Give that the units are in the same building, I would just suggest negotiating very aggressively for the larger unit at the best price that you can get. If there is a 25K difference between relatively similar units, then there should be significant negotiating room on the more expensive (and larger) unit. Good luck.
Broker Associate, Sudler Sotheby's International Realty
100 Sq Ft can either be a lot or a little depending on how it's used. If it's an extra 10x10 bedroom/den then that's significant but if every room is a few inches wider and longer than it's not worth paying extra for.
Crown molding is not prohibitively expensive and you can have someone come in and put up exactly what you like at your convenience. It's a 1-day job for a condo at most.
The balcony is a nice thing to have, but again it depends on where it's at. If it's off a bedroom it's not great, but if it's off a main living space it is a tremendous feature to have. However, it's not worth $25,000.
Hardwood is also great but can be installed.
Look at it this way...what are you willing to pay for the differences? Here is an example:
100 Sq Ft - $10K
TOTAL - $30K
In my example you're actually coming out ahead because you'd theoretically be willing to add $30,000 to the price of the cheaper condo if it had the above things. I think those numbers are good starting points and if you agree then you're actually saving time, effort, and money by going with the more expensive condo.
Chicago is a deck town, very few units don't have a deck or outdoor space.
Why not the larger unit at the same price as the smaller unit? That is what I would go for.
Just thought I would make it interesting. You should look up all the sales in the building to how aggressive you can be in your bid. Tell us what building it is and we can tell you what sales prices and sales velocity is.
It is all your personal preferance. Just remember, you can add crown molding and restain floors. You cannot add a balcony and add 100sq/ft. You can always rent storage as Kevin said below. Persoanlly, I would go with the one that is larger and has a blacony. If you want to restain your floors and add crown molding, you can always do it when you have some extra cash. Hope this helps.
Americorp Real Estate
One of our specialties is using regression analysis to answer specific questions like these. You can see an example at.
It is difficult to fully answer your question. If the units are located in different buildings there are different values associated with each. The same disequilibrium occurs if these units are located in elevator buildings and they are located on different levels and they have different views. Bearing in mind your language that all things being equal - there is greater value associated with more square footage and a balcony. Is it $25k of value? Doubtful. This sounds like a situation where your real estate professional can analyze the market and assist you to determine what unit best suits you and assist you to calibrate your offer.
Best of luck with your search.
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