The Most Bizarre Listing Ever on Crib Chatter? A Row House at 848 W. Belden in Lincoln Park

848-w-belden

This 3-bedroom historic row house at 848 W. Belden in Lincoln Park just came on the market.

Built between 1884 and 1889, these row houses make up the McCormick Row House District. They are found on both Fullerton and Belden as well as Chalmers Place, which is the secret street in between.

The picture above is of the second grouping on Belden which is numbered up to 858 W. Belden. 848 W. Belden would be on the far right of this group of row homes.

They were apparently originally built to provide rental income for the nearby McCormick Theological Seminary.

They were designated Chicago Historic Landmarks in the 1970s.

There are 56 total homes. I also believe there’s a homeowners association with an assessment, although the listing for this row house says it is “fee simple” and doesn’t list any HOA fees.

These were built in the Queen Anne style. Some of them still contain their vintage features like crown moldings and fireplaces.

We don’t know what remains inside this one because there are no interior pictures with the listing.

Here’s what the description says:

THIS PROPERTY IS BEING SOLD OCCUPIED WITH ANY AND ALL CURRENT OCCUPANTS, IF ANY. NEITHER THE SELLER NOR THE LISTING BROKER CAN VERIFY THE EXISTENCE OF ANY LEASE AGREEMENT WITHER WRITTEN OR VERBAL NOR ANY RENTAL AMOUNT BEING PAID, DUE OR OWING. BEING SOLD IN AS IS CONDITION / NEW BUYERS ARE TO EVICT / CASH OFFERS ONLY / NO INSPECTIONS / DO NOT DISTURB OCCUPANTS. SEE AGENT REMARKS FOR OFFER SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS.

For comparison purposes, only one other row house is currently on the market.

This end unit at 841 W. Chalmers Place is a 5400 square foot 5-bedroom home. It has been on and off the market since 2013.

It is currently listed at $1,749,850.

You can see pictures of that row house here.

Even with that requirements of listing, given the nearby comps, could this row house be a deal for someone with the cash?

Michael Olszewski at Area Wide Realty has the listing. See the listing here.

848 W. Belden: 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 2904 square feet

  • Sold in July 1997 for $658,000
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in October 2009
  • Bank owned in January 2015
  • Currently listed “as-is” for $993,200
  • Cash only
  • Taxes of $14,157
  • Listing says no central air
  • Listing says 2-car parking
  • Bedroom #1: 19×14 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 13×11 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 12×10 (second floor)
  • Den: 12×11 (second floor)

36 Responses to “The Most Bizarre Listing Ever on Crib Chatter? A Row House at 848 W. Belden in Lincoln Park”

  1. Squatters!!! Squatters with expensive taste in neighborhoods.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)
  2. Why the hell are squatters and various people who skip out on rent allowed to stay for so long? Eviction should be a lot easier than the current law allows.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +10 (from 12 votes)
  3. Also, why aren’t you allowed to disturb the squatters? Are they so precious that you aren’t allowed to even talk to them?

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +11 (from 11 votes)
  4. Given the lengthy eviction process, likely required repairs/renovations upon eviction, I’d be ok buying for ’97 price. This is one of the most bizarre listings ever posted, thanks Sabrina!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)
  5. 841 W Chalmers is my listing!

    Yeah, this Belden property definitely reads like a squatter situation. The people who play this game are good at it. Ever see Pacific Heights? Not a squatter situation but shows you how people who really know the rules can get away with murder. In this case they are probably claiming that they are paying rent to someone – in cash. To make it really tricky they can claim they are subleasing from someone else.

    Welcome to a world where the poor, disenfranchised tenants need to be protected from the filthy rich, evil landlords. Even so you should be able to get rid of them in 3 months if you know what you are doing. I suspect that the owner doesn’t have the wherewithal to deal with the problem. I’ve seen it before.

    The place is smaller than my listing and we don’t know what condition it’s in. Could be totally trashed. And there is a small assessment.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +11 (from 11 votes)
  6. I’ve heard stories about buildings in the really distressed neighborhoods where the squatters use the buildings as shooting galleries. Then they strip out all the copper and wiring and sell anything they can. Then they call the city to inspect the place and the landlord gets in trouble for not providing a habitable building and has to fix it up to code, at which point all the new material gets ripped out again. All the time the squatters claim they are paying rent.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +5 (from 7 votes)
  7. Those sound like perfect candidates to receive “affordable housing” in affluent neighborhoods.

    I guess they are pandering to the voters. The squatters are more likely to vote for a democrat than the landlord.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +3 (from 15 votes)
  8. And it helps to have an address in order to register to vote.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +4 (from 8 votes)
  9. ” I suspect that the owner doesn’t have the wherewithal to deal with the problem.”

    Gary–the owner is the *Lender*. Granted, it’s the trustee of the RMBS trust, for a 2006 WaMu pool, so it’s probable that they are in a position to not throw good money after bad…

    WaMu made two loans, totaling $1.075m in 2006.

    I’d bet a dollar that the “squatters” are the person who was foreclosed upon, or her relatives.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +9 (from 11 votes)
  10. NEW BUYERS ARE TO EVICT / CASH OFFERS ONLY / NO INSPECTIONS / DO NOT DISTURB OCCUPANTS.

    Where do I sign up!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +10 (from 12 votes)
  11. wow don’t see too many REO’s in affluent areas these days

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  12. I once looked at a similarly historic pre-forclosure that was occupied by what looked to be at least 10 people as roommates. It was surprisingly well kept and clearly they were gaming the system. Why I will never understand since whichever one was the actual owner could have been collecting enough in rent from his roommates to not only pay the mortgage, but effectuate a decent salary too. It was a beautiful historic home not too dissimilar from this one. How the owner managed to acquire such an asset and then decide to piss it away was a head scratcher….The only thing I could think of was a fairly nasty divorce was pending.

    The imagination goes wild when you see stuff like this. I would like to take a guess at the backstory: Given the lack of a lease, my guess is an elder-abuse type situation where a relative moved in “to take care of gramps.” Gramps’ health declined to the point where they could no longer stay in the home and when they realized they weren’t in the will, they stopped making sure the mortgage was getting paid.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  13. So the owner must have done a cash out refi back at the bubble peak. Looks like they went into foreclosure in 2009?

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  14. Yeah, that’s bizarre.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  15. This is a good deal at $700k. This may take 6 months to upwards of 2 years to get the squatters out depending on how slick the squatters are. I imagine the interior will be badly damaged by the squatters when they leave. So buy it with the idea that you will need to spend another $500k-$1MM gutting and rehabbing the place.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  16. How in the world did we come to a situation where people are legally allowed to squat? Seems downright un-American to me. : )

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +5 (from 11 votes)
  17. “How in the world did we come to a situation where people are legally allowed to squat? Seems downright un-American to me. : )”

    What are you talking about? This IS the American dream! Living a fancy house in a great area for free, not paying any bills all due to a bank error…the error being that they should have never lent money to such a dirtbag! I’d have even more respect for this degenerate if I found out that he used the cash out refi to pay off student loans and then a few years later filed a bankruptcy so as to not incur a personal deficiency from the judicial sale of this home!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +6 (from 12 votes)
  18. A quick call to my buddy Vito will get them out…

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +9 (from 13 votes)
  19. Russ, you know one of my cousins named Vito?

    As Liz pointed out above sometimes these people will have tenants who I think are hard to evict because they are in fact paying rent to someone.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  20. What I find interesting about squatters is not the ability to remain in the home, it’s the ability to keep the owner out of the home. Under a standard lease, the owner has a right to access – for maintenance certainly and probably for inspection.

    In this case, it’s “DO NOT DISTURB OCCUPANTS.” Why does having no lease give the squatters more rights than a lease would? Normally, a lease grants rights to tenants. No lease should be no rights. Instead, no lease is infinite rights.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +10 (from 10 votes)
  21. The entire legal environment in the state/ city is onerous. Illinois has one of the longest foreclosure timelines in the country and consequently a huge pipeline of zombie foreclosures, which are not good for the neighborhoods.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +7 (from 7 votes)
  22. Whats the difference between a squatter and a trespasser?

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +3 (from 7 votes)
  23. Squatting starts with trespassing but becomes squatting when done for a continuous, extended period. In addition, if that time period is long enough (many years), and the squatter maintains the premises, it can lead to adverse possession!

    Interesting take away from my research (I am not an attorney), is that any claim of adverse possession or prescriptive easement can be avoided simply by giving permission to the would-be squatter / adverse possessor so they know their right to your property can be taken away at a later point in time for any reason.

    I would love to hear what an attorney would have to say if the occupants of this home are somehow related to the former owner. I think at a minimum they would get to stay in the home for 3 months after the new owner purchases it. Anyone?

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  24. Just saw an episode of shameless where they did this. Really how hard is it to produce phoney rental agreements, delay delay,etc. If you don’t mind a lot of conflict in your life this could be a good way to live rent free. Only an institutional landlord would get stuck like this though or an old lady. The rest of us would find a way to remove a tenant through a combination of law and Vito. Given the extra value of selling this without a tenant, I am surprised a $20-$30 grand didn’t do the trick.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  25. all lawyers from illinois law schools do a research paper on adverse possession as a 1L. or was it IIED? i don’t remember anymore!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  26. ” I’d have even more respect for this degenerate if I found out that he used the cash out refi to BUY LUXURY CARS AND SKI TRIP VACATIONS and then a few years later filed a bankruptcy so as to not incur a personal deficiency from the judicial sale of this home!”

    fixed it for you

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +4 (from 8 votes)
  27. When it comes to scheming and scamming, some people are masters and have perfected the art. They can be lowly renters who don’t pay their rent or corporate executives who decide to inflate their sales, revenue, profits, etc. while the company is going under.

    A family friend owned several apartment buildings in the north side of Chicago. Last summer three units did not pay their rent. So he began proceedings to have them evicted. Then one of them made police reports against him and even got an order of protection against him. The property owner was not even allowed to step close to his own property per a judge’s order! How do you like that?

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 12 votes)
  28. Homedelte said: What are you talking about? This IS the American dream! Living a fancy house in a great area for free, not paying any bills all due to a bank error…the error being that they should have never lent money to such a dirtbag! I’d have even more respect for this degenerate if I found out that he used the cash out refi to pay off student loans and then a few years later filed a bankruptcy so as to not incur a personal deficiency from the judicial sale of this home!

    Nimesh says: Spot on dear ole chap, spot on! Has anyone noticed that in the past 16 years (after the bursting of the tech bubble in March 2000) that our nation has become more and more of financial scammers and parasites? Who can forget Enron, Worldcom and a bunch of other large companies that were outright lying. Then American Joe Six Pack decided to get into the action with the inflation of the housing bubble from 2002 to 2007. Why not? If scamming and scheming works for those at the top then the folks at the bottom should get in on it too.

    We all know the cheating and chicanery that took place during the housing bubble years. Now we are in 2016 and it is different this time.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +2 (from 10 votes)
  29. Dennis Rodkin must read Cribchatter: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/realestate/20161020/CRED0701/161019784/this-pricey-lincoln-park-home-may-come-furnished-with-squatters

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +4 (from 6 votes)
  30. Isn’t Dennis Rodkin the Love Child of Sabrina and Joe Zekas?

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  31. I’ve heard stories about buildings in the really distressed neighborhoods where the squatters use the buildings as shooting galleries. Then they strip out all the copper and wiring and sell anything they can. Then they call the city to inspect the place and the landlord gets in trouble for not providing a habitable building and has to fix it up to code, at which point all the new material gets ripped out again.

    I heard the kid who played Mikey on the life cereal commercial died from eating Pop Rocks!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +1 (from 11 votes)
  32. “Isn’t Dennis Rodkin the Love Child of Sabrina and Joe Zekas?”

    That’s an old love child!

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +10 (from 10 votes)
  33. Madeline wins. Post of the week…in the running for post of the year. I nearly spit my wine all over my key board.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -1 (from 5 votes)
  34. I liked Icarus’s post better

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 6 votes)
  35. Gary Lucido: Dennis Rodkin reads the listings every day, just like Sabrina does.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  36. :)

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)

Leave a Reply