Home Buying in Skokie>Question Details

Optima Lover, Home Buyer in Skokie, IL

Is it too much to pay $240,000 for a new 1 bed 1 bath condo (800 sq ft) in Skokie, IL?

Asked by Optima Lover, Skokie, IL Thu Dec 11, 2008

This is a new construction in Optima Old Orchard Woods.... You can look at it on optimaweb.com. Please let me know....

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Evan, Joe, please pick up your toys and go home! I'm sure this person could care LESS about internal squabbling on Trulia. It's a bad reflection on the community and everyone that posts here.

As it pertains to your question, the #1 thing you have to look at is comparables. As someone stated earlier, Optima is a renouned builder that provides an excellent investment. You simply need to make sure that you will gain equity over tome through appreciation.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 4, 2009
Joe, that is the first thing you said that I agree with.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 4, 2009
Knowledge is never antiquated, Evan, nor is professionalism. You should try acquiring some of both.

Lame comebacks, on the other hand, are antiquated.
Web Reference: http://yochicago.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 31, 2009
Ah, the last refuge of the antiquated; "I've was doing this before you born sonny."
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 31, 2009
Now you are grasping at straws Joe.

The data is correct, look it up yourself. You asked for an example and I gave you one.

Assessments do increase for all kinds of reasons and in my professional experience, the developer handing control over to the association is one of those reasons.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 27, 2009

You raise a good point. I assume there's plenty of transparency from the links I provide here and from how public and open my identity is on the Web.

That said, anyone who's known me for any length of time knows that I praise only the praiseworthy, regardless of whether they're a client or not.

How about some specifics to back up your wild-eyed assertion about assessments. Tell us for example about an Optima project where that's the case and give us the facts in detail.

If your clients always avoid new construction they've missed out on some great opportunities over the years.
Web Reference: http://yochicago.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 27, 2009
Could it be Joe, that your opinion is a bit suspect given that Optima Inc is a paying sponsor of your website and magazine? Nice transparency.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 27, 2009
I don't have an opinion on price, but I do have some strong reactions to the previous answers.

The first answer is from a Florida Realtor! Enough said.

The second and third answers are just meaningless, sweeping generalizations with no actual content. The "guarantee" that assessments will go up is irresponsible. That is often the case, but not often the case with the better developers who make a sincere effort to project assessments accurately.

What I can tell you, and I hope it's helpful, is that Optima is a quality developer with a track record of successful projects and satisfied buyers. The first of the buildings is, I believe, completely occupied. You can talk to some of the buyers there and get a good fix on their experience.

I've spent quite a bit of time on Trulia over the past week and am shocked by the low quality of many of the answers I see here.

Buyers should spend the time sourcing out a good local real estate agent rather than posting questions here. The answers simply are not, in general, worth the time you spent asking.
Web Reference: http://yochicago.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 26, 2009
Generally I recommend my clients avoid new construction at all costs. If you end up having to move within a few years of the last unit being sold you are going to be in a world of hurt.

With that said, you are better off waiting to find a resale, maybe even a short sale or bank owned property if you really want to live at Old Orchard Woods. As an example, a 800 SqFt 1 bed, 1 bath resale unit closed 11/10/2008 for $205,000. This was $56,000 less than what the seller had paid for the unit.

Another potential pitfall of buying new construction is that you don't know for sure what your taxes are going to be and I can practically guarantee that your assessment will go up as soon as the developer turns over the building to the association.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 11, 2008
Here's the definitive answer to why assessments at Optima Views increased significantly between 2003 and 2006. This information comes from an Optima employee who I've known 20 years and know to be a reliable source.

The building was originally budgeted with no doorman, only an intercom entry system. In 2005 the Homeowners' Assocition voted to add a full-time doorman at a 24/7 cost of approximately $120,000 a year. That purely voluntary decision on the part of the HOA accounted for most of the increase in assessments during that time period. This is a fact that anyone can check, but that the real estate broker who cited only the percentage increase either didn't check or deliberately omitted.

In the interests of full disclosure, Optima is an advertising client of my firm.

I'd say the developer is owed an apology, or at the very least a retraction.
Web Reference: http://yochicago.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 13, 2009

I think the fact that you deleted my comment from your blog, leaving only your insulting remark about me and a link to this thread, says everything anyone needs to know about how strong you really feel your position is.

In closing in my comment I suggested that a true professional would never delete a part of the conversation.

If you can't win an argument straight up you go off in a corner, call the other guy names and delete what he has to say. Way to go, Evan.
Web Reference: http://yochicago.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 4, 2009

Anyone reading this can judge on their own who's supplying intelligence and who's supplying attitude.
Web Reference: http://yochicago.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 3, 2009
Thanks Josh. I agree, I should have know from the demagoguery in his first post, that an intelligent debate of different perspectives would be impossible with Joe.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 3, 2009
Well, "Josh Mitchell", anyone can look at my extensive track record around the Web and draw their own conclusions.

One thing they'll find is that I'm repeatedly attacked by know-nothing developer-bashers whenever I introduce a note of reality into a discussion. People who have knowledge drive those people into a frenzy and they immediately start yelling "shill," "troll" in a feeble attempt to discredit anyone who knows more than they do.

Try dealing with my substantive points, "Josh Mitchell." You don't care to go there, do you?
Web Reference: http://yochicago.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 2, 2009
Grasping at straws, Evan? You're the one doing that.

You provided an example that's meaningless because it lacks adequate context and detail. So assessments rose 36% over 3 years, assuming your numbers are accurate. What do we learn from that about the accuracy of the developer's budgeting? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Before going all pompous on people about your "professional experience" you should check theirs. You've been in the real estate business for about 7 years now, based on the date when you were first licensed in Illinois.

You may not have been born when I was practicing law in a large firm representing major condo developers. Perhaps you were born during the time I was a real estate developer. I hate to tell you this, but in a number of my projects assessments went down after I turned over control of the project to the HOA – they fired my expensive, vastly knowledgeable union janitor and replaced him with cheap, incompetent laborers, cut the money I spent maintaining landscaping, etc. etc. and set themselves up for assessment increases due to their incompetent stewardship of the property. In your take, those assessment increases would have been the developer's responsibility.

Over a 35-year period I've known many highly professional developers, and the good ones all apply a lot of expertise to honest budgeting. They have professional experience. You have experience.

Optima's been in this business for 30 years and, I'm willing to bet, has a lot more satisfied buyers to its credit than you do.

You really ought to re-consider your anti-developer bias, gain a better grounding in the facts, and take a pass on the wild generalizations.
Web Reference: http://yochicago.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 30, 2009
Assuming your assessment numbers are correct - how do we know that simply doesn't equate to a poorly run homeowners' association or one that radically increased the level of service. Assessment increases can, and often do result from factors beyond the developer's control.
Web Reference: http://yochicago.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 27, 2009
In 2003 the average monthly assessment on a two bedroom two bathroom at Optima Views was $238. By the end of 2006 the average assessment is $370. That is a 36% increase in just three years.

I guess my eyes aren’t so wild?

And for the record, I like Optima, Inc, they build a good product and have a good reputation. That however doesn’t change the fact that a buyer will pay a huge premium for purchasing a new unit from them, one I think is seldom worth the benefit of “new”.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 27, 2009
Optima is a large, high amenity luxury development. You're probably not going to get your best deal there. Resales are probably where you're going to score the best find.

That said, the developers and sellers at Optima are probably not going to advertise a low price. You can always make an offer! If you like it, it's worth a shot.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 11, 2008
Seems steep......but our recommendation is to be in touch with a local real estate professional to get their opinion.
Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 11, 2008
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