Should We Be Worried About the Rising Million Dollar Home Inventory? 2820 N. Paulina in Lakeview

2820-n-paulina-_1

This 5-bedroom contemporary single family home at 2820 N. Paulina in Lakeview came on the market in November 2016.

But for those long time readers, they would remember this house because we’ve chattered about it several times before, including in 2013 when it was bank owned.

See the 2013 chatter here.

This was a new construction build in 2007, at the height of the housing bubble, and no one lived in it until the bank took possession and finally sold it in 2013.

Built on a smaller than standard Chicago lot of 25×118, it has a 2-car garage.

It had heated sidewalks and built-in iPod docking stations (remember those?) back in 2013.

2820-n-paulina-electronics

This picture is from the original listing of the house.

There’s no mention of the iPod docking stations in the current listing, however.

The house has a full limestone façade as well as a central staircase with glass and steel railings.

There’s an eat-in chef’s kitchen with Wolf appliances.

There are several outdoor spaces, including a rooftop deck and a deck over the garage with a pergola.

Two of the five bedrooms are on the second floor, with a third on the third floor and two other bedrooms in the basement, along with a family room.

The listing says the house is in the Burley school district.

There are currently about 89 single family homes for sale over $1 million in Lakeview (those that are not under contract.)

Crain’s recently documented the surge of million dollar inventory in Lincoln Park.

In February, sellers put 69 luxury houses on the market in Lincoln Park, more than during any month in the past two years, according to a report compiled by Niko Apostal, a Keller Williams broker. The new listings brought the total to 183, also a two-year high.

At the same time, “sales have remained steady,” Apostal said, which leaves a disproportionate number of homes unsold as inventory swells.

The asking prices on existing listings are feeling the downward pressure, and so are their sellers. A handsome house for sale on Montana Street recently took a price cut to below the $2.1 million that its sellers paid for the place in 2007. Listed since June at $2.1 million, it’s now asking just under $1.94 million.

“It was time to talk turkey,” said Jeff Lowe, the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff Realty Group agent who represents the house at its new price. (It was previously with a different agent.) Lowe says he told the seller, “if you want to get it sold, you have to react to the market. The over-supply is definitely telling people to make their prices more realistic.”

But it’s not just Lincoln Park and Lakeview which are in the million dollar home game. North Center, thanks to Roscoe Village, actually had more million dollar home sales in 2016 than Lakeview.

According to Crain’s, these were the sales totals of single family homes in 2016:

  1. Lincoln Park: 165 sales
  2. North Center: 120 sales
  3. Lakeview: 106 sales

This house was originally listed at $1.725 million. It has been reduced $50,000 to $1.675 million.

Is there a buyer’s market in luxury homes in the GreenZone?

According to the Crain’s article on Lincoln Park, high inventory appears to be putting pressure on prices.

It’s been a lot of years since there have been price reductions or even falling prices in the luxury market in the GreenZone.

Does it have any implications for the rest of the Chicago housing market?

Timothy Salm at Jameson Sotheby’s has the listing. See the pictures here.

2820 N. Paulina: 5 bedrooms, 5.5 baths, 4475 square feet, 2 car garage

  • Built in 2007
  • Was listed in June 2008 for $2.275 million
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in December 2009
  • Bank owned in December 2012
  • Was listed in June 2013 for $1.54 million
  • Sold in July 2013 for $1.475 million
  • Originally listed in November 2016 for $1.725 million
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $1.675 million
  • Taxes are now $26,579 (they were $26,612 in 2013)
  • Central Air
  • Radiant floor heating
  • Bedroom #1: 18×15 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 17×17 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 17×17 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 11×13 (lower level)
  • Bedroom #5: 17×10 (lower level)
  • Den: 10×13 (third floor)
  • Family room: 14×22 (lower level)

 

 

201 Responses to “Should We Be Worried About the Rising Million Dollar Home Inventory? 2820 N. Paulina in Lakeview”

  1. That lot is darn close to Chicago standard. 7ft on the back of a 125′ lot is not going to impact purchase decisions.

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  2. Yes. I’ve been talking about this for like a year. Something is definitely amiss and it’s strange that the condo inventory is still low in these areas but the SFH inventory is high and rising. It’s clearly some kind of demographic shift.

    Yet, they keep on building. We had a 3 flat we were going to list – on a 30 ft wide RT3.5 lot. Figured it was worth slightly more as an investment property but one day before listing it we called about 10 developers just to see what they would offer. Had no intention of striking a deal off the MLS because that’s not how we operate. Figured we could have it listed while we negotiated with any interested developers. Had two cash offers by end of day and ultimately sold it to one of them for $1,005,000, which was a pretty good deal for us since there was no co-op realtor involved. http://www.3734Wayne.com

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  3. funny how you had a house in Avondale once that had a picture of the alarm system and everyone here freaked: It must be a bad neighborhood!

    Now you show a similar picture for a Lakeview home and there are crickets.

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  4. I do like the finishes in the bathrooms, but something just seems off about the kitchen cabinets
    .
    That sink on the island is aggravatingly small… like why the massive commercial sprayer and a 1’x1′ sink?

    Also the front door must be awesome in the winter time, blasts the entire living room with cold air since there’s no vestibule to seal off the elements nor a closet nearby to put your coat

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  5. A million bucks doesn’t buy what it used to; and million dollar home buyers are the most discriminating there are. Not surprised inventory is rising while prices and sales are not. Sort of reminds me of an old quote from the 1920’s about the overdevelopment of property aimed at ‘rich’ people …

    ” And exactly as the developers of the tropical wonderlands of Florida had learned that there were more land-speculators able and willing to gamble in houses intended for the polo-playing class than there were members of this class, so also those who carved out playgrounds for the rich in North Carolina or elsewhere learned to their ultimate sorrow that the rich could not play everywhere at once. ” Only Yesterday, Frederick Lewis Allen

    Gary: That’s a two flat with R3.5 zoning. A million dollars cash for that from a developer is a lot of money but then again i don’t follow lot prices in my old ‘hoods as closely as I used to. I remembered my neighbor asking $800,000 for a nearby two flat back in 2004 and I think they got it. What does the developer plan on doing with that lot? tearing down and building a three flat with duplex up and downs?

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  6. I think prices just got to the point that there are fewer and fewer people who can afford the properties. Chasing a dwindling demographic.

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  7. “What does the developer plan on doing with that lot? tearing down and building a three flat with duplex up and downs?”

    I should have explained. Almost certainly a giant SFH. That’s what’s being built all over the neighborhood.

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  8. “I do like the finishes in the bathrooms, but something just seems off about the kitchen cabinets”

    Totally agree. I think it’s the traditional detail on the doors with the more modern color and hardware.

    “That sink on the island is aggravatingly small… like why the massive commercial sprayer and a 1’x1? sink?”

    It’s a prep sink as the main one is along the wall next to the dishwasher. That faucet looks ridiculously out of place though.

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  9. “Also the front door must be awesome in the winter time, blasts the entire living room with cold air since there’s no vestibule to seal off the elements nor a closet nearby to put your coat”

    My home has a set up like that, where the front door goes right into the living room. As part of the addition we added a mudroom and a door off the side of the house and the garage to act as a vestibule. But all guests seem to continue coming to the front door, even though they know that the side door is the preferred entrance…

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  10. “I should have explained. Almost certainly a giant SFH. That’s what’s being built all over the neighborhood.”

    With a million dollar lot, that means a developer will build a $3,000,000 or $4,000,000 home. That buys a lot of home; there are only a handful of homes in Winnetka listed at more than $3,000,000 and that’s one of the nicest and expensive areas in the entire midwest. Not sure who are buying these homes. A few years back I would ccrd this properties (now it’s cookrecorder dot com) and it was almost exclusively finance and finance related industry types buying these homes. Is it still like that? Has the wealth spread to other industries these days too? I’m in a little bit different line of work these days so I don’t quite see the same sorts of deals that I used to.

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  11. The most common professions I see of those with $1 million+ mortgages are in Finance (Investment Banking, Traders, & Private Equity being the most common), Management Consulting (Partners), BigLaw (Partners) and Doctors (Specialist typically). Every now and then I see a business owner or a C level exec.

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  12. “..Has the wealth spread to other idustries these days too?..”

    Since Theo E., Zobrist, Hester, Hendricks… all purchased homes near here in past few years it’s easy to think of an industry that’s providing wealth sufficient for purchasing a $3 mil home which generates employees who don’t care what they could purchase for similar cost in Winnetka.

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  13. While the micro isn’t over the stove, they could have done a more custom job in placing it where they did.

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  14. This is pretty amazing. Buy a foreclosure near the bottom – deal with all the headaches of a foreclosure sale (were there any repairs that needed to be done?) – own it through a housing bull market and after RE commissions they will break even. LV / West LP appreciation will be capped going forward. There are still a lot of 3 flats to convert to SFH if prices rise and its already awash in inventory.

    Looks like the gap between prime LP / Old Town and LV is getting a little larger. Similar places down there would be 2.5mm+ and very few teardowns left.

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  15. “Since Theo E., Zobrist, Hester, Hendricks… all purchased homes near here in past few years it’s easy to think of an industry that’s providing wealth sufficient for purchasing a $3 mil home which generates employees who don’t care what they could purchase for similar cost in Winnetka.”

    What is your point? That a couple of baseball player support the entire southport million+ home market? Or that young 20 something guys with lots of money don’t want to live in Winnetka? Regardless of your non sequitor, i’m still not convinced there are enough million dollar home purchasers to purchase all the million dollar homes in the Chicagoland market.

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  16. Fwiw imo purchaser of Gary’s listing (kudos for doing an excellent job for your principal Gary!) assembled condo units to build a mcmansion @ 3722 N Wayne currently being mkted @ $2.995 mil. My guess is while marketing 3722 its builder/broker found a buyer for a build to suit to be built @ 3734 N Wayne. And confirming Russ’s & hd’s hunches, two new nearby mcmansions were bought by partners respectively @ inv. banking firm & PE firm.

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  17. Southbound…I am very curious where you got purchaser’s information. It’s not recorded yet.

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  18. I don’t think price drops are coming for sub $1MM properties. However, there does seem to be an over-building over $1MM+ properties in the Green Zone. There just aren’t enough potential buyers with the $$$ to scoop these up. The lower end (sub $1MM) market is going to continue to climb, but the $1MM+ properties may start leveling off or may have a small 5% dip in prices, but I wouldn’t expect any drastic drop in prices as most property owners/sellers who already own $1MM+ properties have the money to hold out until they hit their price targets.

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  19. GL asked where I got purchaser’s info since it isn’t recorded/ shown on ccrd.

    GL I’ve specialized in RE acquisition in my day job for many years & I’ve developed very good research skills. That & like a Russian hacker working to get DT elected I never underestimate the willingness of purchasers to use guess-able names for entities.

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  20. Maybe the people who can really afford the million dollar homes are being smart and leaving the city – why continue to pay soaring property taxes to support the corrupt city government. Their dollars are better spent elsewhere.

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  21. “Regardless of your non sequitor, i’m still not convinced there are enough million dollar home purchasers to purchase all the million dollar homes in the Chicagoland market.”

    There is 11 months of inventory in Lake Forest. It’s equally high (i.e. a buyers market) in places like Burr Ridge.

    And the entire Blackhawks and Cubs teams could buy in Southport/Roscoe Village (where most of them already currently live) and it still wouldn’t be enough to absorb all of that luxury housing inventory.

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  22. “Similar places down there would be 2.5mm+ and very few teardowns left.”

    Yoss- if you look in West Lincoln Park you’ll see similar pricing as West Lakeview.

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  23. “A few years back I would ccrd this properties (now it’s cookrecorder dot com) and it was almost exclusively finance and finance related industry types buying these homes. Is it still like that? Has the wealth spread to other industries these days too? I’m in a little bit different line of work these days so I don’t quite see the same sorts of deals that I used to.”

    We chattered about this custom home in Lakeview a few months back. Crain’s is reporting that the new COO of Citadel Securities (the trading firm- not the hedge fund part) just bought it. He’s moving here from NY.

    Paid $3.6 million.

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/realestate/20170321/CRED0701/170329979/new-citadel-securities-exec-buys-lakeview-home

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  24. “I think prices just got to the point that there are fewer and fewer people who can afford the properties. Chasing a dwindling demographic.”

    If we get the corporate tax cuts and massive infrastructure spending, the economy should be hot enough that it will create plenty of new millionaires.

    Additionally, Chicago has a really strong tech community now. Just had one company get $50 million in venture capital financing. Our lower housing prices really help in attracting new talent (lower as compared to the coasts, at least.) They are having a hard time getting any engineers in the Bay Area now. The housing situation is just impossible there.

    If the economy really gets that hot, selling all these million dollar homes won’t be a problem.

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  25. In the last 5 years the City of Chicago has gained something like 13,000 households with incomes of $200,000+.

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  26. Citadel:

    $3.6 mil is a lot of money but I would think someone in that position would spend even more. The Chicago market is cheap for rich people!

    $200,000 incomes: $200k is a lot of money, but it’s not *that* much money. The income taxes alone (especially if there are self-employment taxes) is astronomical. Then factor in the large mortgage, child care, car payments, student loans, and suddenly, you’re not different than the working stiff plumber in the next town over, except that maybe your house and car are a little nicer.

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  27. $200K+, the census does not break it down further. But we do know the City has over 13,000 more households making $200K+ now than it did 5 years ago. That’s a lot of high earners.

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  28. High end sales are steady, just more product on the market. Drive through Lincoln Square, so many 2flat to sfh conversions it’s amazing. Some tear downs too.

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  29. “High end sales are steady, just more product on the market. Drive through Lincoln Square, so many 2flat to sfh conversions it’s amazing. Some tear downs too.”

    High end development is a bit like musical chairs. You keep building until the music stops, and you just hope that there’s a buyer for your overpriced luxury conversion/mcmansion.

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  30. anyone have any idea how much the typical 2 or 3 flat to sfh conversion costs?

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  31. “Maybe the people who can really afford the million dollar homes are being smart and leaving the city – why continue to pay soaring property taxes to support the corrupt city government. Their dollars are better spent elsewhere.”

    1. Their taxes are higher as a % of market value in the burbs. 2. Unless they leave the state (Indiana?!?) their taxes will still be supporting a corrupt state government. 3. As more ppl / companies move to the city the taxable base of the burbs decreases leading to even higher property taxes or service cuts. This causes prices to decline more causing more selling causing less taxes etc etc.

    In general people don’t look at LP at $1mm and get frustrated and move to Deerfield. They look at LP at $1mm and get frustrated and then look at LV / Ravenswood for $1mm.

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  32. “$200,000 incomes: $200k is a lot of money, but it’s not *that* much money. The income taxes alone (especially if there are self-employment taxes) is astronomical. Then factor in the large mortgage, child care, car payments, student loans, and suddenly, you’re not different than the working stiff plumber in the next town over, except that maybe your house and car are a little nicer.”

    13k households making $200k+ is not the same as 13k households with an average income of $200k. The average income of those 13k houses is closer to $320k. And that says nothing about the average net worth which is considerably higher.

    Also – you really think a plumber in the burbs and someone making $200k / yr have similar lifestyles??? The difference in NPV of those cash flows is massive.

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  33. “In general people don’t look at LP at $1mm and get frustrated and move to Deerfield. They look at LP at $1mm and get frustrated and then look at LV / Ravenswood for $1mm.”

    Not sure that I agree with this. While it’s impossible to say what % of people look at 1M in LP then move to Ravenswood, it’s not nearly as many people to suggest that it is generally.

    I live in a suburb with plenty of expensive homes and nearly everyone one I meet (granted, most are parents these days) is a city transplant.

    A million in LP buys nothing special but $750k in my suburb will buy you a double lot and 3,000+ sq ft of updated finished space. New construction starts in the $800,000 and is sell well.

    However, the price of a city home is only one consideration in most homebuyer’s decisions, as is qualify of life, schools and commuting time.

    I know when I was looking for homes, I was looking for something that after a rehab would be in the high $300’s or low $400’s; granted I was looking in the old irving/avondale area, but ultimately the near suburbs won out, cost only being 1 of the many factors, including commute, quality of life, schools, taxes, amount of rehab needed (city homes are older than 1960’s suburban homes), etc.

    OTOH I have friends who recently moved very far north in the city because the amount of space for the $ was so much greater for a condo as compared to their current neighborhood, so it definitely happens.

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  34. “Also – you really think a plumber in the burbs and someone making $200k / yr have similar lifestyles??? The difference in NPV of those cash flows is massive.”

    They’re a lot more similar than you think. Both are working class because they have to work for a living. The $200k household takes nicer vacations and has nicer cars and a bigger house, but still gets up in the morning to go to work, just like the middle class plumber down the block.

    In my experience it’s not until you get in the $500’s or higher that things really to change. At that point, those buyers are actually paying off their mortgage rather than refinancing their IO ARM notes, and they have more investment income rather than w-2 or self-employment income.

    And those people have different lifestyles than the 1% and higher, who could stop working tomorrow and their lifestyle wouldn’t change a bit.

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  35. I have a $200k+ household and my total tax rate (fica, state, selfe-employment, federal) is over 35%. And more money just means more problems and bigger bills.

    So pay the student loans, the car note, the mortgage, child care alone is over $3,000 a month and that’s just the *middle priced* child care within driving distance. Then there’s the lawncare, vacations, etc and it adds up. I’m not saying I’m poor, I’m just saying that $200k sounds like a lot of money but it’s really not. And a jump from $200k to $300k sounds big too, but more often than not the money is just funneled into a bigger mortgage/car payment, and traveling, rather than local, sports for the kids. If I stopped working for 6 months the jig would be up, and I’d be moving to a smaller house father out, and I’d drive a used rather than new car, but it’s all the same.

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  36. “but still gets up in the morning to go to work, just like the middle class plumber down the block.”

    I guess I have a similar lifestyle to Warren Buffet who gets up every day and goes to work.

    Regarding burbs vs cheaper city house:

    The decision tree usually (but not always) goes like this:
    Stay in city? If yes – find a place within budget even if its not in your ideal location. If no – pick a burb. Its usually not where can I get the best bang for my buck? Cause that is probably Indiana. People look for lifestyle first then pick a location they can afford that fits their lifestyle. Chicago is one of the few big cities where if you want to stay in the city you can with a reasonable budget.

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  37. “I guess I have a similar lifestyle to Warren Buffet who gets up every day and goes to work.”

    You’re looking at this the wrong way. Do you HAVE to go to work every day. How long can you live without a paycheck? That’s the difference between a $300k a year household and warren buffet.

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  38. HD is more or less correct, 200K is nothing in Chicago these days if you own in a desirable neighborhood. Although I’d argue a lot of plumbers charge so much these days that the gap may be even less than what is described in many cases.

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  39. $200k HHI is a lot of money if you don’t need the trappings of an urban lifestyle. The problem is most people who make $200k or more generally want to be in high cost of living urban environments and tend to have all the expenses associated with that lifestyle.

    Unfortunately, far too many people want to keep up with the Joneses.

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  40. “a similar lifestyle to Warren Buffet”

    Doesn’t Buffett say something like–the only major difference bt his day to day life and the life of a reasonably successful profession is that he travels by private jet and stays in nicer hotel rooms?

    That’s reductive, of course, but likely not so far from truth, given the way he chooses to live.

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  41. Talk abt looking at this the wrong way – imo hd’s trollin’ agin’. U trying to channel UofC’s Todd Henderson?

    “..more money just means more problems and bigger bills…”

    Isn’t it more accurate to say free will decisions resulting in higher spending creates probs & bigger bills? Could you/spouse earn $200k+ w/o ed debt (& do you support paying sufficient taxes so ed loans remain available? Shouldn’t R’s lower ed loan rates?) Is that damn devil forcin’ you to have a nicer home & cars than W. Buffet provided his fam? (Not knocking it but were’t those your choices?) Does a handicap prevent you from spending 1/2 hr/wk mowing your lawn instead of employing immigrants? I know plumbers (incl ones on Chgo’s payroll) & while they charge a lot for small jobs I don’t know any (even w/ spouse) making remotely close to $200k – do you? Isn’t SE tax capped at first $118k & don’t deductions re self employed status net you lower taxes than if employer paid u? If not maybe find better accountant? Finally aren’t you two earning much more since O’s actions improved economy in ’08 (jes’ trollin’ back)? Can’t u quityerbitchin’ & act happy? Jes’ sayin’ imo

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  42. “$200k HHI is a lot of money if you don’t need the trappings of an urban lifestyle. ”

    Yep, definitely a lot of money if you are ok living in a 2/1 rental in Portage Park, or a townhouse in Oswego (and you don’t have to commute) or something similar.

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  43. Yoss, is right. If a household is really looking to live in the City, it very unlikely they move Naperville or whatever suburb. The people that move out there always would have, they won’t get the yard, SFtage, etc. in Chicago. They may say they want to stay in the city, but they don’t.

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  44. 200k HHI isn’t that much when you consider the state of Illinois and Chicago take about 15% of that, and the feds another 40%

    add retirement savings, children, housing, car payments and then ‘living essentials’ and there isn’t a ton left over to spend or save

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  45. $200k really isn’t a LOT of money. If you are a professional making $200k+, you probably work long hours. So “free time” becomes very valuable to you. As such, you would naturally want to cut your commute time shorter. This along with the 50% higher property tax rates in the burbs vs. city makes city living much more attractive. So this will lead a professional to make the choice to stay in the city. Trying to raise a family in the city requires at least 3 bedrooms (assuming 2 adults + 2 kids). A 3 bedroom in the city (even a condo) is going to cost at least $800k + HOA if a condo. Between income taxes, mortgage, property taxes, HOA, utilities, and child care/private school since CPS sucks…that $200k suddenly doesn’t seem like much.

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  46. “Yep, definitely a lot of money if you are ok living in a 2/1 rental in Portage Park, or a townhouse in Oswego (and you don’t have to commute) or something similar.”

    The expensive part is having a family. If I were just me, I’d nerd it out in my 2/1 in River North and play D&D with friends 7 days a week, and watch 5 hours of #allstartrek after that. I’d save 80% of my $200k a year and eat chili every day and treat myself to some homegrown tobacco on occasion. But my life doesn’t work that way anymore.

    As for the lawn care, no way can I do that myself. I got allergies that make my sinuses go crazy every time I cut the lawn, unfortunately!

    I don’t know any plumbers that are making $200k a year. $100k a year maybe if they have a union job and do lots of side work every weekend. But they aren’t claiming all the income.

    As for self-employed, sure, some people basically cheat on their taxes and claim phantom deductions that never survive an audit. They claim an entire car payment and claim there are 0 commuting or personal miles, they charge meals and call it ‘office expense’, they pay $1000 rent and write it off as $2,000 and they under report income. That’s basically every self-employed non-professional, which is why they get audited at much higher rates than regular w-2 employees. But for regular guys like us following the spirit of the tax code, it’s brutal. And if you veer too far outside the income/deduction/effective tax rate bracket for people in your industry or job, it’s audit time. Even Trump in 2005 or whatever paid a really high tax rate, often there’s just no legal way around it.

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  47. $200K is new $100K. The old “six figure salary” idea has now baselined at $200K due to inflation.

    PS Did anyone see that southbound’s doppelganger David Brock had a heart attack over America’s great Trumpening?

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  48. Stop it. $200k is a lot of money in Chicago and certainly A LOT MORE THAN $80k a well employed plumber would make. It just comes down to how you spend it. Versus a plumber making $80k that is $120kx63% = $76k MORE AFTER TAXES. If you decide to use it to buy a bigger house / take a nicer vacation / cut your own lawn / light it on fire that is your decision. But with that extra $76k in AFTER TAX cash you can do a lot of things that make your lifestyle significantly better than a plumber. And guess what – that plumber probably also has kids and can’t sit around playing D&D and eating ramen to save $$.

    According to redfin there are 42 3/2’s in 60614 for under $700k. For $625k you get a 3/2 with outdoor space, parking and a stones throw from the zoo and farmer’s market and a straight shot down LaSalle into the loop in 10-15 minutes.

    https://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/205-W-Eugenie-St-60614/unit-H/home/13344281

    Lets use % of after tax income to figure out what a plumber could afford. Plumber makes $57k after taxes. $200k HH makes $137k (this includes federal / fica / state). Monthly payment on the Eugenie place (including taxes / cc) for a 30yr = $3450. That is 30% of after tax income. Plumber @ 30% = $1450 / month. You’d be buying a $300k place with that ratio. He would have to spend 73% of after tax income on the mortgage to get the same equiv place. That is what I call a different lifestyle!

    And imagine what kind of car a $200k / yr household could buy if they lived in the same house / hood a plumber does! They would have $76k per year to blow!

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  49. Who the hell in Illinois pays over 50% in state and federal income taxes?

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  50. “A 3 bedroom in the city (even a condo) is going to cost at least $800k + HOA if a condo. Between income taxes, mortgage, property taxes, HOA, utilities, and child care/private school since CPS sucks…that $200k suddenly doesn’t seem like much.”

    That’s a bunch of BS.

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  51. hd posted “..The expensive part is having a family. If I were just me, I’d……save 80% of my $200k a year…” No sh-t sherlock? Wasn’t having your family your choice? & if it were only you (no spouse) would you have $200k/yr. income?

    “..As for self-employed, sure, some people basically cheat on their taxes and claim phantom deductions that never survive an audit…”
    I’d never advocate cheating on tax filings. Self employed are permitted to deduct 100% of med, dental & long-term care ins. premiums for self, spouse & children up to 27 yrs old (even if no longer deps.) along with being allowed to take many other deductions payroll folks can’t take. Just sayin’.

    dt’s likely self-leaked ’05 tax return if accurate shows dt paid 25% fed tax on $140 mil income (due to AMT). Is 25% “a really high tax rate” for $140 mil income? I believe dt’s butler prolly paid a higher tax rate

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  52. I have a $200k+ household and my total tax rate (fica, state, selfe-employment, federal) is over 35%. And more money just means more problems and bigger bills.

    My household is similar, yet we pay like 25%. It most be those suburban RE taxes.

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  53. “Who the hell in Illinois pays over 50% in state and federal income taxes?”

    not effective tax rate but on those last marginal dollars, yeah. Think sports star, surgeon, high income professional. 39.5% highest federal bracket, plus 3.75? state, plus FICA (and the obama medicare surcharge)

    Southbound, take a look at your paycheck, and if you pay health insurance premiums, they are not included in your income for federal tax purposes. Same goes for your HSA contributions. But If you’re a partner, you’re buying your own insurance, and you’re deducting the same thing, except that your deduction is as they say, below the line, rather than above the line for the w-2 employee.

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  54. “My household is similar, yet we pay like 25%. It most be those suburban RE taxes.”

    I just logged into tax slayer and I paid 31.5% including federal, state, fica and self-employment tax. I didn’t even include RE tax in there.

    I could pay less in taxes if I put more into my retirement savings or donated more.

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  55. Yoss, you’re confusing income with wealth. That extra $76,000 a year buys a nicer car and a bigger house but you’re still getting up in the morning to get to work, and there’s a mortgage on that streeterville condo.

    Compare that to the COO who bought that $3.5M house; or the hedge fund trader, or the bank CEO who has a golden parachute of millions. They never have to work again. They own their house outright. They take years off at a time between jobs or projects.

    $76,000 a year above what a plumber makes is not financial independence, and you’re still in the rat race.

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  56. Re hh puking more haterade & ‘Trumpening of America’. I predict w/no joy feds will indict dt’s long time associates Roger Stone & Paul Manafort for conspiring w/foreign gov’t operatives to interfere in ’16 prez election. (Stone is hh’s doppleganger – a dandy & actual cuck who’s admitted placing ads on swinger sites like Dark Cavern looking for studs for threesomes w/his wife – hh’s kind of guy.) Imo like hh these weasels will cry & grovel when facing consequences (apologies to weasels for libelous comparison to hh & Stone.) Imo Manafort &/or Stone will try dealing to minimize jail time. Let’s see – who could those two offer up?

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  57. “who could those two offer up?”

    Bannon will have them, and their families, killed. By “a-rabs”, or NoKos, or ex-KGB, so that it serves two purposes.

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  58. With all of this talking about plumbers, whatever happened to Joe The Plumber? Remember that guy from Ohio?

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  59. No one is talking about wealth but you HD. The city is gaining high income households which is reflected in the increasing sales of expensive housing.

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  60. Longtime lurker. Recently closed on an expensive property, but heavily reduced, in the southport corridor. As pros, is the consensus I pulled the trigger too early and SFH will continue to drop this summer?

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  61. “A 3 bedroom in the city (even a condo) is going to cost at least $800k + HOA if a condo. Between income taxes, mortgage, property taxes, HOA, utilities, and child care/private school since CPS sucks…that $200k suddenly doesn’t seem like much.”

    In the entire city? Really? Come on. Not even close.

    Even in the GreenZone, you could find something below $800,000 depending on the GreenZone neighborhood.

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  62. “High end sales are steady, just more product on the market.”

    This is why it’s a buyers market now Tone. There are too many properties which is pushing up number of months of inventory. This is the first sign that a market is slowing. We all saw this in 2008 and 2009.

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  63. “Recently closed on an expensive property, but heavily reduced, in the southport corridor. As pros, is the consensus I pulled the trigger too early and SFH will continue to drop this summer?”

    There is definitely pricing pressure above $1 MM due to high inventory levels. But if you got a good deal on the property you bought then maybe it doesn’t matter…unless prices go down by a large amount.

    But you’re almost never going to be able to buy at the exact bottom and a house is not an investment. It has an investment component to it but that’s not the primary purpose.

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  64. “$3.6 mil is a lot of money but I would think someone in that position would spend even more. The Chicago market is cheap for rich people!”

    The article says they looked at 40 homes and kept coming back to this one because it’s unique (in an old factory).

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  65. Today, if you wanted to retire with $80,000 of income you’d need $2 million invested yielding 4%. That also assumes that one’s house is paid off with no mortgage.

    Making $250K and spending most of that on all the aforementioned items listed by everyone above isn’t going to cut it. I think to even remotely save that much, you’d have to live a frugal HD lifestyle, use public schools, not buy land rovers etc. You’d have to be hd, but make probably $300K and truly save and invest over 20 years’ time. Oh, and hopefully get some scholarship money for kids’ college through some way.

    PS southbound, you are lucky we had such a warm winter. You probably shouldn’t shovel snow for the next 8 years while our glorious leader is President.

    Your hysteria and panic has turned you a prime candidate for a potential heart attack. Just trying to help. Seriously. Trump derangement syndrome has health consequences.

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  66. “Yoss, you’re confusing income with wealth. That extra $76,000 a year buys a nicer car and a bigger house but you’re still getting up in the morning to get to work, and there’s a mortgage on that streeterville condo.

    Compare that to the COO who bought that $3.5M house; or the hedge fund trader, or the bank CEO who has a golden parachute of millions. They never have to work again. They own their house outright. They take years off at a time between jobs or projects.

    $76,000 a year above what a plumber makes is not financial independence, and you’re still in the rat race.”

    I’m not confusing anything. A “nicer car and a bigger house” is the definition of different lifestyle (which is what we were originally discussing). I have shown you in hard #s that a plumber making $57k after taxes has a very different lifestyle than a HH making $137k after taxes. If you want to shift the conversation to Net Worth now – I will again show you its the same result. Lets say the plumber spends $50k after tax / yr and saves the other $7k. If the $200k HH wants to live the EXACT SAME $50k lifestyle they can save $87k PER YEAR. So keeping lifestyle constant they can save 1.5 years of the plumber’s after tax income EVERY YEAR! If you compare amount saved in the nest egg ($7k vs $87k) its 12.4 times as much EVERY YEAR. So lets say they are 40 and can work for 25 more years. If the plumber works 25 year he will have a nest egg of $175k and will have spent $1.25mm on his lifestyle. The $200k HH could work for 12 years and have $1.044mm! Lets say they retire in 12 yrs – over the next 13 they will spend $650k leaving them with $394k in savings. So – they can work 13 years less and end with twice as much $$!

    This is why it comes down to how you spend your money – the very definition of lifestyle.

    What I believe you are talking about is the feeling of RELATIVE wealth. You see someone making $500k and think – “Damn, if I had that much bread I could live my current lifestyle and save so much!” That $500k earner sees someone making $1mm and thinks the same exact thing! The difference is that $500k earner is living in a $1.5mm SFH in the LV vs the $1mm person living in a $2.5mm SFH near the lake. This happens even with people who have $100mm in the bank vs those with $500mm. That is the difference between a private jet vs net jets. $500mm vs $1BN? That is a legit yacht vs renting one. $1BN vs $5BN? That is owning a sports franchise vs front front row at the super bowl. $5BN vs $20BN? That is the forbes wealthiest list vs an anonymous rich person.

    There is a reason billionaires don’t just stop working when they become $100 millionaires!

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  67. News today: 1) (CNSNews.com) – The counties containing Chicago, Detroit and the independent city of Baltimore were the biggest population losers in the United States from 2015 to 2016, according to data released today by the Census Bureau.

    Cook County, Ill., where Chicago is the county seat, had the largest population loss of any county in the country from 2015 and 2016.

    2)The average American dies $62,000 in debt and 73% of citizens owe money when they die

    3) the southbound effect: Death Rates Rise for Wide Swath of White Adults, Study Finds

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  68. @Tone “Who the hell in Illinois pays over 50% in state and federal income taxes?”

    https://wallethub.com/edu/best-worst-states-to-be-a-taxpayer/2416/

    pretty much anyone who makes $200k+

    While including your federal tax rates don’t forget about SS and FICA! Those take a big chunk!

    And this includes LOCAL taxes as well… Illinois is one of the worst-most taxed states in the country, and Chicago… lol even worse! 10.5% sales tax… wew!

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  69. “pretty much anyone who makes $200k+

    While including your federal tax rates don’t forget about SS and FICA! Those take a big chunk!

    And this includes LOCAL taxes as well… Illinois is one of the worst-most taxed states in the country, and Chicago… lol even worse! 10.5% sales tax… wew!”

    SS tax is only on first $119k and drops to Medicare only after that (1.45%). The marginal income tax rate at $467k for a married couple is 39.6+1.45+3.75=44.8 which is less than 50%. Also you can deduct RE taxes from federal income taxes so you are paying less than full boat on those. The link you posted is for median taxpayers not high income people. Since SS tax and sales tax are regressive the burden is worse for median tax payers than high income earners. The obvious case is CA which is #8 on your list but one of the worst for high earners with a 13.3% marginal tax rate over $1mm for a whopping marginal rate of 54.4%!

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  70. SS tax is regressive but not sales tax. Regressive means the tax rate goes down as the amount taxed goes up.

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  71. I’m talking about if you include counting property taxes, state of Illinois fees/city of Chicago fees/nickles and dimes, hell your health insurance is counted as a tax now so throw that on the pile of bullshit we’re forced to be paying for too I fucking guarantee if you total up all the bullcrap its over 50%

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  72. “SS tax is regressive but not sales tax. Regressive means the tax rate goes down as the amount taxed goes up.”

    According to the IRS its “regressive”:
    “Explain to students that sales taxes are considered regressive because they take a larger percentage of income from low-income taxpayers than from high-income taxpayers. To make such taxes less regressive, many states exempt basic necessities such as food from the sales tax. Some states have “sales tax holidays” in which no state taxes are charged for a certain period of time.”

    https://apps.irs.gov/app/understandingTaxes/teacher/whys_thm03_les02.jsp

    Regressive taxes can be defined in two ways: 1. Any tax that takes a larger % of total income from lower earners than higher earners. 2. A tax imposed such that the tax rate decreases as the amount subject to the tax increases.
    Since consumption is not linear (ie if you make twice as much you dont consume twice as much) flat sales taxes are considered regressive under definition 1.

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  73. it’s 50% on the marginal dollars. Like for example, if so far this year I made $500k, and if I earn $10,000 closing on a deal or something; $3,950 of it goes to federal income tax even AFTER I took all of my deductions. Plus medicare 2.90( self employed) and then 3.75% to the state. That’s $4,615 of my $10,000 gone to taxes. Not quite 50, but let’s say I buy a used car with the balance, I’m paying an additional sales tax that will take me over 50%.

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  74. “I’m talking about if you include counting property taxes, state of Illinois fees/city of Chicago fees/nickles and dimes, hell your health insurance is counted as a tax now so throw that on the pile of bullshit we’re forced to be paying for too I fucking guarantee if you total up all the bullcrap its over 50%”

    So I show you clearly it isn’t 50%+ and you still disagree? All of the fees you are talking about can be avoided if you want (rent a house to avoid RE tax, take public transportation to avoid sticker, etc) and they are also REGRESSIVE so they will decrease your marginal tax rate as you make more $$ since they are fixed regardless of income.

    It may feel like you’re paying a 50% marginal tax rate but you definitely aren’t.

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  75. hh who likely resembles rush L – just another pasty, hate spewin’ fatazz feigned concern re my health is misplaced since hh is who’s at risk. My bp’s great despite Trump displaying derangement issues daily! My health risk is being hit by car whilst doing century bike rides while hh will likely keel over from his bar stool when inevitable news breaks re indictments. Isn’t reality behind hh’s claimed trip to Dublin & London just an hh road trip to Dublin & London in Ohio where bobbo’s running the DQ? Does bobbo’s fam support the planned civil union? Not that I have anything agst it nor do I wish you two anything but the best!

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  76. “it’s 50% on the marginal dollars. Like for example, if so far this year I made $500k, and if I earn $10,000 closing on a deal or something; $3,950 of it goes to federal income tax even AFTER I took all of my deductions. Plus medicare 2.90( self employed) and then 3.75% to the state. That’s $4,615 of my $10,000 gone to taxes. Not quite 50, but let’s say I buy a used car with the balance, I’m paying an additional sales tax that will take me over 50%.”

    Still nope. That is less than 50% to begin with. And what if you decide to donate the balance to charity? You would then DEDUCT $5,385 (saving $2,132) from your taxes meaning you are only paying $2,483 = 24.8% marginal tax rate. That is why you have to ignore what you use the extra $$ for – it could be subject to a tax or it could reduce your taxes.

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  77. Bottom line is income and other taxes are too damn high…

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  78. sonies on March 23rd, 2017 at 10:09 am

    @Tone “Who the hell in Illinois pays over 50% in state and federal income taxes?”

    https://wallethub.com/edu/best-worst-states-to-be-a-taxpayer/2416/

    pretty much anyone who makes $200k+

    While including your federal tax rates don’t forget about SS and FICA! Those take a big chunk!

    And this includes LOCAL taxes as well… Illinois is one of the worst-most taxed states in the country, and Chicago… lol even worse! 10.5% sales tax… wew!”

    More BS. Our household in the top 1.5% nationwide. We paid about 26% including RE taxes in Chicago last year. Illinois is middle of the road in terms of taxes. In fact, we are lower than the national average when looking a state and local taxes as a % of GSP.

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  79. you’re delusional, its one of the top 10 worst taxed states by pretty much any metric, at least for the middle class, might I suggest you click that link and take a look

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  80. Wallet hub is click bait. They say the average effective real estate tax rate in Illinois is 7.56%, which is utter bullshit.

    Our income tax is flat and one of the lowest in the nation.

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  81. Tone, if you’re in the top 1.5% income nationally, and are only paying 26% of your income in tax,including RE tax, you’re either 1) cheating on your taxes, or 2) own a lot of investment real estate and take a lot of depreciation; or 3) you probably don’t have a lot of ordinary income; but instead, a lot of capital gains or dividends paid at lower tax rates.

    For the rest of us 98.5% working stiffs, we have to work for a living and pay mostly ordinary tax rates. Granted IL tax rate of 3.75% is one of the lower state tax rates, but the various other RE taxes (highest in country), sales (cook county highest in country), and other fees, costs and so forth, we are certainly one of the more expensive states. that 1.5% nationally number is quite a bubble, it would behoove you to take a look around at how the rest of the country live.

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  82. “Explain to students that sales taxes are considered regressive because they take a larger percentage of income from low-income taxpayers than from high-income taxpayers.”

    I think the IRS likes to define it this way because they like their progressive income tax. The reality is a bit more nuanced than this. Housing costs and some other necessities (medical expenses) are not subject to sales taxes and constitute a larger share of lower income households total income. For instance, lower income renters spend 2 – 3 X on housing than upper income households – it was 25 – 30% but may now be more like 50%. So a significant percentage of their income is not taxed. Of course the super wealthy hopefully save a huge percentage that does not get hit with the sales tax – until down the road.

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  83. Cost living in metro Chicago is about 120% more the national average according to the BEA. Metro median income is 144% higher than the national average.

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  84. “Cost living in metro Chicago is about 120% more the national average according to the BEA. Metro median income is 144% higher than the national average.”

    Cost of living isn’t taxes, taxes are only a part of it. I think most locals are looking at other midwestern states, or even downstate, and comparing cost of living that way, rather that saying that Chicago is a heck of a deal to live in compared to LA or NY. For example, its well known that CA natives flee Caliifornia for lower cost places like NV, ID, AZ and even CO, not IL. In fact, with all the people leaving IL…

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  85. “They say the average effective real estate tax rate in Illinois is 7.56%, which is utter bullshit.”

    that is for a median household… is it bullshit? what are suburban real estate taxes on a 250k house? $4400? I’d wager 7.5% of a median household’s income that’s what $59.k

    is a household that makes 200k and lives in a 600k house (not in the city) paying 15k in taxes? probably!

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  86. “with all the people leaving IL…”

    Taxpayers are leaving our state, the loss in population is offset only partially by tax consuming immigrants. southbound should volunteer to pick up the incremental loss by paying more taxes, since he loves the dynamic we have here.

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  87. Sonies, that’s not what Wallet Hub is doing. They don’t even look at income.

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  88. “Taxpayers are leaving our state”
    Good riddance to hh who left for IN where he fits in well w/its full compliment of goat ropers. Still employed as a hack @ FCI Terre Haute? Or r u making license plates there? wadda looooooooozer

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  89. “I think most locals are looking at other midwestern states, or even downstate, and comparing cost of living that way, rather that saying that Chicago is a heck of a deal to live in compared to LA or NY”

    Why would one compare the COL in rural TN to Chicago? Of course it’s cheaper in podunk KY, very little demand and almost no amenities. You get what you pay for. Chicago compared to the top US cities is a bargain.

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  90. Helmet, you should be thrilled to know that a huge part of the population loss in Chicago is African Americans fleeing. All other “races” have been growing according to the census.

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  91. “podunk KY = no amenities”

    You’re saying that hiking, fishing, fresh air, trees, nature, unlimited bike routes and the environment don’t stack up well versus Chicago’s Senegalese food and $2000 1 bd, 1 ba apartments?

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  92. kentucky is an awesome state. you’ve obviously never been there. typical liberal bashing what he does not know or understand.

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  93. “You’re saying that hiking, fishing, fresh air, trees, nature, unlimited bike routes and the environment don’t stack up well versus Chicago’s Senegalese food and $2000 1 bd, 1 ba apartments?”

    Remember everyone, HH doesn’t live in Chicago.

    I don’t know if he lives in ANY large city. Our Senegalese, Ethiopian, Cambodian, Thai, Chinese, Mexican, Korean, Afghani, Turkish, Spanish food is our strength. This is why the cities are the economic backbone of the country now.

    This is the problem the US is facing now, no? The rural areas are being left behind, economically and academically. Those in the cities have so many more advantages. The world is global now. If you can’t speak a second language other than English, you’re at a disadvantage.

    That being said, it’s not like Louisville isn’t multi-cultural.

    Who’s the fastest growing immigrant group in Louisville?

    Surprise! The Cubans.

    “Luis Fuentes, who publishes a magazine targeting Cubans, estimates that the city’s’ Cuban population has since jumped to 14,000. City officials say they wouldn’t be surprised by such an rise and expects Cubans to overtake Mexicans as Louisville’s largest immigrant group.”

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/fastest-growing-immigrant-group-louisville-cuban-americans-n630966

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  94. “You get what you pay for. Chicago compared to the top US cities is a bargain.”

    It IS a bargain. Even with property taxes rising. Anyone else see the income taxes in NY and California? Pulease.

    And housing is so much cheaper. Great universities, museums, shopping and one of the best international airports.

    You will pay up to 5 times more for a similar house or condo in many areas of the Bay Area.

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  95. “I think most locals are looking at other midwestern states, or even downstate, and comparing cost of living that way.”

    Depends on your age and job.

    Anyone who is in upper echelon careers is not looking at other Midwestern states or downstate. Chicago pulls the top students from all of the Big Ten universities as well.

    I lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma a number of years ago. I asked some of the local rich families who sent their kids to the Ivy League schools if their kids came back to Tulsa afterwards. They said no. They went to Dallas or Chicago. Not St. Louis, Indianapolis, Columbus etc. If you go to NYU, you’re not going to work in those secondary cities.

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  96. Kentucky is generally a dump. Been to most US states. Kentucky included.

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  97. “And housing is so much cheaper. Great universities, museums, shopping and one of the best international airports.”

    Yes, but cities like Dallas and the Raleigh Durham area are even cheaper. What Chicago has that these other cities don’t – and this is a big deal for my wife but not for me – is that in most parts of the city you can walk a few minutes and get to a decent restaurant or bar. They are scattered around instead of concentrated in large shopping centers or central business districts.

    We’ve decided against Dallas for retirement but Raleigh Durham is looking pretty damn attractive if the housing costs don’t skyrocket over the next few years (they are moving up quickly).

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  98. If Chicago is so great, then why then are people leaving in greater number than any other city in America? The fastest growing county is Maricopa in AZ!

    And why is the population in Chicago today less than it was during the 1920’s?

    And if Chicago is so great because of the diversity of rich upper middle class folk, what about the rest of us? Are we forced to move to IN to get a decent quality of life?

    These are serious questions that deserve serious answers. The entire growth policy of the city cannot revolve around rich upper middle class college graduate and primarily white transplants from various midwest college towns!

    Or maybe can it?

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  99. “Kentucky is generally a dump. Been to most US states. Kentucky included.”

    I understand you’re probably trolling, but this type of trolling is sooooooo juvenile.

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  100. “Our Senegalese, Ethiopian, Cambodian, Thai, Chinese, Mexican, Korean, Afghani, Turkish, Spanish food is our strength.”

    That has to be the stupidest thing I’ve ever read, anywhere, anytime. Sabrina, I respect you, but that is hilarious.

    PS just so southbound will believe I live in Chicago…. I was recently at Lakeshore health club on a Saturday. This tennis club is DePaul’s home court. So, I happen to watch these NCAA women playing. DePaul has the usual diversicrat chicago crap women, but they happened to be playing Kansas State U. So to watch these hot white midwestern Kansas girls….. God gave them the best, all you anti-white aholes are jealous.

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  101. There are ethnic restaurants in literally every American city with a population in the 6 figure range…

    PS our Thai and Chinese food fucking sucks

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  102. I thought of hh when reading wiki re dt’s ‘counselor’ Roy Cohn: “…quotes Roger Stone, “Roy was not gay. He was a man who liked having sex with men. Gays were weak, effeminate. He always seemed to have these young blond boys around…”
    I don’t doubt hh stopped to ogle white blond KS college kids on his way to partying on Halsted – I call bs on hh’s claim he watched the women’s team.

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  103. southbound, now you’re gay shaming a closeted homo? seriously? seriously? The liberal hate has no bounds.

    HH, seriously, just shut up.

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  104. You clearly don’t know where to get Thai and Chinese food then sonies.

    But then again, you cite wallet hub as a source of information.

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  105. “You clearly don’t know where to get Thai and Chinese food then sonies.”

    I once met a girl who told me the *best* chicken fingers in Chicago were from Bennigans.

    Do you know her? Her name was Shelly and she lived in the western suburbs.

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  106. PS most chinese food in chicago isn’t marketeed toward chinese or white americans, it’s actually hispanics who consume the most chinese food…so yeah, sonies is right, basically outside of a handful of dives in Chinatown, the chinese food here kinda sucks with it’s mystery meat and unsanitary conditions….

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  107. HD, I’ve had Nanny’s from China. I work with a guy from China. There is plenty of good Chinese food here.

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  108. Mystery meat and unsanitary conditions are authentically Chinese, what you don’t like that? Go to PF Chang’s.

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  109. The Chinese food absolutely sucks. There are some decent crossover/fusion places like duck duck goat and won fun that aren’t terrible.

    I think we have some great Thai food though – opart is awesome.

    The Mexican food on the other hand, I think is awwwwwwwwful. Haven’t had a decent burrito in Chicago once.

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  110. “The Mexican food on the other hand, I think is awwwwwwwwful. Haven’t had a decent burrito in Chicago once.”

    Get out of the Gold Coast Riz!

    Have you been over to Little Village? Lol.

    Chicago has one of the largest Mexican populations in the nation.

    And oh, by the way, “burritos” aren’t really what they eat in Mexico every day. Tons of other things that most Americans have no clue about unless they’ve eaten at some of Rick Bayless’s places.

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  111. “sonies is right, basically outside of a handful of dives in Chinatown, the chinese food here kinda sucks with it’s mystery meat and unsanitary conditions….”

    Actually, this is completely wrong too. There are several Chinese restaurant empires in Chicago that are considered among the best in the nation. Have you ever been to the 2 Chinatowns in San Francisco? Many of Chicago’s restaurants are on par, or better, than those.

    You just haven’t been to the right ones.

    And if you’re looking outside of Chinatown consider:

    Imperial Lamian in River North
    Duck Duck Goat (Stephanie Lizard’s place) in the West Loop
    Won Fun just opened in the West Loop as well. Don’t know anyone who has tried it yet.

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  112. “PS just so southbound will believe I live in Chicago…”

    HH doesn’t live here. Quit talking to him like he does.

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  113. “If Chicago is so great, then why then are people leaving in greater number than any other city in America? The fastest growing county is Maricopa in AZ!”

    In surveys of people leaving they cite:

    1. The mess in the Illinois government
    2. Crime in Chicago
    3. The weather

    In the 1980s, after about 10 years of really brutal winters including several blizzard winters, there was also a mass exodus from the Chicagoland area to the sunbelt. The last 2 years have been mild, but lots of people don’t want to deal with the snow anymore. And why not move to Tampa and buy a $200,000 condo?

    The city is attracting more professional jobs, especially tech, than ever before. It’s “winning” in contests for new corporate headquarters. And last year Chicago had a record number of tourists visit.

    Chicago’s lower cost of living compared to the costs, plus its international airport that is centrally located between Europe and Asia, make it attractive to a lot of educated workers. Not so much for those who aren’t educated or don’t have a passport.

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  114. “And if Chicago is so great because of the diversity of rich upper middle class folk, what about the rest of us? Are we forced to move to IN to get a decent quality of life?

    These are serious questions that deserve serious answers. The entire growth policy of the city cannot revolve around rich upper middle class college graduate and primarily white transplants from various midwest college towns!”

    You haven’t traveled to the coasts much, have you?

    If you think Chicago can’t survive with the educated class moving here in droves, then what will become of San Francisco, LA, DC, Boston or NYC? It’s happening there in equal numbers.

    Big cities attract the best and the brightest. The hottest companies are going there. The most artists. The best restaurants. The top museums. The best concerts. The biggest airports. They keep sucking in the most highly talented in the country.

    It seems pretty obvious HD.

    As more people are able to work remotely in “knowledge” jobs, maybe that will change. Maybe people will move to, say, Charleston. What, you say? They already are? Oh…I had no clue.

    Check out Asheville, NC. It’s retirees who have swarmed that city but it’s completely upper middle class near the core now. You’re not moving there and buying a $200,000 house.

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  115. “Yes, but cities like Dallas and the Raleigh Durham area are even cheaper.”

    You’re retiring Gary. That’s not even remotely in the same universe as going somewhere for your career or to raise your children.

    Raleigh Durham’s airport sucks. It’s not even close to O’Hare which is why it won’t attract as many businesses. You can drive down to Charlotte and have more options though. And it’s not “cheap.” Will still pay $400,000 for a house there.

    Dallas has a better airport. But the sprawl is immense. You can pay $400,000 for a house there too but you’re 60 miles out from the center. To each their own. Personally, San Antonio is a nicer city and at least has culture and history.

    It’s only a matter of time before San Antonio, Austin corridor is one big massive urban city with people living in one and working in the other and vice versa. They should put high speed rail to those two cities to make it happen.

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  116. By the way, speaking of Flossmoor, this house is AMAZING.

    Built in 1912 by Newhouse in the Prairie Style. Contemporary of Frank Lloyd Wright. Under $500,000. Already under contract (as it should be.)

    Beautiful architecture in Flossmoor.

    http://www.bairdwarner.com/property/107554063/1825-Sylvan-Court-Flossmoor-IL-60422

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  117. Found this interesting. All depends on who you are. Personally I’m not an urbanite: http://jedkolko.com/2016/03/30/urban-revival-not-for-most-americans/

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  118. Yeah Sabrina that house is great until you get your tax bill…

    Estimated Taxes: 2015

    $16,493

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  119. “Imperial Lamian in River North
    Duck Duck Goat (Stephanie Lizard’s place) in the West Loop
    Won Fun just opened in the West Loop as well. Don’t know anyone who has tried it yet.”

    Those are all white people FUSION restaurants

    I’m talking about regular ass Chinese food!

    Opart thai is even going downhill lately… although their tiger cry is the best thing ever, their food has been pretty meh…

    best place for thai I have found is a place called ‘garlic and chili’ and its still nothing amazing

    The Chinese food here is a joke, the only ‘good’ place is Lao’s Schezwan in Chinatown and the prices and service there are fucking awful although the Tony’s chicken is like the best thing ever… like 90% of the Chinese cooked in this town is prepared by Mexicans and its all greasy and nasty tasting!

    there is literally no place that is good/cheap for a quick bite like in NYC

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  120. I agree that the Chinese food in Chicago blows… every Chinese takeout restaurant I’ve ordered from has been mediocre and entirely forgettable and I am being generous in my assessment.

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  121. Lol at the stupidity being spewed. You simply don’t like Chinese food, if you say Chicago has bad chinese food. Plenty of good authentic chinese and thai food here. Yeah, of course the average suburban chinese take out joint is gross. It’s like that everywhere.

    You must live in Tinley Park if you think your going to get good thai and chinese food in Kentucky and Tennnessee.

    I like how sonies cited NYC chinese food in comparison. What does it cost to live in NYC? How are the taxes there?

    Fucking morons don’t even know what chinese food is. Our nanny from China’s biggest complaint is the LACK of mystery meats available at chinese restaurants here. A lot people need to travel outside of KY and TN more.

    We’ve also had 4 different Thai nannies over the last 12 years. All of them loved the thai food here.

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  122. why don’t you name some of the best spots then, asshat? I could give two shits about what your nannies eat, they would probably eat anything… I’ve been searching my whole life for a good place, would be nice if you dropped a name or two instead of throwing out insults

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  123. Riz, burritos are an american tex mex thing, real mexican burritos are very simple food, essentially with meat and salsa and a shell only.

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  124. Tone,

    you’ve got no idea what you’re talking about man – The Chinese food in chicago SUCKS.

    Chinese people themselves will tell you this. Not sure what your nanny was smoking..or what region of China she is from – but in terms of traditional Cantonese or Sichuan cooking – we have ZIP. LA and SF have far , far better options.

    Yes, I know that a traditional mexican burrito doesn’t have all the toppings. I understand that tamales, tacos, bistec, barabacoa, etc, all varies depending on the region of Mexico – All that being taken into consideration, I think the mexican food here blows. I’m comparing it to food i’ve had in mexico D.F. and southern california.

    Thai food – we can agree. I think chicago has some incredibly authentic and well prepared Thai food. I think we have some great sushi. We have a improving bbq soon. We do burgers, steaks, italian (duh) , and contemporary american food really well.

    Chinese food and mexican food, hell no. It’s a pity because we have a huge mexican community. The food just isn’t up to par.

    ( With that being said, I’m of southeast asian descent and while some argue we have decent indian or pakistani food – i think that absolutely sucks here too, when compared to Houston or Los angeles. )

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  125. ““Imperial Lamian in River North
    Duck Duck Goat (Stephanie Lizard’s place) in the West Loop
    Won Fun just opened in the West Loop as well. Don’t know anyone who has tried it yet.”

    Those are all white people FUSION restaurants”

    Lol @ sonies – that’s what I don’t think people are getting. We have decent ‘westernized’ or fusion type chinese/asian food restaurants – this is NOT real chinese food people! Duck Duck Goat is great but it’s not traditional chinese by any definition of the word.

    Won fun is average – awesome bar, average food.

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  126. “We’ve also had 4 different Thai nannies over the last 12 years. All of them loved the thai food here.”

    Dude that’s a ton of nannies. Why the heavy turnover haha

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  127. probably because he’s an insufferable a-hole?

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  128. “Kansas State U. So to watch these hot white midwestern Kansas girls”

    Haha. Didn’t even bother to look at the roster before posting that nonsense, didya, Hof??

    Number of KSU women’s tennis players from the “midwest” (defined as: *anywhere* in the USA): 1

    Number of DePaul women’s tennis players from the “midwest”: 2

    “there is literally no place that is good/cheap [for Chinese]”

    100% agreed. Chinese food in Chicago ranges from mediocre to *awful*.

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  129. “that’s a ton of nannies.”

    4 in 12 years? Not really. Even add in the Chinese one, and 5 in 12 years isn’t notable. Know people who can barely keep one for 18 months.

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  130. “4 in 12 years? Not really. Even add in the Chinese one, and 5 in 12 years isn’t notable. Know people who can barely keep one for 18 months.”

    I had no idea…most people I know with nannies either have an AuPair ( spelling? ) type set up or some older asian / hispanic lady for most of their childhood. We’ll need a nanny within the next year and are trying to figure out which way to go. Older ( grandma age ) local hispanic women seem to be the most common option.

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  131. Nanny=Au Pair. They can’t stay for longer than two years. US law.

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  132. Does this sound like “fusion” to you?

    This is Won Fun:

    “Won Fun Chinese, the first-floor, 60-seat restaurant, will serve up family-style Chinese feasts, including a Beijing-style duck dinner for six, out of an open kitchen. The restaurant’s full menu is below. Baker and Chef Ben Ruiz developed the menu — featuring small eats, Sichuan classics, noodles, vegetables and fried rice — during a recent trip to China.”

    I guess what Sonies is arguing is that someone who isn’t Asian can’t cook or open an Asian restaurant. Therefore, someone who isn’t Mexican can’t cook Mexican food. Or a non-Pole can’t cook Polish and on and on.

    Most of the “Chinese” food in Chinatown is completely Americanized stuff. Do you need to be a Chinese immigrant to cook that? There are a few “authentic” restaurants down there. If you go to the “other” Chinatown in San Francisco (out on Clement street), you’ll actually see “real” Chinese food there. No chicken almond ding or General’s Chicken either. Lol.

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  133. “Chinese food and mexican food, hell no. It’s a pity because we have a huge mexican community. The food just isn’t up to par.”

    A “huge” Mexican community? Chicago is something like the 5th largest Mexican city in the world (as told to me by a Mexican when I was in Mexico.)

    Like I said Riz. Leave the cozy River North/Gold Coast restaurant ghetto you live in. Stop going to chains with the tourists. You really have NO idea what is going on out there in Chicago.

    Try Ixcateco Grill. Go to El Milagro Tortilleria- next to the tortilla factory (which is one of the largest in the country.)

    Go to Mi Tocaya in Logan Square. It just opened. She’s using her grandmother’s recipes.

    For Oaxacan try La Oaxaquena.

    Eat some mole. There are several good restaurants serving the traditional mole dishes.

    If you want to stay “trendy” Cruz Blanca, Rick Bayless’ new place, really is supposed to be good. Get a tlayuda, which is Oaxacan street food. You may never eat a “burrito” again.

    I mean…really. Where do I even start? You can’t stay in 2 neighborhoods and think that “Chicago” doesn’t have any good Mexican food. Get in an uber. You won’t have to park your car that way.

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  134. “Yeah Sabrina that house is great until you get your tax bill…”

    You have to pay for one of the best high schools in the Chicago area, right sonnies?

    Yes- the property taxes are high in Flossmoor. But the architecture is great. Can get some great deals. I’m going to do Flossmoor week this year on CribChatter.

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  135. Sabrina ,

    1) what makes you think I don’t leave the neighborhood? I e tried a few of the Mexican places you mentioned ( mi tocaya most recently ) – it’s okay. I lived in San Francisco for a year before moving back here in July – and I’m telling you, our Mexican food is NOT as good as Mexican food in cali. It’s my opinion.

    2) won fun is absolutely a fusion restaurant. Having duck on the menu doesn’t make them authentic. That being said, as I mentioned earlier, the bar is very hip , the food is super average. I think they are trying to be Sichuan but suck at it.

    Chicago is an absolutely awesome food city. I just don’t think our Mexican or Chinese food is as good as other cities. If you’re arguing that we have great food from every category, we can just agree to disagree.

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  136. “You have to pay for one of the best high schools in the Chicago area, right sonnies?”

    Flossmoor is not even close to being one of the best high schools in the Chicago area.

    And a whole week for Flossmoor??? Are you trying to make people not want to visit your site?

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  137. I disagree with riz and think we have an awesome selection of Mexican places, agree with Sabrina, the el milagro place across the street from the jail is awesome, I went there on a cribchatter outing with milkster and a few others lol!

    Burritos are hit or miss for the most part but for tacos there are soooo many good taco places, and even high end food places- Bayless’s new Lena Brava was awesome when I went there right after it opened, and of course his regular staples Frontera and such are great high end Mexican cuisine.

    Chinese on the other hand is just baaaaad!

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  138. “Flossmoor is not even close to being one of the best high schools in the Chicago area.”

    Yeah, curious about what that statement was based on.

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  139. “I disagree with riz and think we have an awesome selection of Mexican places”

    2d.

    Perhaps there isn’t enough variety in the particular style that Riz prefers, but the Chi has a ton of great Mexican, and as much variety as anywhere.

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  140. We have great Mexican food here, but if someone’s idea of the best Mexican food is a burrito then a lot of it will go straight over their head.

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  141. Your problem isn’t with the quality of Mexican food in Chicago, but rather, the quality of Mexican cuisine, which is basically modified street food eaten by poor peasants and urban dwellers, and it often made with low quality ingredients. They use the same handful of ingredients in every plate. There’s not much variety.

    This is not offensive but true – nobody would bat an eye if I said that traditional British cuisine is terrible. Closer to my household, Polish food is AWFUL. I don’t care how well it was cooked by my great grandmother it’s terrible. No matter how good the ingredients, blood pie and some pickled vegetable isn’t going to taste good to our sophisticated modern palates.

    The reason why you think Cali Mexican food is better than Chicago food is because of the quality of the ingredients. The entire interior of CA is basically a farm with multiple crops per calendar year and the average vegetable travels only a few hundred miles at most from farm to plate. Even the major dairy and producers of cheese in Cali often operate on an artisan basis despite the quantities of food made.

    Contrast that with, for example, us here in Chicago, all we get are the mass produced ‘red’ tomato from FL that is green when it’s picked and has skin as tough as my ex-wife who smoked a pack and a half a day. The cheese is from some poor dairy cow in WI or MN who lives 9 months a year in a metal barn pumped up with RBGH. It’s mass produced by Kraft or Sargento and is colored orange with annatto. It’s good, but it’s industrial cheese.

    These are the types of ingredients that most ‘mexican’ restaurants buy (outside of course of Frontera etc). So mix low quality food with low quality cuisine and you get today’s urban Mexican food.

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  142. Along these same lines, Wisconsin actually has pretty good food for what it is. I was in Appleton/Neenah a few years ago and they have a burgeoning food and restaurant scene (for a small town in the middle of wisconsin). The food was great, but every plate had some combination of wheat, corn, cheese or meat. and lots of beer. Every restaurant had a variation on beer cheese soup, and there was nary a fresh vegetable to be found on anyone’s plate (outside of the ‘red’ tomato with tough skin from FL). However the pork dishes were all excellent and many restaurants tried to use local artisan cheeses rather than the Sargento mass produced cheese. But my point being that a lot of food in a given area is locally sourced, and the more variety and better quality of the local produce, often the better the food.

    But I keep coming back to California and how good all of the food there is. All those fresh ingredients, farm fresh to plate, often organic, lots of sun….OK I’m going to lunch at Taco Bell. See you guys later.

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  143. I’m willing to give it another go – where can I find an awesome burrito?

    I agree with HD. I don’t think it’s as much as I can’t find that “tastes good” , heck even the queso at uncle julios is pretty good – it’s just that I can taste a difference in the quality of the food. For anyone else that’s lived in cali and had Mexican food there, they will know what I mean.

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  144. “if someone’s idea of the best Mexican food is a burrito”

    “where can I find an awesome burrito?”

    !!!

    Yes, your average burrito in Cali *is* better than your average burrito in Chicago. But that’s a sad standard.

    Sad!

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  145. I grew up on Tex Mex. Hard to find bad Mexican food in Dallas. Every time I go back I gotta have it (also on that list is a Whataburger and the greasy $.50 tacos at Jack-In-The-Box). Clearly haven’t tried very hard to find good Mexican in Chicago but I will say I haven’t been impressed. I used to like (not love) Nuevo Leon but they burned down.

    On the other hand the Mexican fusion is pretty good here. Love Dia De Los Tamales on 18th and then there is this place on Division near Damen…don’t remember the name and no time to look it up.

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  146. Sorry, I acknowledge that a burrito isn’t the ideal example of authentic Mexican food – I just realllllllly miss and crave the kind of burritos you get in cali.

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  147. Gary posted “…then there is this place on Division near Damen… don’t remember the name..”.
    Takito Kitchen? If not fwiw Takito serves great & inventive fushionish taco’s – love their lamb tacos

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  148. Yep, that’s the place. Like it says on Google Maps “Hip hangout for modern tacos and cocktails” which is my kinda place because I’m hip.

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  149. Gary posted re Takito “..my kinda place because I’m hip.”
    I thought Picante Tacqueria directly across Division St is the hip place – cheap & greasy – perfect for over-served hipsters leaving Rainbo Club or Queen Mary?

    Imo Bar Takito @ lake & Morgan is the hip member of Takito fam.
    Speaking of hip & after comments re lack of good pan-Asian food isn’t Tao opening next year in Castle space on N Dearborn? Loved Tao in Vegas (my ear drums started throbbing again as I typed that sentence). It’s a high volume operation in every sense of the word

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  150. “Speaking of hip & after comments re lack of good pan-Asian food isn’t Tao opening next year in Castle space on N Dearborn?”

    They’re converting it right now. I’m not sure it will take another year to open it.

    Glad I don’t live over there. Isn’t it open until like 4 am?

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  151. “Contrast that with, for example, us here in Chicago, all we get are the mass produced ‘red’ tomato from FL that is green when it’s picked and has skin as tough as my ex-wife who smoked a pack and a half a day.”

    While I generally agree with HD that California has access to fresher produce, and mostly year round (depending on where you are in the state), the “farm-to-table” thing actually wasn’t a “thing” in California either until about 10 years ago. Go look up the history of Gjelina in Venice and how it was a big deal that the chef there went to the local farmers markets and bought local- in 2005.

    Otherwise, you’d be surprised that much of the ingredients, even in California, were grown by big corporate farms and shipped hundreds of miles to the restaurants.

    How else do you get deserts in California with strawberries? Those aren’t grown year round but strangely you do get dishes with them. They MUST fly in the ingredients. Same with tomatoes. Do you think those grow year round in California either? They don’t. If you are cooking with them when they’re off season, you’re not “farm to table” even in California.

    As for Chicago having more limitations- this is true. However, on the West Side of the city there are huge indoor farms now that grow many of the ingredients, year round, for the local restaurants so they CAN use local. Most of the quality restaurants in Chicago are no longer flying the tomatoes in from some foreign country in the winter time anymore.

    Additionally, the difference, when you do get farm to table in California versus Chicago, is simply the soil. Taste Michigan sweet corn and then taste California yellow corn. It’s not even close (Michigan is amazing.) But no other state has that soil. It’s also why certain tomatoes can only be grown in certain regions in Italy, and taste completely different when grown in California (but they label them “California” San Marzano tomatoes.) There is no such thing. San Marzano can ONLY be grown in Italy.

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  152. Here’s more on the great urban farms that are being built.

    We have the land on the west side. Why not use it?

    https://www.fastcompany.com/3059721/world-changing-ideas/why-chicago-is-becoming-the-countrys-urban-farming-capital

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  153. “Flossmoor is not even close to being one of the best high schools in the Chicago area.”

    The sheer number of students they send to the Ivy League and other top public/private schools every year?

    This is what happened in 2014. I didn’t bother finding other years. But this happens every year. Please tell me what other high school is sending 3 students to Yale- except maybe New Trier, Walter Payton and Northside Prep.

    “The Homewood-Flossmoor Class of 2014 had 711 graduates, and 95 percent went on to two-year or four-year colleges. The class had an 11 percent acceptance rate at Ivy League colleges, which was well above the national average of 6 percent. Three graduates went to Yale University.

    “Not a lot of schools have three from one high school go there (Yale),” said H-F college counselor Kevin Coy. “We had three students go there. We had one at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and one at Stanford. For us to even get kids to those schools speaks volumes about our school.””

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  154. “I e tried a few of the Mexican places you mentioned ( mi tocaya most recently )”

    Really Riz? It’s been open only a week. So you RUSHED over to Logan Square to try some obscure new Mexican place? Lol!

    Don’t make me laugh.

    You did NOT go there.

    And I would buy your argument about the “great” California Mexican food if you had said you lived in San Diego or LA. But San Francisco? Do they HAVE Mexican food there? I can’t remember ever eating any and I lived there almost a decade. Lol. Maybe in the suburbs or down in San Jose.

    They are the Asian capital though. If you want good Vietnamese or Chinese- that’s where you go. They have a Japantown too, but I don’t know how “authentic” it is at this point. It’s Asian, Asian, Asian everywhere.

    I don’t know about Chicago’s Chinese food. Seems similar to everywhere else I’ve lived as it’s just a bunch of immigrants who come. I have noticed that certain immigrants from certain areas have come to certain American cities. So Chicago is highly Cantonese, even in Chinatown. When I lived in the Bay Area, it was Hunan with Szechuan coming in second. If you grew up eating one, it would be a rude awakening to come to Chicago and then not be able to find your “favorite” dishes because I had this happen to me in California and also on the East Coast. They never carried any of the “Americanized” Cantonese dishes I knew. Spices and flavors are different between the regions.

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  155. I got to chime in here on this Mexican food bullshit: My wife is from CA and says the most surprising thing about moving to Chicago was the Mexican food here blew away the Mexican food in SoCal, by a lot. Her take was the ingredients, especially the meat was far higher quality than in SoCal, and more flavorful. She laments the lack of fresh seafood however without having to spend a small fortune compared to CA.

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  156. “The class had an 11 percent acceptance rate at Ivy League colleges”

    I’m pretty sure that my HS had a over 50% acceptance rate…bc about 5 kids even applied. That’s a self-selecting group.

    “For us to even get kids to those schools”

    That’s pretty weak, really.

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  157. Marko – don’t think anyone is buying that the Mexican food in Chicago is better than in California any more than I’d buy that deep dish pizza is better in Miami.

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  158. “And I would buy your argument about the “great” California Mexican food if you had said you lived in San Diego or LA. But San Francisco? Do they HAVE Mexican food there? I can’t remember ever eating any and I lived there almost a decade. Lol. Maybe in the suburbs or down in San Jose.”

    When did you live in San Francisco – in the 50’s?

    Sabrina honestly what the heck are you talking about? San Francisco has amazing Mexican food. The best ranked burritos in the US are consistently from there. Jeez. Have you heard of taqueria Cancun? Please don’t put down an entire city’s Mexican food scene and population just to suit your perspective. If you prefer Mexican food here in Chicago, great. I don’t care, I still think it’s subpar.

    You got me on tocaya – I asked my wife, she said we went to taqueria Moran. So you got me on that one. If you insist it’s amazing I’ll give it a try, I don’t work far from Logan.

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  159. “The best ranked burritos in the US are consistently from there.”

    Again, with the focus on burritos.

    Akin to discussing the quality of Italian food via pizza, only.

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  160. Sorry, I just like burritos.

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  161. Riz – nobody in Chicago eats “deep dish”, whatever the fuck that garbage is

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  162. Nothing to be sorry about.

    Seems to make more sense to say “I can’t find a decent burrito” instead of “I can’t find decent mexican food”, since you pretty clearly mean the former.

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  163. “…I went there on a cribchatter outing with milkster and a few others lol!”

    ‘Sup, Sonies?! Can we do another CC outing again? I’m bored. Nothing going on with Chicago real estate for me. BLAH. Everything’s too expensive.

    I’ve been going to these 2 taco places these days:

    Jimenez Restaurant
    5716 W Diversey
    Yelp says they’re closed Sat and Sun – Don’t know if that’s true.

    La Piri Tacos
    6102 W Diversey
    Open 10 – 10 Daily

    Westside walk it out!!! :)

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  164. I like this place for Thai although the quality is inconsistent:

    Sticky Rice
    4018 N Western
    Open 11:30 – 10:00 Daily

    I can confirm there’s no good Chinese in NY or Chicago.

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  165. What do the CCers think of Milwaukee? The city in Wisconsin, not the Avenue in Chicago. It’s been piquing my interest lately. I like the mix of cute houses and industrial grit. My initial assessment is that it’s way cheaper than Chicago although like anywhere, prices are way higher than they were a few years ago. So you’re getting a bargain compared to Chicago, but definitely not a bargain for Milwaukee. So I haven’t pulled the trigger on anything. I don’t know enough to predict whether the city will improve or deteriorate.

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  166. Love Milwaukee except for the job market, the excessive property crime and the poor public transit. It seems to be a city that could go either way in the future, but has definitely had issues coping with the loss of its industrial base.

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  167. Is Sticky Rice the place that sells ant egg omelettes? Gross.

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  168. Good comeback marko..really going to get your undies in a twist over deep dish vs. chicago style as a moniker?

    Bite me dude. I’ve lived in this city my whole life. Don’t teach me about chicago.

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  169. Milkster,

    I contemplated about moving to milwaukee a few times, until I actually spent a few days there..I think if you’re looking for a small-ish city to make a change to in the midwest, you’re far better off in indianapolis or columbus. ( I wouldn’t recommend moving to either though, haha, just better than milwaukee. )

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  170. Milwaukee and its suburbs are the crappiest place in Wisconsin. A more urban, compact living lifestyle would be Madison a few hours to the east. If you haven’t been to Madison, you don’t know what you’re missing out on. My most of my extended family is from WI even though I’m from IL so I know what I’m talking about. Madison is just as expensive as Chicago but it’s only the size of the lakeshore neighborhoods. It’s really dense, young, good restaurant scene, cultural attractions, a major university, a state capital, a couple of large lakes right downtown, hiking trails, an arboretum, a small zoo, hilly, bike friendly, cosmopolitan. Except it’s incredibly liberal, unfortunately. There’s still “recall walker” stickers everywhere after the referendum failed miserably. If you haven’t been to Madison for a long weekend, I highly suggest you check it out.

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  171. to the west, sorry, madison is to the west!

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  172. As for Milwaukee, it’s actually up and coming and quite popular with hipsters and millenials although they’re not nearly as hip as hipster in Chicago. Most people eventually end up moving to suburbs, which are as bland as anywhere else in America. but for urban living, there’s a handful of cool areas, mostly along the lake, north of downtown, like the 3rd and 5th wards, then work their way up the lake shore, up to UWM, past the museum, and up through the lake shore suburbs like shorewood, etc. Housing is a lot cheaper up there, even in the nice area. relatives of mine live in Shorewood 1.5 blocks from teh lake and they were bragging that their nice 100 year old four square was worth $400,000. However, my crappy 3 bed 60’s ranch in the chicago area is also worth $400,000 and it’s not nearly as large or as close to the lake as shorewood.

    however, the beach up there at Atwater park blows out of the water anything chicago has to offer. I’ve included a yelp link, the pictures don’t even do it justice, and its 20x cooler than Glencoe beach.

    https://www.yelp.com/biz/atwater-park-milwaukee

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  173. “What do the CCers think of Milwaukee? The city in Wisconsin, not the Avenue in Chicago.”

    Milkster: my aunt lived there for 40 years. She said it has gotten worse in recent years so she sold a year ago and moved to Madison (Homedelete’s suggestion) and loves it.

    It’s no more a bargain compared to, say, St. Louis. A couple of better, lower priced options would probably be Kansas City and Buffalo. I was surprised to see Buffalo on the recent list out by Realtor.com of the Top 10 cities Millennials are moving to. Cost of housing there, including old housing stock in the downtown, was the main reason.

    I remember seeing a House Hunters episode where they bought a historic house (needed some work) for like $125,000 right downtown.

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  174. “Marko – don’t think anyone is buying that the Mexican food in Chicago is better than in California any more than I’d buy that deep dish pizza is better in Miami.”

    California is a BIG state. You think the Mexican is good in Tahoe? I never saw any up there- but maybe someone moved there and opened something. Plenty of other areas north of San Francisco where there’s likely little Mexican.

    Sorry- the entire state isn’t Mexican! Lol. And San Francisco is like 80% Asian so, yeah, the Mexican food there was non-existent when I lived there. Obviously, I’ve been running this site, CribChatter, for 10 years now, so I haven’t lived there in the last 10 years (just a visitor now.) So I’m sure there’s some new restaurants. But SF was never a Mexican hotbed. Indian, Vietnamese, Chinese and Korean…sure. There was never taco trucks or even tacquerias when I lived there. The Ramen places and sushi places though…yes. One on every corner.

    It’s easy to stereotype a state. They don’t always fit. The food scene has radically changed over the last 10 years with the farm-to-table movement etc.

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  175. “I’m pretty sure that my HS had a over 50% acceptance rate…bc about 5 kids even applied. That’s a self-selecting group.”

    Stop it. It’s a great high school. Are they sending 3 people in one year to Yale from Lincoln Park high?

    I’m sure someone here will tell me.

    I went to high school in the western suburbs. Supposedly one of those “top” schools. We sent 3 people to Ivy Leagues out of 740 students. One to Yale and 2 to Princeton. Everyone else got dinged and ended up going to U of I or Northwestern (both great schools- as I’m sure plenty from Homewood Flossmoor go there too.)

    So don’t even start. If you raise your kids in Flossmoor, they are perfectly fine.

    All of you biased against the south side of the city (and suburbs) really need to get out more.

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  176. “I think if you’re looking for a small-ish city to make a change to in the midwest, you’re far better off in indianapolis or columbus.”

    Milkster is a real estate investor. She buys cheap houses, fixes them up, rents them out and then (probably?) sells in 5 to 10 years and pockets the profits.

    That’s why she’s considering Milwaukee now.

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  177. Kansas City? Indy? Buffalo? You people are fucking high. Milwaukee beats the living shit out of those places. Especially Buffalo which is like a little Detroit. Indy is so bland it could be a bigger Grand Rapids minus the good beer. Haven’t seen much of KC but what I have seemed generic. Madison is nice, but in the long run there’s a lot more to do in Milwaukee.

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  178. The might be a few more cultural attractions in Milwaukee because it’s a larger city and closer to Chicago but there’s a lot blight you have to deal with. Regardless, the one positive Wis has in general over chicago and the suburbs is proximity to outdoor activities. It’s such a PITA to get out of the city on a summer weekend and then it’s a long drive to get anywhere (camping, cabins, lakes, snow mobile trails, hunting grounds, etc). And the drive back to Chicago on a Sunday afternoon! Sitting in traffic at 5:00 p.m. Sunday night on the Kennedy night, no thank you! At least in Milwaukee and Madison it’s a short drive out of the city and into the country; and you shave about 2-3 hours off the commute time farther up north. A three-four hour drive up north for a long weekend is manageable with a family; a 6-7 drive is not entirely reasonable. In IL the outdoors stuff is, well, I don’t even know, it’s mostly farmland between here and Shawnee or Rend Lake. and with Michigan it’s the same problem of driving through Chicago to get there (especially if you’re up north). I’ve only heard of a few people in my life going to Indiana to do outdoorsy things, mostly Turkey Run State Park.

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  179. Milwaukee seems to be popular with hipster types. Kind of like a mini-portland. I don’t think I could live there, but it does make for a nice weekend trip from Chicago. They have several cool little neighborhoods, good dining and shopping.

    We’ve stayed at this hotel in a former brewery.

    http://brewhousesuites.com/

    You also have the ironhorse hotel near the Harley Davidson museum.

    http://www.theironhorsehotel.com/

    Kansas City is a nice town. A lot nicer than I think most people realize. Also more expensive. Condo prices are really high. Feels somewhat like Milwaukee.

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  180. Milwaukee seriously fucking sucks, I know where I would go to renovate homes but we’ll have to discuss it over some delicious tacos!

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  181. “Stop it. It’s a great high school. Are they sending 3 people in one year to Yale from Lincoln Park high?”

    I went to a crappy HS.

    We had a yuuge “ivy” acceptance rate, bc almost no one applied. That doesn’t make the school good or bad.

    It MAY mean that the counseling department gets kids focused on the right ‘tier’ of schools, rather than wasting $$ on applying to 20 reach schools.

    btw, my HS had a *terrible* counseling department, as far as college applications.

    Anyway, Sabrina, aren’t you the one always bitching about other people’s focus on Ivies?? Don’t you always say that doesn’t matter bc “your” kid isn’t going to get in anyway??? But now it’s somehow supposedly a quality marker????

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  182. ” Madison is just as expensive as Chicago”

    “Housing is a lot cheaper up there, even in the nice area.”

    Which is it, HD?? Is it just as expensive, or a lot cheaper???

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  183. I wouldn’t expect someone who can’t even find decent Chinese food in Chicago to even begin to be capable of discerning why Milwaukee does not suck.

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  184. Wow this thread has changed! I’ve been to China multiple times but I can’t speak to Mexican food as I don’t like it. Spanish food however is awesome (I mean the stuff you get in Madrid / Barcelona). Here is my opinion:
    Chinese food in China is terrible and may very well give you the runs. The only good Chinese in China is at the very high end. The entire point of traditional Chinese food (similar to the spices used in Mexican / Creole / etc) with the heavy spices / oils is to mask the rotting meat aroma that arose due to lack of refrigeration and warm temperatures. In areas without those high temperatures they didn’t use those spices so their food is just bland (Irish / English food). So to echo what some have said – it comes down to the quality of ingredients. The reason there are so few Chinese / Mexican restaurants that use quality ingredients (same with Creole outside of Louisiana) is that the entire point of that type of cuisine is to mask the actual flavors of the dish. So what is the point of using “quality” ingredients if the spices / oils will mask the flavors?

    Anyway – here are some awesome Thai / Chinese places that haven’t been mentioned:
    Ming Hin / Sun Wah BBQ / Fat Rice / TAC Quick / Andy’s Thai Kitchen / Arun’s (for high end)
    All of the above are “authentic” style aside from Fat Rice which is more fusion but still has very traditional elements (the Fat Rice dish itself is authentic).
    Also – deep dish is disgusting.

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  185. “Which is it, HD?? Is it just as expensive, or a lot cheaper???”

    Housing in Madison is just as expensive as Chicago but Milwaukee is much cheaper. Sorry if the distinction between the two was not clear.

    Another family member of mine just bought a similar 60’s ranch to mine in a suburb of Madison and it was just as expensive as my 60’s ranch. but that same amount of money would buy a large house on a large lot in say Germantown outside of Milwaukee

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  186. Deep dish is good pizza, just not something to be eaten on a regular basis…

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  187. ““We’ve also had 4 different Thai nannies over the last 12 years.”

    That’s my boy, Tone Loc! How many did you bang?

    Buffalo has too much snow! Overland Park, KS seemed like a nice place to live, been there once. Nice looking women.

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  188. Here’s the list of Zone E Metra stations like Flossmoor:

    Arlington Heights, Arlington Heights
    Arlington Park, Arlington Heights
    Belmont, Downers Grove
    Braeside, Highland Park
    Calumet, East Hazel Crest
    College Avenue, Wheaton
    Deerfield, Deerfield
    Downers Grove – Main Street, Downers Grove
    Fairview Avenue, Downers Grove
    Flossmoor, Flossmoor
    Glen Ellyn, Glen Ellyn
    Hazel Crest, Hazel Crest
    Highland Park, Highland Park
    Highwood, Highwood
    Homewood, Homewood
    Itasca, Itasca
    Lake Cook Road, Deerfield
    Lemont, Lemont
    Lisle, Lisle
    Medinah, Medinah
    Northbrook, Northbrook
    Oak Forest, Oak Forest
    Orland Park 143rd Street, Orland Park
    Orland Park 153rd Street, Orland Park
    Palos Park, Palos Park
    Prospect Heights, Prospect Heights
    Ravinia, Highland Park
    Ravinia Park, Highland Park
    Roselle, Roselle
    Tinley Park, Tinley Park
    Tinley Park – 80th Avenue, Tinley Park
    Wheaton, Wheaton
    211th Street (Lincoln Highway), Park Forest

    Which one would you pick?

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  189. “Milwaukee beats the living shit out of those places.”

    I cited Buffalo to Milkster because it was #8 on the list of most popular cities for Millennials to move to. Sorry- Milwaukee didn’t make the top 10 list. They like it for the cheap housing, apparently.

    You, Sid V, must NOT be a millennial. The #1 city was Salt Lake City.

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  190. “Which one would you pick?”

    Since I love me some benzene with my tap water, Hazel Crest is the no brainer.

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  191. East Hazel Crest?

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  192. I’d take Highland Park.

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  193. The entire point of traditional Chinese food (similar to the spices used in Mexican / Creole / etc) with the heavy spices / oils is to mask the rotting meat aroma that arose due to lack of refrigeration and warm temperatures. In areas without those high temperatures they didn’t use those spices so their food is just bland (Irish / English food).

    “Spices were used to mask the taste of rotting meat” is an urban legend. Spices were less frequently used in “areas without those high temperatures” because spices were more expensive in those areas.

    http://www.medievalcookery.com/notes/drummond.pdf

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  194. Had tacos here yesterday:
    Taqueria Diversey
    5649 W Diversey
    https://www.yelp.com/biz/taqueria-diversey-chicago

    SO good.
    Large and clean and perfect for a CC party.

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  195. This teardown raised ranch at 2130 W Barry just sold for 520K.
    Plus the taxes were $7371.
    This market is WAY overvalued.

    https://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/2130-W-Barry-Ave-60618/home/13360022?utm_source=myredfin&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=instant24_listings_update&utm_content=refresh_with_promo&riftinfo=ZXY9ZW1haWwmbD00ODIxNzUmcD1saXN0aW5nX3VwZGF0ZXNfaW5zdGFudF8yNCZ0cz0xNDkxMzAyMDgyNTUwJmE9Y2xpY2smcz1zYXZlZF9zZWFyY2gmdD12aWV3X2RldGFpbHMmZW1haWxfaWQ9NDgyMTc1XzE0OTEzMDA0MDlfMyZyZWZyZXNoX3ZhcmlhbnQ9cmVmcmVzaF93aXRoX3Byb21vJnVwZGF0ZV90eXBlPTcmc2F2ZWRfc2VhcmNoX2lkPTgxMjc5OTgmbGlzdGluZ19pZD02NDAxNjM2OCZwb3NpdGlvbl9udW1iZXI9Ng==

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  196. “2130 W Barry just sold for 520K”

    I’d bet they build this:

    https://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/2137-W-Barry-Ave-60618/home/13359622

    which teardown sold for $450k. Just means the developer makes ~$50k less.

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  197. Logansquarean on April 6th, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    I’m surprised to not see any buzz here about Logan Square, especially the north east quadrant. Between Fullerton and Logan, Western and California, EVERY N/S street in the past 3 years or so, has seen older Workmens Cottages being scooped up for a song (although generally a nice profit for the former old owners) and then torn down. Replacements are generally big SFHs, at $700k and up.

    I’m seeing some new shitty frame construction being listed for sale, and they haven’t even broken ground yet. List price? $1,000,000 and change, and it’s listed as CONTINGENT. Exactly WHO is buying this stuff??

    Insanity over here. When it warms up a bit, I think I’m going to go on a walking tour and note all these new SFHs, along with the occasional new construction condo buildings. Actually…. I can do a sales search on Redfin…. !

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  198. “Replacements are generally big SFHs, at $700k and up.”

    “big” SFH is at least $300k (I’d say more like $400k) in construction costs for a builder.

    Most of the teardowns I see in that area over the past 2 years sold for over $400k.

    How are they making any money are $700k? Have to get a lot for ~$300k (or less) for $700k to be the price point.

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  199. anon(tfo) re 2137 W Barry vs 2130 W Barry : “which teardown (@ 2137 W.) sold for $450k. Just means the developer (2130 W.) makes ~$50k less.”

    That’s apples & oranges on multiple fronts imo. Sale of 2137 W. @ $450K closed 2.5 yrs ago; sale of 2130 W. @ $520K closed 6 weeks ago. Both lots are RS-3 but 2037 W. is 3025 sq ft while 2130 W. is 3125 sq ft., permitting sale of larger SFR. It’s hard to accurately predict whether new construction will sell at higher $ psf in ’18 vs ’17 (particularly since 2137 W. isn’t sold despite being mkted for 10 months) but it’s much tougher to find cheap(er) land than it was in ’14.

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  200. Logansquarean posted “..Replacements are generally big SFHs, at $700k and up.”
    Fwiw I took only a quick look & imo SFR’s in submkt selling near $700k are 10-15 yrs old. One exception is a new SFR @ 2519 N Artesian sold for $750k in 2/17. Orig. ask was $889k, dropped 3x to $799k. But that builder found a cheap lot – he pd $170k in 2/15, albeit in shadow of Kennedy xway & adjacent to new ‘dog park’ on Western. (2517 N Artesian sold @ $375k in 3/17 & 2419 N Artesian sold @ $365k – despite backing up to late night bodegas, jibaro joints & a Chinese restaurant on Fullerton). Another lot sale was 2417 N Fairfield @ $320k in 3/14 (ask was $300k) & new SFR there sold for $910k in 9/15.

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  201. Logansquarean on April 6th, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    ” “big” SFH is at least $300k (I’d say more like $400k) in construction costs for a builder. ”

    “How are they making any money are $700k? Have to get a lot for ~$300k (or less) for $700k to be the price point.”

    but is that frame construction or brick? I’m thinking they pay $325k for the lot, $350k for a good looking, but shitty constructed SFH, and they list it for $899k, and make about $225k. Isn’t that enough money to make as profit?

    I am really gonna have to run the numbers over here, because what I see as teardowns, and what I’m seeing as new construction is about 3x what the land value is.

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