 69%
CT New Haven $230 $158 69%
FL Polk $201 $137 68%
MN Washington $253 $169 67%
SC Greenville $205 $134 65%
CT Windham $240 $157 65%
MA Berkshire $253 $165 65%
NJ Gloucester $214 $140 65%
NC Forsyth $203 $131 65%
NC Gaston $208 $134 65%
OH Licking $219 $140 64%
OH Clermont $217 $137 63%
OH Hamilton $212 $134 63%
FL Hernando $203 $128 63%
SC Pickens $213 $134 63%
OR Klamath $238 $150 63%
FL Escambia $205 $129 63%
NY Dutchess $266 $167 63%
NC Guilford $203 $127 63%
WI Kenosha $241 $150 62%
MA Hampden $281 $174 62%
PA Washington $233 $144 62%
CT Tolland $239 $147 61%
MI Wayne $234 $140 60%
MN Wright $251 $149 59%
CT Hartford $261 $152 58%
MO St. Louis $237 $137 58%
AZ Cochise $233 $134 57%
SC Spartanburg $205 $118 57%
IN Tippecanoe $212 $121 57%
PA Westmoreland $233 $133 57%
NY Erie $247 $140 57%
SC Aiken $201 $114 57%
NC Harnett $202 $115 57%
AR Pulaski $196 $111 57%
OH Wood $223 $124 55%
PA Dauphin $231 $127 55%
SC Florence $202 $108 53%
OH Montgomery $210 $106 50%
IN Marion $215 $107 50%
OH Clark $210 $104 50%
IL McHenry $269 $133 49%
IN Bartholomew $212 $104 49%
NY Clinton $226 $111 49%
OH Lorain $217 $102 47%
WI Sheboygan $244 $113 46%
GA Richmond $206 $94 46%
AL Montgomery $207 $91 44%
NY Onondaga $236 $104 44%
PA Luzerne $226 $98 43%
IL Madison $237 $100 42%
MI Genesee $222 $93 42%
GA Bibb $206 $84 41%
IL Peoria $242 $95 39%
IL St. Clair $237 $92 39%
IN Madison $213 $83 39%
NY Broome $234 $79 34%
NY Cattaraugus $247 $77 31%

Published by Realm

Get more out of your biggest asset: your home. Realm shows you what your home could be worth & how to access more of its potential. We analyze thousands of unique data points—from property history to neighborhood trends to project costs—to measure your property’s potential and equip you with the personalized insights and practical recommendations you need to make smarter financial decisions.

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