Thursday, April 01, 2010

Vintage is back baby!

The better values in the $250,000 to $350,000 price range have been in vintage condo units. By vintage, I mean properties that have kept a good portion of their original layouts, woodwork, detail and flooring despite becoming a condo building. Many of these buildings were condo associations prior to the "conversion craze" of the 2000s. Or, at lease the developer was mindful of keeping classic features and materials that were in great shape.

These properties tend to be bigger and have layouts that make sense. The rooms are highly usable and you tend to get a bonus sun room, covered porch and basement storage. In this price point, the homes tend to have true dining rooms; a huge plus for a well rounded, sophisticated home life.

On the flip side, these buildings can have higher maintenance costs. This can be off-set by more reasonable prices per square foot compared to gut renovations and new construction. Another complaint to vintage homes is they have small closets. However, in many homes I've been in, larger closets can be built (or already have been built) in the units to compensate.

Vintage units, in my opinion, did not see the price run-up to the extent that the new, shiny gut renovations did. This makes them more available now at lower, more "saleable" prices. New construction and gut renovations commanded a much higher price despite lack of quality work and finishes. Today, these factors above make vintage my choice for a better lifestyle and value when buying a home.

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