Get a 2-Bedroom Townhouse in Southport for Under $380,000: 1125 W. Newport

1125-w-newport

This 2-bedroom townhouse at 1125 W. Newport in the Southport neighborhood of Lakeview came on the market in October 2016.

This townhouse association was built in 1995 and has 25 units.

The townhouse is 3-levels with direct access to a one-car garage.

At 1300 square feet, the living/dining and kitchen are on the second floor, along with a half bath, while the 2 bedrooms and the full bathroom are on the third floor.

The kitchen has maple cabinets, stainless steel appliances and quartz countertops.

It has the central air and a balcony off the living room.

It’s just a few blocks from the shops and restaurants on Southport, as well as the Brown Line El stop, and is also just a few blocks from Wrigley Field.

The townhouse has been reduced $10,000 to $379,000.

Is this a good starter home for someone who wants levels and a private garage in this red hot neighborhood?

Mark Jak at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit M: 2 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, 1300 square feet, 1 car attached garage

  • Sold in July 2001 for $349,500 (per Redfin because the ccrd was down)
  • Sold in July 2006 for $422,500 (per Redfin because the ccrd was down)
  • Originally listed in October 2016 for $389,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $379,000
  • Assessments of $195 a month (includes exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $5881
  • Central Air
  • Skylights
  • Bedroom #1: 14×11 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 11×10 (third floor)

37 Responses to “Get a 2-Bedroom Townhouse in Southport for Under $380,000: 1125 W. Newport”

  1. It appears to be pretty much directly on the train so between that, the necessary updates, the relatively small (yet vertical) size for a townhouse and the lack of a second full bath this is not much of a deal. But unless it presents worse in person it should likely sell, it’s not crazy priced or anything.

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  2. Townhomes like this are my least favorite type of residential structure. Some developer in the late 90’s, early aughts overpays for some small sliver of land impacted by external obsolescence (train). The developer then builds literally as many units as possible on to that sliver of land, cutting every corner possible, by making the units extra tiny, with small garages that are nearly impossible to get into with a modern vehicle’s wider turning radius. The driveway to get into this place isn’t large enough to fit 2 cars. The interiors are peppers with builder’s grade home despot specials: track lighting, cheap carpeting, minimal, if any soundproofing, etc. The landscaping in front, if you want to call it that, was the end of the season leftover ivy from home despot and they just planted it in the ground because nothing will grow. The Design of the windows in the living room is awful, because the windows open into the ‘courtyard’ alley that is about 1/2 of the width of a traditional courtyard in vintage apartment buildings throughout chicago. Bad design all around. They should just tear all of these down and start from scratch. Unrealistic, sure, but totally necessary.

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  3. 380k for a starter home… smdh.
    Maybe for a DINK couple each pulling in at least 80k. Or homedelete can just underwrite a couple working at Deuces & Diamonds with a $13k 3.5% DP from their parents. Roll in the closing costs, of course. 😀

    This DINK couple would want the cachet of saying they live in Southport, and still being close enough to decent nightlife and their friends who are still renting in LP/Lakeview. And they obviously wouldn’t mind the brown line as their next door neighbor.

    Does buying in a “hot” neighborhood offset external obsolescence? For this property or in general. Serious question.

    I lived right next door to the green line off Desplaines and Lake for sometime in my early twenties; so close that the building would shake when it zoomed by. At parties we made a drinking game out of it: drink every time you hear a train. Things got pretty wild to say the least. I wonder if the buyer of this place will make due with a similar type of consolation.

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  4. Dammit HD you beat me to today’s buzzword: External obsolescence.
    Spot on assessment, otherwise.

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  5. I usually like townhouses, but I agree with HD on this one. The “front” of the townhouse looks like the backs of the townhouses in my neighborhood, but with a much smaller courtyard. To be fair, I don’t see a lot of middle class developments where care has been taken by the developers.

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  6. “Maybe for a DINK couple each pulling in at least 80k. ”

    This is not uncommon, there are a lot of these; a significant majority of those 20, 30 year olds you see on the brown, red and blue lines commuting in the morning are earning $80k or more. and the thing is, yes, the couple will pool income to buy a place like this until they have their first child, and then they make it about a year or two, before they move to the burb’s or if one of them has a decent career trajectory, they can upgrade to a larger unit or home somewhere in the city. A not insigificant # of these people end up moving back to the smaller midwestern market from where they came. I’ve known countless couples from Indy, St. Louis, OH and beyond who’ve all moved back ‘home’ because $380k in a smaller market buys a 3 bedroom home with a 20 minute commute, whereas $380 here gets you a crappy townhome on the train tracks.

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  7. “it’s not crazy priced or anything”

    Well, given that this place must be in a bad neighborhood, it has to be crazy priced.

    Since we all know that anything decent in the GZ is over-peak, and this place is asking 10% less than pre-peak.

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  8. You don’t need to make $160k a year as a couple to afford $380k for a home. You could do it on $100k. This is the price range I would be looking in and I am a bit shy of $100k (yay…promotions), but at this point, I could put down 40% or so.

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  9. “This is the price range I would be looking in and I am a bit shy of $100k (yay…promotions)”

    It’s possible but most people don’t have the large down payment. Maybe in lakeview like this some might have 20% down, but as soon as you get out of these hot areas, the downpayment sizes decrease, and by the time you get to arlington heights with teh two kids the 4400k houses have $20k down payments.

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  10. …$400k houses have $20k down payments.

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  11. I’ve been in these types of homes (the development on the metra tracks in “Lincoln park” just south of diversey and whatever) called something village or whatever

    They are awful, just fucking awful

    homedelete is spot on in his comment but I must reiterate that the floor plates are even smaller than they look in these pictures, just awful

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  12. I still feel strongly that people should be required to have at least a 10% down payment. $20k down on a $400k place? Buy something cheaper. Buy a $200k place and start saving and building equity so that you can afford a $400k play in a few years.

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  13. Congrats Jenny! Yes, 160k gross is definitely more than enough for a 300k loan, I was just being more conservative. About 35% of your net pay on a 100k salary would go to PITA (after 20% down) which I know is acceptable for lenders but a bit high for me considering I like to max out retirement accounts. Factor in increased cost of living, lifestyle inflation of living in those areas, and things could get pretty tight…and that’s without kids! The misses and I gave up on the quick commute/condo dream this year. Currently on day 82 of our short sale in Jefferson Park. Set to close Dec 31 if the second bank approves. We concluded the prices didn’t justify the value in the GZ downtown/near-downtown neighborhoods.

    I was usually ok with the idea of paying more for a place that would yield a quicker commute. Time value of money is an important consideration if you have a stable job and aren’t having kids. Would the money saved from buying a cheaper place farther from work offset (or beat) the intrinsic value of the time you’d gain by having a shorter commute?

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  14. Congrats on the new place, Elliot! Fingers crossed that it goes through.

    I can’t imagine ever being able to afford to have kids. Can you even find full time day care for less than $20k a year? If it’s not high quality day care, brain development can be negatively impacted. The stress would kill me.

    Whenever I think I am getting ahead, another expense crops up. Being an adults stinks sometimes.

    I have a very low tolerance for a long commute, so I am willing to give up a single family home. I wanted a 2/2 and when I was buying I couldn’t afford the green zone, so I picked something on the fringes of the green zone.

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  15. “Would the money saved from buying a cheaper place farther from work offset (or beat) the intrinsic value of the time you’d gain by having a shorter commute?”

    If you use the Jeff Park metra the commute isn’t too bad, and certainly cleaner and smoother ride than the CTA. and if you need to get to the other side of the loop the new CTA bus lanes make the ride across town across a lot quicker.

    And yes, a bigger place in a more family friend ‘hood is certainly worth the added commuting time, as long as it’s not too much time…

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  16. One could conceivably afford this home on $90K annual HH income if and ONLY if they have the $76K down payment and no crippling credit card or student loan debt. I used a 30 year mortgage after 20% down and 4% interest rate plus monthly assessments, taxes and $100 towards utilities, although I bet the annual average utilities for this unit are closer to $150/mo. If that doesn’t exceed 30% of your income, then you can afford this place and not feel house poor.

    I think this is well priced and well located and a good choice for a starter home. I believe town-homes are supposed to have fire walls in between the units which would help with noise.. but for sure I would want to visit from 4:45 – 6:30PM is to hear the evening “everyone coming home from work” and heavy train traffic noise impacts on this unit. No need for two full baths. You actually would use the shower / tub in the second one on rare occasions only. My friends living in 2/2s tell me that the second bath only ever gets used when guests are over anyway…and most of them have kids and that still holds true. The tub becomes a holding cell for whatever is the latest beer-making endeavor.

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  17. “Time value of money is an important consideration … the intrinsic value of the time.”

    Not to be a pain, but that isn’t what “Time value of money” means, at all.

    Time value of money means that a dollar today has a different value than a dollar next year. In normal cases, the value today is higher than the value next year, but that isn’t an absolute.

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  18. “I can’t imagine ever being able to afford to have kids. Can you even find full time day care for less than $20k a year?”

    Yeah, there most certainly are, but like everything in life, there are trade offs. On the other hand, the more expensive child care tend to attract the biggest DB of parents and the most snowflake of children, so my family made the decision not to get into the most expensive child care in town, but to go the more middle of the road.

    I’ve also noticed the more expensive the daycare, the higher # of children that arrive shortly after 6:00 a.m. opening time and stay until moments before the lights turn off at 5:50 p.m. They can’t find nannies to work 12 hours a day, and these parents often require ‘overtime’ like “I have to work until 7 pm tonight, can you stay until 8?” and so forth… whereas with a day care, they have to be to pick up the kids. Some of them even have nannies to pick up the kids from the daycare at closing time! It’s crazy.

    On the other end of the spectrum are the child care facilities that accept Illinois action for kids payments, the state subsidized child care payments for working parents. It’s like $30 bucks a day per kid or something, and a small co-pay from the parents. Those tend to be low quality care with lots of single mothers for parents, and the kids run around getting in fights with each other. Remember, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and screwed up parents usually, but not always, have screwed up kids. So do you really want your kid in a child care problem where some single mother has two or three children from two or three different fathers? Those people are disasters and their children are delinquents too even at young ages.

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  19. “Would the money saved from buying a cheaper place farther from work offset (or beat) the intrinsic value of the time you’d gain by having a shorter commute?”

    Be careful with that one. Rule #1 in real estate is location, location, location.

    Buying a condo off the Kedzie or Kimball Brown line stops? Major deals are to be had but neighborhoods are iffier, the commute will suck, fewer neighborhood amenities that would appeal to a young person working downtown and condo pricing in that neighborhood is creeping back at a glacial pace due to the extreme number of foreclosures and short sales from the downturn. Looking someplace right near a metra stop with quick service to the loop? Potentially a good bet but then it becomes a suburban vs. urban lifestyle question.

    As to the unit in question, my bet is it sells over ask at around $399K. They priced it to start a bidding war, but that is admittedly a gut impression having not seen it in person.

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  20. There middle of the road child cares, at least in my area, are roughly $1,500 for infants, and decreases slightly when they are toilet trained and moved into the toddler rooms. It’s not cheap, and for a family not making a ton of money, it often becomes not cost effective to have two kids in daycare and work, because most of the take home paycheck goes to child care. For parents in a career, it’s a worthwhile trade off if you expect to move up the ladder, but for your every day working mom, at some insurance company processing claims or working in the accounts receivable dept. of some family business, it’s often not worth working just to pay for child care. These families end up having less children because they can’t afford childcare, while on the other end of the spectrum, the single mother with subsidized daycare has another kid, and gets another daycare voucher, so they end up having more children. The program is extremely popular, in fact, in 2015, Action for Children had an almost $300 million shortfall! This is a larger problem in society today. Trump wants to make all child care tax deductible, which would huge boost to working parents. But I’ll believe it when I see it. Some people mock this claiming that only ‘rich’ people will be able to take the deduction. First that’ not true, there are plenty of not ‘rich’ people who pay for childcare, and secondly, low income families don’t pay as much for childcare, so they can’t benefit from the deduction. I’m paying over $3,000 a month for childcare for two infants (irish twins!) and lord knows I’d love to deduct $36,0000 a year from my taxes so that both parents can continue working. Seriously, i’m one of teh fortunate ones who can afford $36,000 a year in child care, but that’s still a large chunk of my household income, that i’m paying taxes on too. It discourages those less fortunate to even have children with these kind of expenses.

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  21. I would highly, highly doubt that this asking price sets off a bidding war… now if they dropped it to like 325k, maybe, but seriously go tour this place, it sucks

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  22. Day care is crazy expensive. HD hit the nail on the head. You can go all out with the uber expensive daycare where the kids are doing yoga and eating organic wheatgrass vs middle of the road vs ghetto grandma centers.

    People say save up for college but no one tells you to save up for daycare. The costs are similar.

    If your spouse doesn’t make more than $50k, they are better off probably staying home.

    Surprisingly, mortgage underwriters don’t consider child care expenses in qualifying. I’ve seen plenty of borrowers whose DTI would be blown out the water when factoring in child care. The one exception is VA mortgages where child care expenses are included and they also look at residual income (probably why va has lowest default rate).

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  23. “They priced it to start a bidding war”

    Then they did a poor job, as they’ve already reduced the price once.

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  24. “Some people mock this claiming that only ‘rich’ people will be able to take the deduction.”

    The versions of the (not quite) proposal that I have seen aren’t likely to make a significant difference from the current $1,000 child care credit for most people.

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  25. My bad!! I didn’t realize this wasn’t a new listing – – that $10K chop suggests zero offers in the ballpark. Folks might be looking at the carpeting and rest of the finishes and the age of the mechanicals and thinking they need to put some money into this. I change my estimate to $360K and this sells.

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  26. I would be extremely concerned to do day care from ages 0 to 3. Their brains are developing so much during that time that they really need one on one type care. I think I would want to stay home, but there is a cost to that too in that you miss out on crucial years in your career. I don’t think I am suited for having kids. I would probably end up being one of those special snowflake parents and making myself sick with anxiety.

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  27. Its ok Jenny not everyone has to have them… I find children to be repulsive personally

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  28. Anon – You’re right. What would you call it then? Opportunity cost? Or just Value of Time? You could argue that TVM still plays a role, as the additional savings you gain with buying a place farther out could be invested/saved and generate additional wealth. That could offset the difference even more.

    HD- Can’t wait to switch to Metra. I’m so done with the el. I’ll have to walk a little extra longer from Ogilvie than I would from Clark&Lake blue line stop, but that’s a small price to pay for such a better quality ride.

    Jenny – Thanks! Don’t ever buy a short sale! Many lessons learned.
    “Whenever I think I am getting ahead, another expense crops up. Being an adults stinks sometimes.” No kidding. People say that the more you earn the more you spend, but I haven’t found that to be the case, even as someone who is pretty budget-oriented. Expenses come out of nowhere and the longer (and harder) you work for what you earn, the more painful they seem.

    As for daycare costs, HD is spot on. The lower income earner in the household is forced to ask themselves not if they should work, but can they afford to work?

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  29. My family explored all the three options for child care: day care, stay-at-home, or nanny/relative. My personal opinion is that day care environment is the best. They socialize with other like minded children from an early age and by the time their 2-3 the teachers are teaching letters, numbers, and other early childhood skills. At the end of the day, our hunter-gather and even subsistence tribal ancestors lived in communities where the women would stay at camp, or the homestead, with lots of children of all ages running around, while the men went out and hunted or farmed. Obviously society doesn’t work like this any more, but the daycare environment, with a few women watching a dozen or so kids and teaching them along the way is a good problem, and even kindergarten teachers will tell you there is a huge difference socially between the stay at home kids and the daycare (or montessori type/preschool type) schools. The mother staying at home all day, lonely, with one or two children is actually an anomaly in the evolution of the human race; and while children can certainly adapt to that environment (I’m sure many of us were raised that way), most people up until a 100 or so years ago grew up in environment with lots of moms and lots of kids everywhere. I dont regret for even one second putting my kids in child care at 12 weeks and I can see the benefits of it.

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  30. “I find children to be repulsive personally”

    I find everyone else’s children to be repulsive.

    “My personal opinion is that day care environment is the best. ”

    Best regardless of the financial considerations?

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  31. “What would you call it then?”

    Money value of time.

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  32. The worst thing about this property, to me, are the views of the brick wall.

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  33. I had a child because I wanted the experience of having a child, raising a child, being with a child, etc. i didn’t even realize how much children need their mothers until I had a child. I thought daycare was fine. It’s a poor substitute for a mother. I realize some people have no choice, daycare is the only option, and I understand that. But parents are fooling themselves that long hours in daycare is fine for a child, it’s not.

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  34. Child care is a very deeply personal decision, and there is nothing wrong with any choice. Very wealthy women used to and still do offload much of their child rearing onto others, and then ship their children away to boarding schools. These same children go on to run major fortune 500 corporations and have other important and prestigious positions around the world.

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  35. “These same children go on to run major Fortune 500 corporations… ”

    Yeah, how is that working out?

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  36. I used to live across the street from these about 7-8 years ago. The street is ok, and the train noise is there but it’s not at a curve. If you are a block west, you hear the southport stop called out a million times and the ding before it, which I think would be even worse. These units have small floorplates and were cheaply built. I don’t even want to guess what those finishes look like in person now compared to in 2008, the last time I was in one.

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  37. This likely used to be on an industrial property, as a train line used to run up Lakewood Avenue and then turned diagonally north of School Street. The remaining industrial remnants of the neighborhood have been gradually disappearing the past 10-15 years. And yes, the parking is awkward pulling in and out of unless you have a short car. I watched many a person struggle getting in and out of the garages.

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