What Would You Pay For a Standard Chicago Lot in West Lincoln Park? 2151 N. Magnolia

A couple of years ago a few of you wrote me wondering about this 1-bedroom cottage at 2151 N. Magnolia in West Lincoln Park.

Back in June 2010, it had come on the market at $905,000 but was quickly reduced to $829,000.

It never sold and was withdrawn in July 2011 listed at $829,000.

Built in 1886 on a standard Chicago lot measuring 25×125, the house is just 1425 square feet.

It lists the one bedroom as being on the main floor and measuring 20×5. But there’s also a second story loft (which appears to be being used as a bedroom according to the listing pictures).

The listing says the cottage has been “rehabbed.”

It doesn’t have a garage, but one can be built.

But the house is really being marketed as a teardown as the listing says you can “build your dream house” and that the “opportunity is incredible.”

It is in the Oscar Mayer school district.

Obviously, the market is hotter now than in 2010-2011.

The seller is asking for $949,000, or $44,000 more than the highest price it was listed at in 2010.

Will this piece of land sell for nearly a million dollars in this part of Lincoln Park?

Suzanne Gignilliat at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures here.

2151 N. Magnolia: 1 bedroom, 2 baths, 1425 square feet

  • Sold in September 2002 for $785,000
  • Originally listed in June 2010 for $905,000
  • Reduced in July 2010 to $829,000
  • Withdrawn in March 2011 still listed at $829,000
  • Currently listed for $949,000
  • Taxes of $12042
  • Central Air
  • No garage- but one could be built
  • Bedroom: 20×5 (main level) (typo? Should it be 20×15?)
  • Loft: 16×11 (second floor)

 

 

52 Responses to “What Would You Pay For a Standard Chicago Lot in West Lincoln Park? 2151 N. Magnolia”

  1. Hey someone wins powerball and lotto every month! Perhaps they always wanted to live on Magnolia. Other than that I think the valuation is a bit high.

  2. That hallway with the crib looks a bit cramped. Today I learned that there are things such as 1 bedroom SFH and if you patiently wait 3 years to sell your home, you can ask for a $45K markup. that means my condo is at 2005 pricing!

  3. How much would it cost to tear down a home like this?

    I think this is a cute little house, but can’t imagine paying $665 a square foot.

  4. So basically, this is a million dollar lot, once you consider the teardown costs. I don’t see it. This is clearly Lincoln Park and not a bad part of it (I quite like this area), but it’s far from the preferred part of LP. I don’t follow lots around here but it’s hard to imagine that it costs a million to get one, given all of the crappy places on full lots worth significantly less than $1 million. It’s been a teardown play for the last ten years. Maybe an easy teardown makes it worthwhile for a sale price of $800k – right around the 2002 price.

  5. $945,000 for a teardown that’s not overlooking the lake? To quote former our former mayor:

    “Silliest thing I ever heard in my life,” the mayor declared. “It really is silly…. It’s silly, silly, silly, silly.”

    “It is silly,” he said. “It is just silly. Silliness. That is all it is … completely silly, completely silly.”

  6. The backyard is awesome. Would make a great in-law ‘apartment’ for one of the neighboring houses.

    Other than that, obvious total teardown, but you’d have to do another one of these:

    http://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/2108-N-Magnolia-Ave-60614/home/13352909

    price-wise (more or less) for it to work. Check out the lot flipper who managed to lose money in 04/05 on that one.

  7. I’m curious about the 1 x 1 “other room 2.” It’s adorable and overpriced. I wonder how hard it would be to expand the existing structure; the cottage details are really cute.

  8. Anyone that pays over 600k for this is insane

  9. According to Redfin, it is under contract, so obviously people are willing to pay $1M for a tear down. Will that someone make money on it? We’ll see…..

  10. The lack of inventory will do crazy things to prices, see 2005….

  11. “According to Redfin, it is under contract, so obviously people are willing to pay $1M for a tear down. Will that someone make money on it? We’ll see…..”

    Hilarious. Just happened today.

    What I find so interesting is that buyers are SO DESPERATE yet a year ago they could care less about most of these properties. Why the desperation? I don’t get it.

  12. “you’d have to do another one of these: [2108-N-Magnolia-Ave] price-wise (more or less) for it to work”

    Which as you’re kinda pointing out did work and one could reasonably conclude from the mid 2012 (i.e. pre-current market) resale that you’d get a similar price to the Jan 2007 sale.

    “Why the desperation? I don’t get it.”

    They think they can build a house, sell it, and make money?

  13. “They think they can build a house, sell it, and make money?”

    No- not the flippers. Regular people. Why are people paying OVER list? Why are they waiving inspections?

    It’s completely irrational behavior for the Chicago market (inspections were NEVER waived even at the peak of the boom here.) I don’t get the sudden sense of urgency. I don’t get the “I MUST BUY NOW.”

  14. “No- not the flippers. Regular people.”

    You don’t think it’s a flipper/developer buying this?

    “Why are they waiving inspections?”

    Are a lot of people doing this for regular homes?

  15. steve heitman on May 20th, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    A full sized lot on Magnolia is worth $800k or so. Tear-down costs are about $10k.
    The market has spoken…

  16. steve heitman on May 20th, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    Maybe it is was purchased for a side yard by a neighbor. Again, the stock market has doubled in the past few years, and interest rates are are as low as they get. Buy it why you can… the property values in Lincoln Park are headed higher. Prime neighborhoods can’t be reproduced like Sabrina claims. Lincoln Park is as “prime” as it gets. Anything else is a compromise…

  17. steve heitman on May 20th, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    Sabrina, “It’s completely irrational behavior for the Chicago market (inspections were NEVER waived even at the peak of the boom here.) I don’t get the sudden sense of urgency. I don’t get the “I MUST BUY NOW.”

    You are missing the point. Brokers are still listing these properties based off comps that came the “distressed” sales when the economy was bad and there was so much uncertainty. They are doing this because they are either misinformed or the current strength of the market, or because they can convince the sellers to this and they want a quick sale. The market is no longer distressed and the people buying these properties are saving 30% over what it would cost to rent. Why is waiving $3k in inspection items, or paying over the ask, a bad idea when there is so much incentive to purchase over rent?

    Explain this to us Sabrina as I would love to hear the rationale.

    Here is a perfect example – A 3 bed, 2.1 bath townhome on Lakewood recently was listed at $450k. The seller received 5 offers and accepted an offer $7k over the ask. The total housing expense with 20% down would be $2,200 (taxes, dues, and including $566 monthly amortization), or about $1,650 in total monthly housing expense. The same home would rent for $3,000 per month. Please explain your rationale on why this is not a good purchase. The asking price is an arbitrary number and in no way determines true valuation.

    Thanks in advance Sabrina. I am just trying to better prepare for my family’s future and would love your advice on whether we should be renting or buying with 3% interest rates.

  18. steve heitman on May 21st, 2013 at 12:18 am

    Hi Sabrina –

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-more-poor-in-suburbs-20130520,0,357686.story

  19. “I don’t get the sudden sense of urgency. I don’t get the “I MUST BUY NOW.”

    I don’t get it either, but ‘I must buy now’ is code for ‘I should have bought earlier’, and that creates the immediate herd-like sense of urgency – at least in the GZ where prices are going up and will most likely continue to go up. ‘Completely irrational behavior for the Chicago market’… spot on, as midwestern DNA typically likes to think they’ll just wait for the world to implode so they can snag that corner lot in LP for $180K, but that didn’t quite happen now did it.

    ‘Midwesterners know that times could be worse, and they’re waiting for it to happen.’ Garrison Keillor

  20. gringozecarioca on May 21st, 2013 at 6:12 am

    “It’s completely irrational behavior”

    Not at all. It’s completely predictable and occurs over and over again everywhere you look. It is human behavior.. I was still a child when I gave up believing you could figure out a “correct” value.. Much simpler to just figure out direction of movement, and currently it is “up” and thus, for now, shall continue to be “up”. Where it stops.. Like the musical chair game says.. Nobody knows…

  21. I will be stunned if this closes near list. I’ve been looking at land in Lincoln Park lately and, granted some of them have been on busier streets, but some have sold in the 500s with some selling in the 800s.

  22. Thank you for posting perhaps the most absurdist house listing yet. Yes, I suspect that a deep-pocketed purchaser has selected this lot for his new house project. Lot price was probably not a factor. Hard to find lots in LP. No need to inspect; it’s all coming down anyways.

  23. looking to buy on May 21st, 2013 at 9:09 am

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-more-poor-in-suburbs-20130520,0,357686.story

    “Among the communities spotlighted in the book are suburbs in southern Cook County: Blue Island, Dolton, Lansing, Park Forest and South Holland.”

    “The relatively small size of many of these municipalities, years of economic restructuring, and sluggish population growth (or loss) meant that many of these suburbs did not have the capacity or resources to deal with the rapid spread of foreclosed and vacant properties threatening to destabilize their communities,” the authors write.

    “Just because there’s rising poverty in suburbs doesn’t mean there’s less poverty in cities now.”

    The income gap/wealth disparity is shining…..

  24. steve heitman on May 21st, 2013 at 9:12 am

    Who would buy a $850k lot in Lincoln Park when all that “prime” land is available in the surrounding areas? It just make no sense.

  25. “The relatively small size of many of these municipalities”

    Time for some suburban consolidation, but that would mean fewer patronage jobs for the mayor’s kin, so it won’t happen.

  26. What happens to prices when interest rates go back up? In order for that home to cost the same to the next buyer, prices must go down to accommodate the higher rate. The ship has sailed on buying at the bottom. Right now people are just locking up the low interest rate, but I think a dip in prices is imminent. This particular property is a bit different because its going to be demolished, but the same school of thought applies to the pricing.

  27. gringozecarioca on May 21st, 2013 at 10:26 am

    “What happens to prices when interest rates go back up? In order for that home to cost the same to the next buyer, prices must go down to accommodate the higher rate.”

    I’ll take the other side of that bet..

  28. steve heitman on May 21st, 2013 at 10:40 am

    Talk to Japan about when rates will go up. The entire world is in a slow growth phase and interest rates are not going anywhere for years. Free money is here to stay. Of course once people realize this, the push we have seen to beat the interest rate hike will slow, and the real estate market will return to a more normalized pace.

    Think of this scenario – Now that prices are back up, think of how many more people will now qualify to refinance out of those 6% rates and down to today’s 3.5% rates. This will only continue to help the housing market as distressed sales decline and more and more people decide to hold their homes and cash flow them and rentals. Low inventories will continue and prices will continue to rise…

    The answer is to buy a home you can stay in long term. It is so much cheaper than renting. Thank me now or you can thank me later.

  29. ‘but I think a dip in prices is imminent.’

    Of course a dip in prices is imminent, but so too is an increase in prices. I’m sure interest rates will climb too, but what that means is that the couple making $350K who was comfortable buying this place isn’t now, and was replaced with the couple making $400k who is.

    Short term RE has *always* been a white knuckle roller coaster ride with too many ups and downs (something totally forgotten during the mid-2000 price spiked insanity), but long term RE (at least in this well established Chicago neighborhood – I can’t speak for the dicey futures of the Flossmoors of the metro area), by and large has been a good investment, actually a really good investment. The other option of renting… over the span of one’s life, where does that lack of investment leave you?

  30. steve heitman on May 21st, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Another important piece of real estate advice – A home is a depreciating asset and must be maintained and upgraded throughout the years. If you purchase in a great location and your ratio to building cost to land cost is 30 / 70, you will have an easier time maintaining your investment over time. Let’s say the land under your home appreciates at a 3% annual clip and your home itself is depreciating at 5% annually. If you pay $1,000,000 for a small single family in Lincoln Park, you will have depreciation / maintenance of $15,000 per year and land appreciation of $21,000 per year. If you purchase in the burbs where land is cheap, your ratios would be closer to 80 / 20. Take the same larger $1,000,000 and you have $40k in depreciation and only $6k in appreciation. This is a generic example but it does explain why homes in Lake Forest usually take a bigger hit on resales.

  31. yeah jay, who knew that 30 years ago buying in LP would be such a great investment? You could say the same for uptown 30 years ago too and look where that is today. A lot of it has been luck and changing demographics (and a huge boom during that time too).

  32. ‘yeah jay, who knew that 30 years ago buying in LP would be such a great investment?’

    25 years ago when I bought in LP, it was already an established neighborhood – nothing like it is now, but hardly a ghetto as it kinda was, depending on what one considers a ghetto to be, in the 60′s/70′s. Sheffield/Ranch Triangle, where this property is located, was dicier and its lower property values (compared to those of LP) certainly reflected that; a lot of people bought there only because they couldn’t afford LP, their preferred choice. The real pioneers bought SF homes with garages in LP for $20K in the mid 60′s, and sold them to the likes of me for upper $400′s in the 80′s. Uptown on the other hand was *never* on anyones gentrifying radar in the 80′s unless you had to have one of those grand old homes near the lake, and you knowing took a major risk but still didn’t care.

    ‘A lot of it has been luck and changing demographics’

    Not so sure about that.

  33. “25 years ago when I bought in LP, it was already an established neighborhood – nothing like it is now, but hardly a ghetto as it kinda was, depending on what one considers a ghetto to be, in the 60?s/70?s.”

    1960s/70s? My gosh. Selective memory Jay. It was so bad around DePaul, parents wouldn’t let their kids go to school there (and they certainly wouldn’t let them live on campus.) It was a dump. Pure and simple. Maybe not the “ghetto” – but that was probably left up to other parts of the city.

    The 70s weren’t kind to ANY major city. Everyone fled them and moved to the burbs. Crime was awful. Remember, the murder rate peaked in the early 1980s and was WAY higher than anything we are seeing today. LP stunk in the 1970s- but, like I said, pretty much the entire city did.

  34. Anyone think Steve Heitman sounds at all like the old, sad line of, “Buy now or be priced out forever?”

    Yes, buying is a wise idea, but there is NO need to buy this moment versus in a year. Prices are NOT going to go up 20% a month or even 20% a year in 99.99% of the cases.

    Ugh….

  35. However, I am glad I bought late last year…not because prices are skyrocketing but simply because the market was much less crazy. I had time to think and decide the house that was right and what was the correct price, now I feel like people are seeing homes and placing offers on them because they feel they’ll disappear otherwise. Our house, we placed an offer on and then it sat for two months without any other offers and the buyers came down to a reasonable price. Hard to believe that’d happen today. It is a crazy time…

  36. ” the murder rate peaked in the early 1980s”

    Peak homicides in Chicago was in 1974; peak rate per 100,000 residents was in 1992 (94 was very close)

  37. Steve heitman on May 22nd, 2013 at 12:13 am

    Sounds like a bunch of people are wishing they scooped up Lincoln park property when it was available. Now you will have to wait it bid up anything that comes on the market. I am in know way saying, “buy now or be priced out forever”. What I am saying is if you rent you are making soone else wealthy with your payments. Be smart and buy at these low interest rates!

    Sabrina, do you disagree? Should you pay $3k in rent it $1800 in PITA? Would love to hear your thoughts…

  38. Steve heitman on May 22nd, 2013 at 12:14 am

    What are the peak murder rates in the burbs?

  39. “Should you pay $3k in rent it $1800 in PITA? Would love to hear your thoughts…”

    You have the wrong “Lincoln” Steve. The real hot Lincoln is STILL Lincoln Square (or, I would also add anything in Southport.) All the 20 and 30-somethings with young families want to be in those two neighborhoods. There is NOTHING on the market in either area. It’s insane right now. I feel really badly for those looking to buy in Lincoln Square right now.

    As for your question- who is paying $3,000 in rent? No one I know.

  40. “Peak homicides in Chicago was in 1974; peak rate per 100,000 residents was in 1992 (94 was very close)”

    Thanks anon(tfo). I don’t know what I saw recently then that said it was the early 1980s. Maybe it was shootings. It wasn’t 800 either. It was like 2,000. Maybe that’s what it was (comparing it to what is going on right now- which is nothing compared to back then.)

    “The onslaught continued, and no area of the city was spared. In mid-March, three elderly people were killed in an apartment in an apparent burglary in the 1900 block of North Clark Street. A sergeant on the scene called it, “the cowardliest sort of crime.” In early June, a North Side doctor was stabbed to death, allegedly by his 50-year-old son, and that same week police hunted an ex-convict suspected in a triple slaying in the 5700 block of North Winthrop Avenue.

    In mid-June, Officer Robert Strugala was killed and his partner was wounded after a ferocious gun battle in a tavern on 26th Street near Kedzie Avenue, and in August, police Sgt. Otha LeMons was killed during an armed robbery at a bar on East 103rd Street. He was off duty.”

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-07-08/site/ct-per-flash-1974-murders-0708-20120708_1_first-homicides-deadly-year-chicago-police

  41. “I don’t know what I saw recently then that said it was the early 1980s”

    Possible that a worst month was in the early 80s. High homicide number from the early 70s thru the mid-90s, when it finally started dropping. 92 and 94 were both over 900 homicides.

    The reason last years rise was shocking was that other cities didn’t see similar jumps. From the early 70s til the end of the crack wars, there was a lot of killing all over.

  42. The city had an awful reputation for the longest time. The GZ neighborhoods don’t have much 1980′s construction – other than maybe LP. Shit blew up in the 90′s though. Cinderblock everywhere.

  43. “The GZ neighborhoods don’t have much 1980?s construction – other than maybe LP.”

    Fair amount of 80s era crap around the edges of the GC, and all along the lake, east of the red line. The New York was completed in ’86, as one prominent example.

  44. There’s a lot of 1970′s 3+1′s etc. Sure there’s some 1980′s architecture but it’s by no means know for the 1980′s architecture. Rarely am I out and about and do I notice ’80′s’ architecture in teh city other than some office buildings.

  45. ‘Selective memory Jay’

    First things first. You’re confusing the *Sheffield* neighborhood with the *LP* neighborhood. I know anon is rolling his eyes as he reads, but they were/are two different neighborhoods well before the greedy brokers/sellers starting calling everything in 60614 LP because it had posh ring to it – and it does make a difference anon. Sheffield in the late 70′s when we arrived was low rent, while LP was more affluent (Shivers on the park, Bruce Graham on Cleveland, Rockefeller heirs also on Cleveland, assorted Md’s and lawyers, Bob Green who coined the term ‘yuppie’ from his neighborhood observations, and the always RE savvy gays who owned most of those large Victorians on Fullerton – because boys town was right along Clark Street then). We lived on the wrong side of the tracks (west of Halsted), and I was quite aware of it. But on the other hand, a young Shelly Young who then had a TV show called ‘Sorting it Out’ was our neighbor, so how bad could it really be?

    ‘It was so bad around DePaul, parents wouldn’t let their kids go to school there’

    Right, if you say so. These are the same sorts of parents today who issue Amber Alert if their kids come home late from pilates class, and think that siblings sharing a bedroom amounts to some sort of twisted child neglect – it’s all about perspective. Muggings, garage break-ins, car theft, petty crimes (we once had someone climb a 6 ft fence and steel our Weber grill that was filled with charcoal dust – dust all over the yard and I can only assume all over the thief) were your basic crimes. I was only jumped once when I was a teenager, and an old lady saw it out of her window, called the police, and my attackers were caught and went to jail (because they had a knife and it was then armed robbery). Ironically, they were from the lilly white SUBURBS, yeah the burbs, because nothing quite screams ghetto gangst’a like having orthodontically straightened teeth, a lawyer provided by your parents, and Members Only jackets I’m assuming were purchased from Merry Go Round at some fucking Orland Park mall. Murders? Now and again, but it was Latino on Latino crime rooted in a caliente moment of passion: ‘you slept with my cousin’s sister’s cousin’s sister?’ – pop. The neighborhood thugs didn’t bother you, and if you were nice to their mothers who worked at Mini-Max Mexican restaurant on Webster, they really didn’t bother you.

    The suburban based prospective of city living is usually wrong. But what the hell do I know, I just lived there.

  46. “and it does make a difference anon”

    It certainly *did*. Even 20 years ago it still really did. Notwithstanding the continued presence of the street signs carving up the sub-hoods, it’s far less material today.

    “are the same sorts of parents today who issue Amber Alert if their kids come home late from pilates class, and think that siblings sharing a bedroom amounts to some sort of twisted child neglect”

    Heh.

    “Members Only jackets ”

    Heh heh.

    “boys town was right along Clark Street then”

    With some skeevy pickup bars down in Old Town. Good ol’ days, eh?

  47. ” but it was Latino on Latino crime rooted in a caliente moment of passion: ‘you slept with my cousin’s sister’s cousin’s sister?’ – pop.”

    That’s TOTALLY RACIST. I pretty much disregarded everything in your post as soon as you started using Hispanic stereotypes to as ‘proof’ that the LP crime wasn’t nuthin’ back then.

  48. “Hispanic stereotypes ”

    He used “Latino”, HD. That’s totally different from “Hispanic”.

    Anyway, haven’t you ever seen West Side Story? Jay’s just representing reality thru the lens of Sondheim re-imagining Shakespeare.

  49. ‘Jay’s just representing reality thru the lens of Sondheim re-imagining Shakespeare.’

    Yeah, that’s it anon. Speaking of cinematic lenses, here’s one that has nothing to do with anything, and for the cheap seats:

    There was this really nice 40 something couple that lived around the corner from the above house on Lakewood. They had one of those really large places that had been gutted and was very loft like inside – one big room with beamed ceilings and with several smaller rooms attached. They also had this big side yard hidden behind a tall fence, and everyone just assumed that there was a lavish garden behind it… nobody really saw it thru the fence, but come to find out later that’s exactly what was there – a very private garden.

    I had kinda knew of them from engaging in small talk while they were out walking the dog, but one day they asked me if I would be interested in housesitting for them now and again as they traveled to LA often; not housesitting really (I think they had an on and off maid), just watering the garden and taking in the mail and UPS which they said they had a lot of. I’m thinking I was 16 or 17 at the time, and I’m all ‘yeah sure’, as they were offering $10 at the time – that’s a lot of Athenian Room for me and my friends, and considering minimum wage was something like $3 then, that’s a nice sum of cash for 20 minutes work.

    So I start my ‘housesitting’ duties and they were right, they got a LOT of mail and UPS boxes. I think it was the fall, so I didn’t really have a lot of outdoor watering to do at first, but being a curious teenager I naturally began exploring this massive house (maybe it was after a month or so of working for them when I became more comfortable to snoop). Nothing out of the ordinary regarding the house other than it was large, but a couple of the bedrooms off the large main room seemed kinda odd, not really bedroom like but more fake, like studio set fake… because that’s what they were… a studio set… as in a porn studio set… as in my employers made porn there… so much so, that’s why they had lots of mail coming in and going out… as in their attached garage was filled with cameras, lighting, props, and hundreds of VHS boxes whose covers were clearly shot in one of their bedroom studio sets and outside in the private garden. I found the golden ticket!

    I said nothing to them (naturally I told my buddies), they never said anything to me. I worked for them for about a year, they sold the house (actually I think they ‘fired’ me first) and that was that. The house is still there, and it ‘may’ have been featured on CC a couple of years ago… one of those $3MM places by now. One day I’m going to find some vintage porn that was shot in that house and drop it thru the new owner’s mail box just for fun.

  50. “Yeah, that’s it anon.”

    More likely that than **RACISM**, no? Everyone knows a Shark’ll cut ya.

  51. Don’t forget the development of the Seminary, the original “gated community.” Brought working class families into the heart of DePaul using a lottery system, which is a great to manipulate supply and demand.

    “First things first. You’re confusing the *Sheffield* neighborhood with the *LP* neighborhood. I know anon is rolling his eyes as he reads, but they were/are two different neighborhoods well before the greedy brokers/sellers starting calling everything in 60614 LP because it had posh ring to it – and it does make a difference anon. Sheffield in the late 70?s when we arrived was low rent, while LP was more affluent (Shivers on the park, Bruce Graham on Cleveland, Rockefeller heirs also on Cleveland, assorted Md’s and lawyers, Bob Green who coined the term ‘yuppie’ from his neighborhood observations, and the always RE savvy gays who owned most of those large Victorians on Fullerton – because boys town was right along Clark Street then). We lived on the wrong side of the tracks (west of Halsted), and I was quite aware of it. But on the other hand, a young Shelly Young who then had a TV show called ‘Sorting it Out’ was our neighbor, so how bad could it really be? “

  52. Sold at listing, http://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/2151-N-Magnolia-Ave-60614/home/13352709?

    apparently, asking for the sky can actually get you there.

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