How Close To The El Could You Live? Part II: 3408 N. Bosworth In Southport

We last chattered about this 3-bedroom brick single family home at 3408 N. Bosworth in the Southport neighborhood of Lakeview in October 2010.

See our previous chatter here.

We had a very productive discussion about who would live near the El line tracks and at what price. (We also discussed the possibility of the El lines being buried underground. Dream on…)

This house originally came on the market in April 2010 for $749,000 which most of you thought was way too high. Several of you thought this would sell in the $300,000s. Some said they wouldn’t even pay $100,000 to live that close to the El.

If you recall, the house has most of the features buyers look for including central air and a 2 car garage.

Built in 1877 on a 25×125 lot, it has some of its original features including stained glass but also has been updated, including a new chef’s kitchen with Viking and Jennair appliances, white cabinets and granite counter tops.

2 of the 3 bedrooms are on the second floor and the property has an unfinished basement.

The house only has 1 bathroom however.

Before it was withdrawn from the market in 2010, this house was listed as low as $589,000.

Re-listed at a time when there’s very low inventory, will buyers now overlook the location?

Deborah Nick at Conlon now has the listing. See the pictures here.

3408 N. Bosworth: 3 bedrooms, 1 bath, no square footage listed, 2 car garage

  • Sold in February 1996 for $132,000
  • Sold in February 1997 for $170,000
  • Sold in June 2002 for $428,000
  • Sold in July 2005 for $569,000
  • Originally listed in April 2010 for $749,000
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in October 2010 for as low as $589,000
  • Withdrawn
  • Currently listed for $599,000
  • Taxes now $10,747 (they were $8523 in Ocotber 2010)
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 15×14 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 14×10 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 11×8 (main floor)
  • Living room: 23×12
  • Dining room: 12×12
  • Kitchen: 16×9
  • Mudroom: 9×6
  • Unfinished basement

 

47 Responses to “How Close To The El Could You Live? Part II: 3408 N. Bosworth In Southport”

  1. I wonder how many buyers will schedule a visit, only to find out upon their arrival that the tracks practically hang over the house. Would an honest realtor have included at least one shot that clearly revealed the hulking neighbor next door?

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  2. Living under the El tracks, but with a Viking range. Priceless.

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  3. Shame about the location, but I’d hire their stager in a hot minute.

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  4. I lived behind the el in college (an old Loyola dorm on winthrip that was torn down long ago) and it was awful.

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  5. The really sad part is even with $20k in soundproofing you wouldn’t be able to get rid of the vibrations; I am not sure who the target demo is with this place.

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  6. Cute house but still overpriced given the tracks right there and one bathroom. At least put in another bathroom before asking that price

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  7. As Kai Ryssdal says, “Let’s do the numbers.”
    $599,000 + $10,700 annual taxes + 1 bathroom = house adjacent to El.
    That’s an unbalanced equation.

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  8. The interior on this place is pretty cute. I think the person that helped them stage it could probably have made it a little cuter by adding some of those cute framed signs that have sayings on them. My wife recently made one for the great room that says “Dance Like No One Is Watching.” While I never would have picked it out, I am actually pretty happy with it. I think she is gonna start selling them at some craft bazaars out here if any of you guys are interested in staging with them.

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  9. One bathroom plus El tracks? Ugh. This would be better as a rental.

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  10. This wont move till it hits the low $400M

    At that point someone will pay for the address

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  11. meh…..until this is in the 400s it will not move. I think they are also talking about turning the part underneath the EL here into some kind of park? Which is a great idea, but again if you llive on it, you know have increased foot traffic right next to your house and the EL overhead.

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  12. Okay seriously agree with PP that the realtor is doing no one any favors by fudging these pictures. At least put in the listing that it is next to the EL. She also fails to mention the school.

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  13. Say this were at 3508 Bosworth instead–otherwise identical, with unfinished basement and 1 bathroom.

    Does anyone really see it pulling over $700k even then? 1438 Henderson (a CC feature) just sold for $610. This is a nicer looking place, but 1438 has 2 baths. I just don’t see this house at more than about $650, if not next to the el, and I think that el proximity is more like 20-30% discount. Could sere $525, but like the compromise more under $500k.

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  14. “Groove77 (October 12, 2010, 10:04 am)

    F’ing yuppies your are ridiculous”

    i stand by my words

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  15. And then, as if the L isn’t bad enough, look what’s behind it on Ashland. Auto repair shop.

    “This wont move till it hits the low $400M
    At that point someone will pay for the address”

    If this were a little further south (Burley) or north (Blaine), I could see someone desperate to get their kid into those schools, but I don’t think Hamilton has that kind of pull just yet.

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  16. Friends of mine own a building on Greenview this close to the el tracks and they say before the Brown Line expansion noise wasn’t too bad. The 8-car trains made the noise much worse.

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  17. I once checked out a place right next to the el like this and you couldn’t carry on a conversation when that thing went by.

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  18. Oh…and I wouldn’t take a listing like this UNLESS I could fully disclose up front that it’s right next to the el. Otherwise I’d be wasting everyone’s time – especially my own agents’ time.

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  19. “If this were a little further south (Burley) or north (Blaine), I could see someone desperate to get their kid into those schools, but I don’t think Hamilton has that kind of pull just yet.”

    You are assuming that the purchaser of this house will have kids

    IMO its more likely that this will be bought by someone without ‘em

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  20. One bathroom.

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  21. NO way would i ever live this close to the tracks, although just the brown line isn’t too bad, its when you’re on the red/purple/brown tracks… man that would be a doozie

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  22. “I once checked out a place right next to the el like this and you couldn’t carry on a conversation when that thing went by.”

    I think the loudest place in the GZ has to be the red brick buildings across from Wicker Park on the east side, that back up to the Blue Line. Extremely loud, plus their front door is a dog park with barking dogs. Somebody lives in those.

    I think it (subject) will have to be rental pro forma to sell. Only renters will live in the subject property.

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  23. I wonder if this:

    http://www.chicagorealestatedaily.com/article/20130315/CRED03/130319840/chicago-no-2-in-super-fast-home-sales

    will help the subject home.

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  24. Unrelated to this property specifically but related to the article Vlajos posted: I was wondering this morning if right now is the perfect time to FSBO. With inventory flying off the shelves with multiple offers after a single open house, why would anyone pay an agent? For me the biggest factor for not doing FSBO is the possibility of having to leave work on short notice to meet a buyer for a walk through. If you can sell your place the weekend it goes on sale, this hurdle is removed.

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  25. @fred, funny you should mention FSBO. http://www.chicagonow.com/adventures-house-hunting/2013/03/fsbo-seller-can-really-shoot-themselves-in-the-foot-2/

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  26. @Icarus, just like some people are so good at selling they could sell ice to an eskimo, there are some people that are so bad they couldn’t sell a $100 bill for a quarter. I have no delusions that selling a place is more difficult than it sounds on paper, but I have no reason to believe a reasonably intelligent person couldn’t learn from their mistakes as they go and end up selling a place over the course of a weekend (assuming the place is priced appropriately).

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  27. @Fred thats very true. I think between trying to determine the right price and other factors, we are gonna see the re-emergence of the Pocket Listing

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  28. ” I was wondering this morning if right now is the perfect time to FSBO. With inventory flying off the shelves with multiple offers after a single open house, why would anyone pay an agent? For me the biggest factor for not doing FSBO is the possibility of having to leave work on short notice to meet a buyer for a walk through. If you can sell your place the weekend it goes on sale, this hurdle is removed.”

    Sometimes these properties are flying off the shelves because they are underpriced. Agents aren’t doing their jobs. Other times it’s just on a compressed cycle. But you want to make sure that you get sufficient exposure so that you get the best price. If it goes under contract in 4 days there may very well be better buyers that are being missed.

    The key is to make sure that an agent isn’t being overpaid for what they are doing for you. Roughly 2.5% is going to go to the co-op side – even that is negotiable but that’s a much longer story. So let’s take that out of the equation since even a FSBO has to pay that. So the part to focus on is 2.5 – 3.5% for the listing side. If you’re selling a $1 MM property there is no way the agent should be making even $25,000 for handling that listing. So what’s a fair amount and what do you get for that? At the other end of the spectrum if you have a $200K place and the listing agent is charging you 2.5%, well that’s only $5000. If they spend more than 50 hours working on the deal (really easy to do) then they are charging you less than what a plumber or an auto mechanic would make.

    I read Icarus’ blog post today and really liked it. This is one of many problems with FSBO sales. You would be surprised the extent some sellers go to to prevent the sale of their home.

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  29. And pocket listings make absolutely no sense to me. I don’t see how that works in anyone’s best interest.

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  30. I once worked for a couple years in an older office building this close to the tracks. Every time the L went by, our phones stopped working for a second or two.

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  31. “You would be surprised the extent some sellers go to to prevent the sale of their home.”

    Gary, it was so surreal. One minute she was talking up her place as if we’d be insane not to buy it, The next she was insisting we ask for money for the garage repairs as if she were our agent!

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  32. Fred got me started. Sorry. I could write a book on this.

    It turns out that real estate brings out the worst of irrational decision making in people. There is an asymmetry in buying vs. selling that I finally related to the Endowment Effect: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endowment_effect Consequently, they are more hesitant to experiment with selling their home (sell it themselves or use an independent agent that charges less) than they are to experiment with buying a home.

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  33. Long time reader, first time poster! Love the Crib Chatter!

    Anyways, I live in the area but closer to Wrigley and I can hear the Brown Line from my house. And while it’s faint, I always love the quiet summer nights when I hear it rustle by when I’m sitting on my porch.

    But right next to the train tracks would be too much.

    Otherwise, it’s a beautiful building even though it’s too close to “Ass-land”.

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  34. “Re-listed at a time when there’s very low inventory, will buyers now overlook the location?”

    Nope. There are plenty of places that are sitting on the market a long time, just as there are lots of properties flying off the shelves. The places sitting are the ones needing significant work, have major issues or are way overpriced. This house has the last two….the El, and overpriced. Therefore, it will sit.

    Buyers overlooked location in the bubble because everyone was rushing to buy, no matter what. People are not rushing to buy just any place today…they are rushing to buy THE right house.

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  35. I actually live on the EL tracks at 9th and Wabash, the green and orange lines, and you actually become oblivious to the noise. I actually notice when I notice that I haven’t heard the train go by in a while.

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  36. Sold in February 1996 for $132,000 – solidly LMC/MC pricing at the time
    Sold in February 1997 for $170,000 – solidly LMC/MC pricing at the time
    Sold in June 2002 for $428,000 – solidly near UMC pricing at the time, if normal credit conditions
    Sold in July 2005 for $569,000 – solidly UMC property, outside FHA limit, outside jumbo limit evne w/20% down.

    This is the quintessential bagholder. This property is likely going into financial distress in the next few years once the owner figures out how stuck they are. I’m guessing the financial distress will be less than the mental distress incurred by that 110db train roaring overhead ever 13 minutes.

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  37. Best part is this genius’ hesitation is going to really cost them if they try to walk away. No more debt forgiveness for mortgages this year and unlikely to be re-instated given the bipartisan bickering :D

    And after this year FHA loan limit temporary extension expires as well. Methinks DC will have more pressing issues than ensuring people in California can continue to buy 730k homes with 25k down or here in Chicago can buy 425k homes with 15k down.

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  38. Does a someone who has a RE license, but who is not a realtor or does not work in residential real estate in any capacity, let’s say an office leasing broker downtown for CBRE, does that person need to list “agent owned” on the listing?

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  39. Violet – LOVE the “Marketplace” reference. “Must-hear” radio for good perspectives on the economy (6:30 pm Mon-Fri, WBEZ).

    Matt – Instead of framed quotes (or those dreadful “vintage” Italian wine ads) on these walls, I’d recommend getting a copy of one of Art Shay’s famous shots of Nelson Algren sitting by the L tracks in Wicker Park, accompanied by his famous quote “Every day is D-Day under the L.”

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  40. I lived in an apartment about 1 1/2 lots away from the el tracks in Rogers Park – it was totally fine, and I am sensitive to noise. That short distance dissipated the noise, plus my bedroom was at the furthest point from the tracks. I would definitely live that close to the train again – it was not an issue at all, and it meant a nice little discount on the rent.

    This close? I wouldn’t live there for any amount of money. Perhaps they could find a deaf buyer, but other than that, I don’t see it selling anytime soon.

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  41. JasonMChicago on March 18th, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Interiors look good but the EL is horrible to live by. I lived across the street and would never do it again. No way.

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  42. “Perhaps they could find a deaf buyer, but other than that, I don’t see it selling anytime soon.”

    its not just the sound its the vibration of the train going by, so the deaf person may not hear it but will get tired of all the extra dusting needed.

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  43. I lived behind the El on Winthrop and Berwyn. And even then it was on the alley so there was still a backyard, garage, and alley separating the living units. Anyway – it sucked. Worst thing is in the morning…you’ll get woken up around 5 a.m. then you won’t really be able to fall back asleep because you keep hearing the trains go by. So anyway – cute little house, but i don’t think it sells until the low 500s. and even then, only if there’s a way to build a new bath in the basement.

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  44. Hey all guess what you all are in luck, I rent the house we are all talking about! Yep that is right I live in with my wife 3408 n Bosworth ave and have now for almost 3 years. I figured I would chime in here after getting a great laugh reading your posts. First of all, Thank you to those of you that commented on the staging. My wife has decorated the house on her own and on a budget and done a fantastic job, in fact so good that the relator did not need a stager and left the entire house as it is currently as i write this now.

    Now the stuff that gave us a good laugh. Lets go ahead and call me an expert on living “under the train” and those of you making these comments people who just assume. Yes if you judge a book by its cover you will never get to see what a house like this has to offer. If you were to take a tour you would know that there is a half bath in the basement but because the current owners and relator are not scammers and legally it cant be called a half bath because it does not have a door and is in what some see as an “unfinished basement” then you would have missed out on the added bonus. You also would miss out on the general lack of shaking and what some solid sound proofing can really do. Oh those of you that commented on living behind the auto shop, yep you too would miss out on the 10 free parking spots you get for you and your guests after noon on saturday and all day sunday. AND the free snow blower that blows out the entrance to your garage. AND the top of the line security system that monitors the alley that has abolished any and all crime in our alley and around ashland–if something does happen they have it on tape and help the police catch the guy. Those of you know who I am talking about, judging books by their cover, you dont deserve a house this cool with so many added benefits and perks, only the people who can see beyond the obvious can really enjoy this house. We have spent 3 AWESOME years here and can not wait to pass along our knowledge and fun things to the new occupants.

    My name is Fritz Heffinger and my email is fritz.heffinger@gmail.com. I know most of you avoid real human interaction and rant and rave on blogs, but if you have an issue with my house or woud like to see it for yourself and then pass judgement please contact me directly. Thanks!

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  45. $600K, only one bathroom and next to the Brown Line? Good luck with that. More like $250-300K tops. The house sold for $170K in 1997 and we all know the prices after that were obscenely inflated by overzealous real-estate agents just to have a 60657 zip code. No property doubles in value after 5 years even with $100K in rehab/remodeling.

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  46. Fritz, as defensive as you are about the house I’m wondering if you actually own it. But let’s say you are the renter. Would you BUY this house for $575k?

    I’m househunting right now. It’s a buyer’s market. There are many many nice houses in nice quiet settings for $100-200k less than this house. This house seems attractive, but so are so many others. (When you have looked at as many listings as I have, you’ll understand.) Only one bathroom. And 99% of the house-buying population would simply refuse flat-out to live under the El tracks. My estimate of the price that would bring in some offers: $375k.

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  47. “There are many many nice houses in nice quiet settings for $100-200k less than this house.”

    Sandra:

    Really? In a location under 1/3 mile from an el stop, North of Madison, with an attendance area school that is reasonably well-regarded, on a standard lot (ie, no 23×100 lots), with a kitchen that’s been updated in the last 20 years, etc etc??

    You’ve found multiple places that satify that, asking about $400k? And they stay on the market for at least a week, so people can actually see them?

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