Should Sellers Renovate Before Listing? A 1/1 in 1645 W. School in Lakeview

1645 w school

This 1-bedroom in the 60657 Lofts at 1645 W. School in Lakeview recently came on the market.

The listing says it has a “100% new interior.”

That includes new hardwood floors, new white kitchen cabinets (white is “in” now), granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances, a new bath, hot water tank and washer/dryer.

It has also been painted (looks like a light gray- which is also the neutral that is “in” right now).

It has the other features buyers look for including central air and parking.

This unit was last listed for sale in 2010 for the same price as it is now: at $275,000.

But back in 2010 it wasn’t “100% new”.

You can see the old finishes, including the maple kitchen cabinets and white appliances, here.

This building was converted into condos in 2001 so the finishes are nearly 14 years old.

Is it necessary in this market for sellers of condos to renovate to today’s “new” standards before listing?

Marcia Cegavske at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures here.

Or see it at the Open House this weekend: Sunday, Nov 16 from 1-3 PM.

Unit #412: 1 bedroom, 1 bath, no square footage listed

  • Sold in May 2001 for $219,500
  • Sold in June 2004 for $266,500
  • Was listed in August 2010 for $275,000
  • Withdrawn
  • Currently listed for $275,000 (parking included)
  • Assessments of $202 a month (includes cable)
  • Taxes of $3404
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom: 13×11

11 Responses to “Should Sellers Renovate Before Listing? A 1/1 in 1645 W. School in Lakeview”

  1. I’ve noticed a LOT of sellers are simply staining those older yellow wood floors the dark walnut. It’s a relatively cheap fix and it makes the unit look “new” almost immediately.

    It looks like that’s what they’ve done here (and taken the carpet out of the bedroom and replaced that with hardwood.)

    New light gray paint looks really nice against the dark wood.

    Why don’t more sellers do that? (in the cases where they’ve already moved out)

    I know it’s money they have to spend, but instead they’re simply reducing the price by another $10k. It doesn’t cost $10k to redo the floors and paint the unit.

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  2. Another thing that I’m seeing is what happens when these condo buildings start to age and the sellers don’t upgrade anything in their units?

    Those are the units that are still selling for under their prior sales price.

    The finishes are now 15 years old. Even if you replaced the black or white appliances with stainless, everything else is now considered “old.”

    You don’t have to spend a lot to upgrade. Heck, a new bathroom light fixture is like $75 at the Home Depot. Even just changing that can really spruce up a condo.

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  3. “Is it necessary in this market for sellers of condos to renovate to today’s “new” standards before listing?”

    No but you will likely have to severely discount the property. I just sold my 2/1 condo which was also a 14 year old conversion. We had the typical maple cabinets and middle grade granite counter tops. I did replace the white appliances with stainless steel in 2010 and also installed an additional cabinet and a free floating 2nd island.

    “Why don’t more sellers do that? (in the cases where they’ve already moved out)”

    In my case, it wouldn’t have been a quick inexpensive fix. My floors needed to be completely removed and replaced and a new subfloor installed because the boards were not getting enough support. I suppose I could have lipstick-on-a-pigged it and just paid someone to sand and varnish the floors but they still would have had to repair some boards and that brings up the costs.

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  4. anyone know a good site to look up how to strip veneer cabinets and paint em?

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  5. I agree with Sabrina, if the cost is <$10K, it's a very good move. In the subject property's case, look how small the kitchen is, and not very many new cabinets needed to be installed.

    Another "dated" thing is any sink, bathroom or kitchen, that is not rectangle. Ovals are out. Those JAPpy bowl sink things are out too. I'm pretty sure that kitchen sinks with two tubs (separate disposal tub) are also out, replaced by one large rectangle sink.

    Also agree that the bathroom light fixture upgrade is a smart move since it's under $200 for something cool. People could get rid of stupid looking ceiling fans and put in a hip light fixture. The "in" fixtures have lots of glass.

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  6. ” how to strip veneer cabinets and paint em”

    You really need to strip, or just prep for paint? Depending on the current finish, might work fine to just degrease and sand off the current clearcoat.

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  7. Yeah thats what i’m reading apparently can just lightly sand them to remove the clearcoat and paint over that with 2 coats of oil based stuff

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  8. “paint over that with 2 coats of oil based stuff”

    Think that using a primer coat (even tho I generally disapprove of primers in normal circumstances) can be a good idea, too. The degreasing step is also apparently *key*.

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  9. Sand or degrease, you don’t need both. Prime, but you don’t necessarily need oil based. Water based have come far enough if you get the right one. I like Zinsser 1-2-3 Plus. Gotta get the plus though. And then use a water based alkyd. Or use oil – it’s still better, just not essential.

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  10. ” how to strip veneer cabinets and paint em”

    You can just paint right over them with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. You don’t even need to sand or anything. It covers almost anything (leather, concrete, granite, fake woods, real woods etc.)

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  11. I love the exterior of this building, but I hate the way the units were finished. This unit is a fail in every way- the worst parts of both a loft and a bland modern “luxury” apartment. It feels raw and unfinished, with the open furnace ducts, yet lacks the charm of an exposed-brick loft, and it has the blandness of a modern apartment without the comfort.

    I wish I could get this place cheaply enough to justify gutting it and completely rebuilding it from the studs out. I’d completely redo the HVAC and the floor plan to create privacy and interest. But the place would have to be AWFULLY cheap to justify all that.

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