QUALITY OR SPACE IN CHICAGO? WHICH IS THE BETTER INVESTMENT?

Quantity over quality or quality over quantity? If you’re spending $400,000 should you buy a 1 Bedroom or should you buy a 2 Bedroom? Now for many people the choice is simple because they have a need for extra space. However, for those of you where space doesn’t matter but instead you’re thinking about what is the best investment then this question could be one that  you are reciting in your mind.

In many different neighborhoods of Chicago you have the option of choosing a higher quality, Class A building 1 Bedroom or a Class B building 2 Bedroom if you have a budget of $400,000 to $550,000.

Higher quality can be found throughout the city such as 1201 S. Prairie in the South Loop (Museum Park), The Fordham and the Pinnacle in River North. There is 600 N. Fairbanks, 240 E. Illinois and 505 McClurg in Streeterville and there is 340 E. Randolph in Lake Shore East.

Now if you are looking for my opinion I will sit you down and ask you a bunch of questions to help you determine what is best for you. But if you are still torn, or if you were to ask me “What would I do?” then here is my answer.

First off, I have no need for a second bedroom. I currently have a home office in a second bedroom but I could do without it, especially as the need for a printer and fax become less by the minute. When we look at the real estate market in Chicago and evaluate it over the past 5 years there is one thing that holds true above all else: Quality holds value. Buildings such as 340 E. Randolph and 600 Lake Shore Drive weathered the real estate storm exceptionally well while cheaper buildings in the same area were hit hard.

My advice, if you truly can live happy with either option, is to choose quality over quantity. The better quality units tend to be in better built and well run buildings. These buildings tend to have more financially sound buyers that can weather an economic down turn. These buildings tend to see less fire sales (they’re not full proof though!). In every bubble, no matter what the industry, buyers becomes obsessed with quantity. When the bubble pops it is these buyers that fall to the ground thus hurting your property values. While quality buildings are not full proof and will always be at risk to market volatility, they are better suited to weather the storm.

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