Not Everything Is Selling in a Day: Smart Tech Home in West Town Reduces: 900 N. Richmond

We last chattered about this 4-bedroom “Smart Tech” home at 900 N. Richmond in West Town (East Humboldt Park???) in February 2016.

You can see our chatter here.

If you recall, this is one of several dozen similar homes that have been built in West Town, Avondale, Logan Square and other gentrifying neighborhoods since the bust.

These houses were called “Smart Tech” because the floors were flaxseed sealed oak hardwoods and they used no VOC paint. There were also LEED appointments.

They were meant to be townhouse alternatives, i.e. affordable starter homes in up and coming neighborhoods.

Here’s what one of them looked like on Rockwell in West Town:

1214 n rockwell approved

The house on Richmond has the same open concept as the others, with living room, dining room and kitchen on the main floor along with a floating stair case.

The kitchen has modern white and gray gloss cabinets, quartz counter tops and stainless steel appliances. There is also a kitchen island.

3 of the 4 bedrooms are upstairs and the master bedroom has an ensuite bath.

The fourth bedroom and the recreation room are in the lower level.

There’s a two-car garage, a concrete patio and a pergola. It is a corner lot so the yard is also fenced in.

Originally listed in February 2016 at $589,000, it has been reduced $19,100 to $569,900.

The market is red hot, especially for single family homes.

Why isn’t this selling?

Karen Biazar at North Clybourn Group still has the listing. See the pictures here.

900 N. Richmond: 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2400 square feet, 2 car garage

  • Sold in December 2000 for $357,000
  • Lis pendens filed in January 2012
  • Sold in December 2012 for $65,000
  • New construction home sold in April 2014 for $449,000
  • Originally listed in October 2015 for $589,900
  • Withdrawn in December 2015
  • Re-listed in February 2016 for $589,000
  • Reduced in April 2016
  • Currently listed at $569,900
  • Taxes of $6145
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 15×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 14×9 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 10×10 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 15×10 (lower level)
  • Recreation Room: 13×33 (lower level)

43 Responses to “Not Everything Is Selling in a Day: Smart Tech Home in West Town Reduces: 900 N. Richmond”

  1. Obviously because the price is a joke. Most people who can afford a home at this price point can also do math.

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  2. Is Flaxseed sealed floors a fancy way of saying Boiled linseed Oil finished?

    This place still sucks ass at the ask

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  3. $65,000 lots just a few years back. Scary to think that lots in bad areas can be so cheap.

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  4. I think part of the problem is that it’s on an alley.

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  5. I’M AN ALLEY KIND OF GIRL. LOVE THIS PLACE!!! SOLD.

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  6. “I think part of the problem is that it’s on an alley”

    It’s actually not on an alley. The picture in the post is of a similar house on Rockwell. 900 N. Richmond is on a corner lot as seen in the Redfin listing. It does appepar to have a scattered site public housing building across the street though.

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  7. The finishes are very nice, corner lot means more light and the outdoor space is great. What’s making the price too high is the location — it’s way west of Western and just a couple of blocks from Humboldt Park.

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  8. too bad this place fall a few blocks west of “east humboldt park.” one of chicago magazines best places to live right now…/sarcasm

    http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/April-2016/chicago-neighborhoods/

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  9. these homes are cheaply constructed and feel rickety when you tour them… no way in hell someone is going to pay that much for a used one in a shitty location, not even on a full size lot…

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  10. actually I take that back, it is a full size lot, but still a suck location IMO

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  11. The home is nice with a huge yard. As others have said, it’s on a corner of two streets, not an alley. It is definitely surrounded by scattered site housing leading to a less neighborly and typical side street feel. it is half a block away from Humboldt. The price is outrageous with no upgrades and the owner had smoked inside the home while they lived there (quite literally, it stinks.) You’d have to tear out the carpeting to get rid of the smell and likely repaint, which I believe the owner is offering a credit for. But that price… it’s waay too high for that location which will likely turn most off.

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  12. On the 800 block of Richmond is a group of Hispanic Housing subsidized units, and there are some on Mozart as well. On the South side of Augusta between California and Sacremento are over 100 Bickerdike units of subsidized Housing. On Sacremento South of Augusta is another 50-100 units of Bickerdike subsidized housing. This concentration of subsidized housing isn’t helping the neighborhood.

    It would take a special kind of crazy to buy a $570K house in the middle of all that.

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  13. What’s the matter with living among subsidized housing? isn’t that what income diversity is about?

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    Rating: -2 (from 18 votes)
  14. “What’s the matter with living among subsidized housing? isn’t that what income diversity is about”

    It is what income diversity is about but I live near subsidized housing in Uptown and the blocks with the subsidizing housing have the most litter on the street and it is where many of the shootings in the neighborhood have been concentrated. The next block is fine. It’s a shame that it is this way.

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  15. I hope that was sarcasm.

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  16. Last comment was directed at HD.

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  17. what sarcasm? surely it’s better to live among real people of different ethnicities than to insulate oneself among similar souls in whitetopia, or the green zone. the perceptions of crime and anti-social behavior are misplaced at best, and at worst, a manifestAtion of white privilege.

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  18. Says the guy who self-selected into lily white oblivion. I could give two shits about ethnic diversity in the immediate area where I live, it’s the city after all and it’s never far away. My idea of ideal economic diversity does not include those who can’t pay market rates, it includes everyone from the guy in the studio apt who is working his first job out of college up to the rich family in their (hopefully vintage and not Mc) mansion, but everybody pays market. Perceptions misplaced my ass, my opinions come from many years of experience and lessons learned.

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  19. Hey how about Jan Terri? Pretty cool right?

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  20. I lived for a time nearby, and agree, there’s an overabundance of CHA Scattered Site housing, as well as a considerable gang presence in the area. The attendant issues that accompany such housing make this $570K asking price so ridiculous. Riff-raff for neighbors to the immediate west, as well as to the south. No thanks.

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  21. I agree with all said, cha, bad neighborhood, etc. but also, this style of house is becoming so ubiqitious. One architect/one builder/100 houses. What was different and cool has now become dated.

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  22. So I guess the “Urban Pioneer” craze of the 70s and 80s has not carried over into the new millennium? Back then I knew of middle-class suburbanites buying or investing in “up and coming” neighborhoods” and were willing to put up with the negatives for a few years in hopes of seeing a return on the investment eventually.

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  23. I had friends who were “Urban Pioneers” in Wicker Park in the early 80s. The gangs were thick as fleas. The novelty soon wore off after the neighborhood violent crime was too close to home. They didn’t last a few years. It would have taken over a decade for a decent return on investment.

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  24. We moved to East Humboldt Park and a SmartTech home last year. We love it.

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  25. “So I guess the “Urban Pioneer” craze of the 70s and 80s has not carried over into the new millennium?”

    70s and 80s???

    Um…no. No “middle-class suburbanites” were “investing” in the city back then. Lincoln Park was even a dump in the 1970s and 80s. The condo craze of the late 1970s busted and the 1980s stunk for housing, in general. Crime was everywhere. The subway vigilante wasn’t just happening in NYC. Chicago sucked too. The middle class had fled. People weren’t bothering to move back into the city until the 1990s- and not until later in the 1990s even then.

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  26. “homedelete on May 2nd, 2016 at 4:14 pm
    What’s the matter with living among subsidized housing? isn’t that what income diversity is about?”

    “homedelete on May 2nd, 2016 at 7:06 pm
    what sarcasm? surely it’s better to live among real people of different ethnicities than to insulate oneself among similar souls in whitetopia, or the green zone. the perceptions of crime and anti-social behavior are misplaced at best, and at worst, a manifestAtion of white privilege.”

    Why do you jump from income diversity to ethnic differences like they’re the same thing?

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  27. I worked in the mortgage and commercial lending departments of a few neighborhood banks (remember those?) back in the 80s. Our clientele included “urban pioneers” – both individuals/couples and companies looking for good investment potential in neighborhoods like Uptown, Humboldt Park and Rogers Park. They must have done pretty well because I don’t recall my boss having to file foreclosures against any of them.

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  28. “I worked in the mortgage and commercial lending departments of a few neighborhood banks (remember those?) back in the 80s. Our clientele included “urban pioneers””

    No, Gayle, you must be wrong.

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  29. There were plenty of “urban pioneer” artists in Wicker Park in the 80s. It reached critical mass in 1989 when “Around the Coyote” exhibition started. Lots of middle-class suburbanites invaded after that.

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  30. “Our clientele included “urban pioneers” – both individuals/couples and companies looking for good investment potential in neighborhoods like Uptown, Humboldt Park and Rogers Park.”

    They were middle class suburbanites who just wandered into your office with the murder rate in the city at record highs and said, “I think we’d like to buy an investment property in an up-and-coming gang infested neighborhood”???

    Wow.

    I guess I am wrong then. I had no idea that they fled the city only to suddenly decide to put their extra cash back into the place they just fled.

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  31. “I guess I am wrong then. I had no idea that they fled the city only to suddenly decide to put their extra cash back into the place they just fled.”

    Seriously? You didn’t realize that a bunch of people in the nearby suburbs own a bunch of property in the city that they bought when it was cheap, but that they don’t live around because they raised their kids in the nearby suburbs? I personally know several people like that and I don’t even know many people.

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  32. The people who were buying in the 1980’s in Lakeview are the ones who made out big time. Lincoln Park in the mid to late 1980’s was reasonably gentrified in most areas.

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  33. When I lived in the Southport neighborhood and was looking for apartments, I always asked the owner when they bought the building, they almost always said late 1970’s to middle 1980’s.

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  34. “Urban pioneers” are not urban pioneers. They are simply speculators who want to pick the next hot neighborhood before it becomes hot. They buy in anticipation of this and in a few years they hope to double or triple their investment.

    Let’s just call them for who they are- speculators.

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  35. Nimesh,

    There are plenty of naive buyers who are urban pioneers. Sure there’s an element of speculation but there’s a lot of ‘wanting to live in the city in an area we can afford’, not understanding that the gangs and neer’do’wells view them as little more yuppies with targets on their backs; and the failure to recognize in most cases, the issues with a neighborhood is systemic and it takes a lot more than a few committed neighbors to gentrify a neighborhood. Gentrification is actually pretty rare in teh scheme of things, a neighborhood is more likely to go to hell than it is to gentrify.

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  36. “Seriously? You didn’t realize that a bunch of people in the nearby suburbs own a bunch of property in the city that they bought when it was cheap, but that they don’t live around because they raised their kids in the nearby suburbs? I personally know several people like that and I don’t even know many people.”

    No. I know landlords who lived in the city in the 1990s (NOT the 1970s) and bought a 2 flat then in Lakeview or Bucktown. They then had kids. And then they realized the schools sucked and living with people below you sucked too. So they moved to the suburbs in early 2000s but kept the 2-flat and became “landlords.”

    They weren’t sitting there in Hinsdale in 1975 and thinking, “gee- we should go buy downtown where those gangs are killing everyone and crack is being sold on the street corners” and then getting in their cars and driving and purchasing in Lakeview. ha! ha!

    Don’t even make me laugh.

    The only reason anyone went “downtown” from the suburbs in the 1970s or even the early 1980s was:

    1. to go to Wrigley Field or Comiskey Park
    2. possibly to go to Chicago Stadium- but that neighborhood was ROUGH. Prostitutes flashing their boobs at your car. But some daring suburbanites might have gone before Michael Jordan arrived.

    I guess I am way older than everyone here. The El sucked and was super dangerous. The Mag Mile wasn’t yet the Mag Mile (anyone else remember the McDonald’s on Michigan Avenue? Local guys tried to sell me gold chains out of their jackets there once. Good times.)

    The city SUCKED. People were fleeing by the thousands. The “suburbanites” weren’t coming back in to buy properties. Not in that era. That doesn’t mean others weren’t buying- but it wasn’t middle class suburbanites.

    Don’t forget- all you had to do was put your money in the bank or buy a CD and you were getting 15% to 20% return. You got rich in your cash. No need to buy in a murder infested city. And there was NO real estate obsession back then. Not with 20% mortgage rates. And they stayed over 10% throughout the 1980s until 1993.

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  37. you could probably buy a house for 10000 bucks in the early 80’s in a rougher part of lakeview though, maybe even less

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  38. Sabrina is right on her above post; that Chicago was a dangerous place to live in the 1970’s and 1980’s. I was born in 1974 so I can only attest to my experiences growing up. I grew up around Lawrence and Western. It was a decent neighborhood. But within this neighborhood there were pockets of bad blocks. The north side of Chicago had good neighborhoods but within them there were bad blocks and then there were entire neighborhoods that were violent prone. From Lawrence and Western if you went to Lawrence and Kedzie that was a bad neighborhood. A lot of gangs, shootings, drug dealing, prostitution, etc. Lawrence and Broadway was a zoo. A lot of mentally ill people and gangs and crime were abundant. The so called green zone of today was gritty and crime prone too. The south loop and west loop were not places you would want to walk around. I remember how State Street was full of hoodlums and guys trying to sell you stolen merchandise. The south and west sides were complete war zones.

    In the 1970’s a lot of Indian people lived in Chicago. In the mid 1980’s a lot of them moved out to Schiller Park, Northlake, Des Plaines, Skokie, Morton Grove, etc. Then from there they went on to other suburbs further out. We stayed in Chicago because we did not want to leave our friends and neighborhood.

    Slowly things changed not just in Chicago but in a lot of urban cities. I would say that in the mid 1990’s violence and gang activity decreased year over year and now Chicago is a much better place to live in.

    A good read is The Better Angels Of Our Nature, Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker. He also did a Ted Talk titled The Surprising Decline Of Violence.

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  39. Wow this is very interesting to read. I had no idea that Chicago was such a mess. One of the things that amazes me about US is how fast things can turn around and get fixed. This might be the greatest asset of this country. You might not always agree with a particular change, but you gotta respect people and a system that allows things to turn around so fast.

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  40. Here are some more memories from the Chicago of old. I can vividly recall to how things were when I was eight years old. So the story begins in 1982 ish. I attended Waters Elementary School. It is at Wilson and Campbell. My school was pretty decent when compared to other schools which were gang infested. My school though did have a couple of street gangs. There were occasional fights in school and outside of school. In the school decent kids were in perpetual fear. Some of the gang bangers would out of the blue act up and fight with the decent kids. In my class Jose and Jody would “collect” money from us every Friday so they can spend our money on the weekends. There was a shooting just when the school year was about to end. It happened outside of the school on the basketball court. So my parents took me and my brother out of there and enrolled me at Queen Of Angels which is at Western and Sunnyside.

    When I started the school at my new catholic school this was a whole new world to me. At my old school all of us decent kids were in perpetual fear. At this school there were no gang banger bullies and everyone was polite and respectful. I did notice one thing though about my new school. It was all white. In my class I was the only “person of color”. But it didn’t bother me for long. In the entire school I could count like a couple of Indian kids, a couple of Filipino kids and a couple of Asian kids. Only one black kid and he was actually mixed. His name was Jason and he was black and Japanese.

    When I was in eight grade my parents could not afford the tuition because of financial hardships so it was back to public school. I was afraid to go back but I had no choice. A year later I got lucky and got admitted to Lane Tech. But then a week later they said no and I had to go to Amundsen High School at Foster and Damen. This was a gang infested high school. In the first month there were two stabbings and fist fights were common. My high school had a metal detector! Plus we had two police officers assigned to the school. That says it all all doesn’t it? In my sophomore year though the school decided to kick all of the trouble makers out. Plus they hired about a dozen tough security officers. They all came from “the hood” and they talked like it and they put some of the kids in their place. Then it became a decent school.

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  41. “No. I know landlords who lived in the city in the 1990s (NOT the 1970s) and bought a 2 flat then in Lakeview or Bucktown. They then had kids. And then they realized the schools sucked and living with people below you sucked too. So they moved to the suburbs in early 2000s but kept the 2-flat and became “landlords.””

    You’re big on the generalizations, I know, but do you recognize that the situation you are describing is pretty common and not that different from people who did it a little earlier or from people who realized that if you have 1 building you might as well have 3?

    I’m not arguing against your “city was more dangerous” argument, just the idea that there is only a single fact pattern – the one that you have seen – the results in suburbanites owning property in the city.

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  42. So the people who bought up multiple properties in the 1970’s and 1980’s in Lakeview were just lucky or couldn’t have existed? I don’t know if I understand what you all mean here. Someone should do a study on property owners and length of ownership, including how many 2/3/6 flats people own or have owned.

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  43. I can tell you this: tax laws allow for depreciation over something like 37 years at which point if you sell, you pay taxes on the entire amount (not just the profit above basis) unless you do a 1031 exchange. so what happens is you see a lot of multi units for sale in various states of disrepair after a nearly three to four decades of ownership by the same person. that’s one of the reasons why you se a lot of vintage chicago rentals. of course over tje years places sell and get rehabbed or new construction is built but overall it seems like people have held onto multi units for a long time, because quite a few of them have. property was cheap everywhere in the 70’s not just in Chicago. I personally know of 2 wealthy families that picked up estates on lake Geneva in the late 70’s when property was cheap and then sold in the 90’s and 2000’s when the taxes got too high and the kids were all grown and the expense of maintaining a 7 bedroom house wasn’t worth the trouble.

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