You Don’t Have to Be Rich to Live in Vintage Grandeur: 421 W. Melrose in Lakeview

421 w melrose approved

This 1-bedroom in The Eddystone at 421 W. Melrose in Lakeview came on the market in May 2014.

The Eddystone was built in 1929 and as you can guess from the date, that proved problematic.

Designed by Holabird & Root, it was originally supposed to take up most of a city block and encompass over 2,000 apartments around a central courtyard.

However, the stock market crash intervened and portions of the building were abandoned by the developer. The current building was all that was built.

It now has just 77 units on 22 floors.

But the vintage grandeur is still there.

This 1-bedroom unit has the large rooms associated with buildings of this era and includes a full-sized dining room and a 10×10 foyer. The foyer is almost larger than many bedrooms we’ve chattered about in other newer buildings.

While the fireplace is decorative, the unit has extensive crown molding, herringbone floors, barrel vaulted ceilings and arched doorways.

The kitchen has white cabinets with a Subzero refrigerator, stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops.

While it has in-unit washer/dryer there is no central air (it has window units).

Parking is also leased.

The listing says it will escrow $10,000 for a special assessment on the windows over the next 12 months. The listing says it has north, south, east and west exposures.

Originally listed in May for $245,000, it has been reduced to $225,000.

Is Chicago one of the best kept urban secrets in the United States?

Joan Watson at Baird & Warner has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #15B: 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 1250 square feet

  • Sold in February 2002 for $200,000
  • Sold in April 2007 for $220,000
  • Originally listed in May 2014 for $245,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $225,000
  • Assessments of $892 a month (includes heat, water, gas, doorman, cable)
  • Taxes of $3624
  • No central air- window units
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Leased parking
  • Bedroom: 29×12
  • Living room: 27×14
  • Dining room: 17×12
  • Kitchen: 13×10
  • Foyer: 10×10

Looking for Something Unique? A 2/2 at 540 W. Belden in East Lincoln Park

540 w belden

This 2-bedroom at 540 W. Belden in East Lincoln Park just came on the market.

It is a top floor duplex up in a vintage building that was constructed in 1888 and converted into condos in 2007. The building now has 12 units.

It has some unique features including exposed brick and a wood burning fireplace.

The developer tried to keep some of the original architecture including the large picture windows.

It has 10 foot ceilings.

The kitchen has maple cabinets, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances.

One bedroom is on the main level and the master bedroom is on the second level, accessed via a spiral staircase.

It has central air and parking which is $30,000 extra.

However, the developer didn’t put in in-unit laundry in these units. There is coin laundry in the building.

Is in-unit laundry a must-have at this price point?

Megan Tirpak at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #3A: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, duplex, no square footage listed

  • Sold in July 2007 for $435,000
  • Currently listed at $399,000 plus $30,000 for parking
  • Assessments of $349 a month
  • Taxes of $5447
  • Central Air
  • No washer/dryer in the unit- coin laundry in the building
  • Wood burning fireplace
  • Bedroom #1: 18×20 (second level)
  • Bedroom #2: 12×11 (main level)

Buy This Loop 3/2 and Get a Lambo for a Month: 20 N. State

20-n-state-approved

This 3-bedroom at 20 N. State in the Loop recently came on the market.

This building right in the heart of the State Street shopping district was converted into concrete lofts in 2003.

This unit was actually on the market last spring and sold in April 2014.

You can see what it looked like last year here.

It has been renovated and has come back on the market.

The listing says it has been “designed by one of the leading international designers” with a new, large kitchen with white modern cabinets and white appliances and large island.

It looks like there are new wide plank dark wood floors.

The gray concrete ceilings have also been painted white.

Last spring it was listed as a 2-bedroom with 1105 square feet but this time around it is a 3-bedroom with 1350 square feet.

The listing also says it comes with an “elite health club membership” and “4 weeks of brand car of your choice – Rolls Roys, Bentley, Ferarri, Lambo.”

The loft has central air and washer/dryer in the unit but there is no parking with the building.

It sold in April 2014 for $250,000 and has come back on the market at $499,900.

I’ve been told that this building is all cash due to the number of renters in the building.

Would a luxury car for a month persuade you to buy in this building?

Saul Zenkevicius at Goodwill Realty Group has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #410: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1350 square feet

  • I couldn’t find an original sales price from 2003
  • Sold in April 2014 for $250,000
  • Currently listed for $499,900
  • Cash only building due to too many renters
  • Assessments of $811 a month (includes a/c, gas)
  • Taxes of $4709
  • No parking
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 10×14
  • Bedroom #2: 10×12
  • Bedroom #3: 10×12
  • Office: 8×8

Market Conditions: Chicago December Sales Fall 6.8% YOY Even With Lower Mortgage Rates

Lincoln Park Zoo holiday lions 2014

The Illinois Association of Realtors is out with the December data. As expected, sales fell year over year marking the 11th month in 2014 that sales were weaker than 2013.

From the Illinois Association of Realtors:

The city of Chicago saw a 6.8 percent year-over-year home sales decrease in December 2014 with 1,992 sales, down from 2,137 in December 2013. The year-end 2014 home sales totaled 25,414, down 6.7 percent from 27,242 home sales in 2013.

The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in December 2014 was $229,250, up 9.2 percent compared to December 2013 when it was $210,000. The year-end 2014 median price reached $245,000, up 11.4 percent from $220,000 in 2013.

Here is the data going back 10 years:

  • December 2004: 3,719 sales and median price of $267,000
  • December 2005: 2,847 sales and median price of $283,000
  • December 2006: 2,241 sales and median price of $279,000
  • December 2007: 1,629 sales and median price of $287,000
  • December 2008: 1,263 sales and median price of $235,000
  • December 2009: 1,820 sales and median price of $208,000 (34% short/REO sales)
  • December 2010: 1,475 sales and median price of $166,000 (43% short/REO sales)
  • December 2011: 1,536 sales and median price of $156,000 (44% short/REO sales)
  • December 2012: 1806 sales and median price of $185,000 (39.7% short/REO sales- according to Gary Lucido’s data)
  • December 2013: 2137 sales and median price of $210,000
  • December 2014: 1992 sales and median price of $229,250

What was going on in December 2004? Wow. Sales were hot that month.

“Our housing market recovery will continue making strides in 2015. Chicago buyers are willing to navigate tight inventory, motivated by low interest rates that will likely inch upward this year. For Chicago buyers taking advantage of low rates, they are moving quickly and investing strongly in their ideal home,” said Hugh Rider, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and co-president of Realty & Mortgage Co. “The average homeowner is selling in less than two months, and benefiting from higher median prices.”

“This year marks what appears to be a turning point for the Illinois housing market,” said Jim Kinney, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® and vice president for luxury home sales at Baird & Warner in Chicago. “We saw strong and sustained median price gains and sales volumes remained healthy throughout the year. The showing we had in 2014 sets the housing market up nicely for a strong start to 2015.”

The 30-year mortgage rate was sharply lower in 2014 versus 2013. In 2014 it averaged 3.85% down from 4.48% a year ago.

CNBC reported this week that Chicago’s slowing sales was due to low inventory.

Like the rest of the country, much of the slowdown in Chicago is due to a lack of supply of homes for sale. While agents expect to see more listings come on for the spring market, the city is tight across all product types—single-family, town home and condominium.

“With the new inventory, buyers will be moving quickly on it and pushing up prices in multiple offer situations,” said Millie Rosenbloom, a Chicago real estate agent with Baird & Warner, who says she expects to see a lot of new listings this spring.

Are the lower sales, despite near record low mortgage rates, really the result of lower inventory?

Or is something else going on?

Illinois home prices climb 3.7 percent in December; 2014 seen as a stabilizing year [Illinois Association of Realtors, Press Release, January 23, 2015]

Sweet Home Chicago? Maybe not so much. [CNBC, Diana Olick, January 22, 2015]

How High Will Prices Go in West Town? A 2/2 at 930 N. Wood

930 n wood

This 2-bedroom at 930 N. Wood in West Town came on the market in December 2014.

If it looks familiar, that’s because we chattered about it several times when it was a foreclosure in 2011.

See our 2011 chatter about the size, the era in which it was built and its location here.

Built in 2000, it has the finishes from that era including a kitchen with maple cabinets, granite counter tops and black appliances.

It has hardwood floors in the main living areas and a fireplace.

In 2011, the listing said it was 991 square feet. This time around, it says 1100 square feet.

The unit has the features buyers look for, including central air, washer/dryer in the unit and deeded parking – although it’s an outdoor space.

It is just a few blocks from the hot Division street restaurant scene

In 2011, it sold from Fannie Mae for just $7,000 above the 2001 price.

In 2014, it came back on the market for $52,500 above the 2005 sales price putting this unit’s price well above that at the peak of the housing boom.

Is West Town now the hottest neighborhood in Chicago with the largest price appreciation?

Linda Metz at Berkshire Hathaway KoenigRubloff has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #2: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1100 square feet

  • Sold in January 2001 for $229,000
  • Sold in April 2002 for $266,900
  • Sold in April 2005 for $322,500
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in February 2009
  • Was listed in September 2010 for $450,000
  • Bank owned in October 2010
  • Originally listed in February 2011 for $289,900
  • Reduced several times
  • Was listed in June 2011 for $234,900
  • Sold in July 2011 for $236,000
  • Originally listed in December 2014 for $375,000 (including outdoor parking space)
  • Still listed for $375,000
  • Assessments now $116 a month (they were $119 a month in 2011)
  • Taxes are $4833 (they were also $4833 in 2011)
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 12×17
  • Bedroom #2: 10×12

Are the Best Views in the City in West Lincoln Park? 860 W. Blackhawk

860 w blackhawk

This 3-bedroom in Sono at 860 W. Blackhawk in West Lincoln Park came on the market in June 2014.

It is a combined unit with 270 degree wrap around city and lake views from floor to ceiling windows on the 26th floor.

The kitchen has dark modern cabinets with an oversized kitchen island and stainless steel appliances.

It also has a unique wine wall.

The floors are chocolate hickory.

The master bedroom has a 7×17 walk-in closet and there’s a den/office.

It has central air, washer/dryer in the unit and 2-car parking is included.

With a new movie theater and shopping complex soon to open nearby and one of the largest Whole Foods in the country just a short stroll away, are the views just the icing on the cake for this unit?

Jennifer Ames at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #2603: 3 bedrooms, 4 baths, 2860 square feet

  • I couldn’t find a prior sales price as it was combined units but it sold in 2009
  • Originally listed in June 2014 for $1.675 million
  • Reduced in July 2014 to $1.595 million
  • Currently still listed at $1.595 million (2 car parking included)
  • Assessments of $1300 a month (includes air conditioning, water, gas, cable, doorman)
  • Taxes of $16254
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 15×20
  • Bedroom #2: 15×16
  • Bedroom #3: 15×12
  • Den: 15×9
  • Walk-in closet: 7×17

Trying to Sell a 2/2 Three Years Later in Bucktown: 2144 W. Concord Place

2144 w concord

This top floor 2-bedroom at 2144 W. Concord Place in Bucktown recently came on the market.

The 8-unit building is located just minutes away from the Damen blue line stop and all the shops and restaurants of both Bucktown and Wicker Park, including the hot Milwaukee corridor.

The kitchen has dark wood cabinets, stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops.

The master bathroom has heated floors.

There are special features like an iPod station (does anyone care about this anymore? It was hot a few years ago.)

It has both a dining room and a separate den.

The unit has all the features buyers look for including central air, washer/dryer in the unit and an outdoor parking space which is included.

The listing says it has all exposures, north, south, east and west, but I think that’s simply because of the den/sunroom off the front of the unit.

This unit sold 2 1/2 years ago for $395,000.

It has come on the market $35,000 higher.

Will it get the premium?

Elizabeth Striltschuck at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #3: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1450 square feet

  • Sold in May 2007 for $445,000
  • Sold in October 2009 for $433,000
  • Sold in May 2012 for $395,000
  • Currently listed for $430,000
  • Assessments of $248 a month
  • Taxes of $6202
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Deeded parking included
  • Bedroom #1: 13×12
  • Bedroom #2: 13×10
  • Dining room: 13×10
  • Den: 12×9

A Classic Pre-War 3-Bedroom on the Park: 2600 N. Lakeview in Lincoln Park

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This 3-bedroom in The Marlborough at 2600 N. Lakeview in Lincoln Park just came on the market.

It appears to be the first time it has been on the market in 20 years.

The Marlborough is one of the grand dames of Lincoln Park. Built in 1912, many listings often describe it as being “Parisian” in character.

The southeast corner unit has park, lake and city views.

It has the big rooms with crown moldings that are standard in this building.

The unit has a new white kitchen with Viking, Subzero and Bosch appliances along with granite counter tops.

While this is listed as a 3-bedroom, one of the bedrooms has been turned into a laundry room and food pantry.

The other two bedrooms are ensuite with renovated vintage bathrooms.

There’s no central air, only window units. And there’s no parking with the building. Parking is available next door for lease for $240 a month.

With 2200 square feet, is this a single family home replacement for those who want to live on Lincoln Park?

Jenny Ames at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #3F: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2200 square feet

  • Sold in October 1995 for $334,000
  • Currently listed for $739,000
  • Assessments of $1671 a month (includes heat, water, gas, cable)
  • Taxes of $10,192
  • No central air- window units
  • Washer/dryer in the unit
  • No parking- leased parking next door for $240 a month
  • Bedroom #1: 14×18
  • Bedroom #2: 13×17
  • Bedroom #3: 11×9 (now the laundry room)

Selling a 3-Bedroom Six Years Later in Ukrainian Village: 2408 W. Rice

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This 3-bedroom at 2408 W. Rice in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood of West Town recently came on the market.

This 12-unit building is on the corner of Rice and Western Avenue.

It was built in 2008-2009, just as the bust was hitting.

This unit is one of those on the curve, with a circular living room with floor to ceiling windows.

The kitchen has modern cabinets with wood and silver cabinets and stainless steel appliances.

The master bedroom has a spa-like bath.

It has the features buyers look for including central air, washer/dryer in the unit and parking is available for $25,000 extra.

It’s hard to believe that it’s now been 6 years since these units were originally on the market. We used to chatter about this building as being “new.”

With the parking included, this unit is listed for $66,000 more than the 2009 purchase price.

3-bedroom units are the most popular on the market right now.

Will this seller see the premium?

Leigh Marcus at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #201: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1800 square feet

  • Sold in March 2009 for $434,000 (included the parking)
  • Currently listed for $475,000 (plus $25,000 for the parking)
  • Assessments of $239 a month
  • Taxes of $4098
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 15×12
  • Bedroom #2: 12×9
  • Bedroom #3: 11×10

 

Has the South Loop Recovered? A 2/2 in 1720 S. Michigan

1720 s michigan

This 2-bedroom at 1720 S. Michigan in the South Loop came on the market in September 2014.

This is one of the larger 2-bedroom units in the building at 1146 square feet.

It is a corner unit with floor to ceiling windows with north and west views.

The unit has a galley kitchen with stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops.

There are hardwood floors in the living/dining area and carpet in the bedrooms.

This building was built in 2007 at the height of the boom. With 498 units, it became a poster child of the bust with many units going into foreclosure or short sale. We chattered about it many times over the years.

This unit was originally listed for $325,000 in February 2014 and then de-listed in April.

It came back on the market in September at $339,000 and has been on the market ever since.

It last sold in 2008 for $345,000 so it is listed just under the boom-era price.

Have prices in the South Loop finally recovered from the bust?

Kimberly Jones at Baird & Warner has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #918: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1146 square feet

  • Sold in August 2008 for $345,000 (didn’t include parking)
  • Originally listed in February 2014 for $325,000
  • De-listed in April 2014
  • Re-listed in September 2014 for $339,000
  • Currently still listed for $339,000
  • Assessments of $430 a month (includes cable, doorman)
  • Taxes of $4548
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • The listing doesn’t say anything about parking but there is parking in the building
  • Bedroom #1: 16×11
  • Bedroom #2: 13×10