Saturday, July 29, 2006

New or not new? That is the question

I've written about the decison to buy a new conversion or new construction unit versus a re-sale in the past.

Lately it seems all the entry level buyers have been choosing new conversions. There is a glut of these units for sure and you will pay a premium to be the first owner. So here is a few things that you need to think about if you go this route in Chicago...

Does the unit offer outdoor space, parking and in unit laundry? In unit laundry is almost a 99% sure thing for most new conversions on the North Side. But parking and outdoor space is rare. Many times you can find an older unit with parking and outdoor space for about the same price as a new conversion without these features. Otherwise, you will have to adjust down your needs for a new unit.

How close is the new conversion to the "L"? This is huge. These developments will sell.

Who is the developer? Will they be around to fix problems with the building?

Is the new development priced at the top of the market? It is very hard to negotiate price of a new development. This is for many good and legitimate reasons on the developers part. However, the flash of a brand new unit may not outweigh the fact you are buying at the top.
Re-sale units may be more negotiable and reasonable considering market conditions.

Entry level resale units can be boring! The finishes may be average and evryone has the same thing.. not only in your building, but in others too. You have the opportunity to customize a re-sale unit and benefit fromadding value when you sell.

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