The 900 Square Foot 2/2 Condo: 1737 W. Division in Wicker Park

1737 w division

This 2-bedroom unit at 1737 W. Division in Wicker Park came on the market in June 2015.

It’s on a prime area of Division near popular shops and restaurants.

The kitchen has dark cabinets, stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops.

There is no kitchen island, however there appears to be room for a dining room table as the kitchen/dining area measures 9×18.

This unit has the features buyers look for including washer/dryer in the unit and central air.

There’s no parking but you’re just 3 blocks from the Division Blue Line el stop.

The listing says it’s just 900 square feet.

The “small home” movement is now a big deal.

Could you live in a 900 square foot 2/2?

Michael Vesole at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #403: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 900 square feet

  • Sold in June 2007 for $312,500
  • Originally listed in June 2015 for $309,900
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $299,900
  • Assessments of $236 a month (includes water, garbage)
  • Taxes of $4094
  • Bedroom #1: 14×10
  • Bedroom #2: 10×10
  • Living room: 19×14
  • Kitchen: 9×18

 

27 Responses to “The 900 Square Foot 2/2 Condo: 1737 W. Division in Wicker Park”

  1. Thanks, but no thanks. I think the only redeeming feature is very low assessments, but this is not rare with 3 flats and so on.

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  2. Yes its great if you dont like entertaining or dont have children I lived in a small 2/2 for many years myself and it was fine

    I see the dreaded crib in here… lol should have wrapped it up yo!

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  3. Total facepalm. You have to wonder what in the hell they were thinking buying this with the knowledge they were going to have kids. Then again it supports Sonies theory about it being unplanned.

    This unit was also double mortgaged in 2007, 80-20. 250k + 62k. So they’ll be out a few thousand. The opportunity cost here is staggering; all for the privilege of “owning” your unit (paying back two banks at high interest rates). Talk about a textbook case that really favors renting vs owning.

    The unit is nice, living room nicely laid out so it still feels open for such a small space (despite the misplaced/unnecessary love seat). A good option for DINKs if they actually follow the “NK”.

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  4. http://chicago.everyblock.com/talk/aug25-homeless-man-division-and-damen-7055129

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  5. “The opportunity cost here is staggering; all for the privilege of “owning” your unit (paying back two banks at high interest rates).”

    How does the interest they paid compare to the rent they would have had to? I don’t see much (if any) opportunity cost. They put very little of their own money into it.

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  6. Hey Chuk, imagine if your “forced savings” over the span of 8 years ended up in the red. Realtor commission is going to extract anywhere between 15k-18k, so factoring in that on top of the debt they took out at about 6.5% interest (avg interest in 2007), it’s extremely difficult to make the argument that even if they were saving money by not renting (highly doubtful because they put no money down), that the few bucks they *could have* been saving would’ve been eaten up by repairs, HOAs, and of course, eventual realtor commission adding an extra $1875-$2250 per year. The numbers just don’t add up. In this situation I think it would’ve been much cheaper (and easier) to rent.

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  7. I still don’t see where the “staggering” opportunity cost is.

    Interest + Tax = 24k per year (assuming 100% financing at 6.5%)
    HOA = 3k per year
    Loss of 12k on unit + 18k in commission = 30k over 8 years ~ 4k per year

    So, you are looking at a “cost” of 31k per year. Or about $2500 a month. A place like this would have cost $2500 a month to rent.

    In addition the int+tax were most likely tax deductible.

    I’m not saying this owner made a great move, but it seems like it was basically a wash vs renting.

    “In this situation I think it would’ve been much cheaper (and easier) to rent.”

    Yes, in hindsight, I would agree. However, this buyer is one of the worst case scenarios (bought the top, two mortgages, etc). And even then there wasn’t much (if any) harm.

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  8. “And even then there wasn’t much (if any) harm.”

    Try running that calculation on a 3/2 SFH in a collar county and then tell me if buying in 2007 with two high interest mortgages didn’t result in any harm!

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  9. “Try running that calculation on a 3/2 SFH in a collar county and then tell me if buying in 2007 with two high interest mortgages didn’t result in any harm!”

    Why would I do that? I was talking about this specific property.

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  10. Wow. I think you’re being awfully harsh. They owned this place for 8 years. Maybe they didn’t know 8 years ago that they were going to have kids.

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  11. Helmet, that homeless man thread is hilarious.
    “I saw him at blue line eating muffins like cookie monster, and spitting the mouth muffin into the air at the people seated outside.”

    “We call him Frank, but I think his name is Mike.”

    “I call him Turtle Breath b/c he called my friend that when he was on his phone.”

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  12. @sonies Can you please stop making personal assumptions and judgments about sellers and their homes. This is a real estate website NOT a platform for you to get personal. I have seen this on many posts.

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  13. “So, you are looking at a “cost” of 31k per year. Or about $2500 a month. A place like this would have cost $2500 a month to rent.”

    What? Back in 2007???? No way. They were giving them away. $1500 a month. Max. It doesn’t even have parking.

    The last 2 or 3 years you might be able to get $2100 or $2200 for it. But that would only be recently. And I’m not sure you could even get that for 900 square feet.

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  14. “Total facepalm. You have to wonder what in the hell they were thinking buying this with the knowledge they were going to have kids.”

    Phil- how long have you read Cribchatter? I would estimate that more than half the condos I cover here have cribs in them and some in condos people bought only 1 or 2 years ago. If you think people having kids in condos is someone who isn’t planning, then that would cover about half of the GZ.

    Jeez.

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  15. @architect_too I don’t see any problems mentioning a crib, they’re in most 2/2’s up for sale. It tells you all you need to know.

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  16. Actually, just looked to see what similar units were renting for on Division now and found this actual unit available for rent for $2200 a month.

    So back in 2007 there was no way you’re getting $2200 a month for it – if you can even get that right now. The rental market isn’t that tight anymore.

    http://www.bairdwarner.com/property/41917908/1737-West-Division-Street-403-CHICAGO-IL-60622

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  17. Sabrina,

    Yes, I’ve seen a plethora of 2/2s with crib before on this site, nothing new…but 900 sq ft to raise a family? Come on… Like I conceded before, they probably thought in 2007 that they would actually have equity in the place when they sold to allow them to upgrade life styles. Thank you for finding those rent comps. I doubt it would’ve gone for $2k/month back then.

    Averaging out the mortgage, pmi, taxes, hoa, homeowners insurance, closing costs, realtor commission, then deducting mortgage interest on taxes, you’re looking at around $2600/month overall not including any major repairs/appliance replacements/special assessments/etc.

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  18. When did small homes become a “movement”?

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  19. “When did small homes become a “movement”?”

    For awhile now. There’s even a whole House Hunters devoted to it on HGTV’s sister cable station.

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  20. “Yes, I’ve seen a plethora of 2/2s with crib before on this site, nothing new…but 900 sq ft to raise a family?”

    Plenty of people raise their kids in 900 square feet. It’s not really that unusual- especially when they’re babies.

    Also- you’re assuming the current owner is still living in this unit. You have no idea if they are or aren’t.

    But let’s say it IS the owner who is living here. I doubt many people who bought condos in 2007 thought they’d still be living in them 8 years later, with or without having children. As I’ve said many times on this site, the average amount of time someone lives in a loft in Chicago is 3 years.

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  21. “There’s even a whole House Hunters devoted to it on HGTV’s sister cable station.”

    There is a show about everything on cable. Doesn’t make it a movement. Unless the Kardashians are a movement.

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  22. “When did small homes become a “movement”?”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_house_movement

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  23. stupid fuckin hipsters

    I can’t afford a nice large house because I don’t want to work hard and not get tattoos all over myself, so I’m going to try and make it cool to live in a little house… lolz

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  24. LOL Sonies. You are right on the money. Maybe they will take their small houses on their backs and go blame wall street for their crap little places.

    And the hell with Wikipedia and that founder holed up in Russia or Equador. He is sitting in a one room embassy suite and probably made up the small house movement and made the wiki entry.

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  25. “Wikipedia and that founder holed up in Russia or Equador”

    Huh?

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  26. Wikileaks Wikipedia

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  27. hmm, I had a greater than and less than sign in there (not equal). Guess it got swallowed.

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