Three Bedroom Condos Make Sense in North Center

By Mike McCallum | Wednesday, November 30, 2011

4114 N. Lincoln Ave. Photo from listing.

If you’re in the market for a home in North Center, let me make the case for purchasing a three bedroom condo like this one at 4114 N Lincoln Ave. #303. Compared to the much more common 2 bedroom condo, a 3 bedroom has a couple important things working for it.

First and most obviously, the extra bedroom gives you another room for to use as a guest bedroom, child’s bedroom or home office. I’ve shown hundreds of 2 bedroom condos whose owners hastily put them on the market as soon as their first child arrived. In a market where it’s best to assume only moderate appreciation, it’s unlikely that values will increase enough over the course of 2-3 years to cover the costs of buying and selling.

The master bedroom.

What you’re really buying with the 3 bedroom is time…time to enjoy your home…time to pay down the mortgage…and time for the market to appreciate.

Second, during the condo boom of the last decade fewer 3 bedroom condos were built compared with 2 bedrooms. The following charts show there are over twice as many 2 bedroom condos on the market in North Center. We’re also starting to see more buyers ask for the additional bedroom for the reasons I’ve stated above. This is especially true in our neighborhood which has become so family-friendly with improving schools and parks.

This low supply and increased demand has resulted in a more balanced market for 3 bedroom condos. Currently the Months Supply of Inventory for 3 bedrooms is at 7 months compared with over 10 months for a 2 bedroom condo (most people consider a 6 months supply of inventory to be a balanced market). So, in the case of a 3 bedroom condo, it’s slightly a buyer’s market (but trending towards balanced).

North Center Condos for Sale by Number of Bedrooms

North Center Condos Months Supply of Inventory

P.S. To my friends in “Northcenter” I’m using the larger community area of “North Center” (two words) because that is the area used by the multiple listing service. This larger area also includes Roscoe Village.

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