Apples or oranges are sold by weight. Artichokes and ears of corn are sold by the piece. Milk by the gallon. Bread by the loaf. Which unit of measure do you use to buy things? How do you decide?
How about houses? Do you shop primarily by bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, location, price, age of neighborhood or quality of schools?
I did some research on three areas near the Excel Math offices. Some of the data I found is shown in the table below. I was surprised to see houses with NO bedrooms, but I think they represent houses that have been turned into small commercial buildings or offices.
Statistical nuts can slice and data this data in many ways - one popular comparison number is cost per square foot. I found some average sales in the past year for single-family homes in the three areas:
$124 per square foot in Mecula
$214 per square foot in Mesa
$462 per square foot in Palo
Ouch! Even though they have fallen dramatically, it's clear that home prices in California are high.
To give you a shocking comparison, a developer I know sold a 4400 square-foot, 4-bedroom condominium in this same region for $1705 per square foot.
We often need to choose the right numbers to compare when we are trying to make a complex purchase - and even elementary school math can help.
However, no math I can think of will convince me I could afford this place!