There are many factors to consider prior to making the decision to move forward on the purchase of a condo. Consulting with a trusted real estate professional at the very beginning of the process can save so much time, money and frustration on the way to the closing table. By taking the time to review in detail, a complete assessment of a buyer’s lifestyle and budget, great clarity is gained ensuring an amazing client experience. The following is a list of considerations to take into account when purchasing a condo in the city.

 

Lifestyle

Understanding the lifestyle needs of the buyer is an important factor to consider . How the buyer envisions day-to-day life in their new purchase will help determine the right building selection.

Do they wish to be in the heart of the hustle and bustle of big city life or do they prefer tree lined quaint neighborhood streets? Is living in a luxurious full amenity building with a door staff, state of the art gym and spa services their dream or would they love a more intimate building with green space to garden? Is the purchase an addition to an investment portfolio? Many buyers take into consideration commute times, often choosing options within walking distance to work or train that would limit the need for a vehicle in the city. Parking is a premium commodity in the city, with prices the highest near the Loop, River North and Gold Coast locations.


Chicago offers an amazing mix of architecture for buyers to consider. From vintage co-ops along Lake Shore Drive, converted West Loop warehouse lofts, to the modern glass and steel skyscrapers of River North and Streeterville, there is a perfect condo for every buyer in the market.

Once the location and architectural style preferences have been identified it’s now time to take inventory of “must have” wish list items for the interior of the condo. The top criteria for many of today’s buyers include:

open floor plan
generous amounts of natural light

updated kitchen and bath
generous storage | closet space
in unit laundry
outdoor space | balcony
parking options for owner or guests


Budget

There are several financial considerations to take into account when making a condo purchase. Hiring the right real estate professional to provide guidance during the process is essential to making a sound financial decision.

The first step is to determine an appropriate budget for the buyer that takes into account not only the purchase price of the condo, but also includes monthly assessments and real estate taxes. There are many loan products available to buyers in today’s market and it is best to consult with several reputable lenders for the most attractive loan options.

The next step is to examine the financial health of the condo building’s association. Points to consider when making a purchase include:

Self managed or professional management Association Frequency of association meetings

Association budget with reserves identified
Most recent improvements and preventative maintenance

Proposed projects | special assessments
Ratio of owner occupancy to investors
Rental restrictions
Pending litigation between the association and other party.

There are some instances where a fully qualified buyer may not be able to secure a loan because the lender deems the financials of the association “unwarrantable”. In these cases the purchase must be a cash only transaction.

There are many details to take into account when making a condo purchase in Chicago. SAGE Real Estate Network welcomes the opportunity to be your trusted resource throughout the entire process and beyond. If you found this information valuable please take a moment to reach out and let us know. Your feedback means the world to us.

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