You’ll Pay 37.6% More for this Streeterville 2-Bedroom Than 3-Years Ago: 600 N. Fairbanks

This 2-bedroom in Helmut Jahn’s 600 N. Fairbanks in Streeterville just came on the market.

Long time readers might recognize it because we chattered about it in 2009 and wondered if the buyer in 2009 would make any money 5+ years down the line. (The comments are very interesting with the benefit of hindsight.)

See our prior chatter, with interior pictures, here.

This would be the third sale of this unit since its original sale from the developer in 2007.

The interiors are the same as they were from the 2009 sale.

It has dark hardwood floors throughout with 10 foot floor to ceiling windows.

It has concrete ceilings and a long concrete wall in the kitchen and living room.

All kitchens in the building have Snaidero cabinets, Subzero, Wolf and Miele appliances. It was the standard package at the time of the original sale. This unit has a full limestone backsplash, however, which was an upgrade.

This unit faces north and west.

The prior two sellers both lost money on the unit.

However, the market has changed since the last sale in 2011. It is now, hot, hot, hot.

The current owner is looking for 37.6% appreciation over the last 3 years. This price is also well over the bubble pricing as this building was pre-sold in 2005-2006 with closings in 2007 just before the bust.

Will this seller get it?

Is this the new norm in Streeterville?

Elizabeth Sidorowicz at Re/Max Signature has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #1505: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1253 square feet
[unordered_list style=”bullet”]

  • Sold in November 2007 for $584,000 (included the parking)
  • Sold in July 2009 for $585,000 (included the parking)
  • Sold in April 2011 for $545,000 (included the parking)
  • Currently listed for $749,900 (includes the parking)
  • Assessments now $591 a month (they were $482 a month in January 2009)- including A/C, gas, doorman, pool, and cable
  • Taxes of $7425
  • Central Air
  • Washer/dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 18×12
  • Bedroom #2: 12×11

[/unordered_list]

32 Responses to “You’ll Pay 37.6% More for this Streeterville 2-Bedroom Than 3-Years Ago: 600 N. Fairbanks”

  1. Is ANYONE outside in Chicago today? I salute the plow drivers, paramedics, fire department, police, doctors and nurses who have to be out in this today.
    The rest of us might as well discuss real estate.
    It’s off to a slow start so far in 2014. I thought we might see a slew of listings but so far, it’s still dead. The weather probably has something to do with that.

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  2. So much for you being bullish back then… See what I mean about your “revisionist history”?

    “Sabrina
    July 20, 2009 at 9:26 pm
    There are thousands of units still coming on the market in the South Loop this year and next. Foreclosures are prevalent all over the neighborhood.

    When prices finally hit a bottom (we don’t know how many years that will take)- it’s unlikely you will see any appreciation for years (if it follows the cycle of other real estate busts.)

    So, it is quite conceivable that someone who bought this year in the Vetro could easily be underwater in 5 or 7 years.”

    “Sabrina
    July 21, 2009 at 7:37 pm
    5 to 7 years is nothing. Plenty of people buying now will be underwater then. Heck- it’s taking a year to two years just for the foreclosures coming down the pike to actually come on the market for re-sale at much lower prices.

    I’m mindful of those who bought condos in the 1970s in Chicago who told Crain’s that it was nearly 15 to 20 years before they saw any appreciation.”

    “Sabrina
    July 21, 2009 at 10:43 pm
    There has never been a V-shape recovery for ANY asset class after a bubble has burst. Real estate will be no different.”

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  3. Chuk:

    You can pick and choose any building and you will still find people underwater. That’s for 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and yes, even 2011, 2012 and 2013 buyers. Many homeowners are STILL being crushed.

    Sure- there are some that aren’t. They are mainly on the luxury end like this unit in Streeterville (though it has to SELL first. So we’ll see.) Do you want me to do a post a day with 2004 and 2005 buyers who are STILL taking a loss? That would be easy and I don’t even need to post on Uptown or Portage Park to do so. I could do Lincoln Park and Lakeview and still cover that. Every single day. The only reason they’re not writing a check at closing is because they’ve now lived there 10 years and have been paying down the note that long. But a loss is still a loss.

    I think G’s comments from 2009 about whether or not someone would be okay to buy in 2009 five years later is really constructive (because it turned out to be true). It really HAS been building by building. Some of the really bad foreclosure buildings got through the foreclosures earlier and prices have come back faster. In others, that hasn’t been the case:

    Sonies: “G, say you buy now, and plan to sell in 5+ years… do you think people buying today will be as bad off as those that bought in 2006, 2007, and 2008?”

    G: “It’s bldg by bldg with downtown area condos. Depends on when capitulation occurs. If it is just now starting or coming (600 NF, 340 OTP) and we are talking 5-7 years, my answer is yes.

    If the bldg has already been vetroed, my answer is no. No as in not as bad off, but not good, either.”

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  4. Chuk: You weren’t on this website in 2009. Maybe you weren’t even born yet, I don’t know. But if you don’t remember what was happening in 2009 (especially in the condo market) then you are really clueless.

    Please go back and read the posts on this snowy winter day for all of 2009 on this site. The condo market was NOT well. Developers were going bankrupt and/or fleeing the country. Investors were walking away from thousands of units. The Vetro and other buildings slashed prices from 20% on up just to dump units. It screwed the original owners (many of whom are STILL paying the price today.) That’s what being “vetroed” meant in those comments.

    You have to have lived through it to know what was going on in Chicago at that time. Please- go back and look at the history.

    Of COURSE I wasn’t a bull then. Who was? No one who was sane. Prices and sales were plunging. 2009 was NOT the time to buy (and my comments that you cut and pasted in clearly show that.)

    I told people to buy in the later years when things still looked bleak but there were clearly deals out there. 2009 wasn’t the bottom. If you bought then, you were buying higher than you could have gotten in 2010 and 2011 and even in 2012. But no one knew what the future held then.

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  5. Chuk: I’m glad you brought up the Vetro comments. I haven’t looked at that building in a long time. It is STILL having the same issues all these years later. It’s 5 years later but some who bought after the Vetro price cuts might make out with a little bit of appreciation (depending on what they end up selling for.) The others are still being vetroed. Still short sales and foreclosures in that building – as there MUST be because the original buyers bought too high.

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  6. By the way, in case anyone is wondering, Chuk wasn’t on this site in 2007, 2008, 2009, or 2010. He had one comment in 2011 and one in 2012. It wasn’t until 2013 (imagine that?) that he suddenly decided to start enlightening us with his genius.

    I appreciate everyone who has stuck it out for all of these years including Homedelete, Sonies and others. All the long timers have put themselves out there over the years. Some predictions didn’t come true, but some did. Some events have happened in the housing market that no one foresaw on this site (the Fed’s emergency $85 billion a month QE, for instance) or even private equity firms buying up properties. I don’t think anyone foresaw the building of dozens of luxury rental high rises downtown, pushing rents up to new record highs either.

    So thank you long timers, for your insights. It’s what makes the real estate market in Chicago very interesting.

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  7. “He had one comment in 2011 and one in 2012.”

    Nonsense. I had hundreds of posts in 2011 and 2012.

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  8. “You can pick and choose any building and you will still find people underwater.”

    But I’m not picking “any building”. I am picking this exact building that you predicted that people that bought THAT YEAR, would be underwater THIS YEAR. Instead they are up almost 40%.

    “Of COURSE I wasn’t a bull then”

    But you just said you were a few days ago.

    “Please go back and read the posts on this snowy winter day for all of 2009 on this site. The condo market was NOT well. Developers were going bankrupt and/or fleeing the country. Investors were walking away from thousands of units.”

    Right, just like the stock market was “NOT well” when the S&P hit 666. You want to buy when there is blood in the streets. NOT when everyone is cheering about how great things are.

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  9. gringozecarioca on January 5th, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    “or even private equity firms buying up properties.”
    cough.. cough…. I remember saying that at a sufficient ROI that is exactly what would have to happen..

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  10. “Do you want me to do a post a day with 2004 and 2005 buyers who are STILL taking a loss? ”

    No. I want you to do it for 2009 buyers. You know, the ones you told NOT to buy because they would be underwater in 5-7 years.

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  11. “It wasn’t until 2013 (imagine that?) that he suddenly decided to start enlightening us with his genius.”

    Really?

    “For the record, I am in the “close enough to bottom if you are holding 5-7 years” camp. Trying to nail THE bottom is pointless (and unnecessary).”

    http://cribchatter.com/?p=13753#comment-227105

    Feb 2012 was pretty much THE bottom.

    And as far you you claiming to be “bullish” for the last 5 years, here is your post in the EXACT same thread in response to me:

    “G: that seems to be the case. Those of us in the bear camp remain bears. The bulls are still the bulls. The real bottom will be in when some of the people switch camps.”

    http://cribchatter.com/?p=13753#comment-227197

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  12. February 2012 is two years ago. Jesus! The market wasn’t good then. What are you smoking Chuk?

    I can search all your comments. You weren’t on this site in any meaningful way until 2013. You have NO skin in the game. You haven’t been putting yourself out there for the last 6+ years. But plenty of people on here have (including myself.)

    It takes guts to do that.

    It takes no guts to cut and paste what people said 4 or 5 years ago and say, “Nah, nah, you were wrong.” It just shows how small you really are.

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  13. “And as far you you claiming to be “bullish” for the last 5 years, here is your post in the EXACT same thread in response to me:”

    I have never claimed I was bullish for the last 5 years. You haven’t been reading here for that long so you have no clue.

    I said I’ve been telling people to buy for the last several years. Go back and look. There’s a difference between the two. We’ve had many discussions about this on Crib Chatter over the last few years.

    But I have always been a bear. Always. The market is massively distorted by government and Fed action. And I think buying a 1-bedroom or 2-bedroom condo with the intent on living there for 5 years or less is stupid.

    But I’ve told people that there were plenty of deals and that if you had a 10 year time horizon, and, after all, you have to live somewhere, then why not? Skip the condo altogether and just buy that house out in Evanston and Oak Park. It was relatively inexpensive compared to the boom.

    But that was then and this is now.

    Alas, the market has changed again. Why would ANYONE be buying at these elevated prices unless they positively had to? Lots of people don’t have to (but some do.) I understand if you have 3 kids and you want to get them in a certain school district. You’ll have to suck it up and buy something and hope for the best 15 to 20 years from now. That’s the way it is- for now.

    But given that no one predicted the Fed would force mortgage rates to record lows- I doubt anyone can predict what will happen when they’re rising again or how high they actually will go.

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  14. “I want you to do it for 2009 buyers.”

    I can do that for months too. It’s, frankly, incredibly easy.

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  15. “I have never claimed I was bullish for the last 5 years. You haven’t been reading here for that long so you have no clue.”

    Uhhhhh. Why do you insist on lying when I can so easily link to it?

    “I’ve not been super bearish. Not at all. I’ve been telling people to buy for the last 5 years. I only turned bearish earlier this year when prices jumped too quickly and then mortgage rates did the same. ”

    http://cribchatter.com/?p=21585#comment-284940

    Not only were you NOT telling people to buy. You were doing the EXACT OPPOSITE. You told them NOT to buy. As proven in the link I just posted a few posts above.

    There is no shame in being wrong. But you should be ashamed at trying to rewrite history to pretend you were right.

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  16. What is happening out there really varies based on which building you bought in (if you bought a condo), its location, the health of the building when you bought. Was it being vetroed in 2009? Did they buy after a big price drop in a given building? There are many variables.

    So, for instance, this 2/2 in Avenue East just came on the market. Here is its sales history:

    Unit #1607: 2/2
    Sold in June 2009 for $455,000
    Sold in April 2012 for $440,500
    Currently listed for $450,000

    That 2009 buyer would be underwater still today- and still taking a sizable loss (after agent fees, transfer costs etc.) And that’s if this seller actually gets the $450,000.

    http://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/160-E-Illinois-St-60611/unit-1607/home/39722332

    There are plenty of others. Like I said- I could do a post a day for months if I wanted to. But some picked better in 2009. This unit in the Fairbanks, for instance. This building is evidently holding up better than some of the others in Streeterville.

    As G said- it really mattered on the state of the building when you bought.

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  17. “Right, just like the stock market was “NOT well” when the S&P hit 666. You want to buy when there is blood in the streets. NOT when everyone is cheering about how great things are.”

    Because you’re a genius on the stock market too. I forgot! You are an INVESTING GENIUS Chuk. Is your name really Warren Buffett? No, it can’t be because he doesn’t like real estate as an “investment” – other than having a place to live. But he too has been telling people to buy houses.

    That’s it!

    You’re Warren Buffett!

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  18. “Nonsense. I had hundreds of posts in 2011 and 2012.”

    Nope. Not under the name of “chuk”.

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  19. “But I have always been a bear. Always.”
    vs
    “I only turned bearish earlier this year when prices jumped too quickly and then mortgage rates did the same. ”

    Which is it?

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  20. “Nope. Not under the name of “chuk”.”

    Yup. Hundreds. Did you even look at the links I just gave you from Jan 2011? You know, when you said I wasn’t posting here?

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  21. “But I’m not picking “any building”. I am picking this exact building that you predicted that people that bought THAT YEAR, would be underwater THIS YEAR. Instead they are up almost 40%.”

    We weren’t talking about this building in 2009. 600 N. Fairbanks has had some problems but it has always held its value better than nearby buildings (even while some owners have been foreclosed and many have taken losses.) The losses were never as sizable as other buildings that didn’t sell out before the bust. This building is unique because it has a certain design aesthetic that attracts a certain buyer- including many Europeans. Yes- strangely- there are a decent number of international buyers in the building who are fans of Helmut’s work.

    Chuk- you should go back and read that tread. Sonies question to G was a general question about buying. It wasn’t directed specifically at 600 N. Fairbanks.

    As I’ve said, there are, of course, certain buildings that have done better than others. Some were built well ahead of the bust. Others were not and suffered due to investor buyers. Some had too many ARM buyers in their 20s who just walked away. Others were old money Gold Coast type buildings which weathered things pretty well.

    There are a ton of variables.

    I still think the building that has held up the best out of all the new construction buildings in the last 10 years has to be 340 OTP. Prices in that building began rising years ago- well ahead of the general market. Original buyers have done well in there. I haven’t looked at it in awhile. I should revisit that building.

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  22. I didn’t read everything, sorry.
    Just wanted to say I miss the old site! Ugh, you mentioned the old peeps and it made me miss all daily chatter.

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  23. Nice to see everyone is back! I love the banter!
    Well, I sold the unit back in 2009 and my client is still thankful we got him out of there then! LOL

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  24. 340 OTP has help up extremely well. Many original buyers paid high 200’s – mid 300’s for the East Facing 1 bedrooms and later sold them in the 500-700’s (depending on timing). I would have to do some serious research to see if anyone who bought in the last 2 years and tried to sell made money but I wouldn’t be surprised.

    While I don’t like the location or finishes, the VIEWS sell that building

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  25. What would make HOA dues jump $100 if there is nothing special being done to the building? Although, $100 should be no big deal to someone who can truly afford a $500k condo, that still seems like it would be an unpleasant surprise to any homeowner.

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  26. Yeah as a 2009 buyer aka overpayer, we’re doing pretty well all things considered, (could have been a TON worse buying in 07 or 08, we especially love paying less than equivalent rent would be by a huge margin, but we’ll likely live in our condo for 6 or 7 years before we move which apparently is nutso according to some here.

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  27. “What would make HOA dues jump $100 if there is nothing special being done to the building? Although, $100 should be no big deal to someone who can truly afford a $500k condo, that still seems like it would be an unpleasant surprise to any homeowner.”

    When condo buildings are first built, developers routinely under assess the units for purposes of HOA. And then when the condo board takes over, the assessments go up. $100 over the last 4 or 5 years is really peanuts compared to most buildings. New things break all the time. Treadmills have to be replaced in the buildings’ “gym”, heating costs go up for the massive 2 story lobby or cooling costs go up because electric is more expensive. Maybe a kitchen appliance has to be replaced in the condo’s “clubhouse” floor or they have to put in new carpet in that room due to too many overzealous parties.

    Maintenance costs add up in a big condo building and they start doing so right away.

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  28. “New things break all the time. Treadmills have to be replaced in the buildings’ “gym”, heating costs go up for the massive 2 story lobby or cooling costs go up because electric is more expensive. Maybe a kitchen appliance has to be replaced in the condo’s “clubhouse” floor or they have to put in new carpet in that room due to too many overzealous parties.”

    But all of those things you listed should have been covered under reserves. When they set the budget, it isn’t just for that years expenses. The board will also include an amount that goes into reserves to cover just those types of expenses. Now, if you need to replace every window in the building, that will require a special assessment. But the types of things you listed nearly always paid out of reserves. Assuming they have budgeted somewhat correctly, it won’t result in an increase in HOA.

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  29. People really buy because of Helmut? That’s crazy. They must love that UFO James R. Thompson center as well. One piece of advice to any newbie buyers browsing, never buy because of the reputation of the builder/designer. I’m in a building built by Walsh Construction and fell for that one big time. I’ll give them some time to address my complaint before I elaborate all over the web though.

    600 NFB could have been a much better looking building if they went with a different glass tint. Looks really dated in person. Love some of the penthouse units in that building though.

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  30. “People really buy because of Helmut?”

    Yep. Star architects bring buyers.

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  31. “By the way, in case anyone is wondering, Chuk wasn’t on this site in 2007, 2008, 2009, or 2010. He had one comment in 2011 and one in 2012”

    He was chukdotcom, Sabrina. It’s in the beta-wiki. Icky should give you the new password.

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  32. “He was chukdotcom, Sabrina”

    Actually, I was both. Depending on which computer I was logged into, I was chuk or chukdotcom. At some point in 2011 I ditched the chukdotcom computer and have been just chuk ever since.

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