Some spaces are better to renovate while you live in them…

A couple of weeks ago I found the most amazing place that had just come on the market. It hasn’t been sold in 40 years! It’s a massive condo in a vintage three flat and is a massive 2400 square feet on one floor. A sprawling three bedroom two bath space with tall ceilings and gorgeous original trim, it even has a picture rails in the dining room {be still my heart}!

And of course it needs a lot of updating {that’s part of what makes it so great, in my opinion anyway!}, but has all the vintage charm that you could dream of… and every room is huge. Omg, I get so giddy just thinking about it.

Here is the exterior and floorpan, for a condo in Chicago, this is big. And the building is just gorgeous.

Sheridan exterior.jpg

And here is the interior as it stands now. I always wish I could get a glimpse at what these spaces looked like when they were first built… I can only imagine {in a good way}.

Sheridan photos.jpg

The master bathroom is a super weird layout, I feel like it’s probably not the original? So no pics of that space {unfortunately, because I just like to be able to see everything!}, but you can see the layout in the plan. That room definitely has to be completely re-worked.

This space is not an open floorpan that you see everywhere these days, where the kitchen/dining/living space are all one, and honestly, I LOVE that. It literally made me physically uncomfortable as I heard the list agent start talking about how you could open up the space more to make it more ‘open concept’. NOOOO!

I mean, you could do that, but why would you want to?! Not every space is supposed to be an open concept layout, and I actually love that you get these big open rooms that are kind of connected but not totally, and don’t mind that the kitchen is separate. I feel like you are either someone who has to have an open concept space, and so this one just isn’t going to be for you… or you are someone who actually prefers separate rooms and this one will definitely get your heart beating a little faster.

But the whole reason I’m sharing this with you today is that there are certain spaces that lend themselves well to being flipped {where you go in and renovate something and sell it again quickly ~ well, as quickly as possible} and then there are others that are actually better for someone who wants to buy it and live there while they update the space over a longer period of time, say a couple of years. We showed this space to several of our clients who are looking for a property to flip but it turns out that it doesn’t quite work as that kind of project. This space will most likely be a better fit for someone who is wanting to update a space while they live in it.

But why?

Finding the right property for the type of investment or renovation you are planning is just a matter of math.. and timing. This property is at a higher price point than some others {for something that needs a good amount of updating}, it’s currently listed at $500K. And while the potential value on the other side of a renovation is great, the carrying costs for someone who isn’t living in the space could be prohibitive when you factor in monthly assessments and taxes, in addition to a mortgage payment, for the time that it takes to update the space. If anything goes wrong and the project gets delayed, it’s that much more money out of your pocket each month there is a delay… and then there is the matter of when you want to list the renovated space for sale… because timing is literally {almost} everything. The ideal time to list a property {especially one that is an investment where you are renovating and wanting to maximize your profit}, is the spring, so here you would either have to do an exceptionally fast renovation and list again in just a few months, or you hold it for almost a year to list next spring, which isn’t practical. For this one as a quick flip, there just isn’t a lot of wiggle room for anything to go wrong, and that’s a big risk when doing this kind of project.

When you are planning any kind of renovation, it’s important to know the scope of the project you are wanting to take on, the potential cost, and the time it will take to complete the project… and then plan for it to take longer and cost more {no, seriously}. But you also have to plan for carrying costs if you aren’t going to be living in the space, and sometimes a space makes more sense for someone who will be living there and updating it over some period of time, as opposed to someone who will be updating the space and not living there.

This space needs a fair amount of work, floor repairs and refinishing, entirely new kitchens and baths {and one bathroom layout to be entirely reworked}, and it needs air conditioning, which is probably the biggest item. So in some ways it’s a lot, but in others it’s not that extensive of a renovation, the kitchen layout works, the plan of the space works, the walls don’t need to come down, the floors don’t need replacing…

So if you’re reading this and love old vintage spaces, traditional layouts… and are just itching to get into a space like this and transform it, call me and I’ll help you buy this one! ;)

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