Get a 3-Flat for $51,000 Under the 2005 Price: 1929 W. Berteau in North Center

Mar 10 • Multi-unit, North Center • 138 Views • 68 Comments

This 3-flat at 1929 W. Berteau in North Center came on the market in early February 2011.

1929-w-berteau-approved.jpg

It is currently listed for $51,000 under the 2005 purchase price.

Built in 1893 on a standard 25×125 lot, the listing indicates the 3-flat has been used as an owners unit plus a basement rental and that there are only 2 kitchens in the property.

Here are the actual configurations of the units:

  • Unit #1: 1 bedroom, 1 bath- rents for $500
  • Unit #2: 1 bedroom, 1 bath- rents for $1100
  • Unit #3: 2 bedrooms, 1 bath- rents for $1100

There is no central air and only a single heating system.

The 3-flat has some of its vintage features intact with woodwork, wood doors and what looks to be some original hardwood floors.

Does this property make sense for an investor?

Or perhaps a conversion into a single family home?

Ellen Webber at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

1929 W. Berteau: 3-flat, 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2 car garage

  • Sold in September 1994 for $171,500
  • Sold in December 1997 for $270,000
  • Sold in April 2005 for $550,000
  • Originally listed in February 2011 for $499,000
  • Currently still listed for $499,000
  • Taxes of $7238
  • No central air

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68 Responses to Get a 3-Flat for $51,000 Under the 2005 Price: 1929 W. Berteau in North Center

  1. a local says:

    Two words: tear down.

  2. dahliachi says:

    Is this really a three flat? This looks like it was built as a single family.

  3. Icarus says:

    it was built in 1893 – the rules for 3 flats were a bit different than they are today.

    “Is this really a three flat? This looks like it was built as a single family.”

  4. logansquarean says:

    I don’t understand; how are there 2 kitchens, but they’re calling it a 3 flat? Why didn’t they just say, “deconverted, duplexed up” or something, or just call it what it is now; a TWO FLAT? Frankly, I’d bet really good money that the basement “unit” is NOT original to this house, no matter what the assessor says.

    I can’t see how they list “rents” for 3 units when there are only 2. ONE single heating plant for the entire building? No. Just No. Not a 3 flat. Not worth $499k. Nope.

  5. dahliachi says:

    Yeah but I doubt that it was built for three families. It looks like a single family house that was reconfigured at some point.

  6. Groove77 says:

    you guys smell that?

  7. Jennifer says:

    From the listing it appears that the basement unit has one of the kitchens, and the two upstairs ‘units’ are essentially a SFH, with just the one kitchen (it says other kitchen can be reinstalled). At this price you’d probably be better off keeping it as that and living in it than trying to rent it out as the 3 units.

  8. Sabrina says:

    “Two words: tear down.”

    At that price?

    There have been houses on the standard lot in the Blaine School District marketed as teardowns that were listed for $450,000 and never sold. (at least not yet.)

    Seems that lots for $500k have gone away in this neighborhood.

  9. TftInChi says:

    Jennifer nailed it. There is a tiny, 500 sq ft max, apartment in the basement, roughly the front third of the house. The rest of the basement is unfinished. On the plus side (I guess?), there is a tenant that probably would stay forever.

    The house is a mess overall. Terrible bathrooms with raised floors for pipes. Tiny bedrooms, weird layout, tiny kitchen. Floors are in terrible shape and there is a lot of bad carpeting. Siding doesn’t look to be in great shape. This is a gut+addition/dormers or a teardown.

  10. Groove77 says:

    Bri Bri,

    look in the bell district for the 500k tear downs, dont see why the spillover affect couldt happen in the coonley district?

  11. homedelete says:

    Looks like a screaming deal. It sold for $270,000 in 1997 and doubled in price by 2005. Even now it’s listed only slightly below the peak bubble price. I think, quite frankly, the buyer, whomever he/she is, is lucky and fortunate that the seller isn’t asking ABOVE the 2005 price, like so many others do. Here’s to selling quickly at ‘below market’ prices!

  12. Sabrina says:

    “look in the bell district for the 500k tear downs, dont see why the spillover affect couldt happen in the coonley district?”

    This is happening NOW? I haven’t seen many. Again- in Blaine, there are several that have been for sale for under $500k over the last several years. None have sold as teardowns. And no, they aren’t right by the El line.

    In Coonley- there have been foreclosures selling for $200k. So if you want a teardown, you’d just buy one of those.

    They’re trying to sell this house as a teardown in Blaine.

    http://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/3641-N-Marshfield-Ave-60613/home/13387441

  13. homedelete says:

    I love the listing history on 3641 N Marshfield

    Date Event Price Appreciation Source
    Mar 08, 2011 Listed (New) $535,000 – MRED #07748684
    Mar 02, 2011 Delisted * – Inactive ForSaleByOwner.com #1
    Feb 16, 2011 Listed (Active) * – Inactive ForSaleByOwner.com #1
    Jun 04, 2010 Sold (Public Records) $488,000 -6.3%/yr Public Records
    Jun 01, 2010 Sold (MLS) (Closed Sale) $488,000 – Inactive MRED #07444611
    May 18, 2010 Pending – – Inactive MRED #07444611
    Feb 16, 2010 Listed (New) $539,000 – Inactive MRED #07444611
    Nov 24, 2009 Sold (Public Records) $505,000 – Public Records
    Nov 18, 2009 Sold (MLS) (Closed Sale) $505,000 – Inactive MRED #07285345
    Nov 01, 2009 Pending – – Inactive MRED #07285345
    Jul 29, 2009 Listed (New) $549,000 – Inactive MRED #07285345

  14. homedelete says:

    It’s a game of flippers/developers playing hot potato and each time and buyer gets burned.

  15. skeptic says:

    call me crazy, but doesn’t the property need to have a separate entrance & exit for each of those units? this looks like a building inspector’s wet dream or nightmare; depending if they are looking for a bribe or not.

  16. JMM says:

    3641 Marshfield is not in a desireable part of Blaine. Across Ashland is not really part of the neighborhood, unfortunately.

    In other news, here is the latest foreclosure / short sale SFH comp in Burley. Add 10-20% and I’d say that is about right for a newer regular-way SFH. Makes sense if lot values are around 375-400k + 150 sq ft construction put in place.

    http://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/1528-W-Wolfram-St-60657/home/13363946

  17. Groove77 says:

    “This is happening NOW? I haven’t seen many. Again- in Blaine, there are several that have been for sale for under $500k over the last several years. None have sold as teardowns. And no, they aren’t right by the El line.”

    Bri Bri,

    whe i get a chance i will get you the address of the place in bell, and i heard a rumor of another. dont quote me on the 500k price yet i am just taking it off the top of the dome.

  18. Chris M says:

    Skeptic – surprisingly, Chicago building code does not require a unit to have two means of egress if the unit is 800 square feet or less. This doesn’t include bathrooms or closets, so the actual size of the unit could be larger. I learned this from a Trulia comment posted by the home inspector that I use and recommend: http://www.trulia.com/voices/General_Area/What_is_the_difference_between_a_legal_and_illegal-48722

  19. TftInChi says:

    skeptic: the units in this building have plenty of entrances/exits. The basement unit has a “back door” the opens into the unfinished basement space, which has a door leading to the outside, plus a “front door” that let’s out under the front porch of the house. The “middle unit” and “top unit” have doors out the front out the back onto a porch. Realistically, there is one above ground unit, though, the doors, as installed, indicate that the owners can’t decide whether they want it to be one or two units. Super-awkward and way too many exterior doors.

  20. Jon says:

    Anyone want to explain/guess what happened here? Listed at $119 not long ago — I tried to go look at it but the realtor was a no show. Went under contract quickly. Doesn’t list a closing (just pending) and back on the market at $319…

    http://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/2341-W-Altgeld-St-60647/home/12585067

  21. trudi says:

    The marshfield property is sold with plans and I had heard that when the ‘developers’ realized how much it would be to complete those, they balked and hence it is up for sale again. They plus for this place is that it is on a wide lot.

    as for not being as desirable of a neighborhood, I find that west of ashland to be much better, zoning is different so you are not next to those 4 story condo monsters, this neighborhood is mostly SFHs.

  22. anon (tfo) says:

    ““look in the bell district for the 500k tear downs, dont see why the spillover affect couldt happen in the coonley district?”

    This is happening NOW? I haven’t seen many.”

    3905 Oakley. $436k. Mar-10.
    3828 Bell. $515k. Jan-11.
    3809 Oakley. $600k. Jun-10.
    3750 Damen (vacant). $595. Dec-10.
    Lot next to the G&L. Nothing recorded, but another teardown.

    Probably forgetting some.

  23. dahliachi says:

    Jon,
    I thought I had an answer for you, but that is the weirdest thing I have ever seen. It is listed at two prices with two different realtors.

  24. roma says:

    Jon

    I dunno, but why is the $119 under contract one listed as “#1″ even though it’s the same PIN, sq ft, etc?

  25. Groove77 says:

    thank you anon!

    see bri bri, i knew my brain was telling me something

  26. dahliachi says:

    My original answer would have been that sometimes in shortsales the sellers are playing their own cat and mouse games with the bank and need to present an actual offer to get things moving. The bank rejects the freakishly low offer but the sellers have begun the negotiation and are able to list at a more realistic price.

    Case in point: a two bedroom condo in Ravenswood came on the market for 85k. It went under contract instantly, fell out of contract and has been relisted at 189k falling to 179k.

    Sometimes a deal that looks too good to be true is…….

  27. JMM says:

    “as for not being as desirable of a neighborhood, I find that west of ashland to be much better, zoning is different so you are not next to those 4 story condo monsters, this neighborhood is mostly SFHs.”

    RT-3.5 is max 35 feet so I fail to see how 4 story is possible — sure maybe a duplex down plus 2 other units, or a garden which no one builds anymore, but the building itself could not be 4 stories tall.

    Sure condos are buildable in RT-3.5. The tradeoff is a higher FAR for the SFHs and the ability to have a 3rd floor for a SFH, which is pretty attractive.

    RS-3 has dumpy two flats as well, which can tend to resemble frat and/or crack houses. I’d much rather have a new build condo given the resident profile.

  28. Jon says:

    Just FYI (on Altgeld), I was told that it was a foreclosure and that the $119 had been approved by the bank. Of course, the agent was a no-show when I went to look at the place so who knows.

  29. Icarus says:

    “It is listed at two prices with two different realtors.”

    I heard a rumor that people are listing properties with more than one agent — i thought that wasn’t possible — and negotiating the rate, terms etc.

  30. clio says:

    “I heard a rumor that people are listing properties with more than one agent — i thought that wasn’t possible — and negotiating the rate, terms etc.”

    this is nothing new – especially with high end real estate. It hasn’t caught on so much in chicago – but in L.A., NY, Malibu, S.F., and Boston – it is not uncommon.

  31. dahliachi says:

    Jon, that kills my short sale theory.

    Potentially this property actually sold for the low price a day or two ago and has not been recorded as sold and the flipper is wasting no time…

  32. dahliachi says:

    Also -did you see that an Altgeld neighbor ( very nicely rehabbed) is on the market for the upper 400′s?

  33. Jon says:

    “Also -did you see that an Altgeld neighbor ( very nicely rehabbed) is on the market for the upper 400’s?”

    I did see that – I bet they saw the listing for this place (at $119) and thought, aw f#*K! – we gotsta move!

  34. anon (tfo) says:

    “I did see that – I bet they saw the listing for this place (at $119) and thought, aw f#*K! – we gotsta move!”

    Nah, they first listed after almost exactly 2 years of living there–probably like Young’s speculation about future Young in another thread, realized they didn’t really like the hood and wanted to live in RN or LP. Or real B’town.

  35. Bob says:

    It’s 2005 and I have a HUUUUGE amount of financing available. I know! I’ll buy this…thing…for $550k!!

    Haha just because the 2005 purchaser (or their banker) was stupid enough to pay 550k for this does not mean it’s currently worth 500k. Not even close.

    This is going back to the bank.

  36. skeptic says:

    thanks Chris & TftInChi, much obliged.

    We had bought our house for use as an SFH which had “inlaw” apartments & is assessed as a multi-unit. We are using the entire house and are just trying to figure out if there’s any point (and what is involved in) formally “deconverting”.

    People I’ve talked to said not to bother, and that’s SFHs being used as multi-units illegally that’s a problem. But you never know!

  37. anon (tfo) says:

    “We are using the entire house and are just trying to figure out if there’s any point (and what is involved in) formally “deconverting”.”

    If you deconvert in a fashion that the city/county notice, there are 2 things: (1) your taxes will go up and (2) you may not be able to convert back.

  38. CK says:

    “(1) your taxes will go up ”

    Really?! Do SFH’s have higher taxes than legal 2-flats in general? I am eagerly awaiting an answer, as tears roll down my face onto my tax bill.

  39. RT says:

    3905 Oakley. $436k. Mar-10.
    3828 Bell. $515k. Jan-11.
    3809 Oakley. $600k. Jun-10.
    3750 Damen (vacant). $595. Dec-10.
    Lot next to the G&L. Nothing recorded, but another teardown.

    Is this for real? Tear down prices in Coonley? If so, I don’t feel so bad about the 2-flat deconversion we overpaid for.

  40. Sonies says:

    “I am eagerly awaiting an answer, as tears roll down my face onto my tax bill.”

    You should have paid your taxes by now, deadbeat!

  41. K says:

    Sonies — see 35 ILCS 200/21-25 (or, specifically, public act 096-1297):
    http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=096-1297

    First payment for 2010 property taxes are due on April 1, 2011. Interest-free loans from a bankrupt state…

  42. anon (tfo) says:

    “Really?! Do SFH’s have higher taxes than legal 2-flats in general?”

    In my neighborhood, the SFHs all have higher assessed values than similarly sized and updated 2-flats.

  43. anon (tfo) says:

    “Is this for real? Tear down prices in Coonley? If so, I don’t feel so bad about the 2-flat deconversion we overpaid for.”

    They’re all forreals. They are all also in Bell, not Coonley, and except the Damen one, on 30′, or for 3905 Oakley 35′, lots.

  44. Sonies says:

    oh my bad I thought the due date was March 1st

  45. Groove77 says:

    “In my neighborhood, the SFHs all have higher assessed values than similarly sized and updated 2-flats.”

    do you think its because the 2 flats havent been traded recently therefor properly assessed?

  46. anon (tfo) says:

    “do you think its because the 2 flats havent been traded recently therefor properly assessed?”

    That’s some of it, I’m sure, and the other is that generally speaking, again, the SFHs of the same SF and age category tend to be large, reno’d and very expensive, so you’re in a different comp category.

    The (likely) relevant assessment categories are:

    2-6 apartments
    2 or more story residence, over 62 years old, up to 2200 sf
    2 or more story residence, over 62 years old, 2201-4999 sf
    2 or more story residence, any age, 5000+ sf

    So, there’s the (potential) problem.

  47. Groove77 says:

    “The (likely) relevant assessment categories are:

    2-6 apartments
    2 or more story residence, over 62 years old, up to 2200 sf
    2 or more story residence, over 62 years old, 2201-4999 sf
    2 or more story residence, any age, 5000+ sf

    So, there’s the (potential) problem”

    never knew the clasifications, thats why i love crib chatter you learn something new everyday.

    i guess the goal would to be rehab a old home to *2177sf

    *less 27sf for the MG factor

  48. Lunker says:

    1 Bed 1 Bath in a slummy building in North Center for $1100

    I don’t think so!

  49. Milkster says:

    *less 27sf for the MG factor

    Mario Greco factor???

  50. ChiTownGal says:

    Isn’t this located closer to Hamilton grade school? Of course it’s also a hop-and-skip to St. Andrew’s.

  51. anon (tfo) says:

    “Isn’t this located closer to Hamilton grade school? Of course it’s also a hop-and-skip to St. Andrew’s.”

    Berteau is 4200N; you’re mixing up the street.

  52. ChiTownGal says:

    I’m referring to the Marshfield, not the Berteau, building.

  53. anon (tfo) says:

    “I’m referring to the Marshfield, not the Berteau, building.”

    No way to know that.

  54. Groove77 says:

    “Mario Greco factor???”

    Oh milky you know me so well :)

  55. anon (tfo) says:

    Another Bell teardown-in-waiting: 3846 Oakley for $490k. Mangan sign on the front door.

  56. Groove77 says:

    “Another Bell teardown-in-waiting: 3846 Oakley for $490k. Mangan sign on the front door.”

    have they gotten so efficient that @490k, the cost tearing down and building new will yeild them a good margin if sale price is 1.3-1.7mil?

  57. anon (tfo) says:

    “have they gotten so efficient that @490k, the cost tearing down and building new will yeild them a good margin if sale price is 1.3-1.7mil?”

    Apparently. And it’s totally on spec. The sign sez “30′ Lot Available”.

    The one up the street on the 35′ lot, for $436k, was listed at $1.675, and with the wider lot, is H.U.G.E.

  58. Groove77 says:

    dang i got into the wrong field, where is that f’ing guidance counselor so i can kick him in his jewels

    3846 oakley is def a teardown and 35′ lot is listed at 1.675, wow, arent there gut rehabs 2 flat conv going for 1.1-1.3? 300k more gets you a brand new everything.

    i would still go for the gut conversion but thats imaginary high paying career groove :)

  59. anon (tfo) says:

    “35? lot is listed at 1.675, wow, arent there gut rehabs 2 flat conv going for 1.1-1.3? 300k more gets you a brand new everything.”

    Most of the conversions are under 1.2, and most under 1.1. The Mangan family house on Leavitt (a 2-flat conversion) is listed over 1.3 and isn’t moving, so that’s the delta–more like $500k, than $300k, and 40% more is nothing to joke about.

    Of course, with 3905, it house is about 40% bigger, too. It’s a monster and if your in the ‘hood, drive by. But check out streetview to see what was there–3846 is a high end manse in comparison.

    The surprising one is 3828 Bell, which was a neighborhood standard brick two flat. But, of course, gut reno cost are about the same as full new construction, and then you get a modern foundation and a little bigger footprint and a bit higher roof (ie, higher ceilings on all three floors).

  60. Groove77 says:

    “more like $500k, than $300k, and 40% more is nothing to joke about.”

    agreed, it isnt chump change.

    “Of course, with 3905, it house is about 40% bigger, too. It’s a monster and if your in the ‘hood, drive by”

    might do a long lunch Friday, i still need to make the piggy toes stop i missed last time.

    “But, of course, gut reno cost are about the same as full new construction, and then you get a modern foundation and a little bigger footprint and a bit higher roof”

    the higher ceiling is something people miss the real value of. but are the gut costs almost = to new? (assuming not building a spec mccrap box)

  61. anon (tfo) says:

    “but are the gut costs almost = to new?”

    When you roll in the dig out of the basement and a real, full, gut, yeah, my impression is it’s pretty close. All you’re saving is three walls, and then you have to work in the confined space, and the demo costs a *lot* more.

    Also, just looked and 3846 is listed as a new house for $1.495mm–funnily using a monochromed pic of the 3710 Leavitt house.

  62. Groove77 says:

    “funnily using a monochromed pic of the 3710 Leavitt house.”

    i see you point a full gut an dig would cost just as much as its more labor intensive than new.
    IIRC 443 webster only left the front wall (facade) and all the rest was new. now i know why it was listed at 3 mil.

    the mono effect make the window look bigger.

    they are all over the map with the pics, one is CGI, another is CAD, one is a actual, one is a monochrome, one in etch-a-sketch, and i swear i saw one done in crayola washable.

    but based on their pricing and picture, they are saying it would cost them 140k to replicate 3710 lev on 3846 oak?

  63. anon (tfo) says:

    “but based on their pricing and picture, they are saying it would cost them 140k to replicate 3710 lev on 3846 oak?”

    1) acquisition cost was $453,500 in May-01, so that’s $35k
    2) tax considerations
    3) wear’n'tear
    4) bet the new place would be a bit bigger
    5) cost of materials is different.

  64. Groove77 says:

    “4) bet the new place would be a bit bigger”

    at a loss of a yard and getting a gator deck, which is the appeal of that hood 30-35′ lots and back yards! yes it is my irk point when a new home takes up the whole lot, i can understand it in areas like LP and OT because of density but when it happens in bridgeport or LS i want to puke.

    “2) tax considerations”

    woulndt each prop tax be close as it would be reassessed at sqft with the permits needed and or sale? IDK the tax breakdown diff between built 2011 to built 1930 (reno’d)

    “3) wear’n’tear”

    valid or you can look at it as “broken in” and hope all the kinks have been fixed.

    “5) cost of materials is different.”

    IDK now but the cost of metal in 2009 was dirt cheap but the cost of copper was out the roof, lumber saw a dip in 2009-2010, sand and mortar has been relatively cheap even now.

    anyone know if henry ferk and sons is still operating? i wanna swing in and see prices.

  65. anon (tfo) says:

    ““2) tax considerations”

    woulndt each prop tax be close as it would be reassessed at sqft with the permits needed and or sale? IDK the tax breakdown diff between built 2011 to built 1930 (reno’d)”

    Actually, I was thinking of cap gains income issue, but that’s relevant, too as neither is over 5000 SF above grade, so the under/over 62 year thing matters for comps.

  66. Groove77 says:

    “Actually, I was thinking of cap gains income issue,”

    thats why your brain is far superior. that thought didnt even hit my radar.

    IDK as much as i love the levitt house i would be leaning to the newer (almost exact home) if cash wasnt the issue.

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