Buy a “Secret Haven” 4-Flat in Old Irving Park: 3908 N. Kedvale

My picture of this 4-flat at 3908 N. Kedvale doesn’t do the gardens out front any justice as I’m sure you have to see them in full bloom to really appreciate them (see the listing photos for better pics.)

This is a unique multi-family property on a large 62.6×173.6 property.  Given the lot size, there is a lot of outdoor space, including multiple decks off the back as well as a gazebo.

Each unit is individually metered and there is a 4 car garage. There is also an unfinished basement which has a washer/dryer.

Here are the specifics on each unit:

  1. Unit #1: 3 bedrooms, 1.5 bath, central air (owner’s unit)
  2. Unit #2: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, central air and washer/dryer (
  3. Unit #3: 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, rents for $950
  4. Unit #4: 2 bedrooms, 1 bath

The listing says the total rental income is $11,400.

All units have oak floors and eat-in kitchens. There are also some vintage features with 10.5 foot ceilings, pocket doors and fireplaces. The two 3-bedroom units also have skylights.

The property is a stone’s throw from the Irving Park Metra stop. With the leaves off the tree- you can literally see the stop from the second floor of this property.

Originally listed for $750,000, it has been reduced $51,000.

The listing says you could live in the owners unit “practically rent free.”

Is this a good investment at this price?

Terry Philips at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures here.

3908 N. Kedvale: 4-flat, 10 bedrooms, 5.5 baths, 4 car parking

  • Sold in April 1985 for $90,000
  • Sold in August 1989 for $220,000
  • Originally listed in August 2011 for $750,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $699,000
  • Taxes of $8262
  • Rental income of $11,400
  • Individually metered


21 Responses to “Buy a “Secret Haven” 4-Flat in Old Irving Park: 3908 N. Kedvale”

  1. “Elementary:

    Don’t you just love funny agents like this?

    Anyway, I am confused. It’s a 4-flat, but the rental income is $11,400, meaning only 1 unit is rented (700k price, 11k income…what’s the opposite of a cash cow? a cash bear?). Unit 2 and 3 are listed as owners units (are there separate entrances?) No info on any Unit 4. So not clear on the mechanics of how one would live rent-free..

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  2. $11,400 looks like the annual rent for #3. What does unit #2 and #4 rent for?

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  3. Is that increase from 84-89 appropriate appreciation or was there some type of boom going on then too?

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  4. “was there some type of boom going on [from 84-89] too”

    C’mon, you’re not that young, are you? It was the Reagan revolution, the years of a young Bud Fox and the “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good” ethos. Substantial real estate boom, in the shape of traditional RE boom/bust cycles–in other words, a rounding error compared to our recent one, but still defintiely a boom.

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  5. “Unit 2 and 3 are listed as owners units (are there separate entrances?)”

    Lot of these are occupied by siblings, or cousins, or whatever, so two units paying no rent is unsurprising.

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  6. You’re right sopoco, I misread the listing. 1,2, and 4 are also listed as owner units.

    On the plus side, it’s close enough to the e-way to be HD-approved.

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  7. This seems like a delightful property with outstanding outdoor areas and a nice bright interior. This property badly needs a proforma before anyone even looks at this, as I doubt that this property cash flows at the asking price.
    I’m helping a senior citizen with decreasing expenses on a brick 4-flat. Repairs and upgrades can wipe you out as a landlord, and that is without a mortgage in this senior’s case. Exterior painting as an expense is especially frightening.

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  8. Very nice. I wonder how much work it would take to turn this into a single family home.

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  9. “C’mon, you’re not that young, are you? ”

    Thank you for calling me young. I can honestly say I was in high school and then undergrad during the 80s

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  10. This is pretty light and airy. I am not too crazy for the exterior though.
    BTW, on an irrelevant note, where is HD? In the court perhaps?

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  11. Much nicer than I would have thought on the inside.

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  12. I’m back. We call this property the commune. I’m not quite sure why we call it that but that’s what it’s been called ever since I’ve been living in Old Irving.

    Its’ nearly impossible to get into disney 2. There are only 40 slots available per year and 20 of those are reserved for siblings of current students. there are 800 applications for the entire 40 slots. You need some clout to get in there and I know this for a fact because one of my neighbors has clout and guess what, his step daughter somehow magically got in. This is actually an undesirable location. the building to the south is some weirdos and to the north is a two flat rental and north of that is a failed condo conversion. across the street are town homes and condos from teh 60’s witha crapshack in the middle. If you want a sfh you want it one block south or west.

    The garden is cool but too eclectic. Too much going on.

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  13. Hmmm, clout??? Not here, and my kid got into Disney II. But, we turned it down because we had already accepted at another school.
    Under the new lottery system, which is handled downtown by CPS’ central office, is fair. We received our letter, stating that we were waitlisted for Disney II, and our number was 1, and we received a call from the school within weeks that we had received a spot.

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  14. The new system is just that, new. Principal discretion for elementary schools has only gone away in the last year or two.

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  15. “Hmmm, clout??? Not here, and my kid got into Disney II. But, we turned it down because we had already accepted at another school.”

    thanks KS for setting the record straight – I am so tired of the negative nellies (HD, G, etc.) spouting lies and rumors to make themselves feel better about their pathetic lives….(yeah, I know – 8 million “thumbs down” votes – bring it)

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  16. “Live practically rent free”

    Wouldn’t that be “live practically mortgage-free” with lots of rent coming in? (If you can even say that…you still have a mortgage, others are just helping you pay it)

    If you own the place, you shouldn’t be paying rent…

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  17. Potential Tear down in the low 400’s – 2 SF Lots or a single family conversion again a around $400

    Havent done a drive by but it looks run down

    I don’t think given that lot size it makes any sense as a rental 4 unit. More bang for the buck would be in my scenario above

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  18. Off topic from this thread:

    But the House and Senate both passed the bill to extend the higher FHA loan limits another 2 years. Yipee!

    This- even though the FHA’s own auditor gives them a 50/50 chance of needing a bailout (which will cost the taxpayers roughly $100 billion).

    Unless Obama vetos it (doubtful)- you will again be able to buy a nearly $800,000 house in California with only 3.5% down.

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  19. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to make any large business decisions or purchase a residence given all the temporary patchwork measures in place by the government that are set to sunset over the next two years. With all of these patchwork policies it begs the question of what happens after they expire?

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  20. Also I think the FHA coming hat in hand for a bailout could be a good thing: if we have enough tea party Republicans in office maybe they’ll stand firm in 2013. We might be able to abolish the FHA. 😀

    People buying 730k loans in blue states with 25k downpayments who run into trouble aren’t going to be a sympathetic demographic to the majority of real Americans in the red states where home values have always been more closely aligned with incomes.

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  21. “Also I think the FHA coming hat in hand for a bailout could be a good thing: if we have enough tea party Republicans in office maybe they’ll stand firm in 2013. We might be able to abolish the FHA.”

    But Bob- in order to pass the House- quite a few Republicans must have voted for this. Probably some teapartyers. Why would they vote to abolish it if they’re all eager to give out even more free taxpayer money?

    The “argument” against an extension of this law was that all the congressmen from states away from the coast wouldn’t be willing to vote to give help to upper middle class people by overpriced homes. Apparently- that thinking was wrong.

    Wow. And this passed with NO discussion in the national media. The regular joe on the street has no idea.

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