A Vintage Unit in a Hidden Part of the Gold Coast: A 2/2 at 119 W. Chestnut

119-w-chestnut

This 2-bedroom at 119 W. Chestnut in the Gold Coast came on the market in October 2016.

This brick and limestone building was constructed in 1910 and has 9 units.

The listing doesn’t say anything about an elevator in the building. It does, however, have a rooftop deck for the building with skyline views, tables and grills.

This unit is a large 2-bedroom with 2000 square feet.

It has 11 foot ceilings but, unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to have any of the original vintage features.

It has central air, however, which obviously wasn’t original to the unit.

There are hardwood floors throughout, a fireplace and bay windows.

The listing says the kitchen has been updated with white cabinets, granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances and a new subway tile backsplash.

The master suite has 2 closets and a master bath with a marble shower.

There are walk-in cedar closets and a laundry room.

There’s no deeded parking but the listing says there’s transferrable garage parking. Is it in one of the nearby high rises?

Chestnut is a “secret” Gold Coast street. It is tree-lined and, at this location, one way going west with many older buildings.

However, there are two new luxury apartment high rises going up within about a block of this building.

At $675,000, is this an affordable option for an up-and-coming part of the Gold Coast?

Cindy Wilson at Berkshire Hathaway KoenigRubloff has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #2E: 2 bedroom, 2 baths, 2000 square feet

  • Sold in February 1997 for $241,000
  • Originally listed in October 2016 for $675,000
  • Currently still listed at $675,000
  • Assessments of $569 a month (includes cable, exterior maintenance, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $9778
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 23×15
  • Bedroom #2: 13×12
  • Laundry room: 8×7

35 Responses to “A Vintage Unit in a Hidden Part of the Gold Coast: A 2/2 at 119 W. Chestnut”

  1. Don’t know if its all the junk in the unit, but it feels really small.

    I a baby grand a status thing?

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  2. I’ve been in units like these and they are plenty large, the pictures look like they are touched up cell phone pictures, not the usual wide angle lens pictures you see to make the rooms look more natural, also the clutter isn’t helping either, they needed to move like half of their shit to storage.

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  3. This is the type of place I hope to live in one day.

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  4. “At $675,000, is this an affordable option”

    No. $675k isn’t “affordable” for the “normal buyers” CC is apparently focused on.

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  5. Two CPS teachers or firefights or police offices or union brick layers could afford this place, so I say that it’s affordable.

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  6. how much do CPS teachers or firefighters make?? what am I doing wrong with my life?

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  7. “how much do [CFD] firefighters make??”

    Quite a lot, given their schedules.

    Of course, it’s compensation for the fact that they might not come home any given day, so it’s hard to call it ‘too much’.

    A “typical” CPS teacher (with a few years experience) makes $70-90k. Young teachers make less, relatively very few make much more.

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  8. If they have no kids sure a 200k HHI could easily afford this place

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  9. The odds of dying in the line of duty as a firefighter are extremely low still… there have been only 4 deaths since 2010 out of 4500 firefighters, you probably have similar odds of getting killed in an automobile accident if you commute every day

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-158-years-862-firefighter-deaths-20151214-htmlstory.html

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  10. “it’s compensation for the fact that they might not come home any given day”

    okay, i’m not running into a burning building but not sure it’s appreciably more risky than other less renumerated professions.

    “so it’s hard to call it ‘too much’”

    significantly more than would prevail in the absence of politically powerful unions?

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  11. Why do you guys hate firemen? You guys hate baseball, apple pie and your mothers, too??

    Do we over-allocate resources to fire protection here in Chicago? Yeah, probably. Excluding pension contributions, Chicago spends about $100m more than LA, and about 3 times as much as Dallas on the fire department.

    It’s politics, unions and history in a combination that’s really unfriendly to the budget.

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  12. This is “affordable” to a household earning at least $180K annually provided they have no kids and can come up with 20% downpayment of $135K. That’s assuming 25% of pre-tax income goes towards mortgage, property taxes, and assessments. I didn’t include utilities and insurance so likely the household would really have to be earning more like $200K annually for this not to feel excessively tight. They would also have to not have excessive student loan debt or really any credit card debt.
    That put’s you in what, the top 5%? Affordability is relative.

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  13. “If they have no kids sure a 200k HHI could easily afford this place”

    Can someone thats buying/bought a house at 3X HHI, tell me how you do it?

    No car?
    No 401k?
    No Vacation?
    Ramen every night?

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  14. “Can someone thats buying/bought a house at 3X HHI, tell me how you do it?

    20% down?
    low HOA’s?

    lots of variables but 3x HHI used to be the norm even when rates were at 7% and its much easier today at much lower rates

    maybe make meals at home once in a while?

    now when you get up to 5x or higher I can’t possibly see the math working but I thought 3x was pretty normal

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  15. “Can someone thats buying/bought a house at 3X HHI, tell me how you do it?”

    Using Liz’s example, $180k HHI married filing jointly would have take home of about $11,000/month (before 401k)

    PITI+A+gas/elec comes to about $4,000/month
    Put $2k/month (net tax effects) into retirement accounts.
    leaves $5k/month to spend on everything else.

    They aren’t driving a rover and going to tahiti every year, but that’s not taking the bus to buy ramen money, either (assuming no student loans, as liz did).

    The hard part is coming up with the $135k dp.

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  16. “I thought 3x was pretty normal”

    3x *is* normal, and works well for folks with reasonable expectation of wage growth thru promotions, inflation or both, and maybe thru payment reductions bc of refi.

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  17. I laugh every time I see these general statements thrown around regarding high salaries of teachers, firemen, etc. My sister retired last year from the CPS, with beyond the number of years for full retirement (34), and a masters degree (thus earning a higher salary)… and she was making about $78K (I do her taxes). Of course, some years she added an additional 2-3 thousand to her base by working the after school enrichment programs, etc. But to suggest that young teachers are making 70-90K, as a rule, is highly inaccurate. Frankly, new teachers are barely making enough to pay for college loans (about $50K – so in a lifetime of work, in today’s dollars at this pay scale, teachers see a net 60% increase in earnings, assume they further themselves to get a masters degree). Another sister of mine retired from a public school system in a neighboring state, with 39 years experience, and her top salary was $62K (and she had a masters since she was 27 years of age).

    You know – these types of civic issues are sensitive (and have become overly political, unfortunately), but when we are dealing with misinformation, they become nearly impossible to fairly assess.

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  18. People make housing work. It depends on what kind of appreciation is expected. It’s not uncommon for Manhattan folks on 400k HHI to fork out 2.5M for a condo with less than 500k down. Maint/taxes in in the thousands each month. But they’re expecting 7% yearly appreciation so it’s all good (apparently).

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  19. “I laugh every time I see these general statements thrown around regarding high salaries of teachers, firemen, etc. My sister retired last year from the CPS, with beyond the number of years for full retirement (34), and a masters degree (thus earning a higher salary)… and she was making about $78K (I do her taxes). Of course, some years she added an additional 2-3 thousand to her base by working the after school enrichment programs, etc. But to suggest that young teachers are making 70-90K, as a rule, is highly inaccurate. Frankly, new teachers are barely making enough to pay for college loans (about $50K – so in a lifetime of work, in today’s dollars at this pay scale, teachers see a net 60% increase in earnings, assume they further themselves to get a masters degree). Another sister of mine retired from a public school system in a neighboring state, with 39 years experience, and her top salary was $62K (and she had a masters since she was 27 years of age).
    You know – these types of civic issues are sensitive (and have become overly political, unfortunately), but when we are dealing with misinformation, they become nearly impossible to fairly assess.”

    And what’s the premium for having a “risk free” job for life? I mean you really have to screw up big time to be fired. Additionally, the premium for a risk free pension with inflation increases. All that is worth something like 50% of pay. So that $78k is really more like $117k which is very good for a job where the barrier for entry is “who you know”. Trust me, there are no ‘shortages” of folks that are qualified and willing to fill a teacher position in Chicagoland.

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  20. “PITI+A+gas/elec comes to about $4,000/month
    Put $2k/month (net tax effects) into retirement accounts.
    leaves $5k/month to spend on everything else.”

    $5k is plenty to spend for a couple after all the big bills have been paid. They could even drive a Range Rover Sport if they wanted.

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  21. 3x *is* normal, and works well for folks with reasonable expectation of wage growth thru promotions, inflation or both, and maybe thru payment reductions bc of refi.

    3X or 4X only works for certain incomes. The more you make, the more you can allocate to housing because your other expenses are relatively fixed, meaning they don’t increase proportionally to your income. I still eat 3 times a day, drive one car etc….

    making $150k or $180k, monthly expenses could be the same, that leaves a lot more than can be allocated to housing. You could probably add another $1500 a month or another $300k to a mortgage.

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  22. your sister got her masters and worked for CPS for 34 years and only made the median salary? I would expect her to be way above that…

    CPS median salary is $71,017

    and do they need to pay for their health insurance? That right there is like another 12k+ a year that some private sector workers have to shell out

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  23. “and do they need to pay for their health insurance? That right there is like another 12k+ a year that some private sector workers have to shell out”

    Do you mean during the working years or retirements? Teachers pay health ins premiums while working, I’m not sure how much they pay in retirement. Also, they “pay” for their pensions, however its like 7,8,9% of pay. To save for a non-inflation adjusted Annuity that will pay you 80% of salary guaranteed for the rest of you life, you’d need to save something like 30-40% of pay for 30 years….

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  24. “Median Salary” is such a convoluted concept… it includes so many peripheral benefits (in my role, I see the “total compensation” reports from our payroll provider… these numberes are materially higher than our salaries alone). What I’m talking about is strict W-2 salary.

    And please note – teachers in the CPS neither pay into nor receive social security… for the rest of us, our employers are paying 7.2% into social security on our behalves… CPS teachers do not get that (it was only fairly recently that they started contributing the Medicare portion). And the only reason the schools do not pay into FICA is because it saves on costs/cash flow. And as of the new contract, the teachers are losing the pension pickup for new teachers (which was negotiated years ago in lieu of salary).

    And yes – they do pay for health insurance. The retirement “sweetener” (meaning Board of Ed incentive offered to get rid of more experienced teachers, and thus higher paid) is to allow them to continue participating in the health insurance plan until they reach the Medicare age (again, for which they only recently began to qualify). Financial considerations aside, what does it say about the value we place on education by consciously trying to get a more inexperienced work force because it’s cheaper? I’m concerned this isn’t an attempt to get the most talented/experience professionals in front of the kids. And I work in the private sector – and I can tell you that’s not how we operate… we value experience – and we pay a premium for it.

    Again, I don’t expect agreement on these issue – they are far too complicated. But I do hope we can try to be reasonable in presenting the facts as accurately as possible.

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  25. sorry – FICA rates are 6.2%, not 7.2%… medicare is 1.65%

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  26. “to suggest that young teachers are making 70-90K”

    Re-read that. I didn’t write that AT ALL.

    “My sister retired last year from the CPS, with beyond the number of years for full retirement (34), and a masters degree (thus earning a higher salary)… and she was making about $78K (I do her taxes).”

    [trump voice] WRONG [/trump voice]. 34 years in CPS = Step 16 (25+ = 16). Master Degree (w/ 0 additional credits) = Lane II (+15 credits = III, +30 = IV, +45 = V). Step 16, Lane II = $89,534, before the pension pickup (95,801, w/ the pickup).

    For this school year, teachers hit $70k with 9 years experience w/o a MA and with 8 yeas experience w/ and MA. If you include the pickup, it’s a year less for both cohorts.

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  27. “[trump voice] WRONG [/trump voice]. 34 years in CPS = Step 16 (25+ = 16). Master Degree (w/ 0 additional credits) = Lane II (+15 credits = III, +30 = IV, +45 = V). Step 16, Lane II = $89,534, before the pension pickup (95,801, w/ the pickup).
    For this school year, teachers hit $70k with 9 years experience w/o a MA and with 8 yeas experience w/ and MA. If you include the pickup, it’s a year less for both cohorts.”

    So let’s see. 23 Years old, work for 34 years, retire at 57 with (lets split the 78 and 90k) so $67,200 plus inflation for the next 28, 30 years! Without even doing the math, you’re going to get a lot more than you put in. Don’t even get me started about this whoe “Master degree” garbage and increase in pay. 95% of these masters degrees are a joke of a degree from the likes of Roosevelt, National Louis…..

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  28. I’m assuming 80% of your pay. I know they have some formula for avg over the last 5 years or so and the teachers have gamed the system so they drastically increase pay so when they retire, they retire at full pay pre 5 years. So really the benefit is even higher than what they put in!

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  29. ““Median Salary” is such a convoluted concept… it includes so many peripheral benefits ”

    It’s not a convoluted concept for CPS. You pull up the spreadsheet** of the teacher roster, account for the FTEs that are less (or more) than 1.0, and split the list in half. The salary (before the pickup) of the highest paid individual in the lower half, and the lowest paid individual in the higher half is $73,946. The average is $73,544.

    The mean and median benefit cost are both around $26k.

    **http://cps.edu/About_CPS/Financial_information/Pages/EmployeePositionFiles.aspx It requires some manipulation, bc it’s *all* CPS employees, nut just teachers.

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  30. “the teachers have gamed the system so they drastically increase pay so when they retire”

    That is MOSTLY a suburban phenomenon, where the locals don’t have to bear the cost.

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  31. Another case of a mislabeled “Gold Coast” location. This is more River North than Gold Coast.

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  32. Looking to buy posted “So let’s see. 23 Years old, work for 34 years, retire at 57 with (lets split the 78 and 90k) so $67,200 plus inflation for the next 28, 30 years! Without even doing the math, you’re going to get a lot more than you put in. Don’t even get me started about this whoe “Master degree” garbage and increase in pay. 95% of these masters degrees are a joke of a degree from the likes of Roosevelt, National Louis…..

    You left out the part about she could have retired several years sooner (@ 55 w/ 20 years service) & then worked elsewhere & qualified for additional pension from Social Security. And iirc Bd of Ed teachers only pay some portion of health insurance? And a lot of those masters degrees come from true bastions of higher education like Chicago State or Northestern Illinois (both f/k/a ‘Chicago Teachers College’)

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  33. Chicago State University….LOL

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  34. Lets do some back of the envelope math:

    Lets say a CPS teacher starts at $50k, works 30 years and ends up making $100k. That’s an average of $75k/yr and a lifetime earnings of $2.25m. I don’t have any problem with those numbers for a white collar college educated individual.

    If they were 25 when they started, they will retire at 55 with a guaranteed lifetime pension of $80k/yr (ignoring COLA). Living for 30 more years results in $2.4m in retirement earnings.

    That’s pretty crazy, especially when you consider that CPS teachers only contribute 2% of their working earnings to their retirement. For this individual, that’s ***$45,000*** Forty five thousand dollars turns into two point four million!!

    A private sector person who worked 45 years at the same rate, starting at $50k and ending 45 years later at $125k would earn $3.9375m. Assuming they put aside 10% for retirement, they would contribute $393,750 towards retirement. Even with compounding interest, you are talking about less than half the money to live on, which is perfect because you only have to fund your retirement for half the time.

    I don’t have a problem with how much teachers earn when they work. I have a problem with how much teachers earn when they stop working, especially considering the amount of money they contribute towards it.

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  35. Fred, but think about the children!!! the children!!

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