Market Conditions: July Sales Drop 8.2% YOY in Chicago As Inventory Remains Low

Skyline with Sears Tower Nov 2010

The Illinois Association of Realtors is out with the July data. Sales continue to be weaker than a  year ago despite lower mortgage rates.

The 30-year fixed averaged 4.11% down from 4.35% in July of 2013.

The city of Chicago saw an 8.2 percent year-over-year decrease in home sales in July 2014 with 2,664 sales, down from 2,902 in July 2013. The median price rose to $270,000 versus $250,000 in July 2013, an annual increase of 8.0 percent.

Here’s the July data since 1997 (thanks, once again, to G for the historic info):

  • 1997: 1,694
  • 1998: 2,139
  • 1999: 2,186
  • 2000: 2,013
  • 2001: 2,410
  • 2002: 2,661
  • 2003: 3,105
  • 2004: 3,429
  • 2005: 3,487
  • 2006: 3,088
  • 2007: 2,819
  • 2008: 2,200
  • 2009: 2,040
  • 2010: 1,631
  • 2011: 1,666
  • 2012: 2,088
  • 2013: 2,902
  • 2014: 2,664

“July proved to be another strong month in the city of Chicago, with a median home price increase of 8 percent to $270,000 from $250,000 in July 2013,” said Matt Farrell, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and managing partner of Urban Real Estate.

“Inventory remains low even when the summer season is popular with sellers looking to move. Now is an ideal time for sellers to contemplate their own long-term plans and consider preparing their home for a fall sale. Interest rates remain historically low, and buyers are still seeking homes in a market with a shortage of housing options.”

Market times continue to drop.

The average time it takes to sell a home continues to decline. In July, it took 65 days on average to sell a home in the state, down 9.7 percent from 72 days last year. The average time to sell a home in the Chicago area was 50 days in July, and 43 days in the city of Chicago.

Market time in the city in July 2013 was 48 days.

If inventory is low and prices are still rising, why aren’t more homeowners listing?

Illinois median home prices increase 7.2 percent in July; Home sales down, but homes selling faster [Illinois Association of Realtors, Press Release, August 21, 2014]

66 Responses to “Market Conditions: July Sales Drop 8.2% YOY in Chicago As Inventory Remains Low”

  1. It’s a blast from the past Crib Chatterers as the original website is returning to action.

    Let’s see if this solves the lag or not. We all know there wasn’t any with the original site.

    Wow- I’m having flashbacks right now though. You know what? The original site isn’t half bad. 😉

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  2. Thanks Sabrina!
    Sometimes the original is the best!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  3. Everyone: Please let me know if you’re still seeing the lag. (I don’t know why I’m asking this as I KNOW you WILL let me know if it’s still lagging.)

    But we know the original site never lagged so if it’s still doing it- it’s something other than the site.

    All your favorite features from the original site should still be here (linking back to someone’s comment etc.)

    Enjoy!

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  4. What is also a flashback to the past is the pattern of median home prices increases while sales volume decreases…even though inventory is low we know the next shoe to drop will be rising inventory sooner or later, probably in spring there will be a huge influx of overpriced listings …. and a precipitous drop of in sales… and a plateau in pricing…

    2007 cribchatter format, 2007 housing pattens

    deja vu!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  5. No lag for me!

    Unfortunately I find math to be hard.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  6. “If inventory is low and prices are still rising, why aren’t more homeowners listing?”

    Because there’s the predicament of what do you buy and where do you go when you sell? Even if you sell your home for a good price, anything you’re going to buy is expensive so what’s the point, really?

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  7. I recently had to sell my co-op in Brooklyn because the monthly assessments had risen to $1600/month. That’s like a rent! I couldn’t afford to live there anymore. I ended up buying a house in Queens, but paid way more than I originally wanted to and also moved a lot further from Manhattan than I wanted to. There are no deals out there. Everything is expensive. There is no discount for properties which need work or for moving to the ghetto. In NY everything is in poor condition and expensive and there’s just no inventory on the market. If people have good buildings they are hanging onto them. I had a Sicilian agent who grew up in Queens and knew ALL the property owners. He tried really hard to find something for me and stopped landlords on the street asking if they’d consider selling, but no one wanted to unless it was a mess of a house with violations at a grossly inflated price.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  8. When I first clicked to-day, Milkster’s posts on this thread were in the sidebar, but not visible in the thread when I clicked to it. They are there now, but that’s the same.

    Q for me is whether or not have to re-enter name/email every ~30 minutes, or if they will stay now.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  9. OMG YES! love the old site, and no lag either?

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  10. Now the site has bounced me, and sonies post, which I could see before, is now missing. Using Chrome. Will try later with a different browser.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  11. Yeah, everything seems to be fairly overpriced and ridiculous. I don’t know if that applies uniformly to all areas though. Two of my buddies bought homes in fairly nice NW and SW suburbs. The homes needed a bit of updating but the prices were only $150 per sq foot or slightly less, which seems reasonable to me. Some crappier suburbs closer to the city or neighborhoods in the city are absurd, with asking prices nearly double that of Naperville and Buffalo Grove on a per sq foot basis.

    I’ve also noticed lately a tendency for realtor to overestimate the price per sq foot so as to dilute the real asking price per sq foot price. I know realtors have always done that but lately it’s been quite ridiculous. I saw one dumpy house listed in some area north of the city that said the house was 1,600 sq feet. The assessor said it was about 1,000 sq feet The realtor was including the basement and the deck and the laundry room! The price per sq foot in the MLS was actually slightly below median but when you did the real math it came out to well over $300 per sq foot! To live in Skokie!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  12. http://www.redfin.com/IL/Park-Ridge/105-S-Hamlin-Ave-60068/home/13640995

    This is how I know we are in a bubble. The $635,000 split level less than four blocks north of the flight path of Runway 9L/27R (aka the Belle Plaine runway) to me is a strong indication of a ‘top’. That’s absurd. At the PEAK in October 2006 the median sale price was only $319 psf and now we’re seeing split level, heavens, SPLIT LEVELS IN FLIGHT PATHS sell above peak pricing.

    We are approaching a top, mark my words. Things are going to start to get interesting.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  13. I also clicked homedelete’s post on the main page, recent comments section, sent me here and now its gone :( although I’m sure it will pop up after I post this. At least the site is lightning fast now though.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  14. Testing to see how big lag is, with HD’s post.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
  15. Ok, at least 28 minutes.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  16. “The realtor was including the basement and the deck and the laundry room!”

    If the basement is finished living space (no 70s paneling or crappy ceiling tile, and at least 7.5′ ceiling), is that not ok? Does the lower portion of the split-level–clearly below grade–not count in the square footage?

    Why does the laundry room not count? Because that’s woman’s work? Or because it’s in the garage? Why is that questionable?

    The deck being included is a serious farce, but we’ve had folks on here argue seriously in favor of counting condo balcony space in the SF, so there is a precedent, however misguided and dumb.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  17. “we’re seeing split level sell above peak pricing”

    The listed room sizes total 1,616 sf. Add a relatively conservative 30% for baths, halls, closets, etc, it’s 2,100 sf, which makes it $301 psf, which is still a bit below last peak.

    Granted, it should be discounted for the dubious location, and the general uggo, but it’s not nearly as small as the Assessor’s number has it.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  18. I think you should rename the site Cribchatter Classic.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  19. ” Does the lower portion of the split-level–clearly below grade–not count in the square footage?”

    According to the assessor it does NOT count in the SQ footage. A basement even if it’s finished definitely does not count.

    I think the assessor counts hallways, laundry, closets, etc. They use footprint of the building. I’m pretty sure about that because I had an architect draw up existing plans for my house when i did my major reno and he came to the same conclusion as the assessor for sq footage, which is probably what the builder said it was back when my house was built.

    The majority of listings in the MLS use the assessor’s sq foot numbers. I just try to compare apples to apples.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  20. “The majority of listings in the MLS use the assessor’s sq foot numbers.”

    It depends. In the suburbs they tend to go off of above grade square footage – but not always. In the city they almost always use finished square footage, whether or not it’s below grade. I want to know finished square footage. I don’t care where it is. Of course, it’s better if it’s above grade.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  21. BTW, since we’ve gone back to Cribchatter Classic I’d like to see the thumbs up and down score brought back. That was fun.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  22. That was cribchatter 2.0, this is 1.0

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  23. ” I want to know finished square footage. I don’t care where it is. Of course, it’s better if it’s above grade.”

    That helps if it’s above grade but I totally care where the square footage is. A 1,100 sq foot 3 bedroom ranch doesn’t magically transform into a 2,000 sq foot home because the basement with window wells and the laundry room has tile flooring and drywall. Above grade is the most important and really, even to architects who design space, that’s all that matters. THink of the traditional chicago raised ranch all over the city. The rectangle block. 1,100 sq foot upstairs with all the bedrooms. Tiny. Then a finished half grade basement. Or a bungalow. 1,000 sq feet, two bedroom, and then a finished attic and basement. It’s still a 1,000 sq foot house with a finished basement and a finished attic, it’s not a 3,000 sq foot house. 3,000 sq foot homes hvae 1,500 sq feet per floor plus a finished basement.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  24. The homes I’m thinking of have basements that are as nicely finished as the above grade floors.

    BTW, new posts show up in my email alerts long before they appear here. Then once I post a follow up they appear along with my new post.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  25. “BTW, since we’ve gone back to Cribchatter Classic I’d like to see the thumbs up and down score brought back. That was fun.”

    Oh yeah- I forgot about that feature. I’ll try and add it. When I went back to the original I was trying to remember what features we had actually used.

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  26. “I recently had to sell my co-op in Brooklyn because the monthly assessments had risen to $1600/month.”

    What did the fees pay for? That’s the going rate for the co-ops here in Chicago along Lake Shore Drive but those are massive buildings with indoor pools and doormen.

    Sorry to hear you had to move Milkster. Living on either coast is such a challenge right now.

    Did you see the NYT article about people leaving Brooklyn in this Sunday’s paper? You aren’t alone.

    http://nyti.ms/1AEgQpz

    They’re going to New Jersey and, yes, Queens.

    It’s sounds crazy though:

    “A review of Ideal Properties clients who bought in northwest Brooklyn in the second quarter of 2014 reflects the trend. Nearly a third of the 382 home buyers earned at least $300,000 a year, compared with just 11 percent a year ago. During the same time frame, 65 percent of home buyers offered to pay with cash, compared with 32 percent a year earlier. Most of the buyers have jobs in sales, finance or accounting.”

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  27. “According to the assessor it does NOT count in the SQ footage. A basement even if it’s finished definitely does not count.”

    I’m not asking for your interpretation of the assessor’s rules–I want to know what *you* think ‘counts’ in calculating $psf. There are tons of houses around that the assessor sez are ~950, but have 1800+ of above-grade living space bc of finished attics w/ dormers, and porch areas converted to year-round space.

    Does a bungalow that the assessor ‘thinks’ has only the first floor finished, but has had the second floor finished/dormered out with 3 beds/2 baths count as 950 sf, or 1600? Makes a lot of difference about how a $375k ask sound.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  28. ” It’s still a 1,000 sq foot house with a finished basement and a finished attic”

    So, your beloved raised ranch is a fronch room, kitchen/dining + 2 car garage, with a finished attic and a finished basement?

    That PR–Hamlin house is *really* expensive if the only part that counts is main ~500 sf–that’s $1200 psf!!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  29. Anon(tfo), for sq footage purposes, I try to do what an appraiser does to value Sq footage. That way we’re all comparing apples to apples.

    The starting point is the above grade space according to the assessor and then go from there. For example, on my home’s appraisal, they compared it to similar homes in the ‘hood with and w/o finished basements and credited accordingly. They didn’t include finished basement space in the final sq footage on a ppsf basis, but they did add or subtract a value for a finished basement depending on size.

    As far as bungalow attics go, a fully dormered attic with plumbing, electrical, etc has transformed the assessor’s unfinished space. It’s like an addition and that increases the above ground space. However, for basements, basements shouldn’t ever count in the official sq footage, but a simliar homes with finished basements are worth more. This is standard appraisal stuff here.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  30. a bungalow with an attic playroom or two ‘bedrooms’ with no plumbing or hvac or dormers is still only a 1,000 sq foot bungalow with an attic with additional usable sq footage in the attic. two similar bungalow on the same block don’t suddenly go from 1,000 sq foot to 3,000 sq feet (and 3x the price) because of a finished attic and basement. it goes up some value, but not 3x the value. That’s why PPSF is so important for comparison values with appraisals but realtors throw that figure around willy nilly so it doesn’t look like they’re asking ridiculous sq footage prices

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  31. “What did the fees pay for? That’s the going rate for the co-ops here in Chicago along Lake Shore Drive but those are massive buildings with indoor pools and doormen.”

    Thank you for the article, Sabrina.
    I did not see that.

    The $1600 didn’t pay for anything.
    We had large special assessments on top of the monthly fees.
    My building was just okay – not ghetto but not fancy.
    We had a part-time super.
    The co-op board took out a risky loan plus a line of credit and then grossly overspent on some repairs.
    I was the only resident attending the meetings and protesting.
    I realized that the Brooklyn I loved was just in my memory.
    All the old people and places were gone.
    Huh! The guy in the article called it “sanitized”.
    That’s the perfect word for it.
    It was much better when there was a stigma attached to living there.
    Now it’s just for the mega-rich and Beyonce/Jay-Z loving trash.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  32. ” has transformed the assessor’s unfinished space”

    *should* have. Does not always, by any means. Which is why using the assessor number is facile.

    What do you think fair value for a ~1000 sf, finished as if above grade, basement (assume 36″-48″ window height) should be? I see appraiser crediting that for a re-fi at something like $10,000 *total*.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  33. “This is standard appraisal stuff here.”

    After some recent nightmare experiences with appraisers, which I will soon share in a blog post, I’ve decided that a good realtor knows more about the value of a property than most appraisers. These guys are totally rule bound and often idiots. I’ve caught them making no adjustments for killer views or an additional 80 sq ft when the price/ SF is $400 or a $2500 adjustment for a balcony on the 26th floor with a good view.

    I’m curious how much they credited you for a basement. Looking at the most recent appraisal on my home they comped me to homes with finished basements and then ignored all the basements. So I guess the fact that I don’t have a bar in my basement or someone else has a killer bathroom in their basement just doesn’t matter.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  34. “but not 3x the value”

    Well, duh. bc at least half the value is in the dirt, so even *if* it were legit to say 3x, it would only be 3x 50% (or less).

    Once you back out the value of a vacant, buildable lot next door, then you can compare apples to apples on the ppsf. And, as I’ve mentioned here before, our last refi priced our house at ~$40 psf for above-grade living space (using nearby teardowns as *solid* comps), assuming a finished basement at $0.00 (it was, apparently, a $30k plus, or $25 psf for what he counted as finished (which would leave the above-grade at ~$30 psf); additional above-grade space adjusted at $55 psf compared to comps).

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  35. “I’m curious how much they credited you for a basement.”

    I have mine (less than 2 years old) open.

    Got a credit of $20k for the basement rumpus room, plus $5k each for a bed and a (nice) bath. The difference for an extra 700 sf finished (compared to Comp #1) was $0.00–the difference was solely for having a bed and a bath. Another comp supposedly had 500 SF more finished basement (it didn’t), which got $0 credit, too–but the appraiser believed the listed square footage (which included the basement) and dinged us at the $55 psf for the difference.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  36. Yeah, try finishing 700 SF of basement space for $30,000. In my neighborhood (East Village) new construction at 4300 SF with the basement is basically $840,000 after backing out land value. You’re not going to tell me that the basement with a nice bathroom and 2 bedrooms plus a family room with a bar and maybe radiant heat has substantially less value than the top floor.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  37. DZ’ing to see what Gary sez.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  38. “You’re not going to tell me that the basement with a nice bathroom and 2 bedrooms plus a family room with a bar and maybe radiant heat has substantially less value than the top floor.”

    Per the rules my last appraiser use, that basement would be worth $35,000, but the 1400 sf top floor (with 2 beds/2 baths) would be worth about $100k compared to single floor house.

    Realistically, what the basement is “worth” is about the difference bt a 3d floor condo, and the duplex down in the same building. Which seems to me to be ~$100k (or more), regardless of the age of the building, and the quality of the finishes. If you told me my house was worth $100k more than an identical neighbor with an unfinished basement, that I could accept (even tho everything we over-did cost more than that). “$30,000 more” just evinces a failure to understand pricing in the actual market.

    But then, again, I have an imperfect, but very livable, house that was said to be worth $30 psf of above-grade space, after counting the $30k basement (and I think the local market has moved very very little either way since then).

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  39. “try finishing 700 SF of basement space for $30,000”

    Oh, and this. I think that you could *probably* get it done for ~$45k plus all finishes–flooring, paint, bath/light fixtures, etc. Extra to pull plumbing/relocate utilities, etc. 700 sf from raw to white box sheet rocked, with minimum code electric and roughed in plumbing from existing stubs for $45-50k. But it might take months to find a decent crew who would take the job, and assumes recent, or recently updated, electric panel and plumbing. Making it look *nice*, with a bath and a bar, etc. (or if there are any existing issues), puts you in the $100 psf range.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  40. I have my appraisal in front of me now. it’s from the bottom of the market (winter/spring 2012). I got dinged $3,000 because I didn’t have a fireplace which is kinda BS. A full basement was worth $20,000. A bathroom is worth $5,000. Also there weren’t enough comps so he has to use listing price instead of sales price for two of the properties. I guess that helps, listing prices were always high. The appraiser also gave comps on busy streets a $30,000 ding.

    As far as basements go, I just redid my basement basically from the studs. I did some minor electrical, some major plumbing, and a lot of labor intensive carpentry to give my basement the look and feel of the era in which my house was built. I used a ‘guy’ I know and I pulled permits to the extent they were needed for plumbing/electrical. I reused most of the existing framing, I insulated, and I used the existing floor which was just fine. It took a few months to get it all done. At the end of they day, I spent ~$45 psf to finish it. I’ve got one minor project left to do but that’s about it. Yet, I only get a $10,000 credit for a finished basement of my size.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  41. http://www.redfin.com/IL/Park-Ridge/1030-Granville-Ave-60068/home/13563641

    here’s a realtor-owned listing. its really 1,733 sq feet, not 1,910 sq feet.. ..even at 1,910 sq feet its still $310 per sf foot which is really high for a home in the flight path of the future runway nicknamed the “granville runway”. No pictures either. and it’s a split level. $627,000.

    I thought realtors know the prices of homes better than appraisers.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  42. “I spent ~$45 psf to finish it.”

    Bigger or smaller or about 700 sf? Larger space = lower ppsf.

    Also, of note, I could see HD’s 2 posts while “logged out”, which puts lag at no more than ~12 minutes. Progress!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  43. “I thought realtors know the prices of homes better than appraisers.”

    *good* realtors. Of which there are relatively few. And that’s compared to appraisers following the guidelines, instead of with actual knowledge and experience doing it based on their expertise.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  44. $45psf at ~700 sq. An office, a bathroom and a 500 sq foot main room. I estimated that figure by backing out some – but not all – of the cost of the overhead sewer conversion, and it also includes other things like a new hot water. However, I see how things can get pricey pretty quickly. The sky is the limit when it comes to these sorts of things. We did what we could to keep costs down including using a carpenter who most of the work side job over a three or four month period. We looked into at least 3 contractors but none of them wanted to do anything other than drywall. We had other ideas about the basement to keep it looking ‘period’ and we couldn’t find anybody who would even give us a quote despite being flush with some FEMA money. But our carpenter said ‘sure’ and did it no questions asked. we subbed out the electrical, plumbing and drywall. We helped out the carpenter for a few days demoing everything but that’s about all the work we did ourselves.

    My point being that if you spare no expense, sure, its $100 a sq foot, but I did it for $45 and it’s more or less a brand new finished space.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  45. “My point being that if you spare no expense, sure, its $100 a sq foot, but I did it for $45 and it’s more or less a brand new finished space.”

    Clearly. Also makes a diff if you are involved, at the level you were, as acting GC (that saved you at least $5k). And you re-used some lumber, and didn’t do anything (carpet? tile the bathroom?) with the floor. You are keeping it as a “basement” living space. I was talking about Gary’s proposal of making it “regular living space” that happens to be below grade. Also assuming that the bathroom is at least as nice as the hall bath on the 2d floor in Gary’s ~$200 psf construction cost house. And that Gary wants to hand the keys to someone who takes care of everything except picking paint colors.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  46. ” Yet, I only get a $10,000 credit for a finished basement of my size.”

    The appraiser is only willing to give you a 10K credit. The market would probably give you more. Unfortunately, the appraiser gets to determine what the market can finance. It’s a mixed up muddled up shook up world.

    “I thought realtors know the prices of homes better than appraisers.”

    Not all realtors and certainly not when it’s their own house. Keep in mind that an appraiser’s number one goal is to not lose his job or get fine. No appraiser ever got in serious trouble for coming in too low.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  47. “You are keeping it as a “basement” living space. ”

    No, it’s a fully functional living space, not basement space. I kept the floor – VCT tiles that were in excellent shape, survived numerous floods and probably could withstand a nuclear war. There’s really no point in ripping all that up, scraping up 50 year old mastic thaen replacing it with some other water impervious barrier. That’s what I meant by keeping the flooring. We even had to drywall the ceiling to replace the previous tile drop ceiling.

    The bathroom was in the worst shape after the flood so it was built from scratch. In fact at one point it had a huge gravel trench running through the middle of it with all new plumbing. We reused some lumber but we had to redrywall and sheet rock everything. We didn’t save any fixtures. There was extensive patterned tiling which took weeks for one guy to complete, so that makes it look nice despite the ikea sink

    http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10180802/

    The fact of the matter is that basement space is still in a basement. Everybody with a finished basement feels that their basement is worth more than an appraiser gives credit for – but at the end of the day – it’s still a basement.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  48. Oh, the bathroom obviously had to have a new floor….on top of like 5-6 bags of self leveling concrete. It has a tile floor with a pattern.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  49. ” Everybody with a finished basement feels that their basement is worth more than an appraiser gives credit for”

    Um, bc everyone with a finished basement wouldn’t trade for an otherwise identical house and $25-30,000 in cash, unless their whole house is worth less than $200k.

    Yes, in Stone Park and Ford Heights, the finished basement is *over*valued at $30k (not to mention that in Soviet Russia, basement finishes *you*) and it’s probably on-target for a ton of MC areas in the metro, but that’s totally irrelevant to the discussion you, Gary and I are having and maybe slightly personally relevant to one person who has ever commented here.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  50. hd-did you do your Madmen basement? if so, nice :)

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  51. “Um, bc everyone with a finished basement wouldn’t trade for an otherwise identical house”

    now’s not the best time to make that assumption, in the rainiest summer we’ve ever had. Plenty of people with swamped basements who would take $30k and unfinished space any day of teh week. I got a buddy in the western suburbs who took on a foot of water over the weekend…..

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  52. “hd-did you do your Madmen basement? if so, nice :)”

    It’s mad men with a modern twist….just the main room though, because I do have to resell the house someday and not everybody wants 1960’s!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  53. “I got a buddy in the western suburbs who took on a foot of water over the weekend…..”

    So what causes this? Power failures? Sump pump fails? Or is it a structural issue? Everyone with a sump pump should have a backup system with 48 hours of battery power. You can put these in for like $2000. It’s the first thing I did when I bought my house. I am terrified of basement flooding.

    If you don’t have a sump pump then I would think twice about refinishing the basement unless it has a decade or more of dry history.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  54. Any suggestions for reducing the spider population in a semi-finished basement?

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  55. anonny – a blowtorch works wonders, at least on the non finished parts

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  56. Power failure sump pumps? Sumps can only handle so much water; and sumps don’t handle sewer backup too well…..

    I cataloged the flood lines in my basement from an original piece of hardboard I removed when it was gutted. All three floods in the last 6 years after decades of being dry….

    Homes flood for a variety of reasons…when it flood up there in albany park the water in the street is 2 feet deep…sump pumps ain’t gonna help..

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  57. vacuum up the spiders.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  58. For Annony – http://wetandforget.com/product_miss_muffets_revenge.html

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  59. Water always finds its level, even during a flood. And if it has nowhere to run off to, IE sewers or watersheds, it’s going into the basements.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  60. “If you don’t have a sump pump then I would think twice about refinishing the basement”

    Sump just deals with ground water and some portion of potential seepage. NO ONE (absent major structural problems) is going to get 6″ of water from ground water and seepage–enough to ruin your groovy shag, sure, but not 6″.

    The 6″ floods are generally from sewer backup–the water seeking its level thing. Your basement is lower than the street, so the rain water backs up from the combined sewer main, thru your sewer line and up your floor drains. Sump pump will do *nothing* to prevent that–need a check valve system, or overhead drains with an ejector, the latter being the much better solution.

    Then there is the Albany Park problem of *actual* flooding, where the water backs up over the curbs, runs across the lawn and into windows and doors. *That* you can’t really do anything about–your house is in a flood plain, and the basement *will* flood anytime there is enough water. Then it really is best to keep the basement rough, and anything that you store off of the floor.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  61. “The 6? floods are generally from sewer backup–the water seeking its level thing.”

    This being park ridge…..I know people who have basements that they can’t ever finish. They have four sump pumps that run all the time just to keep the ground water and hydrostatic pressure under check. A few floods ago these homeowners told me that water was pushing from under the concrete foundation because there was so much hydrostatic pressure under the house.

    That’s “Flood Ridge!” but not nearly as bad as Bur”Flood”bank!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  62. “Sump pump will do *nothing* to prevent that–need a check valve system, or overhead drains with an ejector, the latter being the much better solution. ”

    That’s what I did and now ground water leeches into the ejector during *heavy heavy* rains. Its sealed but water will always find a way in especially when the ejector pit is surrounded by gravel backfill.

    The ejector which is supposed to be a closed system….ergh. So if my power goes out during a *heavy* rain, the ejector pump will stop running, overflow and flood my basement with ground water. Crazy enough I have a sump just a few feet away from the ejector but the water leeches into the ejector and not the sump. Go figure. You can’t ever win.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  63. “I know people who have basements that they can’t ever finish. They have four sump pumps that run all the time just to keep the ground water and hydrostatic pressure under check.”

    Those houses should’ve been built on slabs, then. Horrible building codes.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  64. “The ejector which is supposed to be a closed system….ergh. So if my power goes out during a *heavy* rain, the ejector pump will stop running, overflow and flood my basement with ground water. Crazy enough I have a sump just a few feet away from the ejector but the water leeches into the ejector and not the sump. Go figure. You can’t ever win.”

    So did HD do something wrong? How does ground water go first (or at all) into his ejector pump system? When his ejector pump system overflows, is that yet more sewage flowing in his basement? Is he trolling us?

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  65. ” NO ONE (absent major structural problems) is going to get 6? of water from ground water and seepage–enough to ruin your groovy shag, sure, but not 6?.”

    My brother in-law (Homewood/ Flossmoor) lost power a while back and his sump pump overflowed, causing pretty major basement damage. Once you lose your sump pump you are better off not even having one because the pit provides direct access to your basement for the water.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  66. “How does ground water go first (or at all) into his ejector pump system?”

    That’s a very good question. The ejector system should be (as HD noted) closed–if ground water can get in, raw sewage can get out, which is bad, and not to code.

    “lost power a while back and his sump pump overflowed”

    Ok, no battery backup? And, as you note, w/o the sump, likely would have had less water come in. Plus, that just means it’s another area that shouldn’t have basements–if the water table is basically as high as in New Orelans, digging down is always a bad idea.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Leave a Reply