Want to be a Landlord in Bucktown? A Victorian 2-Flat at 1636 N. Claremont

This Victorian 2-flat at 1636 N. Claremont in Bucktown has been on the market since July 2013.

It looks to be connected to another 2-flat next door.

Each unit appears to have its own separate entrance.

Here are the units:

  1. Unit #1: 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, no central air, rent of $1450 a month
  2. Unit #2: 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, no central air, rent of $1445 a month

The building was built in 1891 on a 25×125 lot.

The unit has high ceilings, crown moldings and arched doorways.

There are lovely gardens in the backyard but no garage although the building next door has a garage so there is plenty of space and an alley in the back in case you want to build one.

The units don’t have central air but there are window units.

There is an unfinished basement with a washer/dryer for the building.

Does this make sense as an investment?

1636 n claremont #2

Elizabeth Galfer at Jameson Sotheby’s has the listing. See the pictures here.

1636 N. Claremont: 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2-flat

  • Sold in March 2007 for $485,000
  • Originally listed in July 2013 for $580,000
  • Currently still listed for $580,000
  • Taxes of $8207
  • Total rental income of $34,740
  • No central air- window units only
  • Washer/dryer in the basement
  • No parking

 

35 Responses to “Want to be a Landlord in Bucktown? A Victorian 2-Flat at 1636 N. Claremont”

  1. Can anyone explain how one sells a mult unit property? I would only buy one if the price was such that I’d be making a little bit of money above what it costs me. However, every multi unit listing I see is priced well above that point. Maybe I just don’t get the math

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  2. Redhouse:

    In the better hoods, It’s typically been a proposition where the rent from the second unit substantially reduces the cost to the owner’s unit. As a straight up cash flow rental, they’ve rarely made sense, and with expected cap rates (IMO) too low now, it’s even worse. Even considering the tear down lot value of the place, I think they’re asking too much in that location. As a potential cashflower, no way

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  3. @Redhouse

    i’m sure there are many business models but essentially you buy a 2 flat for just a little more than you would a SFH and you live in one unit while you rent the other. The idea is that the rental is covering more than half your monthly mortgage and you are hopefully saving the rest. then one or more of the following things that you cannot influence happen:

    1) the neighborhood gentrifies
    2) interest rates become lower than when you purchased said 2 flat.
    3) the Force is with you, always such that you never have to put too much money into repairs and upkeep and never lose your job.

    you use the increased equity plus your savings to buy a new SFH somewhere else and you rent both units to cover the now refi’d mortgage and maybe even a little bit of your SFH. Obviously the trick is finding a 2 flat in a soon to become gentrified hood that doesn’t need any major renovations or repairs and that professional flippers or investors take a pass on.

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  4. Matt from Chicago on August 27th, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Isn’t there also some kind of property tax reduction for owner-occupied multi-family buildings? I could have sworn I read about one in the Tribune years ago but, alas, I was in my early 20s and not as concerned with things like “investments” and “real estate” back in those days.
    Anyways, I think this is a potentially nice investment, especially since it will be so close to the Bloomingdale Trail/606 Park and an access point at Milwaukee & Leavitt.

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  5. The changes to the CC site are leaving me a bit confused. Did I miss the post where Sabrina explained why she changed it?

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  6. Hate the new layout for CC. Makes no sense.

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  7. Nice place. I like the back yard. I’m guessing the apts are on the small side, but they could probably get better rents.

    I’m not familiar with this part of Buckers, but much of the neighborhood is in the tear-down-and-build-a-bozarts-townehome phase. The speculative gains of simple gentrification have been made. I would be tempted to say you’re cashing this dude out, but I see he bought in 2007, so he cashed somebody else out.

    Redhouse, if you’re buying strictly as an investment, naturally this is a terrible one. If you’re buying a 2-flat to have a subsidized place to call your own and an inflation hedge, I dunno. PITI nut of $3k/mo. You could easily charge half that in rent, but that doesn’t account for maintenance costs (on these bldgs, no joke), vacancy, opportunity cost of DP, the sheer headache and worry of landlording, etc. All those things look much less daunting when the first digit is a 3. Gotta go west of Western for them deals. Still, I’m rooting for this seller.

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  8. “Hate the new layout for CC. Makes no sense.”

    Everyone hates all new websites.

    The layout makes sense.

    You wanted a forum. This is the forum. The site will mainly be a forum now instead of me simply posting the content. Now you all can post whatever links you want about whatever properties you want.

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  9. “The changes to the CC site are leaving me a bit confused. Did I miss the post where Sabrina explained why she changed it?”

    You all wanted a forum. This IS the forum.

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  10. “You all wanted a forum. This IS the forum.”

    I’m going to post links to every new property listed in Long Grove and Lake Zurich, every day!

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  11. I just posted another topic in the GreenZone forum. You can see it on the right hand side of the home page.

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  12. [Sabrina] “Does this make sense as an investment?”

    As an investment by itself? No.

    As a owner occupied building for a DINK that absolutely has to live in the neighborhood? Yes.

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  13. ill be honest the need to register has me spooked

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  14. “ill be honest the need to register has me spooked”

    You had to register to comment too.

    Hm…but I realize this might be different because you actually get a password sent to you so you need a fake e-mail that is actually working.

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  15. Tried to register but couldn’t, so I’ll comment here on that Schiller place. Freaking awesome. Pity it will be bought by someone who isn’t a “vintage lover” and all that plasterwork will be destroyed. WIndows too. Although I’m puzzled by those multi-lite windows on 1st floor and 2nd floor right. Anybody have an idea if those would be original design? Love that the kitchen’s in the basement. That will be brought upstairs, requiring retrofit that will destroy proportions of 1st floor — unless buyer is willing to sacrifice convenience for love of vintage.

    Sabrina, my two cents on redesign, in case there’s opportunity to tweak. I’d like to have easy links on homepage to, like, last six posts, for sake of easy navigation. I also liked the long list of recent comment posts that used to be on right rail. Certain people pique my interest more than others. Good luck with it all.

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  16. “Tried to register but couldn’t, so I’ll comment here on that Schiller place.”

    What did it tell you? Why couldn’t you register?

    Yeah- I’m thinking I may have to bring back the most recent comment widget. But that defeats the purpose of the forum.

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  17. Put in username and email address, and hit “Register” button. Sent me to log-in screen with a box that read, “User registration is currently not allowed.”

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  18. I also got the “User registration is currently not allowed.” wordpress message when trying to register

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  19. I was able to register, but appears that replies to topics are being moderated, too, as of now.

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  20. So. if you register, you get sent to moderation, even for blog comments.

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  21. “ill be honest the need to register has me spooked”
    That’s the cost of business for any sort of attempt at moderation of the trolls.

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  22. Am I the only one not sure where we are supposed to comment and whether the comment will get through?

    The cribchatter logo font at the bottom is HUGE.

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  23. Things I don’t understand:

    1. Are the featured properties also threads on one of the fora?
    2. If no to (1), where do they go? Are they in the archives? Do they start out that way before being archived?
    3. Is Sabrina still going to do featured props in the future?
    4. Why is everything so slow?
    5. What’s the difference between teh prop type and teh neighborhood/burbs archives? Why do some but nto all listings appear in both places?
    6 Why do all these ads of places I wanted to go on vacation but didn’t get my act together in time to do so appear all the time?
    7. How did HD get an avatar? Is that really HD? I guess is kinda looks like HD.
    8. I feel a need to mention icky, just bc. I also feel as if a wiki would be perfect for the new format.
    9. What’s my user number?
    10. What happened to the golden age of cribchatter?
    11. Why is everything so slow?

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  24. I would reccomend maybe linking the blog comments to a forum post somehow? or re-directing them there as well? could be a new interesting way to generate discussion

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  25. Things I don’t understand:

    1. Are the featured properties also threads on one of the fora?
    No.

    2. If no to (1), where do they go? Are they in the archives? Do they start out that way before being archived?
    They go into the archives, just like before. You can search by month so it is easy to find all the recent featured properties.

    3. Is Sabrina still going to do featured props in the future?
    Yes- we wouldn’t want the same properties flashing over and over again on the front page. What fun would that be?

    4. Why is everything so slow?
    There are a lot of features running on the site. The plugins and widgets slow it down. I’m trying to get it as fast as I can.

    5. What’s the difference between teh prop type and teh neighborhood/burbs archives? Why do some but nto all listings appear in both places?
    If it’s a single family home and is in Lakeview, it will appear in the Lakeview archives as wells as the SFH one.

    6 Why do all these ads of places I wanted to go on vacation but didn’t get my act together in time to do so appear all the time?
    Because you keep searching for them on the internet. If you were looking at cars all afternoon, car ads would appear. Clearly you need a vacation.

    7. How did HD get an avatar? Is that really HD? I guess is kinda looks like HD.
    I don’t know how he got one. Once you register for the forum, I believe you can upload an avatar.

    8. I feel a need to mention icky, just bc. I also feel as if a wiki would be perfect for the new format.

    9. What’s my user number?
    There is no user number. You register for the forum just as you would register to leave a comment.

    10. What happened to the golden age of cribchatter?
    Life.

    11. Why is everything so slow?
    See answer above.

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  26. So. if you register, you get sent to moderation, even for blog comments.

    No. The blog is separate. If you are already leaving comments here, then you can continue to do so without doing anything else. With the forum, I believe only the first topic or reply someone posts will need to be moderated. After that, you should be able to continue doing so (just like the comments on the blog.) But we won’t know until it’s active for a few days.

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  27. “7. How did HD get an avatar? Is that really HD? I guess is kinda looks like HD.
    I don’t know how he got one. Once you register for the forum, I believe you can upload an avatar.”
    The upload on the profile seems to be missing. There is an add-in for Firefox. Or if you have a gravitas account.

    “8. I feel a need to mention icky, just bc. I also feel as if a wiki would be perfect for the new format.”

    Thanks for the shout out DZ

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  28. “Can anyone explain how one sells a mult unit property? I would only buy one if the price was such that I’d be making a little bit of money above what it costs me. However, every multi unit listing I see is priced well above that point. ”

    Any sort of investment property in theory should trade so that the investor gets a good risk adjusted return on their money but it doesn’t always work that way. These things get listed at whatever price the seller believes they can get in their wildest dreams. Sometimes their dreams are realized. I’ve seen buyers accept ridiculously low returns. They must be banking on the appreciation.

    The expected risk adjusted return at which you can buy these varies by neighborhood. In general the return in Lincoln Park is going to be lower than the return on section 8 housing in a low income neighborhood.

    Not everyone who buys these intends to live in the building. When they do intend to live in the building they should a) evaluate it based upon the return it would provide if it was totally rented out b) then decide if they are willing to “spend” the rent they could have gotten from the unit they will occupy on their own housing costs.

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  29. “So. if you register, you get sent to moderation, even for blog comments.

    No. The blog is separate.”

    I dunno, but I registered, then commented while logged in, and got the ‘awaiting moderation’ thing.

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  30. “I dunno, but I registered, then commented while logged in, and got the ‘awaiting moderation’ thing.”

    Testing this.

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  31. Also, have attempted 4 or 5 times to reply to a forum topic, and have not gotten it to work.

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  32. Just tried again to reply on the forums, and nothing happened. Nothing posted, no notice of awaiting moderation, no error message. Nothing.

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  33. “Just tried again to reply on the forums, and nothing happened. Nothing posted, no notice of awaiting moderation, no error message. Nothing.”

    Same.

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  34. I’ll try to register for the forums soon. I’ve got a million questions about renovating a basement…average PSF, should I drywall or just panel, is it worth studding out..etc

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  35. “Just tried again to reply on the forums, and nothing happened. Nothing posted, no notice of awaiting moderation, no error message. Nothing.”

    There won’t be any new featured posts today because I was too busy trying to figure out the forums last night to write any. Besides, everyone is already on vacation for the holiday weekend.

    The forum should now be working. It should also now tell you that you are being moderated. I put through several replies so those people should be able to reply now without moderation (I hope.) Try it out and let me know if that’s the case.

    I know the site is running extremely slow. I’m still working on that. It has a lot of gadgets on it and the forum isn’t helping matters either. Please have patience.

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