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Economics of Remodeling Your Condo

Trio 123

28036740It’s hard not to miss the massive construction hole on the corner of Denny Way and Western Ave. The Trio project is a new condominium scheduled to be completed in the Spring of 2007 features exciting work/live lofts and flats halfway between Belltown and Queen Anne. (The same builder also has another project going on in Ballard called Noma.)

How should we think about Trio?  If Lumen is like a BCBG boutique, the Trio would be like a United Benetton – a bit more fun but probably not as high end. To its credit, the Trio does have a lot of color palettes and material combination options for home buyers.

Standard and optional finishes include bamboo flooring, cork flooring, terrazzo tile kitchen counter tops, slab granite, Caesar stone, aluminum /glass and laminate cabinets, ceramic and metal tiles on the kitchen walls, and glass and porcelain tiles in the bathrooms.

From the 5 standard color palettes to 2 different upgraded palettes, home buyers will be pampered with choices to make each unit a perfect fit. I can easily see a home buyer looking at customizing their unit and enjoying the selection process like spending a day shopping and picking out a new outfit.

One thing to note about the Trio is that they will be using metal and hardy plank for the building exterior. We are seeing more of hardy plank being used in condo construction. The product is supposed to have a longer life expectancy than traditional and synthetic stucco (EIFS) (which has a higher chance of trapping moisture in the wood) but probably isn’t as desirable as a concrete exterior.

So for whom is the Trio a good fit?  If you are someone who likes the proximity to Queen Anne and Downtown Seattle and prefer a variety of finishes to create your own palette, Trio may be a good choice. Lastly, looking at Trio’s price range, it doesn’t look like a bargain.

One more thing: In some new construction projects, the grout (mortar for filling gaps) is actually not sealed since it isn’t a requirement for builders. As an example, one of my clients purchased a unit in Avenue One and we had to send it someone in to seal the grout. The few hundred bucks was not a big deal to him. However, you would imagine if you’re purchasing a unit that costs close to $500,000, the unit should come finished; apparently not for Avenue One (The same builder of the Parc). Luckily, in the case of Trio, you don’t have to do that for your kitchen and bathroom : )

-Wendy

UPDATE: Urban Living has some good comments on the Trio as well.

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