Market Conditions: Chicago December Sales Fall 6.8% YOY Even With Lower Mortgage Rates

Lincoln Park Zoo holiday lions 2014

The Illinois Association of Realtors is out with the December data. As expected, sales fell year over year marking the 11th month in 2014 that sales were weaker than 2013.

From the Illinois Association of Realtors:

The city of Chicago saw a 6.8 percent year-over-year home sales decrease in December 2014 with 1,992 sales, down from 2,137 in December 2013. The year-end 2014 home sales totaled 25,414, down 6.7 percent from 27,242 home sales in 2013.

The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in December 2014 was $229,250, up 9.2 percent compared to December 2013 when it was $210,000. The year-end 2014 median price reached $245,000, up 11.4 percent from $220,000 in 2013.

Here is the data going back 10 years:

  • December 2004: 3,719 sales and median price of $267,000
  • December 2005: 2,847 sales and median price of $283,000
  • December 2006: 2,241 sales and median price of $279,000
  • December 2007: 1,629 sales and median price of $287,000
  • December 2008: 1,263 sales and median price of $235,000
  • December 2009: 1,820 sales and median price of $208,000 (34% short/REO sales)
  • December 2010: 1,475 sales and median price of $166,000 (43% short/REO sales)
  • December 2011: 1,536 sales and median price of $156,000 (44% short/REO sales)
  • December 2012: 1806 sales and median price of $185,000 (39.7% short/REO sales- according to Gary Lucido’s data)
  • December 2013: 2137 sales and median price of $210,000
  • December 2014: 1992 sales and median price of $229,250

What was going on in December 2004? Wow. Sales were hot that month.

“Our housing market recovery will continue making strides in 2015. Chicago buyers are willing to navigate tight inventory, motivated by low interest rates that will likely inch upward this year. For Chicago buyers taking advantage of low rates, they are moving quickly and investing strongly in their ideal home,” said Hugh Rider, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and co-president of Realty & Mortgage Co. “The average homeowner is selling in less than two months, and benefiting from higher median prices.”

“This year marks what appears to be a turning point for the Illinois housing market,” said Jim Kinney, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® and vice president for luxury home sales at Baird & Warner in Chicago. “We saw strong and sustained median price gains and sales volumes remained healthy throughout the year. The showing we had in 2014 sets the housing market up nicely for a strong start to 2015.”

The 30-year mortgage rate was sharply lower in 2014 versus 2013. In 2014 it averaged 3.85% down from 4.48% a year ago.

CNBC reported this week that Chicago’s slowing sales was due to low inventory.

Like the rest of the country, much of the slowdown in Chicago is due to a lack of supply of homes for sale. While agents expect to see more listings come on for the spring market, the city is tight across all product types—single-family, town home and condominium.

“With the new inventory, buyers will be moving quickly on it and pushing up prices in multiple offer situations,” said Millie Rosenbloom, a Chicago real estate agent with Baird & Warner, who says she expects to see a lot of new listings this spring.

Are the lower sales, despite near record low mortgage rates, really the result of lower inventory?

Or is something else going on?

Illinois home prices climb 3.7 percent in December; 2014 seen as a stabilizing year [Illinois Association of Realtors, Press Release, January 23, 2015]

Sweet Home Chicago? Maybe not so much. [CNBC, Diana Olick, January 22, 2015]

252 Responses to “Market Conditions: Chicago December Sales Fall 6.8% YOY Even With Lower Mortgage Rates”

  1. Inventory was at its lowest in January 2013 and while it’s still not great it’s far better than back then.

    If people don’t list this spring, however, it will be awful once again. But with prices back at record highs and mortgage rates near record lows and the job market at 15 year highs, I don’t know why people aren’t listing.

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  2. “Are the lower sales, despite near record low mortgage rates, really the result of lower inventory?”

    Yes.

    “But with prices back at record highs and mortgage rates near record lows and the job market at 15 year highs, I don’t know why people aren’t listing.”

    Because they don’t want to rent.

    “Chicago December Sales Fall 6.8% YOY Even With Lower Mortgage Rates”

    AKA: 2nd highest Dec sales in the last 8 years.

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  3. “Are the lower sales, despite near record low mortgage rates, really the result of lower inventory?”

    Yes.

    “Or is something else going on?”

    No.

    “But with prices back at record highs and mortgage rates near record lows and the job market at 15 year highs, I don’t know why people aren’t listing.”

    See above. Or, in other words, (most) people aren’t listing because, unless they either move to the burbs or need to leave their current region for work (or life change) reasons, what are they supposed to buy after they sell their current place? There are exceptions, including those who are able to make a big “move up” regardless of whether/when they sell their current place. But for the most part, as much as a homeowner might make a “killing” by selling right now, unless they’ve socked away an amount of cash roughly equal to their equity, they don’t have enough to make a meaningful improvement upon their housing situation. When we sold our condo over a year ago, doing so was extremely easy, and we basically “doubled our money” (leaving that closing with nearly twice what we had put down on the place). But we wouldn’t have done so were it not for the fact that we were leaving the area. Our successful sale of a 2 bed simply wouldn’t have enabled us to buy a desirable 3 bed right down the street in ELP.

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  4. Look at the median price trend. And spare me the “it’s a different mix of sales” nonsense. The median price trends clearly reflect the the increases/decreases in house prices over the last decade.

    December 2011: 1,536 sales and median price of $156,000
    December 2014: 1992 sales and median price of $229,250

    Median price up 47% (like I said last week). And you wonder why there aren’t bidding wars like there were in 2011/12/13

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  5. I can’t wait to share my anecdatal experience this summer

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  6. In 2004, sales reflected that anyone with a pulse could get a mortgage. People didn’t put a lot of thought into the decision. Now buyers tend to be more discerning about their purchase decision along with the fact there are comparable rental opportunities. There is no mad rush to buy imho.

    I find buyers today more serious about the transaction and the properties they are purchasing because they know it is a longer term play.

    I have a lot of first time home buyers in that $500-$800k range. They are renting and have been for a few years. These same buyers in 2004, would have bought a 2/2 condo, lived in it 2 or 3 years and moved up instead of renting. They are skipping that stage and I think the numbers reflect that…

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  7. I’ve explained all this ad nauseam so I won’t repeat myself here. However, I suspect that IAR is now taking their snapshot a little later in the month than they used to in order to correct the systematic bias in their methodology. They have been coming in a tad higher than I expect over the last few months.

    I also note with great interest that there was a pretty significant spike in new listings in the first full week of January. I’m thinking it might be a lot of those listings pulled at the end of last year that are coming back now. But I think a lot of reluctant landlords have built up enough equity by now to try to bail on their properties.

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  8. Yeah, unemployment is at 5.6% and you people keep painting our economy as still in the shitter. If you are hurting or know people who are still hurting, I’m sorry. But those people weren’t worth what they were making pre-2008 and will never reach those levels again.

    2008 cleaned out a lot of people who just aren’t needed anymore to progress our workforce. Welcome to the STEM economy. Get on board or get out, your newly printed business management degree isn’t worth shit. Companies refuse to hire people who haven’t had a job since the crash for a reason. They are the fat of corporate America.

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  9. “Welcome to the STEM economy. Get on board or get out, your newly printed business management degree isn’t worth shit.”

    It’s more like a service sector economy. That’s by far the fastest growing sector of the economy. Now put some salt on my fries and give me my milkshake, hipster.

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  10. “Now put some salt on my fries and give me my milkshake, hipster.”

    bahahaha, indicating interest in the Shake Shack IPO are we?

    But seriously, people with degrees aren’t the ones having the issues, unemployment amongst college grads is only 2.9%!

    http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t04.htm

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  11. “But seriously, people with degrees aren’t the ones having the issues, unemployment amongst college grads is only 2.9%!”

    That can be fixed with a nice 80’s solution. Give all the poor people crack and let them kill themselves. The sequel “New Jack City 2” is long overdue!

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  12. “That can be fixed with a nice 80’s solution. Give all the poor people crack and let them kill themselves.”

    But Chicago was so much safer back then!! How could there *possibly* be more homicides than the record breaking levels that Rahm has given us??

    PS: Your Zero Hedge is showing.

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  13. Yeah or we could give them incentive to go out and get jobs or start a small business

    rags to riches baby!

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  14. “start a small business”

    Street Entrepreneurship *was* the suggestion.

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  15. gringozecarioca on January 29th, 2015 at 4:01 am

    “But Chicago was so much safer back then!! How could there *possibly* be more homicides than the record breaking levels that Rahm has given us??
    PS: Your Zero Hedge is showing.”

    I never read Zero Hedge. I just happened to be downloading “Kill the Messenger” when I wrote that.

    Those were some crazy days…

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  16. Anyone else see the recent studies showing that Millenials actually WANT to move to the suburbs but are stuck in the cities because they (1) can’t sell their current property or (2) now can’t afford a SFH in the suburb of their choice because of high prices and/or they just aren’t earning enough.

    Also- they seem to want the interior type of suburb we chatter about- or at least one that has a shops/restaurant/metra within walking distance. As I’ve argued before, there really isn’t that much difference between downtown Naperville, LaGrange or Evanston and Southport or Lincoln Square. Same restaurants and shops but the schools are so much better in the burbs.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/01/young-americans-yearning-for-the-suburbs-stuck-in-the-city/384752/

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  17. Mortgage purchase applications were up the first 2 weeks of the year yoy which is promising for February and March housing sales. They fell 1% last week, however.

    Weather has been good for home buying everywhere in the country except for New England (and only this week.)

    Sales have picked up already. I’m seeing things that were on the market for months last fall finally going under contract. And some properties that were yanked in December have also sold quickly when re-listed this month. These are all good signs for the spring market.

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  18. I’ve seen studies that say the opposite about millenials, but who really gives a shit about them when it comes to the housing market, they don’t and won’t have any fucking money to buy a house anyway. They’ve been getting hammered from all directions to lever up on an education and internet/smartphone plans, you really think they’ll get ahead enough to come up with a down payment? Some will, most won’t.

    The Gen X/Y is the largest home buying demographic right now I’d think… while the boomers would be the ones selling and moving to Arizoner or Fluriduh or wherever

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  19. Gen Y/Millennial is the same thing.

    I thought no Millennials bought starter homes which is why the first-time homebuyer market is non-existent. How can someone be trapped in a home they never bought?

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  20. “Anyone else see the recent studies showing that Millenials actually WANT to move to the suburbs”

    It was a POLL, not a study, and it included several birth years of GenX (anyone born in 78 and later), AND it was limited to those who bought in the past 3, or were planning to buy in the next 3, AND it was done for the National Association of Home Builders.

    Basically, it was designed to have that result.

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  21. Article states Millenials are FLOCKING to Buffalo, NY!

    http://gothamist.com/2015/01/28/millennials_buffalo.php

    lmao at the picture of the chick with the giant poofy 90’s jean jacket at her chicken coop

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  22. “Article states Millenials are FLOCKING to Buffalo, NY!”

    What’s funny is that most of the folks featured in the article grew up in Western NY–as far away as Rochester!!–and just moved back home. Seems more a tale of “LA and NYC aren’t as universally appealing as they think” than a tale of Buffalo’s unique draw.

    And that denim coat is evidence that the thrift stores are booming too. Cheap rent AND cheap clothes!

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  23. Smart phones plans aren’t killing millienals. It costs at most, what, $1,200 a year for a decent smart phone plan with minutes? I still see tons of hipsters rocking their 4s’s; and I know some still rocking their 4’s.

    What’s killing them is inflation combined with rent/student loans/wage stagnation. It’s what is killing everybody except the top.

    Everybody points to inflation being ‘low’ per BLS #’s. I’m no shadow statistics conspiracy theorist, but I don’t think that inflation is adequately represented in that formula. My healthcare premiums have jumped and so have my out of pockets for 2015. The amount of tuition I paid (with accruing interest too) far outweigh any deflationary savings I save in $2.00 gas, free amazon dot com delivery or hedonic substitutes of free range eggs for cheaper tortured chicken eggs. Housing is cheaper than it’s been in a long time but it’s still considered fairly high in most areas. It’s just a general maliasie in the country that hipsters inherited sort of like how the young flappers of the day walked right into the great depression. My great grandparents were in their early 20’s and got married in Chicago in August 1929. We all know what happened two months later; and it profoundly affected them for the rest of their life. They were poor for many years and even when things improved (and they did), they never took vacations, they never ate out, they rented a small two flat in Logan Sq, and they saved everything, and walked everywhere. I have a feeling it’ll be the same for hipsters, they’re generally pretty ‘cheap’ with the exception of the iphone and craft beer, they’re not bidding up the prices of homes to unsustainable levels like their boomer and Gen X compatriots of the 2000’s.

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  24. Hipsters are also not buying as many new cars; and the vehicle market is dipping deep into the sub-sub prime to make 72 month loans to anyone with a pulse to buy a car. I wouldn’t say that sub sub prime is representative of hipsters – it’s people with poor money management across generations.

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  25. “can’t afford a SFH in the suburb of their choice because of high prices”

    Hmm. Not so sure about that one. I can think of nice burbs in our current area, and nice burbs in our former area (Chicago), where our ability to purchase a great house (i.e., better than the house we purchased in our “urban” hood, and, had we stayed in Chi, better than anything we would have purchased in the city). Remaining in the city is a mix of urban ammenities (no, not Pot Belly), vibrancy, walkability and commute-times. The last one is huge for me. As kids get a bit older, I could see the burbs taking on greater value, but then there’s that commute.

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  26. “Remaining in the city is a mix of urban ammenities (no, not Pot Belly), vibrancy, walkability and commute-times.”

    You can get all of these things in many suburbs (and very nice restaurants, in addition to the Pot Belly.) In LaGrange, for instance, it’s what, 15 minutes on the Metra to Union Station? You can walk to its downtown for breakfast and to the supermarket. There’s also a movie theater.

    I could describe many other suburban “downtowns” the same way.

    Most Millenials have student loans. Anonny, you think only of yourself. The millennial, and spouse, who are making $100k combined salary are basically priced out of the Park Ridge downtown starter home (which is going for $450k or higher now.) Ditto for many other suburbs. There are some where you can find a house (as I’ve mentioned- Berwyn, Flossmoor, Highwood, Arlington Heights) for cheaper. But prices are past peak in many areas now and incomes haven’t gone up. The Millenials also aren’t in jobs they thought they’d be in.

    Some of them are probably trapped in the city. But they’re just renting- which is why the new high rises are still filled up.

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  27. “The Gen X/Y is the largest home buying demographic right now I’d think… while the boomers would be the ones selling and moving to Arizoner or Fluriduh or wherever”

    The youngest of Generation X is now in their mid-30s. They should have bought a long time ago. The oldest is nearly 50. They’ll be downsizing soon. Generation X is actually a small group. Millenials, however, are almost as large as the boomers. That’s why everyone thinks we’re going to need a ton of housing in the next several years (except that the Boomers will have to sell their homes to someone as they retire/die. And if you look at the older suburbs, you can already see the turnover happening. LOTS of older houses that have never been updated being sold by families that have been there for 30 or 40 years.)

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  28. “I thought no Millennials bought starter homes which is why the first-time homebuyer market is non-existent. How can someone be trapped in a home they never bought?”

    They’re trapped in condos they bought in cities.

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  29. “It was a POLL, not a study, and it included several birth years of GenX (anyone born in 78 and later),”

    There are different definitions of what constitutes GenX. Some put it all the way up to 1981. Some cut it off at 1977 or even 1978.

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  30. anon(tfo)- there was more than one poll done and it had the same results. It had the same results.

    “In the summer of 2013, the Demand Institute, a nonprofit think tank, posed a similar question to about 1,000 Millennials, aged 18 to 29. Nearly half said they’d like to have their next home be in the suburbs, while 38 percent preferred cities.”

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  31. A couple of comments on LaGrange. The quickest trains into union atation are 20 and 21 minutes on express trains, otherwise its anywhere between 30 and 41 minutes to get in. Houses there are quite expensive unless you are willing to do an extensive rehab. Same can be said for Elmhurst.

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  32. So, two polls, one of which covered a bunch of GenX, and the other of which asked flipping 18 year old kids. And ‘nearly half’ is not the same result as 66%.

    The NAHB poll should be disregarded–it provided the result they sought. The other shows a 48/38 burb/city split where the real burb/city split is about 3/1 in major metros. So that’s a shift in favor of city living.

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  33. anon(tfo)- they DON’T want to live in the city when they buy a home.

    Gee- I wonder why?

    Because they’re priced out. They can’t afford the neighborhoods they want so they HAVE to go to the suburbs to get something cheaper. How many millenials are buying the $750,000 Roscoe Village starter home? (If you can even GET a Roscoe Village starter home for that price anymore?) They’re not.

    Portage Park and some other relatively “affordable” neighborhoods are priced the same (or sometimes higher) than what they’d get in the suburbs and the suburbs have better transit options, schools and restaurants. Compare the walkable restaurants in Old Irving Park, Jefferson Park and Portage Park with Park Ridge, Evanston and Oak Park and there is no comparison.

    So it’s not surprising that if they want a SFH that they prefer the suburbs.

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  34. “A couple of comments on LaGrange. The quickest trains into union station are 20 and 21 minutes on express trains, otherwise its anywhere between 30 and 41 minutes to get in. Houses there are quite expensive unless you are willing to do an extensive rehab. Same can be said for Elmhurst.”

    Wow- 20 minutes. It’s double (sometimes more) on the Brown Line north of Addison. And the houses are even MORE expensive.

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  35. Comparing Nortcenter houses to Elmhurst isn’t exactly apples to apples though.

    How about comparing Hinsdale to Nortcenter and Elmhurst to Albany Park or maybe Berwyn.

    Oh and elmhurst fucking sucks and no way in hell its only a 20 minute train ride to the loop you ever ride that line like I have? BRUTAL is the one word I would use to describe it.

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  36. sorry no coffee yet this morning, reading comprehension FAIL job right there

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  37. Trains shmains unless you’re working within a few blocks of Union Station. (Oh, and for a train-burb to really be great, one need also be within a few blocks of one’s burb train station).

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  38. “They’re trapped in condos they bought in cities.”

    I used the word ‘home’ instead of ‘house’ intentionally to encompass all dwelling types.

    My wife and I live in a 1/1 in River North and are currently in the “Where next?” conversation. We love downtown Geneva, but with 2 major caveats: its too far from downtown, and in order to live within walking distance of downtown/the train station, the houses are just as expensive as Roscoe Village/Southport/Lincoln Square. Houses are only cheaper in the suburbs if you are willing to drive to the train station. The cost savings of a suburban home quickly start to disappear if you have to add in the cost of a second car, parking at the train station, and double/tripling your commute time. I truly cherish my $0, 13 minute walk to work.

    Also, people who commute via Metra tend to only count their time on the train as their commute. If I ask my coworker who lives in Sugar Grove how long it takes to get to work he will say “It’s about an hour on the train, its not too bad.” The reality is, he drives 20 minutes to the Aurora train station, is on the train for an hour, and then walks 20 minutes to the office. His total commute is a brutal 3:20 round trip. If we leave the office at the same time, I will be home in stretchy pants with a frosty beverage in my hand before his train even leaves the station. For me that is worth every single penny of the increased housing cost.

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  39. BS, from western to downtown on the brown line, it’s 30 minutes. Plus no schedule. I do it 5 days a week.

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  40. “Also, people who commute via Metra tend to only count their time on the train as their commute. If I ask my coworker who lives in Sugar Grove how long it takes to get to work he will say “It’s about an hour on the train, its not too bad.” The reality is, he drives 20 minutes to the Aurora train station, is on the train for an hour, and then walks 20 minutes to the office. His total commute is a brutal 3:20 round trip. If we leave the office at the same time, I will be home in stretchy pants with a frosty beverage in my hand before his train even leaves the station. For me that is worth every single penny of the increased housing cost.”

    Right, whenever you hear suburbanites say their commute time it’s only the train ride. Always add 30 minutes to whatever they say at a minimum.

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  41. “You can get all of these things in many suburbs (and very nice restaurants, in addition to the Pot Belly.)”

    This is one of the most flagrant lies yet. There are almost no restaurants of note in the suburbs. Not a single Michelin starred restaurant. I can walk to two and be to many others in 15 minutes. And how about cultural amenities? The suburbs suck.

    I guess if all one cares about is a Pot Belly or Subway than one should definitely live in the suburbs.

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  42. “The cost savings of a suburban home quickly start to disappear if you have to add in the cost of a second car, parking at the train station, and double/tripling your commute time.”

    And the RE taxes.

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  43. You can’t compare Geneva and Sugar Grove Metra commutes with Park Ridge, Elmhurst or LaGrange. Just stop, it’s idiotic to do those commutes, and most people know that.

    As far as Park ridge, it’s about 30-35 depending on whether the train stops at Gladstone Park or not. The morning express train is around 25 mins. I walk 4 mins to the train, but that’s just me. lots of people drive 5 minutes and park or get dropped off. The train stations close in are in the middle of neighborhoods or small downtowns – not like in the exurbs or wherever.

    Look around for a decent house for $400k in a decent school district – Jr high and high school included – ie not just Bell – and it doesn’t exist in the city. $400k can buy something reasonable in park ridge with a reasonable train commute in a handful of near suburbs. Otherwise you’re heading out pretty far like MT Prospect and beyond. It is what it is.

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  44. Plenty of good schools in Chicago, just most not up to SWPL yuppie standards

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  45. “Plenty of good schools in Chicago, just most not up to SWPL yuppie standards”

    Mainly due to a lot of whites being afraid to send their kids to school with non white and poor kids.

    Just compared my CPS non selective enrollment, non magnet school to Park Ridge schools. Looking at whites, 87% of our kids school met and exceeded ISATs, it’s 84% for Park Ridge.

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  46. “You can get all of these things in many suburbs (and very nice restaurants, in addition to the Pot Belly.)”

    I live walking distance from restaurant row. Name one suburb of any city anywhere on the planet that has anything even remotely equivalent.

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  47. One more comment on Metra – you are tied to the schedule and have to deal with significant delays from “switch” problems and other issues due to such old tracks/bridges/engines, etc. Living within walking distance to the metra is key in a close in suburb (but this raises the price 15-20% – look at what you get in Swainwood neighborhood in Glenview for $700K, it isnt much). Also parking can be a nightmare and there can be lengthy waiting lists for yearly passes.

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  48. I mean, who wouldn’t buy this thing at $1.2Million?

    https://www.redfin.com/IL/Glenview/1340-Alvin-Ct-60025/home/13795368

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  49. If you’re living in Glenview, you’re more likely working at Kraft, Walgreens, Takeda, etc, not in the city.

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  50. “If you’re living in Glenview, you’re more likely working at Kraft, Walgreens, Takeda, etc, not in the city.”

    I know multiple people who live in Northbrook and work downtown. As well as Sugar Grove, Oswego, Manhattan, and Lake Bluff. Thousands of people do these long Metra commutes every single day.

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  51. ” As well as Sugar Grove, Oswego, Manhattan, and Lake Bluff”

    Not many people do that. They’re called ‘super commuters’. And it’s a lifestyle choice – just like going vegan. It doesn’t mean that it’s reasonable or for everyone, but you can’t use the an outlier and then proclaim “the suburbs suck because it’s a long commute from St Charles on the metra so it’s better to stay in the city”

    Metra isn’t that bad. And the train schedule actually encourages you to get home by a decent hour to be with your family. I know plenty of people who live and work in the suburbs and still find ways to stay in the office until 7pm or later on any given work night. They don’t get home until 7:30 p.m and their kids go to bed at 8. Whatever, that’s a lifestyle choice too I guess.

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  52. “I live walking distance from restaurant row.”

    Where the hell is restaurant row?

    Ha! ha!

    I have no idea what you’re even talking about.

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  53. “Look around for a decent house for $400k in a decent school district – Jr high and high school included – ie not just Bell – and it doesn’t exist in the city.”

    This is true for a SFH in the “top” neighborhood school districts. You are stuck with a smaller townhouse or a condo for around $400,000. You still get more for your money in the inner suburbs (even those prices have risen back to bubble highs too) but at least you don’t have to pay $750,000 or higher just to get a “starter house” in Roscoe Village.

    The best GZ neighborhoods are no longer available to those in the upper middle class (i.e. $400,000 homes) but only the upper tiers of the upper middle class and the rich.

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  54. “Not a single Michelin starred restaurant.”

    I looked for restaurants for Restaurant Week in Lakeview and even in Lincoln Park and I think there were 3 restaurants participating in Lakeview. That’s it.

    Don’t know if there are ANY Michelin starred restaurants in Lakeview anyway. Because, you know, me and my two kids routinely go to Michelin starred restaurants. So I guess I wouldn’t know. Lol.

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  55. “BS, from western to downtown on the brown line, it’s 30 minutes.”

    Bah! ha! ha! ha!

    Are you one of those that sleeps most of the way Vlajos?

    Because from Paulina it’s not even 30 minutes. It’s much faster to take the Metra from Ravenswood than to EVER take the Brown line from Western. In fact, you save like 20 minutes.

    Many of the inner suburbs are MUCH faster commutes than taking the subway or the buses in the city. Sorry if the truth hurts. Heck, if you live in Berwyn you can take Metra and be at Union Station in 9 minutes or whatever it is.

    And yeah- if you have to drive to the station and all of that it adds on time. But most in the city have to walk to the El stop too and that is time.

    My friends in the burbs all bought within walking distance of a train stop. Smart, don’t you think?

    Someone could buy this entry-level house just 2 blocks from the train stop in Downers Grove. You can always walk to the historic movie theater, Starbucks, all the other downtown restaurants. It’s in the school district with a top 20 high school. No need to worry about whether or not your kid will test in. Fairly quick commute if you work in downtown Chicago.

    For a lot of people, a house like this is a no-brainer compared to what they can afford in Chicago.

    https://www.redfin.com/IL/Downers-Grove/1220-Warren-Ave-60515/home/18027596

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  56. “BS, from western to downtown on the brown line, it’s 30 minutes. Plus no schedule. I do it 5 days a week.”

    By the way, the RTA trip planner even tells me that during rush hour at 8:20 am in the morning it will take me 44 minutes to go from the western stop to Washington/Wells. If you’re going all the way around the loop, add on even more time. And that’s without ANY delays.

    30 minutes? I wish. But that’s in some other dream world.

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  57. By the way- today starts the “official” spring buying/selling season. Supposedly everyone has been waiting until after the Super Bowl to list so I’ll be watching inventories.

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  58. “Where the hell is restaurant row?”

    You are going to have hell of a time convincing me you don’t live in Naperville with statements like that. If you are not even going to make a pretend effort to take advantage of the amenities the city provides, then the suburbs are perfect for you. Please stay there.

    I’m well aware that the city has negative issues, but I’m willing to accept them because the positive amenities outweigh them. If you are not going to take advantage of the positive, then why the hell would you live in the city?

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  59. I would imagine with the 16 inches of snow we got, it will be a bit slow lol. Also that house in Downers Grove needs soooo much work done, thats a typical old lady house that hasn’t been updated in 30+ years and probably has TONS of hidden maintenance, and why its “only 330k” lol. a home nearby is 525k which isn’t exactly entry level.

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  60. Sabrina, definitely has been lying for a while now. She can’t live in the city with all these bizarro statements. 30 minutes from western to wells. I do it 5 days a week.

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  61. $400k is for the upper middle class? I must be a Pritzger.

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  62. City living is a lifestyle choice, just like exurban super commuting. There’s not anything inherently wrong with either one, as long as you are at peace with your lifestyle decision. I only have a problem with people who choose to live where they do, then lie about living the other place. Sabrina – its totally cool if you moved to Naperville, but PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD STOP PRETENDING YOU LIVE IN THE CITY. Own up to your lifestyle choice so we can move forward with relevant discussions.

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  63. “It doesn’t mean that it’s reasonable or for everyone, but you can’t use the an outlier and then proclaim “the suburbs are great because it’s a short commute from Park Ridge on the metra so it’s better than staying in the city”

    90% of the population of the burbs is meaningfully further from the loop than Park Ridge. And the homes are 3x the price they are in Oswego (wherever that is).

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  64. “Because, you know, me and my two kids”

    That dude me is a bad motha. I wouldn’t let me go anywhere with my kids.

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  65. “By the way, the RTA trip planner even tells me that during rush hour at 8:20 am in the morning it will take me 44 minutes to go from the western stop to Washington/Wells.”

    The RTA trip planner tells me that the train would leave at 8:26 and arrive at 9:00, which sure seems like 34 minutes to me. Vary the departure a little (yes, during rush hour, so the Brown is fighting the Purple for space) and the Trip Planner sez 30.

    I can’t get the planner to quote a train travel time of over 40 (even tho we all know it is not rare that it takes 40, with delays).

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  66. I’m on the condo board of my in-town. I just found out that a unit went into contract in the mid-200s and the buyers are only putting 4% down. I’m not happy about it. Must be good to be a buyer of a primary residence. As an “investor” I’m required to put at least 25% down. If I could buy with 4% down I would have levered up!

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  67. I’m dying to hear about these fantastic downers Grove restaurants.

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  68. “By the way- today starts the “official” spring buying/selling season. Supposedly everyone has been waiting until after the Super Bowl to list so I’ll be watching inventories.”

    Did see a few places trickle on today. More than past weeks.

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  69. All right, I’ll quasi be on Sabrina’s side RE: commute times. I did the Davis St (Evanston) commute to Monroe via Metra for a few months a while back, and then moved to Lakeview and took the L. The commute from Evanston was faster! And it was more reliable too. Now, I’m talking Evanston and not some far flung suburb, but unfortunately the L just isn’t very consistent. Belmont-Monroe can take 20 minutes with nobody on it during the weekends, but takes way more than that with rush hour commutes. This morning was torturous and took me almost 50 minutes after cramming in like a sardine….

    Also, the brown line seems to be slower than the Red to me with all those stops and curves prior to the Loop. The “reported” times on Trip Planner are WAY optimistic for rush hour (but if you go to work/leave at odd hours, perhaps it isn’t so off for you). I feel like the wait for trains going home is even worse for whatever reason as they don’t come as regularly. Obviously, the L still comes way more often than the Metra so there is added flexibility there.

    Having said that, I enjoy living in the city and don’t plan to move. I’m just saying the commute times from the inner rung suburbs can theoretically be not much different depending on how close you are to the station (and those that take the bus in the morning from Lakeview tell me it’s 50 minutes consistently). Not arguing on lifestyle/availability of amenities — some people are willing so sacrifice that stuff for a bigger yard, etc. — just different priorities/opinions.

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  70. “Mainly due to a lot of whites being afraid to send their kids to school with non white and poor kids.”

    True. This is why I will never understand the white liberal mentality. It’s always such contradiction, hypocrisy, and absolute full blown illogic. Can someone else explain it?

    “Don’t know if there are ANY Michelin starred restaurants in Lakeview anyway. Because, you know, me and my two kids routinely go to Michelin starred restaurants.”

    Well played, Sabrina. Lol.

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  71. “The “reported” times on Trip Planner are WAY optimistic for rush hour”

    I agree that this is true. But the trip planner doesn’t say its a 44 minute ride, either.

    When things work perfectly (walk onto redline platform as the train pulls up, pull into Belmont with a Brown sitting there *and* get priority on the turn, walk off Brown to a waiting bus–that is, 1 time in 100) it takes me sub 35 door to door (including ~5 minutes of walking). I’ve also had the 75 minute trips, usually (but not always) related to weather or crime or construction.

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  72. “Don’t know if there are ANY Michelin starred restaurants in Lakeview anyway. Because, you know, me and my two kids routinely go to Michelin starred restaurants.”

    You don’t ever go out without your children? Are you also one of those crazy helicopter parents who can’t bear to let your children out of sight for more than 8 seconds? Get a babysitter and go out for a nice meal some time. I promise the kiddos will survive!

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  73. I think Wood in Lakeview had a Michelin star recently. But it was knocked down and has instead been in the Bib Gourmand list the last few years. Only 10 out of the 50 or so Bib Gourmand winners are in the suburbs though… Skokie leads the way with three, no other suburb has more than one.

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  74. “You don’t ever go out without your children?”

    They’re too busy. We have way too much stuff going on. And when we do go out, it’s not to a restaurant on the North Side. If I wanted Michelin stars, I’ll go downtown- just like suburbanites do. We both have to get into our cars to go down there. Imagine that.

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  75. “The commute from Evanston was faster! And it was more reliable too. Now, I’m talking Evanston and not some far flung suburb, but unfortunately the L just isn’t very consistent.”

    Thank you Bluedog. This is my point. The Metra is faster. The El, especially the Brown Line, takes forever.

    Oh- and what about those people who can’t walk to the subway? I have a friend in Roscoe Village. She takes the Belmont bus to the Belmont stop and then goes into the loop. It takes her an hour, each way. She’s tried taking buses to see if that would be faster (Halsted or Ashland buses) but it was worse. City living!

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  76. “I’m dying to hear about these fantastic downers Grove restaurants.”

    Vlajos- they’re the same as those in Southport, as I keep saying. Same pub type places. Same diners. You’re walking to the same places AND you can walk to one of the oldest movie theaters in the country (which has been completely renovated.)

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  77. “The RTA trip planner tells me that the train would leave at 8:26 and arrive at 9:00, which sure seems like 34 minutes to me. Vary the departure a little (yes, during rush hour, so the Brown is fighting the Purple for space) and the Trip Planner sez 30.”

    anon (tfo): I don’t know what the hell trip planner you’re looking at. The RTA trip planner tells me that I could take the brown line from Western to Washington/Wells tomorrow it would take 40 minutes.

    Everyone who is reading this knows it doesn’t take 30 minutes on the brown line from Western except in someone’s dreams. It has NEVER taken me under 45 minutes to do that route. And with the back-ups during rush hour- it has taken even longer. You have to allow for an hour from Western to get downtown between walking to the station etc.

    It’s MUCH faster to live in the burbs within walking distance to the station and just hop on board Metra. Park Ridge, Oak Park, Berwyn, LaGrange, Evanston are ALL closer to downtown via Metra than neighborhoods on the north side of Chicago.

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  78. “Sabrina – its totally cool if you moved to Naperville, but PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD STOP PRETENDING YOU LIVE IN THE CITY. Own up to your lifestyle choice so we can move forward with relevant discussions.”

    Sorry- try again. Thanks for playing.

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  79. “$400k is for the upper middle class? I must be a Pritzger.”

    It’s NOT middle class. Middle class is $45,000 to $90,000. Are you buying a $400,000 house on $90,000 with kids and car payments? In 2007- sure you were. And look what happened. In California, because they are nuts, of course they are. But here in Chicago? Nope.

    The $400,000 starter home is for the upper middle class (and yes- that is anyone over $90,000 or let’s round up to $100,000.)

    The rest of the world doesn’t live like those in Park Ridge. Park Ridge is an extremely rich suburb where people take their kids to Mexico for spring break every year.

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  80. “Also that house in Downers Grove needs soooo much work done, thats a typical old lady house that hasn’t been updated in 30+ years and probably has TONS of hidden maintenance, and why its “only 330k” lol. a home nearby is 525k which isn’t exactly entry level.”

    Here’s the problem with all of you. What do you think you get in Portage Park for the same money? A piece of shit! And you’re not buying in ANY of the “top” school areas of Chicago for that price (a SFH, that is.)

    So you have a choice. You can buy something like this as your first house, fix it up, walk to the train and get downtown in 30 minutes, walk to restaurants, movie theaters, and send your kids to some of the best schools in the state- or you can live in a 2-bedroom condo in Southport in the Blaine School district and worry about high school later and do the same.

    But if you want a SFH- plenty of better choices in the suburbs with similar or faster downtown commutes (if that’s where you work.)

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  81. “You are going to have hell of a time convincing me you don’t live in Naperville with statements like that. If you are not even going to make a pretend effort to take advantage of the amenities the city provides, then the suburbs are perfect for you. Please stay there.”

    Please tell me. I have NO idea and I read the Redeye every day. Doesn’t the Redeye know all?

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  82. “They’re too busy.”

    Wait. Now the kids are grown? Seems like they just made their first appearance in the last 6 months.

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  83. “The RTA trip planner tells me that the train would leave at 8:26 and arrive at 9:00, which sure seems like 34 minutes to me. Vary the departure a little (yes, during rush hour, so the Brown is fighting the Purple for space) and the Trip Planner sez 30.

    I can’t get the planner to quote a train travel time of over 40 (even tho we all know it is not rare that it takes 40, with delays).”

    Because it doesn’t take that long. 32 minutes this morning.

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  84. “Wait. Now the kids are grown? Seems like they just made their first appearance in the last 6 months.”

    Exactly. Plus she’s never heard of restaurant row. And drives downtown for dinner? Unless she doesn’t drink that’s another odd one….

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  85. But how long does it take to bike to wrigley from Downers Grove?

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  86. “Please tell me. I have NO idea”

    You are the only one.

    “If I wanted Michelin stars, I’ll go downtown- just like suburbanites do. We both have to get into our cars to go down there. Imagine that.”

    No, a city dweller would take a cab. Besides, driving downtown from Downers Grove (or even Park Ridge) is NOT the same as driving downtown from Southport.

    “they’re the same as those in Southport, as I keep saying. Same pub type places. Same diners.”

    The beauty of the city is density. You can easily wander off Southport and there’s a whole world of great independently owned eateries and businesses. Or hop on the Brown line and in 10 minutes be somewhere like Lincoln Square. The sheer amount of businesses/restaurants within 10 min travel of Southport is exponentially greater than anything you could achieve in the ‘burbs. Your suburban bubble mentality doesn’t apply to the city.

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  87. The metra, especially for the 3 trains that go to the west suburbs and northwest suburbs are frequently delayed, even more so than the El is. People in the burbs are more likely to live farther from the train station due to lower density, and the quality homes close to train stations are well over $600k in places with good schools. It’s not like there’s this incredible arbitrage opportunity out there that people in the city aren’t capitalizing on….

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  88. “take the brown line from Western to Washington/Wells tomorrow it would take 40 minutes”

    Um, that includes walking time. There is *no way* to get teh RTA trip planner to say 40 minutes on the Brown Line.

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  89. “quality homes close to train stations are well over $600k in places with good schools”

    Where “quality schools” are defined to be better than Park Ridge’s second best elementary. Which is a high standard.

    On a separate point–somehow, magically, a “walkable” distance to a Metra station seems to be about 2x as far a as a “walkable” distance to a CTA station. Guess walkability is judged by how many doors one passes or something.

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  90. I imagine about 1% of suburban metra riders live within walking distance to a station. Sabrina, please calculate this, but you must show the proof.

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  91. “about 1% of suburban metra riders live within walking distance to a station”

    Assuming no walking in the street required (due to lak of sidewalks) too, right?

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  92. Yes, anon. Suburban drivers are the worst. It’s extremely dangerous to walk on streets out there.

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  93. Do we actually disagree that:

    1. If you want to, you can find a decent burb home w good school (including HS) w a good metra commute (w all the tradeoffs that entails). Not that most burb homes would qualify, but if that’s what you’re looking for you can find it (wo an obvious being close to train premium bc that’s not waht the burbs are about).

    2. Brown line commute is competitive w good burb commutes, though you can find an ideal burb commute that would be “better”, just as you can find an idealized brown line commute that would be “better”.

    3. sabrina should take her kids to l&e if she wants to indulge them in michelin dining.

    4. vlajos should try lsc in dg if he is actually in search of a good resto.

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  94. “$400k is for the upper middle class? ”

    Yeah, it is in the Chicago area. It’s the bottom rung of the upper middle class, but it is. There are miles and miles upon neighborhoods and suburbs in the region where there are few if any $400k+ homes for sale. To most people, that’s called the middle class. But then again, as NPR loves to say, Chicago is a tale of two cities.

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  95. DZ: “[4 (really about 8) points]”

    “wo an obvious being close to train premium”

    Which “good” (need to define–I prob think w/ too high a threshold) school burbs, with good (scheduled time = sub 35? count express?) Metra commute, don’t have a discernible ‘close but not too close’ premium?

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  96. “as NPR loves to say…”

    ‘It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times…’

    Stupid monkey.

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  97. “Which “good” (need to define–I prob think w/ too high a threshold) school burbs, with good (scheduled time = sub 35? count express?) Metra commute, don’t have a discernible ‘close but not too close’ premium?”

    I think la grange meets all of those requirements. Has not seemed to me to be an obvious premium for houses that are w/in 1/4 or 1/3 mile of station versus those that are not.

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  98. ps: to be clear, basically agree with the other points.

    Also, need to acknowledge that the possible premium may be hard to determine/define, as it is largely apples/oranges in the size of lots/era-of-home bt the close to Metra and not-close in the otherwise qualified burbs.

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  99. “need to acknowledge that the possible premium may be hard to determine/define, as it is largely apples/oranges in the size of lots/era-of-home bt the close to Metra and not-close in the otherwise qualified burbs.”

    yeah, I agree w that generally. in lg, there may be enough similarity in the houses that are .25 versus .75 miles away (.75 is too far, right?). and I haven’t really done the comparison either, but doesn’t seem to me the walk to station locations are coveted the way those of us who covet a good commute would think they should be.

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  100. “Has not seemed to me to be an obvious premium for houses that are w/in 1/4 or 1/3 mile of station versus those that are not.”

    312 e Elm v 123 s Kensington. First reasonable pair I could find. Could be non-immediately-obvious distinctions driving it.

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  101. “doesn’t seem to me the walk to station locations are coveted the way those of us who covet a good commute would think they should be”

    Guess the sorts who choose to live in La Grange don’t care as much about the commute.

    Or does that station have plenty of parking?

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  102. “312 e Elm v 123 s Kensington. First reasonable pair I could find. Could be non-immediately-obvious distinctions driving it.”

    I haven’t even looked at the properties but the closer one is less expensive. Not sure which point this is supporting?

    “Or does that station have plenty of parking?”

    I had that in back of mind. Not sure. They built a bunch of parking for the downtown restos. Not sure if usable for commute. Lot of the spots seem to have 3 hour limits. Quick search suggests there is a few month wait for the better decal spots, which maybe is tolerable if you are there for the long haul. Recent weather indicates there is something to be said for not having to deal w a car at all on certain days (though suppose you have to walk instead–i dunno, i’ve been working from home).

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  103. Both of those LaGrange properties are in good locations, but the proximity to the freight rail tracks around a block to the east for 312 E. Elm likely kept the price down. Kensington one is closer to the HS but not too close, as being within 2-3 blocks of a HS cannot be a good thing even in a good school district.

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  104. “the closer one is less expensive”

    Closer to what? tehgoogle sez that 123 S. Kensington ($839k) is an 8 minute walk, and 312 E Elm ($610k) is a 14 minute walk.

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  105. “Closer to what?”

    My imaginagtion or something. I was looking at the wrong place. I dunno, those two are so different in price it’s hard to present that as evidence of one specific factor. pretty sure any walk to train premium is not $200k on a $600k house. Also maybe dave m will tell me differently but have the sense that e of lg road is not quite as preferred though some nice houses around there. My sense is there’s no obv discounts for the houses on e.g. the n-s streets w of lg road that are closer to 47th than to the two stations. Maybe need a lot or teardown to comp. Not that common around there.

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  106. Dave M @ 11:06 nailed it ->

    “It’s not like there’s this incredible arbitrage opportunity out there that people in the city aren’t capitalizing on….”

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  107. “I dunno, those two are so different in price it’s hard to present that as evidence of one specific factor.”

    Sure, bc in most of the “qualified” burbs, close to train also = close to town, etc etc, so will never be solely attributable to “metra”.

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  108. Location location location… Iirc, neighborhood around 312 E Elm is much less desirable than the neighborhood around 123 S Kensington.I believe the several shootings in LaGrange in past 12 months occured within 2 block radius of 312 E Elm while no shooting occured west of Lagrange Road.

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  109. “Location location location”

    So, do you think there’s a premium for e.g. the 100 block versus 400 block of kensington or the adjacent streets? There have to be similarish houses on those blocks.

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  110. “Please tell me. I have NO idea”

    “You are the only one.”

    Really? I asked around my office of all the people who live in the city and not a single one had any idea what “restaurant row” was.

    “The sheer amount of businesses/restaurants within 10 min travel of Southport is exponentially greater than anything you could achieve in the ‘burbs.”

    Hmm…10 minutes. You mean the great restaurants of Roscoe Village? Or how about the culinary delights of Wrigleyville? (which will soon include a Culver’s)?

    Quantity doesn’t have anything to do with quality. Most people go to only a handful of their favorite restaurants and bars anyway.

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  111. You can’t get a Jim Shoe sandwich in the burbs. I know a place at 1050 N Ashland that sells them and it’s not in a war zone! Probably the only place in the GZ that makes them.

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  112. Thanks, Danny!
    I had never heard of this and had to look it up:
    http://www.lthforum.com/2013/06/in-search-of-the-jim-shoe/
    Thanks for giving the Milkster new hidden corners of ‘Cago in which to traipse around and eat.

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  113. “You can’t get a Jim Shoe sandwich in the burbs.”

    I’m sure someone has one at some sub shop in the suburbs. Google told me the sandwich was invented by Pakistani sub shop owners who basically threw everything in the shop onto the sandwich. It’s still apparently mainly Pakistani restaurant/sub shop owners who offer it.

    If THAT is why you need to live in the city- more power to you.

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  114. “There have to be similarish houses on those blocks”

    125 s v 337 s. Both 4/2.5, Both sold in ’14. The closer one for over $100k more (which is partly that its a newer house–but they both had a ton of UG).

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  115. “125 s v 337 s. Both 4/2.5, Both sold in ’14. The closer one for over $100k more (which is partly that its a newer house–but they both had a ton of UG).”

    I would quibble w the comps (what’s the deal w that back area on 337? is it covered up? no windows?) but I can’t get past the wallpaper on 125. What’s up w these people?

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  116. That is to say, absent non-obv issues, is a reasonable pair of comps. And 125 s kensington doesn’t seem ideal location eitehr. a bit too close to town. would rather be a couple blocks west and go the other metra stop.

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  117. restaurant row is on Randolph. but it stops before it gets to Ronny’s.

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  118. just asked my foodie friend who lives walking distance to restaurant row if she’d heard of it. she had not.

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  119. “Really? I asked around my office of all the people who live in the city and not a single one had any idea what “restaurant row” was.”

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Restaurant+Row+Chicago

    People need to get out more. I am an old and even I know what restaurant row is.

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  120. somebody set up a poll. Icarus?

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  121. “restaurant row”
    “lmgtfy”

    I think they both date from about the same period.

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  122. Sabrina on February 3rd, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    “I asked around my office of all the people who live in the city and not a single one had any idea what “restaurant row” was.”

    Where do these people live in the city exactly? Portage Park? West Ridge? Logan? Bridgeport? Beverly? Or other fringe neighborhoods of Cook County where people could be disconnected enough to not know what Restaurant Row was?

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  123. “date from about the same period”

    Conde Nast Traveler used “Restaurant Row” in 2013:

    http://www.cntraveler.com/galleries/2013-05-01/photos-randolph-street-chicago-restaurants

    LMGTFY made Time’s list of ’50 best websites’ for 2012.

    Pretty sure that the Time nod is evidence of being past the expiration date. The CNT use may be evidence of out of touch NY’rs, or something else.

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  124. wo gthooi (which has no expiration date) found this: http://www.nbcchicago.com/the-scene/food-drink/New-West-Loop-Hot-Spot-Adds-Spice-to-Restaurant-Row.html

    I”m sure it’s been used at least back to avec or even blackbird days. but who the hell (besides perhaps elliot) would ever call it such? Do people actually say e.g. mag mile? had to break up w someone once bc she wouldn’t stop saying beantown. lol.

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  125. “had to break up w someone once bc she wouldn’t stop saying beantown. lol.”

    lmao!

    I dunno, do people call the circle interchange the Jane Byrne now? Most people who live here don’t even know what the Dan Ryan is, let alone some tiny little stretch of overpriced yuppiestaurants known as Restaurant Row (which, btw I have heard of) but don’t think i’ve actually said it in conversation. I think I read it on the internet (yelp?)

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  126. “Hmm…10 minutes. You mean the great restaurants of Roscoe Village? Or how about the culinary delights of Wrigleyville? (which will soon include a Culver’s)?”

    If you can’t see past the national chains to find delicious food, then I can’t help you. Orange, Kitch’n, and Costello’s in Roscoe Village are all delicious as well as Lucky’s Sandwiches and Wrigleyville Dogs in Wrigleyville. I truly feel sorry for you if you live in the city and can’t find places like these. It’s really quite sad. They are all over. In every neighborhood.

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  127. sometimes cool nicknames just never catch on. in the late 80s somebody told me river north was also known as rono..”you know, like soho.”

    is the sloop still solo? s. port sopo? south beach sobe?

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  128. never heard it called any of those douchey things… ugh bad, I really cringed when I actually have heard people use RiNo for river north. Time to move!

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  129. “Orange, Kitch’n, and Costello’s in Roscoe Village are all delicious as well as Lucky’s Sandwiches and Wrigleyville Dogs in Wrigleyville.”

    Really? The best we have to offer are a couple of brunchy places, a couple sandwich shops and a hot dog place (nothing against hot dogs, but are the fries even fresh cut?)?

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  130. Did someone say Culvers? Yummmy

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  131. “river north was also known as rono..”you know, like soho.””

    Right Over HO________?? What does that have to do with River North?

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  132. “I actually have heard people use RiNo for river north. Time to move!”

    or maybe open sonies spearmint rino?

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  133. “Right Over HO________?? What does that have to do with River North?”

    i think the angle was more RiNo but they wanted it to rhyme with soho. it was a headscratcher even back then

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  134. related question: does anyone refer to The Shedd, as the Aquarium?

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  135. “they wanted it to rhyme with soho”

    South of Huron–SoHu–makes more sense. As in slightly more than the ‘none’ in the case of RoNo–which just makes me think of Scooby Doo.

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  136. Icarus, I do sometimes.

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  137. “South of Huron–SoHu–makes more sense. As in slightly more than the ‘none’ in the case of RoNo–which just makes me think of Scooby Doo.”

    Well the original soho had nothing to do w cardinal directions or such. [had to look it up] apparently derived from a hunting cry. so you can basically make up whatev the hell you want.

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  138. I call it “the Shedd” with aquarium after it sometimes

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  139. “so you can basically make up whatev the hell you want.”

    Yes, of course (I, too, gthooi). So they should have just called River North “SoHo”. Even tho it should be A’ville that gets renamed SoHo.

    But generally in Chicago the hood name/community area has some relationship to something, even if the something (Goose Island; Bucktown) is more legendary/imagined than real.

    Naming after hunting cries would have to start with renaming Rogers Park (or a portion thereof) Tally Ho–the town pub is already in place, so e-z transition.

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  140. “Really? The best we have to offer are a couple of brunchy places, a couple sandwich shops and a hot dog place (nothing against hot dogs, but are the fries even fresh cut?)?”

    I’ve never lived in Roscoe Village and haven’t lived Wrigleyville since I cared more about food than drinking myself silly. I’m sure there are other great establishments in those neighborhoods, I’m just not familiar enough with them to know what they are. Toons at Southport/Byron has excellent food as does El Mariachi on Broadway.

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  141. “Really? The best we have to offer are a couple of brunchy places, a couple sandwich shops and a hot dog place (nothing against hot dogs, but are the fries even fresh cut?)?”

    That was my impression of the area, until I moved here a few months ago. Bai Cafe (on ashland, underneath brown line tracks) has pretty solid food during the week (especially soups), and on weekends they have shashlik. Not sure how how many central asian restaurants in the SBs, now that Chaihanna is out of business (correction – moved to mundelein). Bai Cafe also gets bonus points for “authenticity” – they have a prayer room in the back.

    Also, Crisp is in the general “wrigley” area, so there’s that….

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  142. Ceres Table is amazing on Broadway in Lake View.

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  143. My kids love it too.

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  144. Nestle eurobond yields pushed below 0% http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/02/04/this-is-freaking-nuts-nestle-is-getting-paid-to-borrow-money/

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  145. Safely over 3, right?

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  146. “The 10-year treasury, by the way, is solidly above 3% now. Trading at 3.036% today”

    solid!

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  147. “Safely over 3, right?”

    Taper! Skyrocketing rates!

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  148. “Taper! Skyrocketing rates!”

    Yep. As mortgage purchase applications dropped AGAIN last week even though mortgage rates are much lower than a year ago and the weather is certainly better in most of the country.

    Huh.

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  149. Mortgage volume is still being driven by refinances. There is some healthy purchase volume, but nothing extraordinary imho. Even lower rates really aren’t driving mortgage apps for refinances because most everyone has already refinanced. Rates would have to really fall to get the refinances booming again although January / Feb were good months.

    I think the Fed has backed themselves into a corner. It will be QE unlimited. They are going to keep hinting at raising rates, but never do it.

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  150. “Yep. As mortgage purchase applications dropped AGAIN last week even though mortgage rates are much lower than a year ago and the weather is certainly better in most of the country. ”

    Yeah its a real puzzler as to why all these rentals are being built huh?

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  151. “Yep.”

    Yep what?

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  152. Some weird shit getting slung around here since I last checked in.

    Food as good in the suburbs? Sabrina, that’s absurd. And, it’s weird that you list chains when trying to establish equivalency – that’s exactly why people hate living in the suburbs.

    For you non-foodies:

    Lakeview-
    Panes Bread
    tango sur
    Home
    Meat
    Tom Yum
    Gingersnap
    Heritage Bicycle
    Pastoral
    jeni’s

    That’s off the top of my head!

    Not to mention places like Paulina Meat Market. The median restaurant in Lakeview is probably head and shoulders above the 2nd best restaurant in Schaumberg or whereverthehell you want to look. And Lakeview IS one of the city’s worst eating neighborhoods. This is completely ignoring that we’re only considering restaurants you can WALK TO. Good luck doing that in Schaumberg.

    Good god.

    You can make an argument for Suburban living, but it isn’t in food. The idea that people only go to one or two places is absurd, and is basically the personality type that should be in the suburbs.

    “Where do these people live in the city exactly? Portage Park? West Ridge? Logan? Bridgeport? Beverly? Or other fringe neighborhoods of Cook County where people could be disconnected enough to not know what Restaurant Row was?”

    This wins for most perplexing comment. What a weird list of neighborhoods, and what strange misplaced derisiveness. We’re shitting on the suburbs remember? Restaurant row is a lame marketing name used by people between 40-55 who are desperately trying to be cool. In fact, I think it’s most likely to be used by people with teenage kids in portage park who don’t get out very often.

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  153. Sabrina,

    If you keep calling for higher rates and lower housing prices you will eventually be right. You may lose a lot of good opportunities along way, but the day will come when you will finally be correct.

    Keep it up Sabrina. We all enjoy your posts!

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  154. “Good luck doing that in Schaumberg.”

    We’re not talking about Schaumburg. Or Plainfield. Or Orland Park. Or whatever far flung out suburb you want to list.

    We’re talking about LaGrange. Oak Park. Evanston. Park Ridge. And, yes, Naperville.

    They have the SAME restaurants as the “super popular” Southport and its surrounding areas. With neighborhood schools far superior. It’s not surprising that many people want to move to this list of suburbs for the ease and, in many cases, much lower housing prices.

    And you don’t really have much credibility if you’re listing Heritage Bicycles as a reason to stay in the city. All of the suburbs I listed have their own same cute little coffee shops (and given how Heritage is expanding, I would not be surprised to find Heritage soon in Evanston and Oak Park.)

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  155. “Yeah its a real puzzler as to why all these rentals are being built huh?”

    But this goes against EVERYTHING we know about the housing market in this country since WWII. Sonies, are you saying “it’s different this time?” There have been plenty of other times where rental apartments were built all over Chicago (and then converted to condos.) For instance, The Sterling on LaSalle was originally built as an apartment building. Some luxury buildings were even built as apartment buildings and converted during the last housing bubble.

    The way the cycle has worked- many of these buildings being built as apartment towers would soon be converted to condo towers as demand picked up for condos.

    So far, however, we’re not seeing that as the new condo towers they’re building aren’t selling fast (either to the rich or the middle class- as they’re now building to both markets.) And mortgage applications tell us that overall sales are still depressed.

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  156. “Mortgage volume is still being driven by refinances. There is some healthy purchase volume, but nothing extraordinary imho.”

    Refinances have fallen off a cliff and aren’t coming back. That’s why Wells Fargo let go of several thousand mortgage employees last year. They just don’t need them.

    Purchase applications are at 20 year lows.

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  157. “We’re not talking about Schaumburg. Or Plainfield. Or Orland Park. Or whatever far flung out suburb you want to list.
    We’re talking about LaGrange. Oak Park. Evanston. Park Ridge. And, yes, Naperville.”

    Naperville isn’t a “far flung out suburb”? Schaumburg and Orland Park are both geographically closer to downtown than Naperville.

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  158. Oh Sabrina,

    Why would I want to spend a million bucks to live in LaGrange and send my kids to a very average LTHS? It’s boring, slightly depressing, and every bit as dandrous as living in the city. And Naperthrill? Please… Do I really want my kids having sex in the 5th grade and addicted to heroine? Yes I’m slightly exaggerating but too far off.

    City is for living and the burbs are for dying…

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  159. I just discovered the most compelling case for living in the city today. Wonuts! I’ve heard of them but never had one until today. Oh. My. God. That was a surreal experience.

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  160. Addicted to heroine? Sounds like Frozen is on infinite loop.

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  161. I find it interesting that during discussion of commute times, there’s no acknowledgement that some (many?) city neighborhoods have a metra option as well. Even if you don’t accept that the commute from the Western Brown Line to downtown is 30 mins; the Ravenswood Metra is less than a mile away, so is walkable for much of the same population. Using suburban math, that makes the commute from Lincoln Square what? 12-15 minutes?

    And if your last meeting of the day runs long, and you miss the 6:20, you’ve got the brown line as a backup. You’re home, feet up, glass of wine at hand, while your suburban co-worker is still hanging out at Ogilvie, waiting for the next train.

    God forbid you go to a happy hour that turns into dinner, then turns into post-dinner drinks and you miss the last train. City dweller hops on the brown, or better yet, takes a cab. You’re home, in bed, having already drank a liter of water, taken 3 advil and 2 tablespoons of honey; while suburban dweller is still a) arguing with an uber driver about taking him/her out to LaGrange, or b) trying to convince a pissed off spouse to get out of bed and drive downtown to pick him/her up.

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  162. Suburbs are for lemmings.

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  163. “Naperville isn’t a “far flung out suburb”? Schaumburg and Orland Park are both geographically closer to downtown than Naperville.”

    Naperville has an extensive downtown with several Metra stops which is why I put it in a separate category than Schaumburg. It also has some of the best schools in the state.

    And the restaurants/stores are nearly identical to the hottest Chicago neighborhoods like Southport and Roscoe Village. Shall I list them again?

    Noodles & Company
    Potbelly
    Anthropologie
    Athleta
    Gap
    lululemon
    Hugo’s Frog Bar
    Naf Naf Grill
    Rosebud
    Chipotle
    Einstein Bagels

    Can you tell me which neighborhood the above restaurants are in?

    No- you cannot.

    Because the two neighborhoods are, gasp, the exact same neighborhood!

    And why is that?

    Because they have the exact same demographics. Rich, college educated people.

    Let’s stop pretending the North Side of Chicago is all diverse and “different.” It’s identical to the upscale suburbs. The big differences are the schools, safety and, in some cases, a faster commute (from the suburbs) than living in the city.

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  164. Still, no one here has informed me where “Restaurant Row” is in the city.

    Please enlighten us all.

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  165. “Shall I list them again?”

    I give up. If you can’t see past the chain places, then you are city living wrong. I can’t open your eyes for you.

    “Still, no one here has informed me where “Restaurant Row” is in the city.”

    Its a shame you haven’t discovered the internet yet. There’s a trove of endless information right at your finger tips.

    So tell me, Sabrina; why do YOU live in the city? Its clearly inferior to the suburbs, so why do you still live here?

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  166. “Still, no one here has informed me where “Restaurant Row” is in the city. ”

    Randolph st. west of halsted, from what I have heard/read.

    I was in downtown Arlington Heights over the weekend… zzzzz…zzzzz…. what a boring beige place! I seriously was consta-yawning all afternoone I couldn’t figure out why!

    And seriously Sabrina? IF those are places you actually look to frequent, yeah you belong in naperville. Which by the way, Hugos frog bar sucks both in the city and naperville, having been to both.

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  167. Noodles & Company is repulsive. I had he misfortune of being given a gift card to that place. From a suburbanite of course.

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  168. “I was in downtown Arlington Heights over the weekend”

    Santouka was for a long time the best bowl of ramen in chicagoland, still v much up there. some other good japanese food around there. there is good burb food. (Also have to give credit to naf naf for having originated aroudn nville.)

    “suburban dweller is still a) arguing with an uber driver about taking him/her out to LaGrange”

    don’t think it’s actually hard to get a uber driver to go out there. pretty good fare (less so bc less prospect of return fare at that hour, more so bc no traffic).

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  169. ^ my kids hated it too.

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  170. This is getting surreal. Of course you are going to find the same chain restaurants / stores in both LV and the major burbs. They are CHAINS with many locations. You need to look not a what is the SAME but what is DIFFERENT. To make it idiot proof – LV’s dining options dominate burb dining option because you have the same stuff as the burbs (chains) but you also get the additional places to chose from. Want Potbelly? Can get in both. Want good sushi? LV yes. Burbs much more difficult.
    This holds true for many other things – LV – 20-30 min from zoo / acquarium / museum of science / field / planetarium / etc. burbs – you may be close to one of these (brookfield zoo or botanical gardens) but you wont be close to all of them.
    Of course there is a downside to the city. COST and SCHOOLS being the main ones (although you could lump them together since can pay more to get better schools if you want via private options). However – the gap between schools is closing as more people stay in the city and in the nice hoods its pretty much non-existent (and sometimes schools are better) for elem to junior high. HS is still lagging but I believe that gap will also narrow. The housing cost gap is going the other way – housing keeps getting more expensive in city vs burbs.
    If you shop an Lulu / Anthro and think a night on the town involves Maggiano’s / Hugos and like to sit at home w/ the family and watch movies (nothing wrong with any of this) then the burbs are for you. Cheaper and has everything you want.
    If you like a variety of dining / culture / stores and like to hit the Steppenwolf / Goodman / Second city / etc and want a generally shorter commute and you have $$$ then the city is for you.
    The city doesn’t unilaterally beat the burbs and the vice versa. However I’m confident that if the cost were the same MOST (not ALL) people would pick the city. Hence the premium for the city.
    Also – those rental towers will end in tears eventually. And they won’t be turning condo anytime soon because the trend for buying is 3BR+ and most rentals are studio thru 2BR.

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  171. “rentals are studio thru 2BR.”

    Depending on layout of units, can make for semi-reasonable conversion…a 2 br + a neighboring studio makes for a sweet 3 bed (studio cut into two beds; original 2 combined for great master). Not that that’s terribly realistic…

    I do think that the (relative) slowdown in starts (compared to announced plans of the last 18 months) is indicative of the potential for tears.

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  172. “And they won’t be turning condo anytime soon ”

    Also, they can’t be bought cheap enough ($ per unit) by the condo converters to then market, sell, and make a profit.

    To sell a condo at $300K, the converter would probably have to buy it at $200K per unit to figure in all the sales costs and a profit. The cost basis of these new rental towers is well over $300K per unit right now.

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  173. Here is how January did: http://www.chicagonow.com/getting-real/2015/02/chicago-real-estate-market-update-2015-continuing-the-2014-trend/

    Non-distressed sales at the highest level in 8 years. Record low inventory levels and market times for a January. Good time to be a seller but not a great time to be a buyer. Buyers may not like the pricing but stuff is selling fast still.

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  174. Apartment buildings are NOT going to be converted ANY time soon. What they have been doing is selling the entire building to pension funds/alternative managers looking for yield, with borrowing costs so cheap for institutions this will go on for a long time. They’ll sell the whole building before they convert, it is just waaaay easier that way. Especially since the apartments are not exactly condo size/layouts, they would have a hard time selling them all for the type of price they could get just selling the whole building at once.

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  175. “Non-distressed sales at the highest level in 8 years.”

    But Gary, with rates this low, and so many renting, it should be the highest level in 8,000 years!

    Also, if it’s so great out there, why aren’t distressed sales breaking records??

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  176. Sabrina,

    you come off as the type that really truly appreciates strip malls. Am I close?

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  177. ^ Well she does mention Potbelly’s or Chipotle every time we talk about great eating in the city lol

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  178. “Well she does mention Potbelly’s or Chipotle every time we talk about great eating in the city lol”

    Sabrina is right on about it, at least as far as 50% of the population conduct themselves, which is women. Chicago GZ women love their chain stores and restaurants, so why should they even pretend to be true urbanites?

    You see these 23-40 year old female “professionals” (translation: glorified paper pushers) every day in the elevators of the Loop towers wasting their prime fertility years and they only go to Starbucks, Cosi, Potbelly, etc. When do you see them go off-the-board? Will you ever see one eating at El Presidente on Ashland? No, they prefer Chipotle!

    Last summer, I witnessed this yuppie female herd mentality first hand. I was outside J. Graziano’s eating an Italian sub on the sidewalk. There was this group of yuppie Loop workers (or West Loop) who were there like on a field trip or something. So this one real-type guy asks the icy thinks-she’s-all-that, worker-bee glorified paper pusher office worker bitch what she thought of the sandwich. She said “Umm…it’s okaaay”. You know she’d rather be eating a Panera or Potbelly. That’s just the way they are wired. That’s why Chipotle has a successful NYSE stock, people like these eat there. Maybe these women ought to be in the burbs, eating the food they truly like.

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  179. Oh yeah, forgot what I really came to post:

    Renters are more than 50% now in Chicago, from Bisnow:

    Renters outnumber homeowners in nine of America’s 11 largest cities, according to a survey released today by the Census Bureau and NYU’s Furman Center for Real Estate. And Miami (above) stripped NYC of its “renting capital” title, with 65% of Miamians renting compared to 64% of New Yorkers.

    The share of renters jumped in all 11 markets monitored in the survey. Only Philadelphia and Atlanta had minority renter populations, of 44% and 49%. And the trend is contributing to across the board rent hikes. “As the number of renters grow, if the supply of rental housing does not keep up, as it has not in most of these cities, then vacancy rates will fall, rents will rise, and more renters will struggle with the costs of housing,” Ingrid Gould Ellen, the Furman Center’s faculty director, told the Wall Street Journal.

    Boston and LA tied for third behind Miami and NYC, with 60% renter populations. San Francisco rounded out the top 5, at 57%. Houston, Dallas, Chicago and Washington DC all went from minority to majority renter status between 2006 and 2013.

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  180. Your first post is correct helmet, these are the women that demand they move to the burbs once they get knocked up lol

    My wife on the other hand is addicted to the food trucks like you wouldn’t believe haha, what a gal.

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  181. Chipolte burritos are like 1000 calories.

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  182. just the flour tortilla is 300 calories!

    http://www.chipotle.com/en-US/menu/nutrition_calculator/nutrition_calculator.aspx

    the one I usually get is 1255 calories LOL wow, glad I only go there like once a month.

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  183. “Chicago … went from minority to majority renter status between 2006 and 2013”

    The number of “owner occupied” mortgages (+ free & clear owners) likely exceeded the households with leases, but I sincerely doubt that Chicagoans crested 50% + 1 actually residing in a home with their name on the deed.

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  184. “Noodles & Company
    Potbelly
    Anthropologie
    Athleta
    Gap
    lululemon
    Hugo’s Frog Bar
    Naf Naf Grill
    Rosebud
    Chipotle
    Einstein Bagels”

    I honestly can’t tell if this is a gag or not. You realize these restaurants are the reason people leave lake view for other neighborhoods, not why they appreciate it, right? This list is literally driving people out, not drawing them in.

    Perplexing.

    The trend from homeowner to renter is sort of a self-evident result of the downturn. What did you expect to happen when a large contingent of owners were foreclosed on? The houses didn’t disappear.

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  185. Yes, all the clients in chain restaurants are women. No men ever eat there…lol

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  186. “I honestly can’t tell if this is a gag or not. You realize these restaurants are the reason people leave lake view for other neighborhoods, not why they appreciate it, right? This list is literally driving people out, not drawing them in.”

    That’s a list from Naperville but most of those are also on Southport in Southport where people are spending $3 million for single family homes and which is one of the hottest neighborhoods in Chicago.

    So apparently everyone who wants to live in that neighborhood doesn’t care if the nearest restaurant is Potbelly. And my point was, if that’s where you go with your kids to eat on the weekend- you can do that same thing in downtown Naperville.

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  187. “you come off as the type that really truly appreciates strip malls. Am I close?”

    You mean like those FANTASTIC strip malls at North and Clybourn? Yes!!!! You’ve figured me out. That strip mall with the West Elm and Ulta is my favorite. It’s fantastic. I can drive there, get a burger, look at electronics and make-up AND go to both West Elm AND Pottery Barn in a single trip.

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  188. “Record low inventory levels and market times for a January.”

    Really? Maybe only the suburbs is seeing bigger inventories then. Crain’s just said inventory was up 12% in the entire Chicago area in January (year over year.) This really wouldn’t surprise me though- given that last year was the polar vortex. Looks like it is more than 2012 but just slightly under the listings in January 2013.

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/realestate/20150210/CRED0701/150209775/home-listings-rise-in-january

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  189. “Also, they can’t be bought cheap enough ($ per unit) by the condo converters to then market, sell, and make a profit.”

    Why not? Prices are past peak in many neighborhoods now. That 2/2 you used to pay $420k for? It’s now listed for $520k.

    Welcome to 2015!

    So why wouldn’t developers be able to get $800,000 or more for that same 2/2 in one of the downtown highrises? They are reselling the small 2/2s in The Silver (which was developed for “regular” buyers- not even luxury at the time) for over $500,000. Surely those with Snaidero, which is what they’re putting in many of the new Class A towers, could get $700,000 to $900,000.

    Everyone is paying this. The market is HOT!

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  190. “So tell me, Sabrina; why do YOU live in the city? Its clearly inferior to the suburbs, so why do you still live here?”

    I thought I lived in the suburbs now?

    I’m confused…

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  191. “Yes, all the clients in chain restaurants are women. No men ever eat there…lol”

    miumiu: the men have figured us out! Lol.

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  192. “Everyone is paying this. The market is HOT!”

    I thought you said the market was dead?

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  193. The silver tower is quite the puzzler to me, that building has seen some massive appreciation for some reason. Wish I bought there instead, oh well

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  194. “I thought you said the market was dead?”

    That was SO last year Chuk. Everything in 2015 is hot, hot, hot. Just ask Gary. Hottest market in 8 years, apparently.

    And there’s no doubt that prices are well past peak in the GZ now. And why wouldn’t they go higher still? Mortgage rates are near record lows.

    So how could it NOT be hot?

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  195. The suburbs have higher inventory because people want out.

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  196. “That was SO last year Chuk. Everything in 2015 is hot, hot, hot. Just ask Gary. Hottest market in 8 years, apparently.”

    Oh, so now you are like the bizzaro-HD that we had in 2012. This is a sign that you have either already bought, or wish that you did.

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  197. Is there a place or website (zillow, trulia, Redfin, realtor) where I would be able to find the median sales price by zip code for each month? I was trying to figure out how much my place has appreciated since I purchased.

    As for the topic at hand, renting is still the hot market. 80’s babies / 90’s kids like myself (sorry, I feel the name ‘millenials’ is ridiculous), are stuck in neutral for the most part as many are priced out of the neighborhood they want to buy in and are afraid to overpay for a place that could lose value if we are at the top of the market. So instead, they pay more per month to rent, save a tiny bit for retirement, and blow the rest on vacations.

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  198. Sabrina – “That’s a list from Naperville but most of those are also on Southport in Southport where people are spending $3 million for single family homes and which is one of the hottest neighborhoods in Chicago.

    So apparently everyone who wants to live in that neighborhood doesn’t care if the nearest restaurant is Potbelly. And my point was, if that’s where you go with your kids to eat on the weekend- you can do that same thing in downtown Naperville.”

    To illustrate how idiotic your comment is – One Madison in NYC is one of the most expensive buildings in the world. Tom Brady / Giselle live there. Literally right next door is a McDonald’s. According to your logic why would anyone want to live there? Oh hey – also there’s a McDonald’s 200 ft from Trump. Who would want to live there? Oh – Derick Rose.

    Its like you’re trolling your own blog. Regardless – there are the other benefits to the city even if you really only want to eat at Potbellys. Like museums / shows / festivals / commute.

    It is very difficult to take your other arguments seriously when you keep insisting that there is no benefit to living in the city and we’d all be better off in the burbs.

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  199. The reasons are so many houses for sale in the suburbs is that they all want to move up – not out. like the families in Glenview that move from one subdivision off Dundee rd to the next subdivision off lake age to bigger and more expensive homes. people out there identify themselves by what subdivision they ‘own’ in.

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  200. Mike – Try Redfin Tools section you can even select comparible properties out of recently sold ones

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  201. “I feel the name ‘millenials’ is ridiculous”

    Too bad, you’re stuck with it at least until all you parents (ie Boomers) are dead.

    All the Best,

    Gen X (ie, the generation that no one knew WTF to call it, so we got tagged by a f’ing *Canadian* Boomer)

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  202. “Is there a place or website (zillow, trulia, Redfin, realtor) where I would be able to find the median sales price by zip code for each month? I was trying to figure out how much my place has appreciated since I purchased.”

    Mike, this will NOT tell you what you want. This number moves primarily because of changes in mix. So a neighborhood that is seeing a bunch of teardowns and new construction will see a huge spike in this number that has nothing to do with price appreciation.

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  203. “people out there identify themselves by what subdivision they ‘own’ in”

    So another way that the burbs are just like the City? Everyone wants to run away from the SoPoor stink?

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  204. “To illustrate how idiotic your comment is – One Madison in NYC is one of the most expensive buildings in the world. Tom Brady / Giselle live there. Literally right next door is a McDonald’s.”

    Tom and Giselle should totally move to Astoria. There’s a Bed Bath and Beyond there; just like the one in the Flat Iron district!

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  205. “Really? Maybe only the suburbs is seeing bigger inventories then. Crain’s just said inventory was up 12% in the entire Chicago area in January (year over year.)”

    I could write a book about the nuances in how you measure inventory. On an absolute basis for the city of Chicago inventory is about flat to last year. But it’s best to look at it on a months of supply basis. But then you can use contracts or closings in the denominator and you can look at current month or last 12 months. My statement was based upon 12 months of contract activity, which is a metric readily available to me.

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  206. “people out there identify themselves by what subdivision they ‘own’ in.”

    Wow, sounds terrible.

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  207. “Wow, sounds terrible.”

    Yeah, living in Glenview is AWFUL so terrible. Those idiots who pay $700,000 for their split level shacks.

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  208. “It is very difficult to take your other arguments seriously when you keep insisting that there is no benefit to living in the city and we’d all be better off in the burbs.”

    I never said this. In fact, I said the opposite many times. But for those who are arguing that their “commute” is so much shorter because they live in Lincoln Square- um…Oak Park is closer (if you work in the loop). And the schools are, for the most part, so much better in the suburbs. No stress for your kids having to test in either. You KNOW where they are going.

    And prices are now lower in the suburbs for what it is you’re getting compared to GZ neighborhoods.

    We got onto this discussion talking about commutes. There are plenty that are far shorter than city commutes (try going downtown from Andersonville, for instance.)

    And then people insisted that they and their 1 year old are eating out at the top restaurants in the city and at, gasp, Restaurant Row (which is apparently in the West Loop) so that’s why it’s superior.

    Great for them, but all those moms in Bucktown and Southport are taking their 4 year olds to Potbelly. Same as in Naperville (which has a lovely children’s museum and Naper Settlement. Great library and a beach!)

    Not everyone is rich. Not everyone can afford a $750,000 “starter” home in Roscoe Village (because that’s what they cost now.) And they don’t want to buy the bungalow in Portage Park for $350,000 either.

    So many of Chicago’s inner suburbs are a nice alternative. You get great restaurants and a movie theater along with Trader Joes in downtown LaGrange, plus a good high school (let’s be honest, your kids will be LUCKY to get into Illinois- which they can do from most suburban high schools. They don’t need to go to Walter Payton to get in there). And the commute is shorter than from many parts of Chicago (IF you work in the loop, of course. Different story if you work in, say, Schaumburg or Naperville.)

    The city is just really expensive once you have kids. And once your kids are in sports activities every weekend, you’re not going to the museums or the zoo. Ever. You’re going to soccer games.

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  209. “once your kids are in sports activities every weekend”

    That’s the worst assumption of them all.

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  210. “once your kids are in sports activities every weekend”

    “That’s the worst assumption of them all.”

    None of your kids are athletic? Even if they don’t have an ounce of athleticism, they STILL play soccer up until age 8 or 9! You clearly don’t have kids.

    I love it that these activities are available to all kids now (including girls) but it is just grueling for families. And if your child is good at it- good luck! And if it’s not athletics, it’s some other kind of “activity” that is every Saturday, Sunday, Monday through Friday.

    So I don’t know how everyone is going to the Zoo every week. We go for the Zoolights and that’s it. Otherwise, there’s too much going on. Oh- and by the way- the Zoo gets awfully boring for most kids by the age of 8 or so.

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  211. “And prices are now lower in the suburbs for what it is you’re getting compared to GZ neighborhoods.”

    Because people now realize the schools are not really better and there is no reason to live in boredom, where drug use is the best entertainment for kids.

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  212. “The city is just really expensive once you have kids. And once your kids are in sports activities every weekend, you’re not going to the museums or the zoo. Ever. You’re going to soccer games.”

    We do both. And go out to eat at places like gather, due lire and bistro campange. Bad Apple is good too. I agree though, if you are poor the suburbs are much better.

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  213. “I never said this. In fact, I said the opposite many times. But for those who are arguing that their “commute” is so much shorter because they live in Lincoln Square- ”

    nice straw man Sabrina, nobody ever said that either!

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  214. “So many of Chicago’s inner suburbs are a nice alternative.”

    If you go to downtown Evanston these days you will see that it’s urbanized quite nicely. Read this: http://www.chicagomag.com/real-estate/February-2015/First-Look-at-E2-Evanstons-Newest-Luxury-Rental-Development/

    ““Downtown Evanston has 67 restaurants.”

    Actually, DT Evanston may be the best “chicago” urban neighborhood now, because it offers CTA and Metra to downtown, and it represents a FIRST WORLD environment.

    It’s like what all of America could’ve been had we not opened our borders to the third world for the last 50 years. So, Chicago today, you cannot escape the third world poverty, obesity, gang-bang clothes, culture, etc. even if you are in RN or Lakeview. Chicago is less than 1/3 white and it shows, as compared to DT Evanston which is quite nice. Alot less crime and ugliness.

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  215. “Even if they don’t have an ounce of athleticism, they STILL play soccer up until age 8 or 9! You clearly don’t have kids.”

    CLEARLY neither do you.

    It’s perfectly possible to be athletic and HATE team sports, and the stoopid relentless schedule.

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  216. “You clearly don’t have kids.”

    Honestly, this might be the stoopidest thing ever posted here, and there’s stiff competition just in this thread.

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  217. “And the schools are, for the most part, so much better in the suburbs. No stress for your kids having to test in either. You KNOW where they are going”

    Actually, I think THAT might be the worst assumption of all. The longstanding assumption that buying somewhere with great public schools (be it in the city in, say, Lincoln elem or one of the three B’s, or up on the north shore for K-12) is worthy of serious skepticism. I’d bet that most parents (at least those paying very close attention to their kids’ educations and each kid’s unique abilities/needs) on the north shore would rather be paying less in taxes and instead have a few Latins/Parkers up there.

    After leaving the Latin/Parker scene (and moving to another area), we had “assumed” that the best public elem’s in the most expensive attendance areas would be impressive. Far from it. Besides classroom overcrowding (they’re desirable attenance areas and well regarded schools, so of course they’re overcrowded), if you’re concerned about your kids “testing in,” how do you feel about them always being tested, being “taught to the test,” and, essentially, being lab subjects at the whim of those crafting public education policy?

    The burbs allow for more spacious homes and yards, good but not great “free” schools (at least those high taxes are deductible), and nobody (other than neighborhood teens) urinating in your alley. But the days of plunking down a million bucks in a burb and assuming the kids’ will receive the best possible education are over.

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  218. Sabrina – I think I understand your point of view now. You are saying there are many amenities in the city but with kids you are not taking advantage of them as much and therefore the premium cost of the city is not justified. I disagree but it’s a matter of opinion. But your argument is coming out more like “the city has nothing to offer that the suburbs don’t”.

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  219. Anonny, what area did you move to? It sounds like you are not happy with the schools there.

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  220. “Oh- and by the way- the Zoo gets awfully boring for most kids by the age of 8 or so.”

    My god, the kids are already over 8. How fast they grow! I feel like they were babies just 6 months ago.

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  221. “Anonny, what area did you move to?”

    He left the state. The dread of having to choose bt Pat Quinn and Rauner caused him to run away.

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  222. Sabrina, may or may not have kids and likely lives in Cicero.

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  223. “https://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/4110-N-Western-Ave-60618/unit-3S/home/12618266”

    Jesus anon(tfo), this property might technically qualify but is nowhere near the spirit of what I meant. A condo on western just north of irving park road is hardly a ‘family friendly’ unit.

    It’s also been listed since last May. This place is also about 1,500 sq ft, it’s missing a den/basement area for the kids to play. We lived in 1,500 sq feet for 5 months after the flood while the basement was renovated and life without a basement made it feel really cramped. Had to watch TV in living room at low volumes, toys were scattered everywhere upstairs (rather than downstairs) etc.

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  224. ” likely lives in Cicero.”

    C’mon. If anything, she live in the Center of It All:

    Berwyn!

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  225. I thought she lived in Berwyn!

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  226. [even tho wrong thread, responding here]:

    “it’s missing a den/basement area for the kids to play”

    You want a CONDO, with a BASEMENT??

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  227. I am going to have to agree with Sabrina (gasp!). Living in Oak Park has been nice. Easy commute whether driving, El, or metra. We have all the chains. However, I will say the “foodie” dining sucks, but now that I have a kid, we rarely get to actually go out to place that isn’t kid friendly so having all the fancy restaurants in walking distance really doesn’t matter at this point.

    Bucktown is only like a 15 minute drive so anytime we crave useless boutique stores and shopping, we run into the city. Actually easier for us vs when we lived in Andersonville.

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  228. “C’mon. If anything, she live in the Center of It All:

    Berwyn!

    I thought she lived in Berwyn”

    Yeah, you guys are right.

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  229. Yeah heaven forbid kids go play in their fricking yards these days… wouldn’t want to be one of those wierdo parents who doesn’t monitor their kids 24/7/365.26

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  230. “365.26”

    What planet do you live on?

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  231. “I am going to have to agree with Sabrina (gasp!). Living in Oak Park has been nice. Easy commute whether driving, El, or metra. We have all the chains. However, I will say the “foodie” dining sucks, but now that I have a kid, we rarely get to actually go out to place that isn’t kid friendly so having all the fancy restaurants in walking distance really doesn’t matter at this point.
    Bucktown is only like a 15 minute drive so anytime we crave useless boutique stores and shopping, we run into the city. Actually easier for us vs when we lived in Andersonville.”

    Ohhhhh!! But what about the “lake”? It’s so important!! Living by the Kennedy is more important.

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  232. “anytime we crave useless boutique stores and shopping”

    Once someone gets married and has kids (cisgendered males esp.) don’t have the inclination to worry about fitting into androgynous boutique clothing designed by homosexuals.

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  233. “What planet do you live on?”

    Apparently you don’t know why leap years exist? I am SHOCKED!

    But yes, also small typo on that last digit (should be 4 not 6)

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  234. Although either answer I guess is correct… depending on whether or not you are talking about sidereal or tropical orbit paths

    http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/earthfact.html

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  235. gringozecarioca on February 13th, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    “Honestly, this might be the stoopidest thing ever posted here, and there’s stiff competition just in this thread.”

    You call? Interrupted me right in the middle of lighting my farts on fire. Herman Miller did not realize what they were getting into when they gave me a 12 yr guarantee on the non-fart-fire resistant mesh bottom chair… How can one stop. The fart fire splits into little streams as it passes through the mesh.

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  236. “365.26”

    Don’t forget to account for this year’s leap second.

    http://time.com/3666522/leap-second/

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  237. I bet you didn’t know about this tidbit

    For precise synchronization, years divisible by
    100 (e.g., 1900) are not leap years unless they
    are divisible by 400 (e.g., 2000).

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  238. “small typo on that last digit (should be 4 not 6)”

    Um, yeah, that’s what I was referencing. It’s like you don’t even know me [snif].

    “For precise synchronization, years divisible by
    100 (e.g., 1900) are not leap years unless they
    are divisible by 400 (e.g., 2000).”

    Um, yeah, that’s why I knew it was slightly less than .25, rather than slightly more than .25.

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  239. “You call? Interrupted me right in the middle of”

    Sophomoric and ill-advised? Sure, you win. But I stand by my earlier assertion.

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  240. well actually anon, the sidereal orbit (exactly one time around the sun) is .26 I would not want to debate which timeframe to use lol

    the tropical orbit (the time it takes the seasons to do a complete cycle) is .24

    Tropical year is about 20 minutes (1/26,000) shorter
    than a sidereal year because of Earth’s precession.

    The Earth’s axis rotates (precesses) just as a spinning top does. The period of precession is about 26,000 years. Therefore, the North Celestial Pole will not always be point towards the same starfield. Precession is caused by the gravitational pull of the Sun and the Moon on the Earth.

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  241. ““it’s missing a den/basement area for the kids to play”

    You want a CONDO, with a BASEMENT??”

    Yeah dude a duplex down for the high school kids to hang and smoke diz0ope

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  242. If you’re sticking with sidereal time, then it would have to be:

    23.9344696/7/365.26

    Can’t have it both ways.

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  243. “Yeah dude a duplex down”

    You didn’t specify that.

    And, sure it’s 1600 not 2100, but it’s also well inside the ppsf range. and it was the 2d thing I found.

    Also, you really think dope is something to not type in full? That’s kinda dopey.

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  244. you forgot to change the days too anon…

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  245. “forgot to change the days”

    A week is seven days. Would be 7 days if each day is 20 hours, or 26 hours.

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  246. “For precise synchronization, years divisible by
    100 (e.g., 1900) are not leap years unless they
    are divisible by 400 (e.g., 2000).”

    “Um, yeah, that’s why I knew it was slightly less than .25, rather than slightly more than .25.”

    Yeah I really think it is common knowledge. Here’s good billg leap year story:

    http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2006/06/16.html

    PS Did sonies get a kid or something? is he working on a science fair project w all the stuff about sidereal whatsits?

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  247. All you Oak Park fans, could you please let me know when you make your journey?
    We have some friends there and even on a weekend driving on 290 is dreadful. Once we made a mistake of going to a car dealer there during the week and we were stuck in traffic forever! And green line is no option.

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  248. “Once we made a mistake of going to a car dealer there during the week and we were stuck in traffic forever! And green line is no option.”

    Couldn’t you just walk there?

    I agree, 290 is dreadful.

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  249. “Couldn’t you just walk there?”

    Should take Miu about 35 minutes. Faster that 290 on Saturday afternoon.

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  250. Miumiu, I really only take 290 off hours. 290 going west is pretty much always backed up unless you are really off hours (btw 9am – 2pm or after 7pm). You can go straight out Division, Chicago, or Lake.

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  251. Uhhhhhhh…were they aiming for irony in this ad?
    https://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/303-W-47th-St-60609/home/12577469

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  252. “were they aiming for irony in this ad?”

    *if* the mechanicals are there and operational, that’d cashflow.

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