Are 3-Bedroom Townhouses Still Hot? 1301 W. George in Lakeview

1301 w george

This 3-bedroom townhouse at 1301 W. George in Lakeview came on the market in June 2014.

While it is a townhouse  in a 16-unit association, it has features of a loft with exposed brick, large industrial windows, and a den/loft on the third floor that overlooks the master bedroom on the second floor.

The second bedroom is also on the second floor with the third bedroom in the basement with its own bathroom. The listing says this could be used as a family room or is “ideal” for a live-in relative.

The kitchen has maple cabinets, black appliances and granite counter tops.

It has two outdoor spaces: a private side yard and a private roof top deck with city views.

The townhouse also has a rare side-by-side 2-car parking in a heated garage.

It has been on and off the market all summer with no price reductions and recently was re-listed at the same price as it was listed for in August.

3-bedroom townhouses at all price points have been the holy grail in the Green Zone since the Great Recession as buyers realized they could live longer in a larger property if their family expanded.

Are 3-bedroom townhouses still hot?

Craig Easly at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

1301 W. George: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2400 square feet, 2 car parking

  • Sold in October 1997 for $331,500
  • Sold in February 2000 for $430,000
  • Sold in November 2002 for $520,000
  • Originally listed in June 2014 for $589,000
  • Withdrew in July
  • Re-listed in July 2014 for $629,000
  • Withdrew in August
  • Re-listed in September 2014 for $629,000
  • Assessments of $80 a month (includes water, snow removal)
  • Fee simple
  • Taxes of $7902
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 15×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 10×7 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 15×12 (lower level)
  • Den/loft: 21×12 (third floor)
  • Rooftop deck

60 Responses to “Are 3-Bedroom Townhouses Still Hot? 1301 W. George in Lakeview”

  1. By the way, most of the August numbers coming in from around the country are indicating a slowing market- even in California. I’m expecting the same from Chicago.

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  2. This home is not ideal, its basically a 4 story townhome god awful unfinished loft sort of thing… only 13.5′ wide inside by about 28.5′ long, not even 400sqft per floor. The side yard is nice but looks poorly maintained just like the rest of the property which looks very circa 2000 If you add the roof deck there’s 4! flights of stairs in this place on an already small footprint.

    3 bedroom townhomes at this price point sell very, very fast if updated to 2014 and not 4 stories. People with kids don’t want to navigate all those stairs!

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  3. and the 3rd bedroom being in the basement while the other 2 are on the 2nd floor isn’t exactly family friendly

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  4. The realtor says it is 2,400 sq feet. The assessor says it’s 1,160.

    I think the assessor is wrong. He failed, or forgot, to include in the total square footage the roof deck, the basement, the small outdoor patio, and at least some of the air space and mineral rights above and below the unit.

    Now do you believe me when I tell you that realtors have been going CRAZY these days to manipulate the price per sq foot? Using the realtor’s figures this unit is $262 per square foot. Using the assessor’s (arguably only above grade space) in the calculation, this is $542 per sq foot making it one of the most expensive listings per square foot in all of Chicagoland.

    Yes, this unit is definitely worth *more* than $262 per sq foot even if it were really 2,400 sq feet. The finished basement, roof deck, outdoor areas, and lack of neighbors above/below definitely give this unit a ppsf premium. But $542 per sq foot?

    Zillow (yes, I know but it’s a good proxy) says the median price per sq foot for all of 60657 which includes SFH with high PPSF and studio apartments in high rises which have low PPSF is $295. Zillow says that the near east side is the most expensive in all of Chicago at $425 psf. Is this house worth even more than that? HECK NO!!

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  5. be interesting to see a 20 year trend of existing home sales, with a separate column of ‘distressed’ (however defined; just consistent) sales, and an aggregate number of o-o/held-for-sale in the subject market.

    July sales may have been down quite a bit from ’13, but they were still higher than any year before 2003–which was a crazy bubble year.

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  6. “only 13.5? wide inside by about 28.5? long, not even 400sqft per floor.”

    It’s about 580 sq feet per floor above grade. The rooms are 12 or 13 feet wide but you have to include 36 inches for doorwalls, hallways, so it’s about 15 feet wide. The entire unit is not 28.5, but 38.5 (three rooms of about 13′ each). So if you divide the assessor’s number of 580 by 38.5′ long it arrives at 15.06 wide, which is almost exactly what my calculations show.

    So 1,160 plus 580 for the basement is 1,740. Then add another 580 for the entire roof for a total of 2,320. Then add roughly 80 feet for the porch/outdoor area off first floor and there you have 2,400 sq feet.

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  7. “realtor says it is 2,400 sq feet. The assessor says it’s 1,160”

    Well, the assessor never counts the basement, and likely doesn’t ‘know’ about the loft, but that still doesn’t explain how you get from 2 x (16×30) to 1,160.

    If the floorplate were actually 20×30 (so that it was a real 2400, ignoring the deadspace of all those stairs), and the ‘loft’ were actually a full floor, then this would sell in a heartbeat, even with a bad layout and really dated finishes. Would then be easy enough (not cheap, tho) to make the top floor into a master suite, have two beds on the floor below, and leave the basement as rumpus room. *That* would be a reasonable layout, even with all the stairs.

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  8. “The entire unit is not 28.5, but 38.5 (three rooms of about 13? each)”

    Are you sure that the kitchen is 7.5′ wide and 13′ deep?

    And there are *3* above grade, indoor, floors, so you don’t need to count “the whole roof” (but, yeah, probably the deck area). But we at CC long ago decided that it’s ok to count outdoor space in the square footage so long as the developer did so…so I don’t understand your issue [/sarcasm].

    Dude, you do need to brush up on your plan reading skillz, tho. Seriously.

    Also, if you measure from parapet to parapet on any aerial, it’s *maybe* 33′ (and 18′ wide–*maybe*)–which is surely not more than 32′ on the interior, and likely only the 30′ discussed.

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  9. oh, and, I think the realtor could defend calling it 1800 sf–yes, that includes the basement; it’s common when it’s finished space, even if you don’t like it–as there are 3 floors of 480 sf, plus a loft level that’s ~21×16, which gets to 1776. Rounding up is disgustingly common, everyone who is savvy reduces a little automatically.

    So, that puts it at $350 psf; at that maybe HD thinks the premium is about right.

    All that said, I think 1750 even overstates the interior space, given the insane deadspace in the basement. And with all the stairs, it’s going to live about like a 1500 sf simplex condo.

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  10. [lag]

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  11. “[lag]”

    What was the last one you could see before posting? Any of Sonies?

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  12. “What was the last one you could see before posting? Any of Sonies?”

    none of sonies. I noticed bc it seemed like a lot of posts I couldn’t see. could maybe see sabrina’s, not positive but think so.

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  13. I blame the [lag] for failing for understand that there are three interior floors rather than two.

    That being said, the assessor has it as 1,160 and i’m sticking with that. It’s accurate enough for our purposes.

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  14. why are we bracketing [lag] it isn’t optional, is it?

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  15. “By the way, most of the August numbers coming in from around the country are indicating a slowing market”

    By numbers, do you mean number of closings, or the number of days from list to close?

    We’ve been in our house about four months. When we closed, there were two other comparable houses within a couple blocks of ours on the market. Both of those sold about a month after we closed (for more than we had offered). About six weeks ago, two houses within a block or so of us came on the market. One was just under what we paid (and is correspondingly smaller and not as nice as ours), and the other was much more than we paid (and, not surprisingly, is bigger and nicer), but both needed more work than ours (both needed new kitchens and all new baths). I think the cheaper one sold the first day it was listed, and the more expensive one sold in 4 days (i.e., they went under contract on those days, then closed within a few weeks). “Slow” or “slowing” or “cooling” are not terms I’d use to describe the market in the nice areas of nice areas of the country. It wasn’t easy being a buyer 6 months ago, and I don’t think it’s any easier today.

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  16. “We’ve been in our house about four months.”

    So, now that you presumably have one, should the basement rumpus room square footage count in the total, or not?

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  17. Actually, “two bedrooms upstairs plus one in the basement” is a VERY desirable arrangement for some families! Has that poster ever seen a bungalow or raised-ranch house in some of the less-yuppified areas of Chicago? Typically, there are two bedrooms (for parents and young kid) on the main or upper floor, plus a “boy cave” created in the basement so that the teenage/college-age son can have his “clutter” (musical instruments, computer, stereo, sports equipment, etc.) stored in the privacy of his bedroom and away from the rest of the family.

    Alternatively, if a small family lives here, the basement bedroom can be for guests or live-in help.

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  18. “By numbers, do you mean number of closings, or the number of days from list to close?”

    Number of days from “list” to “close” is meaningless. It tells you nothing because of the number of times realtors yank the property off the market and relist to get a “fresh” number of days on the market (like this townhouse on George.)

    Although, in some states, the prior listings are actually listed in the total days on the market.

    But the time from list to close- actually- is also meaningless because if you have a cash buyer that wants to close quickly- it happens. If you have a contingency deal or a buyer who wants to close in 2 months- then it closes then.

    Now that I think about it- any stat that is from “list to close” is pretty much meaningless.

    The “numbers” are actual number of closings and rising inventories. It’s happening in most major markets- even those that had previously been “hot.”

    Falling monthly sales are not a good sign for the housing market. But then, with purchase applications continuing to fall, we already knew that nationally the sales would be lighter over the next few months.

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  19. ““Slow” or “slowing” or “cooling” are not terms I’d use to describe the market in the nice areas of nice areas of the country. It wasn’t easy being a buyer 6 months ago, and I don’t think it’s any easier today.”

    Sorry anonny. You can think your block is hot, hot, hot but the rest of the country, on both coasts now, is not, not, not.

    But prices have risen so high, so fast, that incomes (and buyers) just can’t keep pace. Is anyone surprised?

    Was 2013 just another dead cat bounce? I’m beginning to think it was.

    From the San Jose Mercury News:

    After a red-hot start to the year, the Bay Area’s housing market is heading toward a fall and winter hibernation that should be easier for buyers battered by frenzied competition for a scant supply of homes for sale.

    “We’re edging back to normalcy,” said Andrew LePage of CoreLogic DataQuick.

    Some real estate agents in the East Bay said they were beginning to see price reductions as sellers realize they have missed the big buying season.

    Sales of single-family homes were down 8.1 percent in the nine-county Bay Area in August, compared with a mere 3.2 percent year-over-year drop in August 2013, CoreLogic DataQuick said. Santa Clara County sales sagged 15.7 percent and Alameda County sales dropped by 12.2 percent from last August. Defying that trend, Contra Costa County had a 4.2 percent gain and San Mateo County sales rose 4.5 percent over the year.

    From the LA Times:

    The latest sign that buyers are gaining leverage in Southern California’s housing market: Price cuts are back.

    The number of homes with reduced asking prices has risen sharply in recent months, a reversal from last year’s sellers’ market, when list prices seemed more like a floor than a ceiling.

    In Orange County, the region’s priciest market, about one-third of sellers have been forced to cut prices, according to data from real estate firm Redfin. Across the Southland, prices have hit a plateau this summer, with sales volume slumping as buyers got pickier.

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  20. “Sorry anonny. You can think your block is hot, hot, hot but the rest of the country, on both coasts now, is not, not, not.”

    It’s not just my block. It’s every block in the half dozen or so most desirable neighborhoods/areas in our current city. Ten or fifteen minutes out into the burbs from where we live and, yes, things aren’t “hot,” even though (from what I understand) they are nice places to live.

    As for the articles you’ve quoted re: the CA market – get this: I was running along the beach this morning, and, as has happend the last few times we’ve visited the Bay area, who pops into my thoughts? Sabrina! It is, as Sabrina has testified numerous times, overcast today. But it’s still jaw-droppingly beautiful.

    anon: I think that below grade area should be counted, provided that it’s “legal.” That is, a room in a basement can be called a bedroom and/or the sq footage included on the face of the listing, provided that there is a legit egress window. Our partially finished basement has a guest bed area/bathroom and a rumpus area, but, while there are six windows, they are all small. It’s certainly an important space in the home, but I don’t think the space should be counted or that it should be considered a bedroom. Conversely, I was in someone’s home recently, and its (newer construction) basement should certainly be counted. They actually dug their egress window wells down about 6 feet, allowing for 6 ft+ windows in the living and bedroom spaces; and they dug the basement deeper to allow for high ceilings.

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  21. lag 12:39 pm (I’m going along with the data collection effort, but to what end?)

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  22. “the data collection effort, but to what end?”

    Knowledge is power. Maybe.

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  23. real estate sucks as an investment – the only reason someone should buy a place is so that they can alter it and make it their own space (and realize that you are doing so at an added expense/cost that you will likely not recover). The only benefit is a psychological one – period. Anyone who makes/made money in real estate was lucky – and you can’t consistently or accurately replicate luck.

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  24. Wow, even Clio is back! I thought for sure you had gone missing due to a carjacking on Western!

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  25. “It’s not just my block. It’s every block in the half dozen or so most desirable neighborhoods/areas in our current city.”

    In Lincoln Park, Bucktown etc. it’s not hot. Not even close. Anyone have any stories of multiple offers in these neighborhoods anymore? Plenty of $1.5 million new construction homes being withdrawn and then re-listed to try again.

    Sure, some things go under contract the first week on the market. There’s always that vintage house that hasn’t been listed for 10 years that goes under contract within 24 or 48 hours. Inventory is still tight so people who are looking are eager for anything “new.” But plenty of properties I thought would sell “quickly” go under contract within 3 or 4 weeks. Is that “hot”? I don’t know. Doesn’t seem like it to me. There’s no rush at any of the Open Houses I’ve been to.

    The market is slowing pretty dramatically- and not just in Mayfair or Galewood.

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  26. “real estate sucks as an investment – the only reason someone should buy a place is so that they can alter it and make it their own space”

    Clio- why so glum? We’re back to peak pricing (and more) in downtown Chicago.

    What can be wrong with that?

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  27. So paying for example, $2,000 a year on average over years 22-85 (graduation to death) in rent is monetarily smarter than buying your own home?

    Give me a break. Save a few places, buying is smarter in the long (>5 year) run.

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  28. Correction, $2,000/month.

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  29. lag-in

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  30. So I haven’t commented in a while but I’ve been reading and I thought you all might have some thoughts on a real estate issue I’m pondering. The house next door to me is a disaster – complete tear down. Was sold to a developer who appears completely over his head and maybe looking for an exit strategy. I live in Oak Park, which doesn’t have a ton of tear down properties. Any idea on how I could figure out an offer price if we decide to try to buy it from him? House has not yet been torn down; we’d be buying to make a double lot and use as expanded yard. I realize from an investment point this isn’t a win, but depending on the cost we might consider it since we’re planning on hanging around. Any clue on the cost of tearing down a property and figuring out land value? If we don’t improve the lot, I figure we could always sell it off for land value down the road.

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  31. “Clio- why so glum? We’re back to peak pricing (and more) in downtown Chicago”

    no….something is wrong and very “off” – I can’t quite put my finger on it – but the excitement and enthusiasm for owning/buying real estate seems to be COMPLETELY gone. During my recent mid-life crisis, I have gotten to know many many many younger people (25-35 yo) – NONE of them has ever mentioned looking for a condo/house and don’t have any desire to move into one. They are quite content renting an apartment or even a house. This new generation does not want or know how to take care of things in a house – I really think this spells disaster for the housing market in the next twenty years.

    The condo market – I feel the same way as they do – I own several condos downtown (most of which I paid 300-500k and are all cookie cutter 2/2) – these all rent for about 3000/month. If I was someone looking to live downtown, I would much rather rent one of my units (for 3000/month) than buy it (tying up 80-120k for a down payment, being stuck with the place and all of the repairs, unable to move easily, and still paying about 2500/month for PITI (if not more)!!! These kids are smart and have shown me the light!!!

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  32. What’s wrong with clio?

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  33. “What’s wrong with clio?”

    Just a guess–

    “During my recent mid-life crisis”

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  34. that was a quick lag out.

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  35. His midlife crisis is over, and now he’s just the cranky old guy?

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  36. “In Lincoln Park, Bucktown etc. it’s not hot. Not even close.”

    Is Bucktown among the most desirable areas? I never thought so. “Desirable,” yes: lots of dining and some cool retail options, but, with rare exception, for an area in or near Chicago to be “most” desirable, it needs to be along the lake. I know, I know, there are notable exceptions to that rule. But that’s about it. This is not a radical viewpoint.

    As for Lincoln Park, there’s Lincoln Park, and then there’s Lincoln Park. Last fall, our condo was under contract in one day. A few years back, we looked at places way out yonder in west, southwest and northwest “LP”. Had we purchased one of those places, we would have had more space, semi-lavish finishes and maybe a second parking space. But I don’t know if our resale would have gone as effortlessly.

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  37. “Is Bucktown among the most desirable areas?”

    It is. Notwithstanding that it is highly questionable for a family that wants to use public schools.

    “I never thought so.”

    Ok, and….??? Is it supposed to be a truism that the only qualification for “most desirable” is that Nonny finds it at least highly desirable? Is the Lab School not a “most desirable” school because it was (at best) 3d on your list?

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  38. Bucktown? that little hot pocket is very desirable. look at the home prices and what buyers get for the money. Not everybody wants to live near the lake…

    Personally, being near the lake is undesirable. That’s why condos along north LSD are only $150 psf ….I lived near the lake. It kind of sucks. It’s colder, the view sucks at night, the beaches have been overrun with illegal immigrants, the water has life threatening bacteria, the beaches are fake, the path is overcrowded and there’s no parking. I’d rather live across the street from busse woods. It’s got a lake and a path too. and has lots of illegal immigrants too.

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  39. “the beaches have been overrun with illegal immigrants”

    I assume you’ve joined the minutemen, and will be taking your turn guarding the border.

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  40. “being near the lake is undesirable. That’s why condos along north LSD are only $150 psf”

    …OR because the HOA fees in practically every high rise along the shore are astronomical.

    “overrun with illegal immigrants” – trolling. Not falling for it.

    “the water has life threatening bacteria” – Bacteria/Mercury/You Name It. But how many people are hospitalized (or die) a year from swimming in Lake Michigan in Chicago?

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  41. “Is Bucktown among the most desirable areas?”

    I would rank it as THE most desirable neighborhood in all of Chicago right now. With those under 40, it easily outranks Lincoln Park and Lakeview.

    All of the hot restaurants/chefs are opening up in the Milwaukee/Damen/North corridor. Milwaukee is a completely changed street. Go on a Saturday afternoon and then hop in a cab and go to Armitage in LP (which used to be THE top shopping corridor outside of the Mag Mile) but it has died. They are trying to resurrect it as some kind of foodie destination but so far with mixed results.

    The 606 and the new hotel at the Damen/Milwaukee intersection is only going to make Bucktown even hotter.

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  42. But no Sabrina, you and I are wrong, everyone wants to live along the cold frozen lake; because its ‘the lake’. For midwesterners from cow-tipping towns a big lake is ‘kewl’ but for the rest of us sophisticated urban dwellers, there’s a lot more to chicago than a lake.

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  43. “With those under 40, it easily outranks Lincoln Park and Lakeview.”
    True. Interesting people/enterprises have been long since priced out of Lincoln Park and Old Town, so they’ve become lame.
    Yet and still, Buckers is following the Lincoln Park path, what with its nascent class of aryan alpha moms in rubber wellies who drive Range Rovers. And Wicker Park has flowered into full-on Brohemia. So the torch has passed again. It’s somewhere west of Western, not that any of you know where that is….

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  44. And anybody who says that the beaches haven’t become a degenerate orgy of ruffians and hooligans from the third world is kidding themselves. I’m not trying to sound like the other He Whose Name Shall Not Be Mentioned, but it’s the truth. There’s a reason the north shore beaches charge $10 a person to visit: crowd control.

    http://crimeinboystown.blogspot.com/2014/07/up-for-grabs-montrose-beach-hits-riot.html

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  45. “It’s somewhere west of Western, not that any of you know where that is….”

    That’s an unfair criticism. a lot of posters, in fact many, lived/live west of western. Anon(tfo) and that other unicorn guy might live east of western so as to not ruffle their delicate sensibilities of having to see hipsters/poor people/etc. but the vast majority of us lived there….

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  46. On the north shore they just shut down the beaches…

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2009-11-06/news/0911040468_1_closure-beach-public-access

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  47. “Yet and still, Buckers is following the Lincoln Park path, what with its nascent class of aryan alpha moms in rubber wellies who drive Range Rovers.”

    Oh sure. As soon as Marc Jacobs opens, it’s over. And it’s not like the restaurants that are moving in are cheap either.

    But this gentrification takes decades. So wherever further west is the new hipster neighborhood- it will be 10 to 20 years before THAT neighborhood becomes the “new” Bucktown.

    Heck- houses are selling for $3 million in Bucktown now. Incredible. And no lake in sight.

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  48. “delicate sensibilities of having to see hipsters”

    I think that only bobbo and Jenny are actually bothered by the mere sight of hipsters.

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  49. “ruffians and hooligans from the third world”

    Think that calling Aurora the Third World is a bit harsh.

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  50. “That’s an unfair criticism. a lot of posters, in fact many, lived/live west of western.”
    I troll, I troll.
    What makes fully gentrified neighborhoods suck (one of the things, anyway) is the unwillingness to build up population density. Density is necessary for civilization. Even Hipster Fixie Paradise is full of NIMBYs bent on quashing transit-oriented development because whah-my-parking-spot. That’s gotta change or Chicago will always be second-rate.

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  51. “Density is necessary for civilization.”

    Rats in a cage with too many other rats start eating each other.

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  52. Hmmm…apparently there’s a way to tell if a person using a public beach is an “illegal immigrant.” How can you tell? Do “legal” people have “papers” stuffed somewhere in their bathing suits?

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  53. “Rats in a cage with too many other rats start eating each other.”

    not if there’s plenty of food

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  54. “Hmmm…apparently there’s a way to tell if a person using a public beach is an “illegal immigrant.” How can you tell? Do “legal” people have “papers” stuffed somewhere in their bathing suits?”

    Let’s just give them all health benefits, free food, free education, low wages, driver’s licenses and we’ll figure out the rest later.

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  55. One month after we chattered about this townhouse, it is STILL on the market.

    No price reductions. Still listed at $629,000.

    Off and on the market since June 2014.

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  56. This townhouse just reduced $10,000 to $619,000.

    A 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath townhouse just across the street just reduced again and has now reduced $50,000 from $599,000 to $549,000.

    The market isn’t what everyone thinks it is.

    https://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/1235-W-George-St-60657/unit-112/home/12792187

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  57. yes sabrina its called seasonality. who wants to move right in the middle of the school year and before the holidays? very few.

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  58. “yes sabrina its called seasonality. who wants to move right in the middle of the school year and before the holidays? very few.”

    Gee Sonies- were we not “right in the middle of the school year” and “before the holidays” in:

    2005
    2006
    2007
    2012
    2013

    Wow. I guess not. I guess in THOSE years buyers forgot about seasonality and were still out there buying, buying, buying.

    This is why we compare year over year data. Because, you know, things like “seasonality” happen every single damn year.

    Have you NOT been reading the data on this site? My god. Go look at it. It’s slowing more this year than it has in the last 3 years. It’s not as bad as the Great Recession years – but I should bloody well think it wouldn’t be since we’re supposed to be in a housing “recovery” right? Mortgage rates are near record lows. What else can the Fed do??? What is WRONG here?

    Oh wait- prices have jumped 10% to 30%. And incomes haven’t.

    I guess that’s it.

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  59. This townhouse was under contract and then it fell out of contract and came back on the market.

    It’s also been reduced.

    It is now listed at $599,000.

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  60. This 3-bedroom lakeview townhouse finally closed after 10 months on and off the market.

    Closing price = $575,000

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