848 W Belden in Lincoln Park Is Back and You Still Have to Evict the Tenants

848 w belden

This historic 3-bedroom row house at 848 W. Belden in Lincoln Park came on the market in October 2016.

We chattered about it being one of the most bizarre listings ever to be on Crib Chatter – and there’s been a LOT of properties over the years.

You can see our chatter here.

What is so unusual about it?

Here’s the listing description:


If you recall, these row houses were built between 1884 and 1889 and 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.

The row houses 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 the inside of this one looks like because there are no interior pictures. You are buying it sight unseen.

Also, apparently, even though it was on the market last fall, the listing now says there are multiple offers.

Multiple offers: highest and best offers due 01-16 by 5 p. m.

The price has been reduced $273,300 since October and is now listed at $719,900.

In our last chatter, some of you thought a price around $700,000 would be a deal.

Currently, there are no other row houses on the market in the historic district. It no longer has any competition.

Will it sell this time?

And if there are multiple offers, will buyers now overbid?

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
  • Was listed “as-is” in October 2016 for $993,200
  • Reduced
  • Now listed at $719,900
  • Cash only
  • Taxes of $14,157
  • Listing says no central air
  • Listing says 2-car parking
  • HOAs?
  • Bedroom #1: 19×14 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 13×11 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 12×10 (second floor)
  • Den: 12×11 (second floor)

20 Responses to “848 W Belden in Lincoln Park Is Back and You Still Have to Evict the Tenants”


    Does this mean I get to keep the occupants too? Can I make them my unpaid domestic servants?

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  2. “Does this mean I get to keep the occupants too? Can I make them my unpaid domestic servants?”

    In Trump’s America you can, as long as you are rich and white and they aren’t either.

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    Rating: +5 (from 29 votes)
  3. “In Trump’s America you can, as long as you are rich and white and they aren’t either.”

    I was hoping they were straight, poor, rural AND white. In Trump’s America, jews, minorities, liberals, LGBTQ and rich people need not apply for involuntary domestic servitude.

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  4. Does Trump specialize in taking property away from rightful owners? He would be proud of these squatters.

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    Rating: +2 (from 8 votes)
  5. It’s situations like these that justify why so many slumlords exist.

    We’re going through a situation in trying to close on a property on the northwest side but existing tenants are slow to vacate. It’s a fine line because you don’t want to anger them by telling them to hurry up and risk them damaging the property on their way out, but we also need the home inspector and appraiser to get in there. They’ve seen the writing on the wall for 3 months now: the property will be sold, whether we buy it or not. Part of me wishes Uncle Tony could just pay them a visit to expedite things…

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  6. That’s awful, Elliot. I hope you can close soon. It seems like tenants who damage a property should face criminal charges. Tenants who know how to work the law can stay almost forever it seems.

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  7. buy it, change the locks, problem solved? If they bitch about it, throw their shit in the alley?

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  8. “buy it, change the locks, problem solved? If they bitch about it, throw their shit in the alley?”

    totally agree. what is to the future buyer from hiring movers, walking into the house and moving everything they have in there to the street on the day of closing? if there is no lease in place i dont know how these deadbeats would have any leg to stand on legally. but, im not a lawyer.

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  9. what is to prevent*

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  10. yeah like if there is no lease, can’t you arrest them for trespassing?

    cmon hd put that lawyering to good use and ‘splain us

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  11. i believe you have to follow the standard eviction process even for squatters.

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  12. how is one determined to be a squatter vs a trespasser? if i go on vacation for a month and come home to people living in my home, do i have to “evict” them? the whole notion is entirely ridiculous.

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  13. Can’t they just put a bug bomb in there or something?

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  14. Something tells me the neighbors are tired of what is going on here. I am not advocating harassing them, but if you see someone go in or out of a neighboring unit, perhaps offer to buy them a coffee in exchange for five minutes of their time and try to get some intel.

    I lived next to a foreclosure once – – the kind that is sold at auction where the prospective buyers have no idea what the interior looks like. I could see into the house from my house so I had an excellent idea of what would be way too high of a bid (the occupants had utterly destroyed the place to the tune of leaving a running hose in the living room on their way out the door). Not one person ever slipped a note under my door saying “Hey, we would love to get your perspective on this house.” Had they done it, sure I might have been annoyed but I would have gotten over that quickly. The winners curse came into play – – winning bidders were a young family who had never done this before. They completely over-bid relative to the amount of work that was needed. They ended up selling the place at a significant loss half way through their reno-project.

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  15. I sold real estate for years – the neighbors were the BEST source of information. I remember standing in the backyard with the prospective buyer and her father and the drunk neighbor staggering out with “See that stain up there near the back corner? She let that leak for 2 years! Yeah, she got the house in the divorce and couldn’t maintain it.”….blah, blah.

    They still bought it but adjusted offer accordingly, then a thorough private inspection.

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  16. Ironically this subject was on the radio this am. Sheriff Tom Dart was interviewed about true squatters, not people with a real lease, but true squatters who took over a vacant home.

    His answer was simple. They are arrested for trespassing at the minimum and criminal damage to property or burglary if they have damaged or taken anything that did not belong to them.

    Not an open and shut case but clearly the police are on the side of owners in a squatter type situation.

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  17. I’ve heard that it’s the original owner living there and not cooperating with the eviction. I don’t know the details of the law but I hear it’s terribly onerous. You have to go through the proper eviction process and you can’t have the sheriff remove them without the proper court orders.

    I’ve also heard of squatter situations where someone just shows up at the property and starts living there. As long as they claim they are paying rent to someone (and they always do) you have to go through the appropriate process to get the authorization. I’ve seen this process take 3 – 5 months but an experienced attorney can get it done faster.

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  18. The forcible entry and detainer acts were designed for quick resolution to the question of who has superior tenancy rights to a property. Quick is a relative word. Quick in Cook County means a few months in the worst case scenario, but that’s a significant improvement over the 6 months+ it used to take as recently as 2014. Quick in the collar counties can mean a little more than a few weeks before the Sheriff is throwing their stuff onto the curb. The problem with Chicago is that there is just greater volume of cases in the courts, and the Sheriff covers such a large county that it takes a long time. In fact in cook county there’s a handful of attorneys, one of whom by far handles most of the cases, (I won’t say the attorneys name) where the cases get dragged out until you essentially agree to pay the tenant’s lawyer’s attorney’s fees in exchange for dropping any potential counterclaims. It’s a total racket and it’s difficult to explain to clients and one-up landlords. contrast this with somewhere like DuPage, the judge will evict the tenant much more quickly, and there’s no racket of attorneys threatening RLTO counterclaims, and the sheriff is out there within days (rather than weeks or months like cook county) to evict the tenant.

    Squatters is something completely different, that’s a criminal act, like described above.

    As for this situation, i haven’t done the research, but asset manager/bank who is handling this property obviously doesn’t want to spend even a dime more than the 14,000 a year in taxes on the property, and doesn’t want to pay even a penny to evict the tenants, and god forbid they spend any on cash for keys. And realistically, there’s probably administrative fines on this place up the wazoo and of course unpaid water bills and god knows what else to effectuate the sale; but at the same time wants to sell it for an unrealistic price to ‘recoup’ for these unanticipated expenses. . With real estate prices rising the perceived desirability of foreclosures, these properties become really expensive and languish. I commented a few years ago that foreclosures went from the cheapest to the most expensive properties on the block in a matter of a year back in 2013-2014. Evicting this tenant won’t be difficult, but there is the risk of them gutting the place, but any seasoned investor will be able to handle these people accordingly, and, you know, “help” them move out, if you know what i mean. Like tell them that they’re moving out in 2 weeks, and then show up with the moving truck and a few large guys to help them move. What are they going to do, call the police, and even if they did, do you think police will help them move? on the other hand, you may need to actually have the sheriff evict these people, some of them are just so, so crazy and irrational (they’re still blaming the ‘banks’ for their own default 10 years ago) that the only way they’ll ever leave is if the Sheriff remove their stuff and changes the locks.

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  19. Cook County also admitted it was 2 years behind in foreclosure evictions not to many years ago and I believe the head of the sheriff’s department flat-out said they would not be forcing anymore evictions because of the housing market crash but whether that held up I never heard about further.

    There’s obviously something screwy going on in this situation.

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  20. They’ve fixed some of the problems. The first problem was the jury trial system for foreclosures would take nearly a year or more. The second problem was the BS discovery defendant’s lawyers would do. A lot of this has been fixed, and now they give you firm jury trial dates no more than a few months out. The other problem is the way the sheriff evicts people. They divide up the county into small little blocks kind of by zip code and evict all the current and pending evictions at that time. Then they move to a different area and won’t return for weeks or even months. So for example if you file an eviction in, for example, albany park, but the sheriff was in albany park yesterday, they may not return to albany park for another 6-8 weeks. Sometimes even longer. there’s also an expiration date on the sheriff’s paperwork, its been a while since I placed an eviction, but if the paperwork is something like 90 or 120 days old, it’s considered stale, even if it’s the sheriff’s fault that they haven’t gotten to your district to evict, and you have to go back to the courtroom and get a new order. Not a new trial, just a new eviction order, and redo the process. I’ve heard anecdotally that things have improved considerably in the last few years as the # of evictions have dropped and the sheriff has streamlined some of it’s operations. I also believe that the sheriff is no longer responsible for putting the tenant’s stuff onto the street. They just come to the house and escort out the tenants and let you change the locks. YOu as the landlord are responsible for making arrangements to remove the tenant’s items and put them into storage or whatever. Landlords will usually put the items into a storage unit for up to a week or two, or put the in the garage. It’s usually mostly junk anyways. If anybody here has any additioanl info, please let me know, it’s been a good two years since I’ve had to evict someone after my developer client purchased a foreclosure and had to place the eviction order.

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