Elle Decor Featured 3-Bedroom in the Gold Coast Reduces Again: 1325 N. Astor

Interior designer (and talk show host) Nate Berkus’ 3-bedroom Gold Coast unit at 1325 N. Astor was recently reduced for the second time since coming on the market in January 2011.

1325-n-astor-approved.jpg

See our prior chatter here.

It has now been reduced $251,000.

Berkus renovated it but kept the original St. Charles metal cabinets in the kitchen and the Samuel Marx paneling.

According to the listing, there are new hardwood floors, a rehabbed master bath with custom English tub and a reconfigured master suite.

It also has two-zone air conditioning and new electrical.

The unit has an in-unit washer/dryer and a coveted deeded parking spot.

It’s been featured in Elle Decor magazine.

How healthy IS the upper bracket market?

Katherine Chez at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the listing here.

Unit #8: 3 bedrooms, 4 baths, 3980 square feet, 1 car parking

  • Sold in June 2003 for $1.5 million
  • Currently listed for $2.65 million
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $2.399 million
  • Assessments of $3816 a month (includes heat and doorman)
  • Taxes of $29162
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 14×20
  • Bedroom #2: 14×11
  • Bedroom #3: 17×12

70 Responses to “Elle Decor Featured 3-Bedroom in the Gold Coast Reduces Again: 1325 N. Astor”

  1. Who cares about Nate Berkus. Its an average gold coast property with nice furnishings. No view at all. It should sell close to 2003 price with some appreciation due to renovation.

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  2. Nate Berkus is such an over-rated designer- I’d want to re-do the place completely, especially the kitchen and baths. The kitchen is incredibly awkward and inefficient, in addition to being rather unattractive, and the English tub is awkward to climb in and out of, as well as ugly.

    Nothing I’d pay a $1.15M premium over the 2003 price for. The 2003 price is about right, especially considering the monthly assessments and the fact that the Nate Berkus reno will be sadly outdated in a few more years. Why pay such a steep premium for this year’s fads?

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  3. I also cannot see much more than the 2003 price: Berkus design is based upon style/ not quality and meant to be changed (as most people choose to do because they get tired of yesterdays trends). I am not so adament about whether or not he is a good designer as most fittings can be changed thus the price is “not realistic” in this current market.

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  4. Seems there are many more $1+ million Chicago residential properties for sale than Chicago households able to afford (much less ready) to purchase such homes. It would seem that the $2+ million residential property market is teeny-tiny. How many are presently listed in Chicago alone?

    Nate Berkus has the Oprah endorsement, but he’s not an “Architectural Digest”-rated interior designer. It’s a pleasant apartment, but not worthy of the premium price.

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  5. Random question for Architect: how come so many interior designers seem to make so much money? I know that Berkus is famous, but many ids seem quite wealthy, even ones without professional training. Do you–or does anyone–think their skills are worth the fees they command?

    I think the apartment looks pleasant, but a little trendy and even cheap. Not worth the price.

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  6. As reported by ASID for 2006: average salary range 31-57K. Most just work pushing furniture in a retail setting. Very few “make so much money”.

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  7. I seriously think rich people are re-thinking the way they spend money. This place is a white elephant. Even if you pay cash for the place, you have to pay close to 6500/month for assessments and taxes – ridiculous. Coming out of a recession and still being in a bleak real estate market, nobody is that stupid – especially for this place

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  8. “Do you–or does anyone–think their skills are worth the fees they command? ”

    like anything else, they wouldn’t exist if there wasn’t some market for it though I suspect, like realtors, for every good one, there are a dozen bad ones struggling to make rent money.

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  9. 2.39mil takes you very far in chicago, and far in GC also. What do you get here that you cant elsewhere?

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  10. here are others you can by with that type of money that *i view as better

    since i cant post multi links you gotz to work ya’self

    999 N Lake Shore Dr Unit 9A
    55 E ELM St
    47 E DIVISION St

    and thats just a quick search imagine what a professional realtor(tm) can find for you

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  11. Pagng Rosie ….Rosie this is Oprah. If you are going to be on my channel and use my former studio you have to overpay for my boy Nate’s place. Don’t worry he can redo it to your tastes

    Love,

    OW from the OWNetwork

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  12. “999 N Lake Shore Dr Unit 9A”

    I was in negotiations to buy this unit 2 years ago!!! It is probably the most spectacular unit I have seen in all of Chicago. The views are unbelievable!!! The architecture and decor are unparalleled and the location is excellent. The only downsides were parking (next door) and the cold winter winds. Otherwise, that was my dream place.

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  13. quick link to 999 E LSD, 9a

    http://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/999-N-Lake-Shore-Dr-60611/unit-9A/home/13058889

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  14. I said this yesterday, that this is patently obvious to all but the most bullish of cribchatter posters. The $1,000,000 demographic is far to small for the $1,000,000 market.

    I’d also reckon that the $500,000 + demographic is too small for the sheer number of $500,000+ homes on the market. Virtually every homeowner with a 25×125 plot of land in a ‘nice’ area (and some in not so nice areas) with a kitchen rehabbed after 1982 believes his unit is special and that magical $100,000 plus HH buyer with a flush cash $100,000 down payment is only one 7:00 p.m. weekday showing away from purchasing their home. It’s sad, really. Make those $500,000 into $400,000 homes and the market will pick up and make the $500,000s into $350,000 and the market will explode overnight.

    “Seems there are many more $1+ million Chicago residential properties for sale than Chicago households able to afford (much less ready) to purchase such homes.”

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  15. Clio – 999 LSD is not at all my style but it sure reeks of first class in view, location, and finishes. Please get back in negotiations so that you can close in time to host the crib chatter summer rooftop party on air/water show weekend.

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  16. HD – people now want to pay 500k for a 750k place. Everyone wants a deal. Investors are paying cash for many props now – as long as the pay less than the place is *worth*. They props listed at 500k don’t warrant the value. The market and the money is present but the confidence isn’t.

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  17. I never understood the allure of living on East Lake Shore Drive. You can never open your windows due to all the noise and pollution with over 100,000 cars going by your home every single day. You’d die of lung cancer!

    There have also been comments by people living in those buildings that they hear/see the car crashes on the curve every single day.

    Why is that pleasant again?

    Maybe that’s why this unit in 999 E. LSD continues to sit unsold. There are too many other options.

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  18. “Make those $500,000 into $400,000 homes and the market will pick up and make the $500,000s into $350,000 and the market will explode overnight.”

    I agree HD. Prices are still too high and not enough buyers anymore at those price points.

    Look at all the flips/renovations that are selling in Humboldt Park and Logan Square (and Avondale)? They are all priced $200k-$400k. They usually sell within a few weeks- or sometimes- days.

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  19. “There have also been comments by people living in those buildings that they hear/see the car crashes on the curve every single day.

    Why is that pleasant again?”

    they get to watch “the poors” get all bruised up and mangled.

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  20. This is a fantastic street – probably the best in the city. That has to be worth something. I’m going to guess that there’s a buyer at $1.9MM here. All it takes is one buyer…

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  21. Clio, that unit at 999 N Lake Shore is absolutely beautiful and really worth over $2.5M. It is ONE of the most spectacular units in the city, but you ought to look at 2430 N Lakeview while you are at it.

    I think EVERYONE is rethinking the way he or she spends money. We have been spending and borrowing beyond our means for 65 years and have hit a wall with the borrowing. People in all brackets, even the highest, are thinking very carefully about the things they own and whether these things really serve them in proportion to their cost and trouble. It’s not a question of “need” so much as ,”do I really get enough utility and enjoyment out of this to justify the drain on my wallet, and what future value am I sacrificing to pay for this?”

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  22. Many sellers have a better chance at winning the powerball than they have at selling ridiculous prices.

    There money isn’t there nor is confidence. Even if the money ‘is there’ it is sure as hell not going to be spent on housing…

    So again, the money for all these homes just aren’t there.

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  23. gringozecarioca on March 31st, 2011 at 8:00 am

    HD.. How’s this for bubble confirmation… Cover of Rio magazine “Prices of apartments up 380% since ’06” (dollar adjusted even crazier since ’05)

    Sister article headline on cover “30 specialists guarantee ‘this is not a bubble'”

    Trying to remember where I saw this once before but just keeps slipping my mind… hmmm…

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  24. Deja vu….look into the australian and canadian and chinese RE bubble. For the first time ever, America is ahead of the rest of the world on bubbles.

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  25. “Clio – 999 LSD is not at all my style but it sure reeks of first class in view, location, and finishes. Please get back in negotiations so that you can close in time to host the crib chatter summer rooftop party on air/water show weekend.”

    This!

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  26. to my comment the other day, I actually think there are quite a few million dollar plus buyers out there. Nice, good quality inventory is low, so they are sidelined. I am not talking about these cookie cutter mcmasions from 2006, there are plenty of those and likely many more coming on the market. Rather, distinctive high quality properties in desirable neighborhoods.

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  27. “Make those $500,000 into $400,000 homes and the market will pick up and make the $500,000s into $350,000 and the market will explode overnight.”

    HD I agree, at least in the case where a seller CAN make those price adjustments. Some can but simply aren’t willing. Others simply cannot.

    If we are going to have another government handout program (and only IF) i’d rather see something done to ease the haircut these people take versus just another cash for crapshacks or bank bailout.

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  28. The kitchen in this place looks like it belongs in a studio

    I love people that are “too cool to cook”

    not

    rE: car crashes on LSD… come on, are you really ragging on free entertainemt?

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  29. I have no idea on price as this is far beyond my price point or neighborhood but I am clearly in the minority here in that I think this place looks nice inside. I don’t like some of the furniture/walls but you bring your own furniture and usually paint anyways. From what I can tell the kitchen looks nice (although the picture is dark) and I like the baths. I was curious about views though at this floor. If I were to spend even 1 million (if I had it) I’d at least expect some sort of view…even if not lake views.

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  30. “Make those $500,000 into $400,000 homes and the market will pick up and make the $500,000s into $350,000 and the market will explode overnight.”

    The “problem” is that most sellers are being told (and are under the belief) that the market is going to improve any day now. They are holding out for a little longer. I think that 2012 will be a year that something will happen. If the economy continues to improve, and/or if the government does something to encourage home sales, then the real estate market may come back faster than expected – this is what the sellers are waiting for. Also, remember that sellers are also buyers – if they are unsure of the market to sell, they are also probably a little unsure of the market to buy. We are still in a holding pattern (which is why rentals are so hot right now).

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  31. I don’t know about the price as this is way out of my range for me to have a clue, but the interior is quite nice and I am not sure why everyone is so critical of it. I actually really like the kitchen and the bath tub.

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  32. formerroscoevillager on March 31st, 2011 at 8:58 am

    If list prices were to come down I am sure that more buyers would enter the market and we would likely see an aggregate improvement in sale price and volume. Granted, it will not be dramatic.

    “I think that 2012 will be a year that something will happen. If the economy continues to improve, and/or if the government does something to encourage home sales, then the real estate market may come back faster than expected – this is what the sellers are waiting for.”

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  33. like fireplaces, bathtubs are almost never used

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  34. “like fireplaces, bathtubs are almost never used”

    screw you i use the bath tub three times a week!

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  35. ““like fireplaces, bathtubs are almost never used”

    screw you i use the bath tub three times a week!”

    Homemade hootch doesn’t count :D I kid

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  36. What am I missing when people are talking about families with a household income of $100k buying a $500k home? We are pulling in close to double that right now and there’s no way we’d consider buying somewhere that expensive. And that’s with only one of our two kids in daycare and only one car.

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  37. The 999 LSD apartment someone posted a link to here has to be the most beautiful apartment I’ve ever seen in Chicago. Even with the parking issue, it looks like a fair price to me.

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  38. Also – someone mentioned 2430 N. Lakeview. Another of my all-time favorite Chicago buildings. I grew up in that neighborhood and had a good friend as a child who lived in a duplex in that building, on a high floor. That was the most spectacular apartment I’ve ever been in. Floor to ceiling living room windows, wood panelling, a lovely winding staircase, a marble elevator lobby, etc. My friend’s bedroom was as big as my family’s living room. They also had a live-in maid and the elevator was run manually by an elevator man. If I could live anywhere, that would be it.

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  39. Miumiu, I’m glad I’m not the only one!

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  40. Dan #2, agreed as to 2430 N. Lakeview.

    Jennifer, you guys have a family income of $200k, but wouldn’t consider a $500k home?

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  41. “We are pulling in close to [$200k] right now and there’s no way we’d consider buying [a $500k house].”

    Really? Under 3x gross is reasonably conservative with current interest rates, unless it’s a down payment issue.

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  42. Well, it depends when they reached the 200K income level and had their kid. It might have been hard for them to save the down payment if they just started making money and had a kid all along. Also they might have student loans and such.

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  43. Well, we didn’t have student loans, but we did have a 2 year old back in 2002 when we bought a place for just over $400,000 with an income of around $120,000. We’ve never regretted it (and we’ve since had another kid).

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  44. Well yes the downpayment is an issue, the income level is a recent thing and we had our first kid young. We’re also still paying off the loss on our home sale overseas (the market crashed much earlier where we used to live). But I can’t imagine paying out upwards of $3.5k a month in mortgage and taxes, before even thinking about utilities, maintenance etc on our current income, never mind if we went back to the level we usually earn (still over $100k but not by much).

    Maybe it’s because we got burned so badly before? I don’t know. Maybe I’m not giving enough consideration to how much tax we could save. That’s why I asked what I was missing!

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  45. “if we went back to the level we usually earn”

    ah, I was assuming income stability or “normal” upside potential.

    Yeah, total picture you present, totally understandable.

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  46. Jennifer, kudos to you. Have you read Elizabeth Warren’s book “The Two-Income Trap; Why Middle Class Parents Are Going Broke”? Great still-relevant recommended book on two-income households’ spending habits.

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  47. Basically I’m consulting right now but it’s not stable work. Daycare expenses go away when I don’t work but that’s it. But even if it were a permanent income that kind of monthly expense on a home would be hard to swallow. I don’t know how anyone would do it on half that.

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  48. “I don’t know how anyone would do it on half that.”

    That was HD’s point, and I agree with it.

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  49. “you have to pay close to 6500/month for assessments and taxes – ridiculous.”

    Yes, the ZIRP (zero interest rate policy) of the Federal Reserve is punishing savers – severely. It’s alot tougher today to come up with that $6,500 per month with interest rates and dividend rates as low as they are. In years past, some idle type who inherits $5 million from grandpa Morrie’s old shoe business could afford the income outlay for high assessments, etc. Not so easy anymore.

    I like how the television is surrounded by books on bookshelves. Talk about mental conflict. I bet 99 out of 100 times the remote control is picked up before a book is opened.

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  50. @Jennifer — good for you for being conservative.

    Totally depends on your circumstances, and with a kid if you are in the city, you’ll need to keep in mind the possibility of private school tuition. We’ve been able to ditch the private school tuition temporarily, but don’t know how long that will last especially as the kiddos approach middle school.

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  51. Dan – agree about remote vs book but with technology like kindle, ipad, other tablets, I feel reading habbits will improve…that is, unless the user gets addicted to angry birds.

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  52. You can find plenty of quality dividend stocks right now to pay those expenses; you just can’t get return for taking no risks.

    Altria yields 6% and I’m fairly confident you can bet on smokers still be addicted 10 years from now. A lot of health care stocks (abbot/jnj) yield high 3%. You can definitely find yield without taking a lot of risks. Muni bond funds also yield around 8% (generally they are using a little leverage) and I don’t think we’ll see a mega crash in that sector.

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  53. The 2 working parent $200k income is not enough to make one comfortably middle class in the city, esp. if one does not already own property.

    Rent: $30k
    Nanny:$40k (or daycare up to $18k per kid, summer camp $400 a week
    School Fees: $7-8k parochial, $25-30k leading private per kid
    Parking: $3k
    After you’ve paid car, food, and taxes, there’s not going to be much left over to save for a deposit.

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  54. “Nanny:$40k (or daycare up to $18k per kid, summer camp $400 a week
    School Fees: $7-8k parochial, $25-30k leading private per kid”

    Why assume tuition? Who can afford to spend 2x what theu do on housing for education? Not the entry level of the UMC.

    If your kids are far enough apart that tuition and full time nanny are a significant overlap, then there’s a real problem.

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  55. We had a reasonable DP fund but it took a major hit last year when we had unexpected medical expenses. Another reason why we don’t want to overextend I guess.

    While we’re not going to go the private school route, we are saving for college. Bearing in mind what it costs today, I can’t imagine any kid wanting to take out loans for what it’s likely to cost in 11 years time.

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  56. I applaud Jennifer for her conservative approach and wish I’d been more conservative in my younger days, for I’d be in a much better position now.

    The ideal house, in my view, is one that you can pay off in less than 20 years, and still have money left over for ample SAVINGS, medical, and school tuition, as well as a decent life day to day. I make nowhere near $200K a year, but penciling through it, it looks to me like $350K-$400K is the most Jennifer and her husband ought to spend for a dwelling if they want to meet other financial goals, like having a nice pile of liquid wealth and sending their kids to good schools. They are, after all, four people, not one person. I have relatives in Jennifer’s income bracket, people who made over $200K trailing 20 years, and had less than nothing to show at the end of their working lives but 3 homes they owed mortgages on and a pile of credit card debt for extravagant lifestyles…. and they were nervous, stressed wrecks.

    I’m betting that the generation now reaching adulthood will be so imprinted by what we are going through now that they will be very, very conservative and will want to pay much less for everything and save far more money, than any generation since my grandparents’.

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  57. gringozecarioca on March 31st, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    Well from the macro view once again. I have one property I have kinda forgotten about until today. Price is definitely affected by the U.S. market although it is not in the U.S. Management company knows I have had it in quasi-for sale mode for some time. Had 2 showings on it this week so they contacted me, I asked for an update on the property and got this reply.

    “In general, interest in property has increased this year. Then again, it could not have gotten much worse than the past couple of years. Still, there are not a lot of sales, and in general people are looking for bargains. There’s a house very near your place that was built about 5 years ago. The owner “put” about $700K “into” the house with furnishings etc. He really wants to sell and is asking $425K. Last week someone offered him $265K.

    Sweet!!!

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  58. gringozecarioca on March 31st, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    and to remove any doubt anyone might have, he is selling it furnished.

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  59. The conservatism with finances will be forced. Ask my generation saddled with student loans.

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  60. Good for you Jennifer, being cautious doesn’t hurt. I think one really great thing about this country is how positive and optimistic people are and they believe they can do almost anything, but sometimes by projecting the same optimism to financial decisions, people can really extend themselves thin.

    Also the irresponsible older generation forces more conservatism on the young. Our parents have always helped us with down payments and such. I notice that many of my young friends here receive no financial help from their parents and it just makes starting off things much harder for them.
    I even have couple of friends that have to help out their parents who had messed up with their finances.

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  61. oh yeah the old blaming the boomers shtick, like thats something new… you should be grateful that they are all dying soon of obesity related diseases, then yo might be able to afford their oversized housinhg!

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  62. If Jennifer buys a 500K place, say with 25% down, and takes a loan for the remainder, I estimate that her monthly payment will be around 3-3.5K depending on taxes and assessments. If she now writes her interest and taxes off, I think she has about a $600-$800 savings per month, making her effective monthly payment between 2200-2900. Say we take the mean of that, so $2550 is her monthly cost.

    Jennifer, how much do you pay for rent now? Isn’t it common practice to just compare your rental cost to the monthly “cost” of buying after write offs? Is there something flawed with this?

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  63. Young, she said she is short in down payment. 25% down on 500K is 125K, the yearly income of her family. Assuming she has not won in the lottery that is a lot of money for her to put down.

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  64. gringozecarioca on April 1st, 2011 at 4:04 am

    Is there something flawed with this?

    I call it risk.

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  65. Saving $125k isn’t going to happen – we’ll be the ones asking our college grad kids for downpayment assistance!

    We’ll see what happens. We’ve outgrown our current 2/1 townhouse with our 2nd child so we have to move one way or the other. There’s a cash only place I want in Roscoe Vilage if someone wants to lend me $280k!

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  66. East Lake Shore Dr was once the premiere status address..(along with Astor St.) with old money residents…and having a friend living there for many years, you would hear the hum of LSD and see car accidents..E LSD you would never see the sunrise of moon rise (with the exception of wraparound apt at 999 LSD listing).

    Astor is another one of those name dropping streets.

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  67. Still the Gold Coast holds its value.. A 1 bed/1 bath went under contract in early March for $474,000 at 70 E. Scott St. #405. Window units for AC, no washer/dryer in the unit. It is still all about location folks….

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  68. Clio – what happened two years ago that you did not get 999 Lakeshore Unit 9A?

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  69. H. (January 17, 2013, 1:08 pm)

    This closed for $1.6M on 1/16/2013:
    http://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/1325-N-Astor-St-60610/unit-8/home/14126497

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  70. Wow – Even Nate got stuffed on getting paid for his real estate improvements. At least on the plus side he likely got the materials and some of the craftsmanship at a deep discount. I’d bet the neighbors were hoping for a much higher comp for their building.

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