Not All Rowhouses Sell Quickly On Historic Alta Vista: 3837 N. Alta Vista in Lakeview

We’ve chattered about rowhouses on historic Alta Vista in Lakeview many times on Crib Chatter. This is the block long street with 40 rowhouses made to resemble London rowhouses. It is a landmark block.

This 4-bedroom rowhouse at 3837 N. Alta Vista has been on the market since May 2012.

Built in 1901, it is on a 25×50 lot.

The listing doesn’t mention parking. Some on this block have parking (or room for it) in the backyard- and some do not.

On this block, it can be hit or miss with some rowhouses completely renovated and others not at all.

The listing says this rowhouse has wood floors and extensive woodwork. That appears to be the original tile surround on the fireplace.

The listing also says the kitchen has “newer” white cabinets.

This property was just reduced $50,000 to $450,000.

It is a short sale. A lis pendens foreclosure was filed against it in early November but the banks have been trying to sell properties through the short sale process where they are getting higher prices- rather than take the property back.

Will this sell as a short sale before it ever goes back to the bank?

And is this a deal for this block?

(By the way- of interest- the Coldwell Banker web site says this property had been viewed nearly 1600 times since May- and still no one has bought it.)

Pete Rodgriguez at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures here.

3837 N. Alta Vista: 4 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, no square footage listed

  • Sold in March 2006 for $529,000
  • Originally listed in May 2012 for $500,000
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in November 2012
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed as a “short sale” at $450,000
  • Taxes of $9658
  • Central Air
  • No parking listed
  • Bedroom #1: 15×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 12×14 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 10×11 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 10×10 (second floor)
  • Listing also mentions a 5th bedroom in the basement with finished bath

26 Responses to “Not All Rowhouses Sell Quickly On Historic Alta Vista: 3837 N. Alta Vista in Lakeview”

  1. Fugly and not enough baths

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    Rating: -4 (from 12 votes)
  2. Gorgeous (or could be) and seems like a deal to me at $400K. Yes it needs a lot of work but fixed up, I think the investment would pay off on that block. Too bad it’s not on the side with parking.

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    Rating: +5 (from 7 votes)
  3. Questionable parking on a postage stamp sized lot and needs renovation to boot. Bubble is still alive and well.

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    Rating: +2 (from 12 votes)
  4. Looks like a rental, and the realtor had no power to tell the tenant how to clean up before the listing photos, so the realtor had to make do on them.

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    Rating: +1 (from 5 votes)
  5. I’ve got no strong opinions on this listing, but will follow 3818 Alta Vista: http://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/3818-N-Alta-Vista-Ter-60613/home/13382823

    A flipper paid $350k in June, gut rehabbed it, and is asking $899k, which seems insane to me. The place does not have a proper parking spot (despite what listing says). You could maybe fit a Smart Car on the back patio.

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  6. “By the way- of interest- the Coldwell Banker web site says this property had been viewed nearly 1600 times since May-”

    What would be the reason for pointing this out?

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    Rating: +4 (from 10 votes)
  7. This might be a fun one to rehab for an older couple whose kids have moved out, as it appears to have very good “bones.” Love the woodwork! Kitchen, baths and even BRs could use some work, and there’s no parking, but street parking should be relatively easy here due to zone parking. This one, of course, is on the “wrong” side of the street, and doesn’t appear to have outdoor space, which weighs against it. And, like all homes on this street, rooms are cramped. But if you love AV Terrace, as I do, the thought of getting in on a townhome there for $450,000 or less is appealing.

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  8. Redfin has the status as “contingent”. http://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/3837-N-Alta-Vista-Ter-60613/home/13383715

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    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  9. Re. the 3818 listing: Price does look high for what you get (not a lot of room/parking challenges), but they appear to have done a beautiful renovation job, It may just be having a good photographer, but it appears they’ve done the impossible and made the first floor of an Alta Vista home look expansive. A sale price of $750K wouldn’t be out of the question.

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  10. [TB] “A flipper paid $350k in June, gut rehabbed it, and is asking $899k, which seems insane to me. The place does not have a proper parking spot (despite what listing says). You could maybe fit a Smart Car on the back patio.”

    It was not a gut rehab. The entire existing home was demolished save the front facade.

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    Rating: +1 (from 3 votes)
  11. Yuck, the 3818 listing doesn’t seem in keeping with the spirit of Alta Vista Terrace.

    3837, however, looks like it has great potential, provided that the foundation and general bones of the place aren’t a disaster. Lucky buyer at 450K, provided that the inspection goes OK.

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    Rating: -3 (from 3 votes)
  12. “It was not a gut rehab. The entire existing home was demolished save the front facade.”

    Really? That’s pretty crazy.

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  13. ““It was not a gut rehab. The entire existing home was demolished save the front facade.”

    Really? That’s pretty crazy.”

    Do they not have party walls? What is a “full gut” if not demolishing all of the interior (and often in Chicago, bc of space constraints, the back wall)?

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    Rating: +2 (from 4 votes)
  14. [anon tfo]

    I cant speak for others, but I have always considered gut rehabs to only go as far as stripping the interior down to structure. Demolition of all interior structure, roof structure and rear wall goes a little beyond the norm in my opinion.

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  15. “I have always considered gut rehabs to only go as far as stripping the interior down to structure. Demolition of all interior structure, roof structure and rear wall”

    I’ve seen the “gut” rehabs that include new *everything* (including the foundation) except 3 sides of the balloon frame and enough joists and sheathing to keep the frame from collapsing like toothpicks. And, even if you don’t expand out the back, the back wall often comes off for access reasons.

    Where’s the line? Taking out all the non-structural walls has to be ok. Stripping down to brick sidewalls has to be ok. Replacing the whole roof, including the 1x6s they used instead of plywood has to be ok (because that’s just a tearoff w/ a longterm leak–). Replacing subfloors has to be ok (who wants a squeaky floor?), so what’s the issue with putting in new joists, too?

    Is it just the removal of the back wall that takes it too far for you?

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  16. Knowing that they ripped out the entire interior of 3818, I’d definitely choose 3837 instead, despite its problems (not enough baths or parking). There’s enough original charm left to make it worth owning. I wouldn’t want to own one of these if it were all new except for the front wall. It wouldn’t seem authentic.

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  17. Oh man, just took my semi-quarterly peek at listings on the NS. As always, I’ll now be entering a meditative state as I repeat “the commute would be way to long, the commute would be way too long…”

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  18. That would be true, anonny, unless you switched to a job up here on the NS. That’s what I did, and now my commute is easier than ever.

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  19. [anon tfo]

    There just becomes a point where the scope of work eclipses the traditional definition of ‘gut rehab’. Tearing an entire structure down to the ground save the facade is beyond that, and typically referred to as a facadectomy.

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  20. “Tearing an entire structure down to the ground save the facade is beyond that, and typically referred to as a facadectomy”

    But they didn’t. The “exterior” side walls stayed in place, too. Foundation is mostly the same, too, undoubtedly (tho I’m sure they poured a new floor).

    A bona fide facadectomy certainly is not a “rehab” of any sort, but I’m trying to figure out what it is that tips it past the point of no return for you. I don’t see how *anything* they did–except the back wall removal (tho I do disagree, even as to that)–can be the tipping point, as reverything else is *common* in a gut rehab.

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  21. I think I have made it quite clear what pushes it past a gut rehab in my opinion. Demolition of all interior structure, demolition of entire rear wall.

    I haven’t seen the basements of other Alta Vista homes, but could it also be possible they deepened the basement and poured a new floor? Not saying that is unusual, just looking for other changes in the reconstruction.

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  22. Everyone hates the idea of moving to NS and working in NS? Oh well. I don’t miss the commute.

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  23. “I think I have made it quite clear what pushes it past a gut rehab in my opinion. Demolition of all interior structure”

    Ok, maybe I’m that dense, and expressing my uncertianty in an unclear manner.

    If it stops there, as quoted, with “merely” all interior structure being demo’d, you still think that that is beyond a “traditional” gut reno? How so? Serious question, as I’m genuinely curious–I’ve *never* *ever* considered a “full gut reno” to NOT include stripping everything out, so I just dont get it.

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  24. then its a “facadectomy” @ the Park Hyatt :)

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  25. “facadectomy”

    everything-in-the-building-but-facade-ectomy?

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  26. Ronnie’s Steak Palace was the facadectomy that broke my heart. Or gut rehab, as the case may be. The murals of notable meat feasts throughout history ended up in a landfill somewhere.

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