Thursday, February 08, 2007

Is parking included?

Recently, an Internet client of mine asked a great question. To paraphrase, she was wondering why a listing indicated no parking, but then showed 1 or 2 in the parking space by-line on the listing. Why does it say no parking, but then list a space?

Many listing agents will do this to indicate there is some form of designated parking available... somewhere. Maybe there is a transferable rental spot or rental lot. Sometimes listing agents put in the space when there is Chicago zoned permit parking on the street adjacent to the property. This drives me crazy. Nice to indicate it in the remarks... but to indicate there is parking in the listing? Geez.

Which brings me to the next topic... how valuable is parking and should you only buy a place with parking included?

The answers: Very valuable and no.

Clearly it depends where you live. Lincoln Park and Goldcoast locations can demand $30K to $50K plus for a deeded parking spot. Lincoln Square and Lakeview can be $10K to $20K generally. In Ravenswood, a parking spot easily offers an extra $15K to $20K in value as the area grows in popularity and luxury condo conversions have increased in price.

However, if you get a nice deal near transportation and you take the CTA, you may find you can pass on the parking. Why skimp in size and amenities of the home when your car will be sitting in the street 75% of the time? Please, no calls when you can't find a spot on that one crazy snow storm we get each year. But hey, it's one snow storm and what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. And guess what? You may not own a car!

Back to the question of parking. Let's just say there are many ways to look at your next home purchase. In hot markets like Chicago with desirable locations, something has to give. Parking may not be the sacred untouchable that you initially felt it is.

When putting the condo buying puzzle together, keep an open mind. If not parking... then maybe that second bath?

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