Flipping an East Village 2-Bedroom Loft for $182,500 in 6 Months: 1137 N. Wood

1137-n-wood-approved

This 2-bedroom duplex up loft at 1137 N. Wood in the East Village just came on the market.

If it looks familiar that’s because we chattered about it twice last year.

You can see our first chatter in July 2015, when it was priced at $500,000, here.

That chatter kind of went off the rails about women postponing marriage, the job market for those in the trades etc.

It wasn’t selling despite the low inventory so it was reduced.

We chattered about it a second time in September 2015 which you can see here.

Here are the comments even after it was reduced:

From Jenny:

“The pole in the kitchen, the view of an alley littered the power line poles, the outdated sinks in the bathroom, the low building reserves, the barely green zone location… $480k for this place is ridiculous.”

From Kathryn:

“I live in this building and I will tell you that the reserves are a non-issue, and that another unit that was on the market at the same time just sold for a higher price than this is listed for. The location cannot be beat and I am sure that plenty of people will be willing to pay the money to do minor updates at this price. Also, the building is a converted factory which is why there’s a pole in the kitchen, not because someone thought it was “cool.” Stroll down the street, you are next to all the bars and restaurants with three community gardens on the block and the building is extremely quiet at night, with parking and an elevator in a 4 floor building. Hard to find something comparable.”

This unit finally sold in October 2015 for $467,500.

Just 6 months later, it has returned with some changes and a $650,000 price tag.

The dark walnut floors are gone. They are now a lighter wood.

The second floor master suite was carpeted. It now has the same lighter wood as the first floor.

There’s a new kitchen island that is bigger than the prior one. The countertops are now marble. The appliances have been upgraded to Viking. There are also white cabinets that now go up to the ceiling.

The prior ceiling, by the way, was supposedly 17 feet. The listing now says they are 14 feet.

There is also custom designed shelving in the living room and a barn door entrance to the bedroom on the main floor.

A pergola was also added to the second floor deck that is off the master bedroom.

The bathrooms also appear to have been rehabbed. The master bathroom now has a frameless glass shower.

However, the pole that some people complained about last year, is still in the kitchen.

There was no square footage listed for the loft last year and there isn’t again this year.

You can still see the 2015 listing pictures here if you want to see what was done to the unit.

Buyers want new.

Inventory is still low.

It’s listed for $182,500 more than it sold for 6 months ago.

Will this set a new comp in the East Village neighborhood?

Bonnie Mersten at Baird & Warner has the listing this time. See the current pictures here.

Unit #2B: 2 bedroom, 2 bath, duplex up, no square footage listed

  • Sold in May 2006 for $415,000
  • Originally listed in July 2015 for $500,000
  • Withdrawn in August 2015
  • Re-listed in September 2015 for $480,000
  • Sold in October 2015 for $467,500
  • Currently listed for $650,000
  • Assessments still $310 a month (includes snow removal, exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger)
  • The old listing said there were $12,000 in building reserves. There are 16 units in the building.
  • Taxes are now $5223 (they were $5120 in 2015)
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Garage parking included
  • Bedroom #1: 17×14 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 14×10 (first floor)

38 Responses to “Flipping an East Village 2-Bedroom Loft for $182,500 in 6 Months: 1137 N. Wood”

  1. I liked the dark wood floors better, but the kitchen has improved. I think these types of upgrades (mostly cosmetic in nature) will not get the seller $180K extra as different buyers might prefer one version over the other. It is not some gut rehab or a significant modernization of a dated space, etc…
    I wonder what experts like Gary think, but to me this looks to be a terrible investment in terms of getting a profit from rehab.

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  2. It seems that people either complain that someone over-improved a rehab/flip and won’t get their money back, or they didn’t do enough to justify the asking price (see featured property).

    I would like to see someone present a Goldilocks Property where the updates/upgrades are just right for the asking price.

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  3. Looks nice, but no way I am paying $650k to look out into the alley. Someone might buy it though.

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  4. “Looks nice, but no way I am paying $650k to look out into the alley. Someone might buy it though.”

    you might even process their loan!

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  5. VERY overpriced

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  6. This is an example of the speculative mentality permeating through our economy. Flipping properties, tech start ups that use apps, etc…
    I just don’t think all of this will end well.

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  7. It’s telling that this unit was on the market for a long time before a flipper bought it. A real human being who would live in this place did not buy it. The alley issue remains.

    I like the new bathrooms, but that pole in the kitchen is still horrendous. It looks so feeble. At least in most timber lofts there are large timber poles that look interesting because of their age.

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  8. This will all end splendidly for the charlatans who are able to ‘get theirs’ before the ensuing crash.

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  9. This rehab looks like it was the Tarek and Christina special. And it’s a FLOP

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  10. man you really are HGTV obsessed

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  11. my guess is that someone didn’t buy this to flip right away. perhaps plans changed for them. i’m just basing it off of some of the improvements. it doesn’t seem worth it for a flipper to install all those book cases. while i like the updated kitchen, adding all of the upper cabinets wasn’t really necessary for a flip. i don’t think the appliances really needed to be replaced for this place to flip well. also adding all the tile walls in the bathroom isn’t typical for a flipper and i just don’t see it as a place to look for a big return. seems like the changes were based on the owners personal needs/style than that for a flip. just my opinion.

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  12. “man you really are HGTV obsessed”

    it takes one to know one!

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  13. This place is overpriced by 100K to me, but it’s nice enough it may well sucker someone.

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  14. HD – the Tarek and Christina comment was right on the money.

    So there is no place for an even average sized TV in those new book shelves. Perhaps the intended buyer is an “ap” guy or gal that does everything off the iPad or laptop. And I’ll agree that they are not likely to get this return for that investment of upgrades.

    But the area is pretty good.

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  15. “my guess is that someone didn’t buy this to flip right away. perhaps plans changed for them.”

    The buyers sold another place last fall, and son’t have any other sales to their names, so seems likely.

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  16. I’m not sure if taking out what was likely a pantry and adding high cupboards is a plus. Where do you keep the ladder to access those cupboards?

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  17. Why the pic showing the tv stashed behind the tv stand?

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  18. The took out the pantry and added in a double oven into the wall. They added a fireplace and a range hood. How do they vent these when there was no venting before? Sliding barn doors are cool! They knocked out part of the wall and made the opening bigger. They fully rehabbed the bathrooms. I guess Jacuzzi tubs are out, obviously, but they did have jets! They added a trellis-thing on the balcony which makes it look less bare. But what happens when the trellis starts to age and look dried out like the deck itself? Looks like they added real hardwood interior doors everywhere, where the previous were hollow Home Depot specials from 2002. I think it’s obvious a professional designer had a hand in it.

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  19. This is nice – -agree with others who are speculating this wasn’t an intentional flip – – some stuff is too personal, and really too nice for a flip. Looks like they are trying to get back their money and their transaction costs, likely under a “doesn’t hurt to ask” play but I would be surprised if this goes for more than $550K, especially since you access the roof deck through the master bed.

    Pole in the kitchen doesn’t bother me at all. The fact that they did nothing to treat what looks like deteriorating wood on the deck – – that bugs me.

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  20. They are looking to get back more than what they put into it as far as i can tell.

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  21. “Looks like they are trying to get back their money and their transaction costs, likely under a “doesn’t hurt to ask” play but I would be surprised if this goes for more than $550K, especially since you access the roof deck through the master bed.”

    You really think someone who HAS to sell is going to list it for $100,000 MORE than what you think it should sell for just to “see” if it sells????

    Wow.

    It really is a bubble out there if that’s what you think. A HUGE bubble. Maybe bigger than in 2005-2008.

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  22. The closer I look the more I’m convinced that no one currently lives in this space. I think that it’s a flip. Maybe they got unexpectedly transferred to another city after the reno had begun. Perhaps a divorce/death happened that changed their plans. Just look at a few telltale signs.

    No TV anywhere. No soap etc in the bins under the master bath sink. Nothing in that shower. Bare minimum furniture in most rooms. No outside furnishings. Not even a simple table or chairs.

    Place is likely empty.

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  23. “No TV anywhere. No soap etc in the bins under the master bath sink. Nothing in that shower. Bare minimum furniture in most rooms. No outside furnishings. Not even a simple table or chairs.”

    that could just be simple realtor staging.

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  24. “No TV anywhere.”

    the tv is in pic 12 hidden behind the console in one of the secondary bedrooms. they probably moved it there for a better picture and to not look at the wires from the side. although i don’t know why they just wouldn’t move it completely out of frame for the picture.

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  25. “No soap etc in the bins under the master bath sink. Nothing in that shower. Bare minimum furniture in most rooms. No outside furnishings. Not even a simple table or chairs.”

    how can you possibly tell there is nothing in those bins under the vanity. also, it’s usually standard practice to remove shampoo, soap, etc from a shower before photos. it not, you’re realtor and/or photographer are clueless. regarding the outside furniture, it’s barely spring. these people bought the place in the fall and probably didn’t get around to buying it yet. seems practical.

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  26. ““Looks like they are trying to get back their money and their transaction costs, likely under a “doesn’t hurt to ask” play but I would be surprised if this goes for more than $550K, especially since you access the roof deck through the master bed.”

    You really think someone who HAS to sell is going to list it for $100,000 MORE than what you think it should sell for just to “see” if it sells????

    Wow.

    It really is a bubble out there if that’s what you think. A HUGE bubble. Maybe bigger than in 2005-2008.”

    Actually, there are more commonly two types of people who grossly over-price things. One is testing the waters – – trying to see just how crazy the market is. The other is actually fairly desperate – – possibly hit with an unexpected financial crisis – – and the price, while not realistic to people who aren’t emotionally attached to the transaction, is the price that solves a lot of problems for them in one fell swoop. I think there is an outside chance the latter is applicable here. I do think we are headed to bubble territory, but I don’t think this unit is necessarily an example of that since only a fool would actually pay this price…and that fool would also have to have significant resources because I don’t see this appraising out. We are in bubble territory when stuff like this starts to appraise out.

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  27. Bubble territory is when the comps support the list price. My guess is that there are few good recent comps, if any. I think that someone is making the argument that the market was low last year and the new price reflects a higher market.

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  28. My definition of a bubble is when the more fringe neighborhoods start to approach, or surpass, the prices of the most prestigious ones. We are starting to see that now with West Town (including Ukrainian Village, Wicker Park and certainly Bucktown) pricing out at River North levels. Or Lincoln Park levels. Or Lakeview levels.

    Why is someone paying the same price to live in a similarly sized 1-bedroom condo in East Humboldt Park as they would in Lakeview? But they now are.

    That, to me, is a bubble.

    The “prestige” neighborhoods are no longer priced as the most prestigious.

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  29. the tv is in pic 12 hidden behind the console in one of the secondary bedrooms. they probably moved it there for a better picture and to not look at the wires from the side. although i don’t know why they just wouldn’t move it completely out of frame for the pictur

    Good eyes miumiu – but it proves my point that no one lives here now. One of you CCers with time on your hands go to an open house or private showing and let us know!

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  30. Take a place that wasn’t worth 500K, spend 50K on it and end up with a place that isn’t worth $650K.

    Who are these people paying more than Lincoln Park prices for areas nowhere near Lincoln Park?

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  31. i live in this area (east village). i understand the “prestige” of lincoln park, but i am baffled by the suggestion that lakeview has more prestige than my ‘hood, or at least the implication that one deserves a higher price there. this area has fantastic restaurants, bars, great walkable streets (division being my favorite of the majors in the area due to its wide sidewalks), and an easy 20-minute commute to the loop. the school and childcare situation has plenty of room for improvement,but that is underway. this 2/2 is overpriced, but the area is an obvious draw, and will continue to be that for anyone who values their time outside of work.

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  32. Saw this place this weekend. It does show very well. Kitchen and baths look really good. They probably spend $100k in reno work on the place. The pole in the kitchen isn’t that bad. You hardly notice it. The unit does get a lot of light.

    The only real drawback to the place is that you look out into the alley and the master is on the upper level and that is the only way you can access the outdoor space (so basically, if you grill or have people over who want to go on your deck, they are romping through your bedroom). The stairway is also very narrow.

    It is a nice unit, but definitely over priced. Probably over improved. It is right off Division steps from all the shops and restaurants though.

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  33. “i live in this area (east village). i understand the “prestige” of lincoln park, but i am baffled by the suggestion that lakeview has more prestige than my ‘hood, or at least the implication that one deserves a higher price there. ”

    First rule of real estate anywhere is location, location, location and in Chicago the first rule of real estate is “lake, lake, lake”.

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  34. Heidi, look at a gang territory map and it will make sense why your area is second tier compared to Lakeview, let alone LP. Also consider proximity to the train. Finally, consider the massive amount of nasty 90s thrown up split block in EV (not that LV or LP are immune to it by any means). People pay for safety, convenience, quality of housing stock/lots and nearby things to do. For many, EV comes up short in one or more of these.

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  35. “Also consider proximity to the train. ”

    This place is, per Official CC standards, close enough to the Division stop to be considered close, but also not so close that it is in any way bothersome.

    So, that was a misfire.

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  36. I was speaking of the neighborhood generally. One stop that some places might be close enough, compared to LV and LP that’s minimal. Misfire that.

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  37. It’s close to the el and it’s a much shorter ride downtown–in what world is the lakeview train situation better than that? also, it’s not on the red line, where i would be much more concerned about crime than east village. have you been here before? gang territory map? how about citing actual crime statistics? finally, if being near a bunch of drunk frat boys with the flags of sports teams flying from half the homes is preferred housing stock, count me out.

    i understand the draw of the lake, but it’s also damn colder over there in the winter. for all the rest, i can live a short drive away.

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  38. Fortunately all of us don’t have the same tastes, you West Townies can keep your gang-infested, split-block infested, pit bull everywhere, busted auto glass and Modelo can in the gutter, chronically tagged, no front-yard & tiny lot having piece of urbanity and I’ll stay out and endure the occasional harmless frat clown up north, not a problem. Not everyone works in the loop either, if you work a bit north the Blue Line is not so useful.

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