Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Pricing Inside and Out... The Appeal of a Condo Unit

Pricing: It's not just the inside of the unit... it's the whole package.

The interior of the unit is important, of course. And we all know location is king. However, with the many, many neighborhoods that are now considered great places to live, the competiton is fierce between condos… and the whole package becomes more important for some buyers.

The market dictates what you will get in square footage and finishes in a particular location. For instance, $300K in Lakeview and $300K in Albany Park will get you greatly different condos and amenities. Even the type of housing available will be different.

But what about in the same neighborhood? How does the whole package come into play when pricing?

This question is what keeps me up at night blogging. I have a listing coming on in Albany Park There are many 2 bedroom, 1 bath condos on the market priced below the $254,900 asking price we’ll go on with. There have been a couple comps that went higher than this price too.

But for the most part, we will be priced higher than most of the standard 2 bed, 1 baths… and less than the new breed of quality 2 bed, 2 bath conversions in Albany Park.

But when looking around and studying the market, I had to get a grasp of the entire package.

Here is a comparison of a unit I sold to clients about 6 months ago and the unit I will list this week:

Unit A: (Sold at $258,000 6 months ago) Two bed, one bath top floor unit in three flat. 1300 sq ft. small master and second bedrooms and closets. Big kitchen, granite and stainlees and big living areas. Small, bath with inferior layout/design. Good light and windows. Walk in storage closet. 4 to 5 blocks from the Brown Line. Steel Balcony off the back of unit facing the alley. No yard. 2 car tandem parking spaces. Farther walk to retail, restaurants and transportation.

Unit B: (going on at $254,900) Two bed, one bath second floor corner unit in 12 unit building (only 3 units with 2 beds, rest are one beds and den). 1000 sq ft. Large master, small second, decent closets. Smaller common areas. Galley kitchen, good size with cherry, granite, stainless. Better bathroom. Wall to wall windows in master, living room and sunroom. Great wood deck with huge fenced in yard and pro landscaping. Walk in storage closet and large extra common area basement storage/bike room. 1 block to Brown Line and closer to shops, restaurants, transportation. 1 car parking space.

These units offer the “big three” of in-unit washer and dryer, parking and deck. However, one has a bigger master, a fenced, usable yard and is closer to retail and transportation.

Would you give up a little size to get more of the “whole package”? What will life be like with a much better outdoor space and more storage space? Being closer to transportation?

These days, with lots on the market in the same neighborhood, I ask clients to look at the whole package and how that will affect the quality of life in (and out) of the condo. Especially with two bed, one bath units. One unit may be just as nice inside and cheaper... but it's buried in the back of a courtyard building, with no yard or parking and farther from the "L". Wouldn't you pay $25K more for these things?

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