Bidding War for 3-Bedroom SFH in Old Town Triangle Listed for Just $500,000: 315 W. Eugenie

This 3-bedroom historic farmhouse at 315 W. Eugenie in the Old Town Triangle Landmark District came on the market listed for just $500,000 only 3 days ago. (No- you aren’t reading that price wrong.)

By the time you read this, it may already be too late to make a bid as “highest and best” offers were due by 12 pm today.

The house was built in 1897 on a 24×120 lot.

It is one of the rare Old Town lots that actually has a 2-car garage.

I don’t know all the rules about rehabbing in the Triangle (I’m sure someone can tell us) but I’m assuming this house MUST be restored and cannot be torn down.

The listing says the home still has the original windows, hardwood floors and trim.

It has an unfinished basement with just 6 foot ceilings.

The listing says buyers should bring their contractor.

This house was on the market back in 2009. It was listed for $1.05 million and didn’t sell.

What’s the strategy of listing it at a really, really low price of $500,000 instead of something more reasonable like $750,000?

Buyers actually looking in this range won’t be able to bid, say, $750,000 or higher in order to try and “win”. So why bother to include them in the game?

BUT- you also get a lot more eyeballs to look at it and could stoke demand for those who CAN pay more. It will certainly create a sense of urgency if you get, say, 100 bids instead of just 15. Or if prospective buyers are there touring the place with 50 other couples instead of just 5.

Will this house sell for over a million dollars in a bidding war?

Burt Fujishima at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures here.

315 W. Eugenie: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2200 square feet, 2 car garage

  • Last sold before 1987
  • Originally listed in 2008-2009
  • Was listed in 2009 for $1.05 million
  • Withdrawn
  • Currently listed for $500,000
  • Best and highest offer by 12 pm on June 12, 2013
  • Taxes of $13766
  • Space Pak
  • Bedroom #1: 16×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 14×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 18×7 (main floor)

 

38 Responses to “Bidding War for 3-Bedroom SFH in Old Town Triangle Listed for Just $500,000: 315 W. Eugenie”

  1. I’m not so sure how underpriced this property is. I looked at it since I live close buy and there are a few things that would make me pause (quirky layout, potential foundation issues, etc). I also don’t think that lot size is correct. I think this is more of a 100 foot lot than a 120 foot one. The restriction of having to rennovate versus teardown would be a huge issue for me as the floor plan is quite small. I’m interested to see what it does sell for.

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  2. Burt Fujishima has managed to sell some hard to sell properties. This one shouldn’t be hard to sell at all.

    What’s the strategy you ask? Well the buyers looking in the $500k range will think they found a great deal and set off the bidding war, not realizing at first they never had a shot at this place. Assuming a high number of bids and a price climb to $750k or more, Fujishima looks like a genius for bringing in 50% above ask.

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  3. I’ve never understood this strategy and I think it’s really risky – especially if it’s only been on the market 3 days. I have buyers that travel a lot and might not be able to get in to see a property like this in 3 days. You DO NOT get good price discovery. What’s the harm in listing it more realistically? And if anything they should be delaying the bidding not trying to accelerate it.

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  4. @Icarus -Maybe it’s because 750k is way out of my price range but I definitely do not get the strategy. A. Most people give a realtor a budget , say 700-800k. When that realtor doesn’t find them anything, then he starts looking at higher or lower. Wouldn’t this strategy backfire by this property being completely off the radar of abled buyers? Especially when they have 3 days to bite?

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  5. The seller told their agent “dump it”. No time to wait for offers or a deal that falls through.

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  6. “Well the buyers looking in the $500k range will think they found a great deal and set off the bidding war, not realizing at first they never had a shot at this place. Assuming a high number of bids and a price climb to $750k or more, Fujishima looks like a genius for bringing in 50% above ask.”

    I agree with you Icarus but it still doesn’t make sense. If I’m HD and I’m looking at the $500k range (mainly townhouses and duplex downs most likely) and this house came across on my listings- how high do you think he can go? $600,000 at the max? He’s a first time home buyer, most likely. And we all KNOW it’s not going to sell for that. So do they even go look at it after getting over the initial excitement? Do they even put in an offer? They KNOW they’re not going to get it. These are blind bids. You don’t know what everyone else is doing.

    Or does the agent just list it for $750,000 or even $800,000- which is still “cheap” for Old Town (for a SFH with a garage in the prime triangle area) and then wait to get multiple bids from buyers who actually have the firepower to pay what you want (and also the money to actually renovate it.)

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  7. “Wouldn’t this strategy backfire by this property being completely off the radar of abled buyers? Especially when they have 3 days to bite?”

    Yes. Plus, it’s a very fast turnaround for a property where you have to bring your contractor in there. But everyone I know who is looking has said they have to take days off of work just to go and look at properties because you have to see them the first day they come on the market.

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  8. Could there be some structural flaws?

    I don’t get this strategy either. I remember bidding on a very low priced condo at one point. It was a short sale and the realtor knew the bank wanted 50% more than asking. I made my offer and it was accepted by the seller, but rejected by the bank. The realtor then proceeded to lower the price on the condo by $10k a week. I wonder what happened to that unit. I wish I could remember the unit number.

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  9. Laura Louzader on June 12th, 2013 at 9:12 am

    I hate games like this. Great to have a hot market to drive a bidding war for an ancient house needy of work and that looks like the previous occupant fled in the night.

    Still, I agree it’s a weird strategy to start so far under the market- they are attracting people who can’t afford to pay more than the minimum. Wouldn’t it have been better to start slightly under the market- say, $990K, to get legitimate bidders?

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  10. Great location and garage. That is all the positive things I can say about this property.

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  11. Live right around the corner and love this area.

    Maybe too outside of the box here, but how hard would it be (and is it possible) to keep this as much “as is” as possible and turn it into 2 apartments or maybe 3 if you could rehab the basement to liveable? I’m sure a floorplan would help a lot more, but at what price, in addition to the rehab, would that make fiscal sense?

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  12. Laura Louzader on June 12th, 2013 at 9:51 am

    They COULD stage the place- you know, clean it up a little and get the odds and end out of it, then start the bidding at a price related to the current market, which is just a bit higher than $500K.

    Right now, it looks like the previous occupant fled in the night like a felon on the lam.

    And what’s that in the dining room, that looks like a furnace or central AC unit? Looks awful.

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  13. Neighbor should buy this house and connect the two. There are a couple of houses in the OTT that have done that (including the one where the Alinea owner lives). I think this goes for $700k-ish. After a renovation its probably worth $1mm. I can’t imagine it being more than this post-reno even if market is better now:

    http://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/327-W-Menomonee-St-60614/home/13344983

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  14. I saw this a couple days ago, and was like damn if I only had way too much money and free time I could make this a real gem. Love the location, but the house is in pretty bad shape I’m sure to be priced so low.

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  15. Lot size is 24′ x 103.5′

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  16. You guys always make me laugh. A $600,000 home is for a “first time buyer”? A place where painter’s and cleaner’s supplies strewn about looks like “the previous occupant was a felon who fled in the night”? Time for a reality check, folks.

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  17. “You guys always make me laugh. A $600,000 home is for a “first time buyer”? A place where painter’s and cleaner’s supplies strewn about looks like “the previous occupant was a felon who fled in the night”? Time for a reality check, folks.”

    I agree. How many first time buyers look at $600,000 places? This is a good location and with a garage its great but it cannot be torn down due to landmark restrictions in the specific block?

    If you could tear it down what would land value be? $800,000?

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  18. steve heitman on June 12th, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    It is a estate sale and the home needs a complete gut. It will sell north of $750k as they have 25 offers already.

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  19. steve heitman on June 12th, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Land value with a 2 car garage is close to $1 million.

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  20. I’m assuming they would have to be cash offers too. This one is not for the normal people even looking in the $1M range.

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  21. Saw this at an open house on Sunday. It’s a dump. But the location is great, especially when it comes with parking.

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  22. How much does it cost to tear down a house of this size?

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  23. I don’t think its allowed to be torn down as its in the landmark district. It would be around $30-40K to tear down. Just to renovate this will cost $250,000 in my opinion, and could be upwards of $400,000 depending on finishes and what you truly want out of the property.

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  24. I don’t think there is any chance you would be able to get permitting to make any changes to the front facade, roof line or anything else that can be seen from the street – let alone get the permitting to tear this house down. Check out the notes from the recent Landmarks commission meetings and they don’t seem to apt to permit anything like this in the area. That alone would keep my bid low for a property like this.

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  25. Yeah, you need connections with the landmarks commission and knowledge about what would be very likely to be approved. This will have to be an all-cash buyer too. Way too rich for me…

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  26. Nouns forms for “permitting” are “permit” and “permission”.

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  27. ‘Yeah, you need connections with the landmarks commission and knowledge about what would be very likely to be approved.’

    No, you wouldn’t need any ‘connections’ with the landmarks commission as what you see now is what you’ll have to live with (with the facade that is), so it’s pretty straight forward and for the most part void of any potential city/homeowner corruption. You’d also have the neighborhood association and your actual neighbors to deal with, and they fiercely protect the architectural character of their neighborhood, and have done so for decades… this ain’t their first time to the rodeo and they’ve seen all the tricks; there’s a reason the area is so charming and so desirable. You could gut the interior, blow out the back, build a new garage, and perhaps even add a couple of dormers to make it into your dream house, and if you can’t live with that you have no business buying in a historical district in the first place.

    Can’t think of any ‘modern’ options for a house in an historical area? Let the archives of CC serve as your guide. Before: http://www.leapre.com/PDFViewer.asp?Brochure=leap/brochures/BR9393393127.PDF

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  28. After: http://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/410-W-Webster-Ave-60614/home/13349561

    Sold for $738K a few years ago (and debated here, you know, when the city was collapsing and would never ever recover… ever), add maybe $50K worth of upgrades/millwork to an already renovated house, sell it for nearly $1MM today. Imagine the potential with the OT property.

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  29. This is not for the average $500,000 buyer. Great location and parking makes it a real find for someone with money and ideas.

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  30. I live in the neighborhood and this house is a beauty! Needs a lot of work but for anyone passionate about owning and restoring an historic property like this, it’s a great opportunity.
    Our neighborhood association (www.oldtowntriangle.com) can provide a wealth of info on the process (and potential challenges) of restoring a landmark property in “The Triangle”, or attend one of their monthly meetings for “landmarks and zoning” to ask questions. Needless to say, it can’t be torn down, even the original single pane windows will likely have to stay :)

    No idea why the sudden rush to sell – this property has sat empty for years. Although I heard the previous owner “swapped” it with someone for a condo in Gold Coast, and now the new owner just wants to cash it in. I find this pricing strategy confusing… But I think it makes this property only suitable for a small development firm who can buy it, do a custom restoration, and sell it at a premium.

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  31. Going, going, gone! I put an offer in and didn’t get it. I was told by my realtor that they got 27 offers. Price was not disclosed, but they accepted a cash offer that was above my offer of $600.

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  32. “Going, going, gone! I put an offer in and didn’t get it. I was told by my realtor that they got 27 offers. Price was not disclosed, but they accepted a cash offer that was above my offer of $600.”

    Thanks C. I wonder how many of the 27 offers were just like yours at $600k? This is what I argued. We all know it’s not going to sell for $600k. It will sell closer to $800k or $900k. So what’s the point? Why list it so low?

    We’ll have to see when it closes.

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  33. Cash is king. Unless you are rich and liquid, and/or have personal lines of credit that allow for a cash purchase, you will be shut out of the market for anything like this.

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  34. I’m going to wager it sells for 925k

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  35. this house sells for UNDER 700k. book it

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  36. Rumor in the neighborhood that this sold for about 700k.

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  37. steve heitman on July 10th, 2013 at 10:07 am

    “Thanks C. I wonder how many of the 27 offers were just like yours at $600k? This is what I argued. We all know it’s not going to sell for $600k. It will sell closer to $800k or $900k. So what’s the point? Why list it so low?”

    It is an estate sale and the house needs a complete gut. Why list higher and wast months getting to the intrinsic value. The area is in high demand and they had 50 showings. I see no problem pricing for a bidding war considering the situation…

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  38. sold for 675k… must be in pretty bad shape!

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