What If You Were Rich? A 6-Bedroom Co-Op at 2450 N. Lakeview in Lincoln Park

2450 n lakeview

This 6-bedroom full floor co-op at 2450 N. Lakeview in Lincoln Park came on the market in January 2015.

Built in 1923 on Lincoln Park, it was designed by Howard Van Doren Shaw, who mostly designed large mansion homes and churches.

This 12-unit mid-rise was one of the few high rise buildings he designed.

With 8,000 square feet, this unit has views facing every direction, including the Park and the Lake.

It has a private elevator which opens to a 43-foot wide gallery.

The house has many of its vintage features still intact, including crown molding and 5 (five!) wood burning fireplaces.

The kitchen has white cabinets, luxury stainless steel appliances, and a large island.

The unit has central air and a 11×10 laundry room.

This is one of the rare older co-ops that actually has its own garage, with 2-car parking included.

It is a full service building with a doorman and other building staff.

It is certainly quite a home in the sky.

Unit #10, one floor above, is also on the market and is listed for $8.95 million.

If you were rich, would you be setting your sights on one of these classic vintage units?

Debra Dobbs at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #9: 6 bedrooms, 6 baths, 8000 square feet, co-op

  • I don’t have a prior sales price because it’s a co-op
  • Listed in January 2015 for $8.7 million
  • Currently still listed at $8.7 million
  • Assessments of $5287 a month (includes gas, doorman, cable, snow/lawn care)
  • Taxes of $68,346
  • Central Air
  • 5 wood burning fireplaces
  • Washer/dryer in the unit
  • 2-car garage parking included
  • Bedroom #1: 17×16
  • Bedroom #2: 17×13
  • Bedroom #3: 12×12
  • Bedroom #4: 14×11
  • Bedroom #5: 17×11
  • Bedroom #6: 12×7
  • Library: 21×16
  • Gallery: 43×12
  • Family room: 15×12
  • Laundry Room: 11×10


How Hot Are the West Loop Lofts? A 1300 Sq Ft 1-Bedroom at 110 N. Peoria


This large 1-bedroom authentic loft at 110 N. Peoria in the West Loop recently came on the market.

If it looks familiar that’s because it was on the market, and sold, just last year.

Before that, in 2007 and 2008, we chattered about it on this site.

You can see the 2007 chatter with interior pictures here. (That’s when I first began running this site. For fun, check out the “old” tvs in those interior pics.)

This loft has 10-foot concrete ceilings, exposed brick, and a unique, exposed old elevator shaft that was a game room space in the 2008 pictures but I’ve also seen used as a dining room.

Here, they apparently are using it as an office.

The listing says it has a “brand new” kitchen and bath.

The kitchen has white cabinets, quartz counter tops and stainless steel appliances. (The 2014 listing also had stainless appliances.)

There is no picture of the bathroom in the new listing.

It has the other features buyers look for including central air, heated garage parking and rare side-by-side washer/dryer.

The loft has come on the market for $20,000 more than the July 2014 purchase price.

It is also listed $43,500 more than the 2008 purchase price (which was before the Lehman collapse.)

With inventory non-existent in the West Loop, will it get the premium over both the 2014 and 2008 price?

Stefanie Lavelle at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #206: 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 1300 square feet

  • Sold in October 1993 for $157,000
  • Sold in May 2000 for $252,500
  • Sold in July 2008 for $321,500
  • Sold in July 2014 for $345,000
  • Currently listed for $365,000 (parking included)
  • Assessments of $357 a month (includes cable)
  • Taxes of $5097
  • Central Air
  • Washer/dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom: 10×13
  • Office: 7×12




Chicago Market Conditions: March Sales Rise 13% YOY While Inventory Drops

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As Gary already reported, sales jumped year over year in March as the spring buying season got underway.

From the Illinois Association of Realtors:

The city of Chicago saw sales of 2,118 homes in March 2015, up 13.0 percent from last year when 1,875 homes were sold. The median price of a home in Chicago was $263,079, up 11.9 percent over March 2014 when median price was $235,000.

Historic data courtesy of G:

City of Chicago condo/TH/SFH closed totals March
year/closed/median/% REO-Short Sales
Year Closed Median %REO/SS
1997 1,226 $126,875
1998 1,540 $137,003
1999 1,766 $152,125
2000 1,793 $167,500
2001 1,800 $195,000
2002 2,112 $210,000
2003 2,261 $225,000
2004 2,772 $244,950
2005 2,822 $271,125
2006 3,000 $275,862
2007 2,399 $285,000
2008 2,098 $300,000
2009 1,219 $217,000 37%
2010 1,860 $207,750 38%
2011 1,481 $163,763 49%
2012 1,630 $170,500 44%
2013 1,894 $187,500
2014 1,875 $235,000
2015 2,118 $263,079

“Chicago’s spring market is showing bounce with back-to-back months of sales increases signaling strengthening demand,” said Hugh Rider, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and co-president of Realty & Mortgage Co. “Even with fewer homes on the market, we’re seeing determined buyers finding their ideal home. This increased demand is moving median sales prices higher, offering homeowners an incentive.”

Speaking of inventory, Crain’s is reporting that single family home inventory in Chicago is at 8 year lows. Condos/townhouses are also low, but not quite at record lows.

The sellers of a newly listed Logan Square house must have felt like the belle of the ball yesterday, with suitors swooping in almost immediately after it hit the market two days before. At least a dozen potential buyers made appointments to tour the three-bedroom house between 9 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.

By 9:40 yesterday morning, the listing agent, Nigel Gillett of Century 21 S.G.R.’s West Loop office, already had one offer in hand and expected to receive more for the Talman Avenue home, which is listed for $685,000.

“It’s a crazy thing,” Gillett said. “Crazy.”

The swarm of potential buyers is a symptom of the city’s super-tight inventory. The supply of houses on the market is smaller than it’s been for at least eight years.

There were 3,795 city houses for sale the week of April 11, according to data from the Chicago Association of Realtors. That’s about 250 fewer than were available at the same time last year and the smallest number of houses for sale since at least January 2007, the earliest date that CAR reports. During 2007 and 2008, the inventory of houses for sale in the city came close to hitting 10,000.

What’s the reason for the low inventory even as prices have rebounded- with some being at or above peak?

“The numbers may not be working for them yet,” said Janet Joseph, a Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff Realty Group agent in the company’s Lincoln Park office.

As many as one-quarter of all Chicago-area homeowners with mortgages owe more than the home is worth, and another 17 percent are “effectively under water,” meaning the proceeds from a sale of their home won’t cover the costs of moving to a new one, according to RealtyTrac.

As a result, “they may have to wait it out another year or a few years,” Joseph said.

Is this the best market Chicago has seen since the peak of the bubble?

P.S. Don’t you just love it that Dennis Rodkin has “unretired” and is back in Chicago writing about real estate? We missed you Dennis!

Illinois home sales, median prices post double-digit gains in March [Illinois Association of Realtors, Press Release, Apr 22, 2015]

Can’t find a Chicago home to buy? Join the club [Crain’s Chicago Business, Dennis Rodkin, April 21, 2015]

Is There Still an Old Town Premium? A 3-Bedroom SFH at 1836 N. Lincoln Park West

1836 n lincoln park west

This vintage 3-bedroom single family home at 1836 N. Lincoln Park West in Old Town recently came on the market.

We last chattered about it two years ago, when it came on the market after a renovation.

See our 2013 chatter here.

If you recall, it has an old pedigree. It was built in 1876 for Charles Wacker on a smaller than average Chicago lot of 28×110.

Many of its vintage features remain including the original moldings, shutters, staircase and Tiffany stained glass windows.

In 2008, it was sold “as-is” as a 4-bedroom home with 1.5 baths.

In 2013, it came back on the market “restored to perfection” as a 3-bedroom with 2.5 baths, including a master bathroom that looked to have been made out of a prior bedroom.  (For some reason, the current listing just says 2 baths.)

In 2013, it was also advertised as having expansion possibilities with room for 5 bedrooms, perhaps in the partially finished basement.

In this listing there is a 26×19 storage room in the basement.

The kitchen has modern brown cabinets with stainless steel appliances and some kind of grey countertops (concrete or stone?).

The house has central air and a rare, at least for Old Town, feature of a 1-car garage.

In 2013, this house came on the market at $1.729 million and some of you complained about an “Old Town bubble.”

It took a couple of months to sell and closed at $1.522 million.

The house has come back on the market for $168,000 more than the 2013 sale at $1.69 million.

Does Old Town still command a premium?

Ken Jungwirth at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

1836 N. Lincoln Park West: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, no square footage listed, 1 car garage

  • Sold in July 2008 “as-is” for $950,000
  • Was listed in July 2013 at $1.729 million
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in September 2013 at $1.599 million
  • Sold in November 2013 for $1.522 million
  • Re-listed in April 2015 for $1.69 million
  • Taxes now $14463 (they were $15333 in September 2013)
  • Central Air
  • Gas fireplace
  • Bedroom #1: 17×13 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 13×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 14×9 (second floor)
  • Family room: 17×16 (lower level)

Chicago Sizzle: Multiple Offers For Houses Outside of the GreenZone This Spring

3338 n rutherford

Sales have picked up all around Chicagoland this spring, and not just in the GreenZone.

Finally, the sizzle is hitting ALL markets.

As the Chicago Tribune reports:

The story of a handsome brick bungalow with a touch of green trim in Elmwood Park may not be the norm. But neither is it the exception in a local housing market that is putting up some strong numbers in some surprising corners.

The updated two-bedroom home was listed a little on the high side, for $199,000, but Terrance Matthews, an agent with Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell, hoped it nonetheless would attract some interest. He and the seller were not disappointed, despite the fact that Elmwood Park was among the many communities hit by foreclosures.

“We had 31 showings in four days,” Matthews said. “Two (offers) were $20,000 over asking price, two were $15,000 over, one was at asking price and one was about $8,000 below.”

The home went under contract in less than a week, and the sale closed in early March, for $220,000.

The “hot” areas are not necessarily where you might think.

The hot areas are scattered throughout the Chicago area, according to data from the Chicago Association of Realtors. Within Chicago, they include neighborhoods like Albany Park, the Near West Side, West Lawn, Ashburn and Dunning. In addition to Elmwood Park, suburban communities seeing new strength include Libertyville, Prospect Heights, Tinley Park and Lockport.

As we’ve chattered about, however, buyers want “new” so the property either should be new construction or renovated. Renovated and/or rehabbed properties with new kitchen and baths are selling almost instantly. If you have older finishes and haven’t bothered to upgrade anything in 10 to 15 years, it will be more challenging.

In Libertyville, an end-unit townhouse with hardwood floors went under contract in 10 days and sold for $380,000, 96 percent of its list price. “Anything under half a million is selling really fast, almost instantly,” said Doug Anderson, an agent at Blue Fence Real Estate.

In Chicago, Pat Cardoni, an agent with Insider Show Homes, works with a rehabber that targets neighborhoods it sees as on the upswing, such as West Lawn and Dunning. After a complete renovation, a West Lawn bungalow went on the market in mid-December at $239,900. It sold in late February for $239,000.

With mortgage rates near historic lows, unemployment around 5.5%, and the stock market at record highs, could there be a better time to be buying/selling a home?

Why isn’t more inventory coming on the market?

What are Chicago’s hottest neighborhoods? [Chicago Tribune, Mary Ellen Podmolik, April 17, 2015]

The Old Loftminium World: A 2/2 Loft at 1020 S. Wabash in the South Loop


This 2-bedroom concrete loft in the Eleventh Street Lofts at 1020 S. Wabash in the South Loop came on the market in March 2015.

This building was one of 6 or 7 buildings that made up Invesco’s Loftminium World conversion of a bunch of factory loft buildings it bought from a prominent West Loop landlord who decided to cash in his buildings in the loft conversion craze of the late 1990s.

1020 S.  Wabash was the only building in the group located in the South Loop. All of the other buildings were in the West Loop, scattered near Oprah’s old Harpo Studios.

The layouts were kept the same as they were when they were apartments.

Buyers could purchase the units “as-is” which had the standard white cabinet and white appliance kitchens and the baths were white with black and white tile. (You can still see these original bathrooms in many of the units actually.)

Or, they could purchase the standard upgrade package. But the kitchen and baths in the “upgrade” were the same in each unit. You didn’t get to choose finishes.

This 2-bedroom loft in 1020 S. Wabash has the upgraded kitchen which was stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops and maple cabinets. If you look at the pictures for the unit #4A that is available just above this unit, it also has the standard upgraded kitchen.

The bathrooms in this unit have also been upgraded from the “as-is” original bathrooms with the neutral tile.

It has 14 foot concrete ceilings and exposed brick. Both bedrooms appear to have windows.

The corner unit faces North and West.

Yes, that’s the El that is running directly next to the building.

This loft has the features buyers look for including central air, heated garage parking which is included and a rare side-by-side washer/dryer.

In 2012, it was in distress.

In 2015, it is listed for more than the 2007 peak bubble price.

Will it get the premium?

Scott Fey has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #3A: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1400 square feet

  • Sold in April 2002 for $240,500
  • Sold in June 2007 for $318,000
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in January 2012
  • Sold in September 2012 for $175,000
  • Originally listed in March 2015 for $339,000 (includes the parking)
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $327,500 (includes the parking)
  • Assessments of $346 a month (includes water, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $3086
  • Central Air
  • Washer/dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 17×10
  • Bedroom #2: 13×11

The Grown-Up Loft: A 2-Bedroom at 758 N. Larrabee in River North

758 n larrabee approved

This 2-bedroom concrete loft in One River Place at 758 N. Larrabee in River North just came on the market.

This is the old Montgomery Ward building which was converted into lofts in 2001-2002.

The listing says it has had a “renovation.”

It has a new gourmet kitchen with custom cabinets, a double oven, a 5-burner cook top and a wine fridge along with stainless steel appliances.

There’s new granite around the fireplace.

The master bath appears to have been renovated as well.

The corner unit has 15-foot ceilings and windows that stretch across the length of the unit with south and west views of the Chicago River.

It has the other features that buyers look for including central air, washer/dryer in the unit and parking is available for $30,000 extra.

At 1800 square feet, it is larger than your average “starter” 2-bedroom loft.

Is this the kind of loft you buy to return to the city after selling that house in the suburbs?

Melissa Siegal at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #301: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1800 square feet

  • Sold in May 2002 for $622,000
  • Sold in August 2012 for $520,000 (included the parking)
  • Currently listed for $750,000 (parking $30,000 extra)
  • Assessments of $954 a month (includes cable, doorman, internet, exercise room)
  • Taxes of $9132
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 16×14
  • Bedroom #2: 15×11

Commercial Space Below? Beware: A 1-Bedroom at 2660 N. Halsted in Lincoln Park

2660 n halsted

This 1-bedroom duplex at 2660 N. Halsted in Lincoln Park came on the market in November 2014.

It is bank owned and being sold “as-is.”

The unit has exposed brick and timber ceilings with a lofty second floor bedroom open to the first floor.

From the pictures, it looks like the kitchen is intact with maple cabinets, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances.

The listing doesn’t say anything about an in-unit washer/dryer, but it does have a parking space and wall air conditioning units.

Originally listed in November 2014 for $183,750, it has been pending 3 times but has come back on the market every time.

It was recently reduced to $156,655.

What’s the problem?

The listing says:

“non-conforming loans only due to 44% of the building is commercial space and low reserves.”

The building has 6 units and it appears, from the pictures, that three of them are the commercial space on the first floor.

We chattered several years ago about the change in lending requirements in buildings with commercial space.

But I’ve heard from a lot of agents that as of January 1, the rule was tightened. Mortgage brokers used to be able to find a way around it but now, the new rule is thwarting that.

It apparently impacts buildings with more than 25% commercial space.

The tightening of the rule is impacting properties all over the city, even in River North and Streeterville if your building is above one of the big retail malls.

What does the rule change mean?

1. Cash buyers only; or

2. 20% down and a non-conventional loan- meaning a 5/1 or 7/1 ARM. May have to pay a higher mortgage rate because it can’t be sold to Fannie or Freddie.

Would you stay away from a property that had a large commercial component because of this rule?

Sarah Han at Century 21 S.G.R has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #5: 1 bedroom, 1 bath, duplex, no square footage listed

  • Sold in September 2005 for $250,000
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in August 2011
  • Bank owned in November 2013
  • Originally listed “as-is” in November 2014 for $183,750
  • Pending 3 times
  • Was listed at $164,900
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $156,655 (includes parking)
  • Assessments of $250 a month
  • Taxes of $2181
  • Wall unit cooling
  • Washer/dryer ???
  • Bedroom: 12×12 (second floor)


The Townhouse at 820 N. Dearborn is Back- For $180,000 More in the Gold Coast

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This 3-bedroom townhouse at 820 N. Dearborn in the Gold Coast just came on the market.

If it looks familiar to some of you (and it should), that’s because we chattered about it many times during the bust.

You can see our August 2012 chatter here.

Back in 2012 it was a 2-bedroom but it’s come back on the market as a 3-bedroom.

The top floor “family room” now apparently has a closet and is now the master bedroom.

The other two bedrooms are on the second floor.

The kitchen now has white cabinets whereas before they were a dark wood.

This townhouse complex has 4 units. There is 1 indoor parking space and a second space on the parking pad.

The listing says the laundry room has been remodeled.

This townhouse was bank owned in 2009 but finally sold for $480,000 in October 2012.

It has come on the market for $195,000 more at $675,000.

Will they get the premium just 3 years later?

Unit #B: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 1800 square feet, 1 car parking plus second space in parking pad

  • Sold in January 1996 for $230,000
  • Sold in June 2005 for $477,500
  • Sold in May 2007 for $750,000
  • Lis pendens in April 2008
  • Bank owned as of May 2009
  • Originally listed in June 2009 for $589,900
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in July 2009 for $539,900
  • Sold in November 2009 for $415,000
  • Originally listed in June 2010 for $550,000
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in March 2011 for $530,000
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in August 2011 for $499,900
  • Withdrawn
  • On the rental market in August 2011 for $3700 a month
  • Has come back on the market in August 2012 at $500,000
  • (Looks like it was also listed on Craigslist in July 2012  for $4000 a month)
  • Sold in October 2012 for $480,000
  • Currently listed for $675,000
  • Assessments now $186 a month (they were $146 a month in 2012)
  • Taxes are now $9599 (they were $7932 in 2012 and $10,291 in March 2011)
  • Central Air
  • Skylights
  • Bedroom #1: 16×13 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 12×11 (second floor)
  • Kitchen: 8×9
  • Family room- now a third bedroom: 16×13 (third floor)

An Investor’s Dream? A Carriage House AND a Parking Lot: 2531 W. Augusta in West Town

I don’t have a picture for this 1-bedroom carriage house at 2531 W. Augusta in West Town but it’s so intriguing I felt we needed to chatter about it right away.

Built in 1911, the carriage house is on a standard 25×125 lot.

At 1160 square feet, it has some interesting features including exposed brick and beams.

According to the listing, there’s also an enclosed garden, a roof deck and a 1-car garage.

But you’ll have to take the listing’s word for it because there are no pictures of the interior of the property (and the listing is the same listing from when the property was first listed in 2008.)

There are, however, plenty of pictures of the outside of the property, including several of the street in front of the property.

And are those pictures of the back of the carriage house and the alley?

Yes, it is now a Fannie Mae Homepath property.

The bank took it in December 2013.

But the most intriguing part of this property is the “Attached income producing parking lot.”

There are pictures of that too.

The listing doesn’t say how many spots there are (we could guess though- looks like quite a few).

It also doesn’t say how much “income” is being produced.

But I have a few questions about the lot.

Who is parking there right now while the bank owns it? And who is collecting the money from those parkers?

If anyone goes to look at this (if they can get in- because clearly the photographer could not) PLEASE report back here and let us know what it looks like on the inside.

The old listing says it has central air and a washer/dryer in the house.

Could this be an investor’s dream in an up and coming neighborhood?

Richard Wolnik at Riklin Realty has the listing. See the exterior pictures here.

2531 W. Augusta: 1 bedroom, 1.5 baths, 1160 square feet

  • Sold in May 1996 for $110,000
  • Sold in July 1998 for $163,000
  • Sold in June 2000 for $167,500
  • Sold in March 2006 for $245,000
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in April 2012
  • Bank owned in December 2013
  • Fannie Mae Homepath property
  • Currently listed at $344,900
  • Taxes of $4219
  • Central Air
  • Washer/dryer hook-ups
  • Income producing attached parking lot