Need advice re comparing 2 properties

5 Replies

Hello board,

I'm writing because I need advice in comparing 2 condos for purchase.  One of these will become my primary residence.  They both need some work done.  Here are the details :

Unit A:


New hot water boiler 

New HVAC system  

New condenser

Needs new kitchen including cabinets and appliances 

Old glass sliding doors need track work. 

Cosmetic patching.

Unit B:


New kitchen appliances 

Very old hot water boiler - end of life 

Very old HVAC system -end of life  

Needs new kitchen cabinets  

Old glass sliding doors need track work. 

Cosmetic patching.

Also, how much do you suppose new glass sliding doors (with tracks and screens) and new kitchen cabinets would cost.

Thanks in advance, 

Manuel S.

Some questions to help compare:

Are the units the same size? similar location?  

If you make all the improvements needed will you get a new market value that covers your costs?

Since it will be your personal residence, does one have any features/amenities that you will enjoy more?

You can go online and get ballpark costs for your sliders and kitchen cabinets - cost will vary depending on the quality of the product and don't forget to budget for installation.

Thanks Micki, all great questions .

Yes, both units are the same size and in the same location.  It's a gated community so layouts are identical as well as amenities. 

The complex was built in 1987 so still fairly new.  Owners have pretty much replaced things as they went down.  I believe that the kitchen cabinets would add value to both properties, as well as appliances in one of them as they are cosmetic, and would therefore stand out compared to rest of community.  

The glass sliding doors replacement would be more of a necessity, as they are standard in all units .

Hey Manuel,

If they both are in the same neighborhood and have almost the same Sq. Ft. I would go with Unit A. 

New cabinets and appliances are little cheaper than new HVAC and New Boiler And Unit A is also cheaper than Unit B. 

Also please look it from the prospective buyer's POV, what would they prefer new cabinets or new boiler more. Not to forget which unit has more curb apperal. 

You can always negotiate the price with seller. 

Hope this helps!!!

Rishi Patel

If the units are similar Unit A looks like a better deal - since it has new hot water heater/HVAC vs. appliances.  What floor are the units on?  What are the views?  In a high-rise higher is better - it could be mixed for garden condos if their are a lot of stairs.  Do you have a personal preference between the units?

One option may be to make an offer on the one that seems better - if you don't like the counter you can make an offer on the other unit.  One negotiating tactic if you don't get price movement might be to have them bring the property up to the level of the competition.  I think unit A would be likely to throw in new appliances if the seller is motivated.

Thanks to all for responding.  I ended up making offers on both properties.  The lower priced unit (and my preferred) was more motivated to sell and I got them down another 4k.  The more expensive unit countered at full price and was "insulted with the offer" - LOL.  Once they heard i went in all cash on neighboring unit they dropped 4.9k, but since they started at a higher place, was still no match with needed upgrades.

I'm closing in 10 days on my first property/residence.

Thanks everyone 

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