Affordable Astor in a 2-Bedroom for $380,000: 1216 N. Astor in the Gold Coast

1216 n astor #2

This 2-bedroom duplex down in 1216 N. Astor in the Gold Coast came on the market in June 2015.

The building was constructed in 1891 and has 8 units.

This is a first floor unit with hardwood floors on the main floor along with a wood burning fireplace.

Although the building is old, no vintage features appear to have survived until the present day in this unit.

The 2 bedrooms are in the lower level.

The kitchen has black and white appliances.

There’s also a main floor lofted office.

While the unit has in-unit washer/dryer and central air, there’s no parking.

Originally listed for $390,000, it has been reduced twice to $380,000.

Is this unit a good Old Town alternative for those looking to be near the Mag Mile and the rest of downtown?

Gregory Brooks at Baird & Warner has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #1A: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, duplex down, no square footage listed

  • Sold in September 1993 for $175,000
  • Originally listed in June 2015 for $390,000
  • Reduced twice
  • Currently listed for $380,000
  • Assessments of $346 a month (includes water, exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $6340
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • No parking
  • Bedroom #1: 19×10 (lower level)
  • Bedroom #2: 18×10 (lower level)
  • Laundry: 10×9 (lower level)
  • Loft: 10×9 (main level)

28 Responses to “Affordable Astor in a 2-Bedroom for $380,000: 1216 N. Astor in the Gold Coast”

  1. This is vertical living at it’s worst. You have to be very skinny and the size of a mouse to really use the space. I’m not sure for what kind of person this unit is best suited.

    It is too small for a family

    It is too small for entertaining of any type

    It is a weird layout and neighborhood for a bachelor

    It is not suitable for old people (the spiral staircase)

    I guess the only person it is suited for is a small younger single woman with cats.

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  2. clio!?

    Hi, and good post, this place is brutal!

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  3. Hey sonies!

    Yes, I tried to like this place and find something great about it (new psychiatrist has told me I need to find something good in everything and concentrate on that instead of the negatives) – well this place just set me back several sessions bc I really can’t find anything that great about it!

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    Rating: +19 (from 19 votes)
  4. Hey single cat ladies need to live somewhere too, that was pretty positive!

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  5. Really need a floorplan–where are the two spiral stairs, if nothing else…

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  6. Sabrina I suggest u look at more commodity like GC buildings w/amenities vs this boutique building. Ex: 1445 N. State has 1 Br’s starting @ $210K+ and 2br/2ba starting @ $290K. Or the nicer & newer 1230 N State where a 1000 sq ft unit 1 br just closed @ $200K (plus $92K for 2 indoor park spots) and is for rent asking $2100/mo., after new owner updates kitchen w/granite & stainless.

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  7. The less expensive high rise buildings lack the charm of this one. This particular unit is disappointing. I expected more. I wonder if this unit could be combined with a neighboring unit to make it really nice.

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  8. “Sabrina I suggest u look at more commodity like GC buildings w/amenities vs this boutique building. Ex: 1445 N. State has 1 Br’s starting @ $210K+ and 2br/2ba starting @ $290K. Or the nicer & newer 1230 N State where a 1000 sq ft unit 1 br just closed @ $200K (plus $92K for 2 indoor park spots) and is for rent asking $2100/mo., after new owner updates kitchen w/granite & stainless.”

    First, this is “Astor Street week” so no, I don’t want to cover those other buildings in the Gold Coast. Astor Street has its own cache. There’s a reason tour groups go up and down it every day.

    Second, that 1-bedroom in 1230 N. State didn’t sell for $200k plus the parking. It sold, with 1 parking space included in the price, for $292k. It also had all of the original 1970s features because it had a long time owner. Someone is renting it already huh?

    I just looked at the rental pictures. No pictures in that rental listing of the kitchen which was original (as the “for sale” listing shows). So how do you know there’s a new kitchen with granite and stainless? The listing says “remodel in progress” or something like that. Will it be ready by 12/1?

    Lol.

    But I’m sure, given the location, that they won’t have any trouble renting it out.

    Are they even making money off of it at $2100 a month? Paid $292k. Have to put in new kitchen (it’s small though) plus appliances. Let’s say $10,000 if they use IKEA. Maybe $15,000 with nicer appliances. 1.5 baths needed to be completely gutted. Another $10,000?

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  9. Sabrina:
    Cache aside Astor just has a nicer mix of the same buildings as State so there are 35-65 year old condos in larger buildings on Astor too.

    I was wrong about 2 vs 1 parking places in deconstructing sale price of the 1230 State condo. But the asking rent price @ $2100 is w/o parking so add another $250-$350/mo. for indoor parking. Maybe not great initial cash on cash return but it beats buying T-bills. Ad stated “Kitchen/bath photos to follow, remodel in progress”. I’m betting photos won’t show new Formica counters & white Sears appliances? Unit may be ready 12/1 but imo obligatory condo bd. approval of tenant/lease will take longer.

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  10. “1.5 baths needed to be completely gutted. Another $10,000?”

    Either you have a weird concept of “gutted”, or you know the cheapest contractor in Chicago.

    The latter would be weird, since you have never even heard of the concept of an inexpensive floor guy.

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  11. “Either you have a weird concept of “gutted”, or you know the cheapest contractor in Chicago.”

    The half bath didn’t need to be gutted. But professional investors also have their own contractors on staff. They buy condos, fix them up, rent them out. They can do it cheaper than others.

    If this was a $30,000 gut job, how are they making money renting this out? What happens if rents drop? And they also are providing free cable, heat/ac to the tenant.

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  12. “The half bath didn’t need to be gutted.”

    “1.5 baths needed to be completely gutted. Another $10,000?”

    Ok, so you moved the goalposts. Fine. $1k to put in an Ikea vanity, new mirror, new light fixture, new home depot toilet and paint.

    Who the F is going to ‘gut’ a full bath for $9k? The *materials* (durock, wallboard, tub, shower trim, tile, vanity, toilet, paint, supplies) are going to be over $5k, before you do any labor, and you’ll have a helluva time getting the super in a hi-rise to accommodate any water shutoff for a non-union plumber.

    And that from someone who thinks that wood floor re-finishing costs $3+ psf.

    “If this was a $30,000 gut job, how are they making money renting this out?”

    $2400/month (inc parking) is a 6.1 cap net of A+T on $292k; At $325k of cost, it’s 5.5–which is still “making money”, before considering leverage and cash-on-cash calculations.

    Basically, even with a $40k reno budget, this place could cashflow pretty well for someone with a low cost of funds. And, anyway, the real money is supposed to be in the re-sale.

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  13. “What happens if rents drop?” Seriously? Do you believe there’s any chance at all that 7000 new units all charging above $3 psf could have an impact on updated 35 year old GC 1 bed/1.5ba units renting for $2-$2.10 psf?

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  14. “Seriously? Do you believe there’s any chance at all that 7000 new units all charging above $3 psf could have an impact on updated 35 year old GC 1 bed/1.5ba units renting for $2-$2.10 psf?”

    Um…yes.

    Rents won’t keep going up forever. Even in 45 year old Gold Coast apartments. Not unless incomes go up.

    Gosh- this reminds me exactly of what happened 8 years ago. Remember the old “housing prices have never fallen in the United States in 75 years and certainly not all across the country.”

    Whoops!

    Nearly every city has seen shocking increases in rents. Yet incomes haven’t budged at all. You can’t get blood from a stone. Something is going to give. Again.

    It’s almost comical that we are in the same place we were 8 years ago only with mortgage rates near their all time lows, there’s nothing the Fed can do to bail out the housing market this time. People are in for a rude awakening when the rates rise. A lot of people, including on this site, believe that rates will NEVER rise again.

    No one ever learns.

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  15. “Basically, even with a $40k reno budget, this place could cashflow pretty well for someone with a low cost of funds. And, anyway, the real money is supposed to be in the re-sale.”

    Who’s reselling? I don’t see any of these buyers reselling.

    Someone is paying $2400 a month for this 1970s building? Lol.

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  16. “What happens if rents drop?” Seriously?”

    By the way- you’re acting like we’ll never have another recession. What happens in recessions? Rents drop.

    My current rental apartment sat empty for 3 months years ago when my landlord was trying to rent it out. He had to drop the rent twice before I came in to finally rent it. But he was out months of rent in the meantime. We weren’t in the Great Recession then but it wasn’t long afterwards.

    Rents have gone up 30% in my neighborhood since then. But incomes haven’t for those who would be renting these properties. So what happens in the next recession when people are laid off again? Who do they find to rent? For some reason, my landlord couldn’t find anyone when I was looking.

    Go figure.

    I can’t believe we’re having this conversation (again). Wow. People are really delusional about both the rental and the for sale housing market now.

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  17. Sabrina: I don’t know your apartment’s location or condition. You continually refer to the updated GC 1br/1.5ba, asking $2100/mo rent ($2.10 psf @ ASK) as being 45 years old or being in a 1970’s building. There’s no shortage of 45+ year old buildings in GC, but factually, 1230 N State’s 35 years old. It appears well maintained, has amenities & is a desirable building in which to live. This unit’s sale is @ lowest price in recent history @ 1230 N State per MLS.
    If we have another recession I’d agree rents should stagnate or fall in oversupplied or overly expensive markets but everyone must live some place. I don’t believe rents for upgraded 1br/1.5ba units in desirable GC building will fall below $2 psf.

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  18. “I don’t believe rents for upgraded 1br/1.5ba units in desirable GC building will fall below $2 psf.”

    If they do, there will be a lot of pain.

    Taxes + assessments are close to $1 psf.

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  19. “I don’t believe rents for upgraded 1br/1.5ba units in desirable GC building will fall below $2 psf.”

    Should we bookmark this while they’re building 7,000 new downtown apartments, including a brand new building just a block away from this building he keeps harping on and on about (we get it southbound- you bought the unit and now are spending $30,000 to $40,000 to fix it up.)

    Of COURSE you want to believe that this lovely rental market will stay the way it is.

    But there’s no way in hell it can. Just do the math.

    Everyone keeps saying, “it will be okay” but I’ve heard that before.

    All you have to do is look at the sheer number of new construction buildings. As those rents fall, where are the renters going to turn to first to get deals? They’re not going to live in a 1970s high rise. I don’t care how many IKEA cabinets are put in it. They’ll live at the Tower of Jewel for $1800 just down the street.

    The “little” investor will get eaten alive by the big management companies in a bust. They will offer amazing incentives. And then, when those don’t work, they will offer really reduced rents because they HAVE to fill those units. What will the smaller investor do? He’ll HAVE to lower his rents. I certainly wouldn’t want to be owning an older unit with over $1000 a month in taxes and assessments when rents start to take a dive.

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  20. Sabrina I love reading your posts but imo you’re wrong many ways here.

    Yes, 7000 units are being built including 2 bldgs w/i a block of 1230 N State. DRW’s condos @ 4 E. Elm – 60%+ presold @ $2.2-$7.5 mil base prices ($1000+ psf). Those units will ever negatively impact 1 BR rents but nannies & other help must live somewhere. Also Fifield’s doing the Jewel development. He built the 2400 unit Kinzie Station PD in a much, much worse location thru the last recession & didn’t drop rents to fill units there. Why are you so certain he’ll drop rents here? While condo prices in generic GC buildings dropped versus ’06 sales & still haven’t recovered, imo GC rents didn’t drop. I believe tenants will always pay a bit more for excellent locations & units w/i their price range!

    No, I’m not involved in any way w/that unit or bldg but imo it’s an excellent long term investment. I am betting it’s much more likely rents for existing GC units will be $2.25 psf in 3-5 years rather than sub-$2.00 psf. Every week employers are announcing they’re hiring in or relocating to downtown. They’re downtown in order to attract retain & attract a (young) tech savvy workforce. Thousands of new/ relocated employees over next 3 years will decide where they’ll live. I don’t buy your theory developers will become obligated to induce them to move into well located $2-$2.25 psf units. Time will tell. You may get to do the I told SB so dance but I’m actively betting against that!

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  21. all the new stuff being built is going for $3+ per square foot per month and they are leasing up entire buildings fairly fast

    who is renting all these? beats me… but apparently people like new apartments with full amenities

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  22. “all the new stuff being built is going for $3+ per square foot per month and they are leasing up entire buildings fairly fast”

    It’s actually already starting to slow. They used to have 96% occupancy and it has fallen now. It won’t be long before the incentives start. They KNOW from the absorption rates what will rent and they are building thousands of too many units at that rental price point.

    The only options will be:

    1. Turn them into condos (which might actually happen) to get the inventory off the market
    2. Lower prices

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  23. “Why are you so certain he’ll drop rents here? While condo prices in generic GC buildings dropped versus ’06 sales & still haven’t recovered, imo GC rents didn’t drop. I believe tenants will always pay a bit more for excellent locations & units w/i their price range!”

    Yes- they will rent just down the street in the Tower of Jewel which will be right next to the Red Line stop. They will have a gym with city and Lake views and probably a pool. Neither of which are in this building. There won’t be 80 year olds walking in through the front door. They will have views, views, views and everything will be new with 10 foot ceilings.

    If the price point is the same- they will go with new and a $300 move-in fee every single time.

    The old Gold Coast will rent, but for a much lower amount.

    And just wait until the Tower of Jewel starts offering 2 months incentives. Lol. There’s no way a regular investor/owner can compete with that. For a $2100 a month apartment with 2 months free? Wow. Not with those assessments/taxes.

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  24. “If the price point is the same- they will go with new…”

    Sabrina you suspend rationality periodically and this is one of those times.

    I repeat: “…Fifield built the 2400 unit Kinzie Station PD in a much, much worse location (than GC Jewel site) thru the last recession & he didn’t drop rents to fill units there. Why are you so certain he’ll drop rents here?”

    Fifields’s building the only new GC rental units (incl. 3 & 4 br units) where new condos costs $1000 psf. What will drive his ability to collect rents down 40+%? You or I can rent apt’s in Englewood for $.75 psf but it doesn’t impact rental rates in GC now does it? Fifield won’t ever need to drop rents to $2 to capture prospective renters away from generic 50 year old GC units or apts in S Loop or Englewood.

    Employment drives demand for housing. Barring a depression, demand for apts near downtown Chgo employment center will remain strong. Imo based on what I’ve experienced over past 35 years we won’t see rents for new/nearly new amenitized apartments in GC or LP fall below $2.75 psf. You can hope & pray for cheaper rents in GC & GZ Sabrina but quoting Jackson Browne’s lyrics “Nobody rides for free & nobody gets it like they want it to be..”

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  25. “I repeat: “…Fifield built the 2400 unit Kinzie Station PD in a much, much worse location (than GC Jewel site) thru the last recession & he didn’t drop rents to fill units there. Why are you so certain he’ll drop rents here?””

    Don’t you get it southbound? They will ALL drop rents. As of the last calculation by Crain’s, they are building or planning to build 8,000 MORE apartments in just the downtown (that doesn’t include the buildings outside of the downtown designation- of which there are now some high rises going up like the one in Lakeview on Sheridan and Oakdale.)

    Rents will drop in Class A, Class B and down the line. They will first offer incentives to fill them (like they DID in Kinzie Station and the other buildings when the market wasn’t so good). And when that doesn’t work, they will start cutting rents.

    They will HAVE to.

    Supply and demand will require it.

    A year or so ago Crain’s had a great article about how the developer of the Streeter building was already spending millions to renovate even though the building was only like 5 or 6 years old because the finishes were already out of date compared to the newer buildings being built. They were already dropping down to the next level of rents. The newer buildings also had better amenities. So they had to offer even more. They were swapping out carpet in the units for hardwoods etc.

    That’s how competitive it is now on the rental market. And it will only get worse.

    Have you seen the amenities in the Wolf Point building? You think Kinzie is competing with that building? Heck no. Of course, the rents are probably quite a bit less than the Wolf Point building anyway. The amenities are amazing in that Wolf Point building including a rooftop party room and exercise room.

    I love it that everyone is SO SURE that prices on real estate can just keep going higher and higher when there is land as far as the eye can see to build on in Chicago- so we KNOW it’s not land restricted here (we’re not the SF peninsula or Manhattan, that’s for darn sure). And incomes aren’t going up.

    Something has to give. When the rents start coming down in all the new construction buildings, they will come down in the less desirable 1970s and 1980s buildings as well. Condos are already at a disadvantage in this market (as a rental.) It will only get worse when the market turns because the big landlords can offer amazing incentives.

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  26. By the way- if you are a renter who wants to live in one of the new high rises, 2016 and 2017 should be your year to get a really good deal.

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  27. Thats bullcrap sabrina

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20130302/ISSUE01/303029987/the-hottest-urban-center-in-the-u-s-chicagos-mega-loop

    where are all these people flocking to the urban core going to live? Oh, right…

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  28. Yeah what a deal, “only” crapping out $3.25 a sqft a month to live in the xavier (which is a shit location) with 1-2 free months of rent!

    Such Deal!!! 15% off ridiculous rent, woooow

    Studios starting at $1,825 (579 sqft)
    1 Bedrooms starting at $2,300 (656 sqft)
    2 Bedrooms starting at $3,275 (1034 sqft)

    people are still leasing up this place too!

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