There’s a Renovation Boom in Southport: A 5-Bedroom House at 1217 N. Cornelia

1217 w cornelia

This 5-bedroom single family home at 1217 N. Cornelia in Southport came on the market in February 2017.

Built in 1906 on a 30×125 lot, it was formerly a 2-flat that was completely renovated into a single family home, including with new water and sewer.

It has the layout that buyers like, with 4 out of the 5 bedrooms on the second level, including the master suite.

The master suite has a “spa-like” master bath with dual vanities, heated floors and a steam shower.

The 5th bedroom is in the lower level with a recreation room, home office, the laundry room and a bathroom.

There’s also a family room off the kitchen on the main level.

The kitchen has white cabinets, stone counter tops and luxury appliances.

There’s a new full masonry 2-car garage.

If you drive down Cornelia or Newport, east of Southport, you can see a bunch of dumpsters lining the street as many of the vintage, formerly 2 and 3-flats, are being gutted for new luxury single family homes.

These blocks used to be filled with 20-somethings working their first jobs, who would hang out at Southport bars and go to Cubs games, but these renovations are taking a lot of apartments out of the rental pool.

The listing says this house is in the Hamilton school district.

Since February, it has been reduced $70,000 to $1.925 million.

Is there any limit on the demand for these greystones in this prime part of Southport?

Christine Paloian at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

1217 W. Cornelia: 5 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, 4500 square feet, 2 car garage

  • Sold as a 2-flat in July 2014 for $880,000
  • Originally listed in February 2017 as a single family home for $1.995 million
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $1.925 million
  • Taxes of $11906
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 16×16 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 15×10 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 14×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 14×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #5: 16×13 (lower level)
  • Family room: 18×15 (main level)
  • Recreation room: 31×17 (lower level)

 

 

 

51 Responses to “There’s a Renovation Boom in Southport: A 5-Bedroom House at 1217 N. Cornelia”

  1. Nor sure about the price, but this is a beautiful home. I really like the façade.

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  2. Beautiful facade, yes, but all character has been stripped from the interior. It could be anywhere. The price seems crazy high to me, I think 1.6 is more in line, but some chump will probably pay 1.8+.

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  3. Love the facade of this house. Agree that the interior is very generic/bland but I think the price is right, will likely go for around $1.9M.

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  4. The rising inventory in this price range pretty much tells you that there is indeed a limit to the demand for most types of homes in this price range.

    BTW, without pulling permit data noting the number of dumpsters on the street is a great way to tell if a neighborhood is on the way up.

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  5. This is a beautiful home. Out of my price range but very nice.

    Sid V, you’d be surprised man. My budget was around 1.5 and there is nothing like this at that price point, in this neighborhood. you’ll have to go way west for that.

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  6. I’m surprised so many people like the facade. I hate the double balcony monstrosity and also hate how they cheaped out in the back by using siding instead of brick. Is anyone going to actually use either of those balconies? It seems like they mostly serve to make the interior darker. I like the look of the two flat from yesterday much better than this garbage. The one from yesterday feels like a real home. This looks like nouveau rich garbage.

    The interior isn’t really impressive either. It looks the same as so many other properties. Everyone is doing the same things with the interiors these days. Give me something unique that sets the house apart from others in its price range.

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  7. Like the facade or not, at least the developer didn’t tear it down and build the same cookie cutter box. Sure the inside looks a lot like what is being built everywhere, but this is the look most buyers want today.

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    Rating: +7 (from 7 votes)
  8. “The interior isn’t really impressive either. It looks the same as so many other properties. Everyone is doing the same things with the interiors these days. Give me something unique that sets the house apart from others in its price range.”

    Why would the developer do that when this is the interior most buyers want? He’d have to spend more time, effort, and money to make something ‘unique’, that wouldn’t necessarily fetch more money. The sweet spot for these mcmansion developers is the same cookie cutter look in lakeview , ‘west lincoln park, roscoe village, etc, in the 1.5-2 mil range. If they stray too far above that 2 mil mark the buyer market gets pretty thin.

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  9. I’m not saying that this house isn’t what the buyer pool wants. I’m saying that I’m surprised that people Cribchatter like this place so much. If I had this much money to spend, I’d buy something like the two flat from yesterday and do it the way I want it done. This place is just so damn gauche.

    People only like this style because builders keep building it. People like whatever they are told to like. No one has any sense of personal style these days.

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  10. not even brick all the way around and 2 million bucks = FAIL

    Why do you all like the façade? Its a mish mash of crap

    and the interior is a boring black and grey and white mishmash
    the finishes are nice and all but nothing special at this price point for the neighborhood

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  11. I agree with Sonies, the facade is crap.

    Riz, if you’re a successful doctor and i think you said your wife is a lawyer, and you’re not buying homes in this price range, then who is? Finance types I suppose. Crazy there are enough finance types in this city to support these prices. This ain’t NY.

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  12. Not sure how this is a Greystone

    Was the sided portion an addition? agree it looks extremely tacky for a $2MM home.

    If/when the market corrects, places like this are going to get curbstomped

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  13. “and the interior is a boring black and grey and white mishmash”

    remember Sandstone Brown was the neutral color a few years ago that every realtor was telling sellers (and presumably flippers) to paint their homes? I guess the above mishmash is the new neutral

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  14. The facade is gorgeous, not a mishmash at all. That’s real carved limestone, original tile work nobody’s done since the 30s and I love the front outdoor space besides. Nothing cookie cutter about it. The impossibly dull interior and sad backyard, on the other hand, could be found in North Center or Lincoln Square for closer to 1.5 and I straight up prefer it over there except for a bit longer Commute.

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  15. ” I guess the above mishmash is the new neutral”

    I mean that “style” was ‘in’ like 5 years ago in NYC so its no surprise its mainstream now

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  16. What the deal with a steam shower? I see that in a lot of high-end listings. Do people install them just to be “high-end”? Or is there actually a demand for this amenity?

    I ask because I know multiple people who installed Jacuzzi’s as part of a renovation. Not in a single case did the Jacuzzi increase the resale price of the home. One guy told me that he used his $6,000 Jacuzzi six times before he sold his home – at a rate of $1,000 per use.

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  17. Hah! That’s why I don’t own a fancy dining room set. I once determined it would cost me $1000/ meal.

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  18. There is nothing surprising about financial services supporting the upper end of the Chicago market. That sector is booming.

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  19. “Riz, if you’re a successful doctor and i think you said your wife is a lawyer, and you’re not buying homes in this price range, then who is? Finance types I suppose. Crazy there are enough finance types in this city to support these prices. This ain’t NY.”

    Honestly HD, I have no idea. My wife and I went to the green city farmers market last weekend and walked all the way down armitage towards home, past lincoln park hs, etc…and were just amazed at some of the homes. so many houses that have to be in the 2-7 mil range. I always ask her, ‘who the heck can actually afford these houses?” – My guess is always rich finance people, family / old money, successfull business owners, etc. It sure as heck isn’t doctors and lawyers.

    On that note, I had the option a few months ago to stretch our budget and buy a place like this – ( trust me, our bank was more than happy to give us a jumbo nut job mortgage to do it ), but I just couldn’t justify the cost..I compromised and moved a bit west of where i wanted to be, and am pretty happy with how it turned out. My other option was to move to the burbs – where 1-1.5 can go a long way..but the real estate market has been shaky in the suburbs…and i don’t want to live there.

    Someone mentioned a while ago that people buying houses in this price range are probably buying in cash…I guess there are a lot of loaded folks around. I defintely couldn’t think of it.

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  20. I don’t know anyone who has bought this style of house. The few people I know who could afford this home, have houses that they remodeled or else built to their specifications. Their houses do not look anything like this monstrosity either. Rather, they look like real homes, where real people live. Now, the remodel did end up destroying one marriage, but other than that, the people ended up with an awesome house that they love.

    The facade of this home may have been created with top notch materials, but it just looks so showy. I guess my taste is more subdued. One of my friends lives in a home that looks like a run down warehouse on the outside. On the inside, it’s spectacular. No one in the neighborhood has any idea that they are wealthy. She once found a guy smoking crack on her door step and he apologized because he didn’t realize it was someone’s house.

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  21. “What the deal with a steam shower? I see that in a lot of high-end listings. Do people install them just to be “high-end”? Or is there actually a demand for this amenity?”

    I am not sure what exactly is a “steam shower”? Aren’t all showers steamy when you turn on the hot water? and no, i am not being facetious. real question here.

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  22. “I am not sure what exactly is a “steam shower”? Aren’t all showers steamy when you turn on the hot water? and no, i am not being facetious. real question here.”

    Steam showers emit extra steam from vents. If you accidentally put your toe in one of the vents, it hurts…a lot.

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  23. First the shower is completely enclosed to keep the steam in. Then it has a special steam generator. It really gets steamy.

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  24. The last two $2 million purchases I financed were for partners at management consulting firms. I did another $2 million plus house for a personal injury attorney. I’d say most buying $1.5 or greater that I see tend to work in consulting, i-banking, private equity, and medicine. Chicago has a lot of high income professionals, so I don’t really find it all that surprising that people can buy these places. With 20% down, you only need a household income of about $500-$600 to do it comfortably with all the other trappings of the upper middle class.

    I am more perplexed by smaller cities that are just as or more expensive like Austin, Seattle, Portland, Atlanta, etc. These cities have no where near the depth of finance, consulting, or even F500 industries yet home prices are through the roof.

    I’m even more baffled by NYC. I get there are a lot of bankers, but $1 million barely even gets you a nice studio.

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  25. Watch those RE taxes triple within a year.

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  26. Those real estate taxes had better at least triple in a year.

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  27. Steam showers are great, now that I have one, it would be hard to go back. That goes double for the body jets. Now rainshowers, you can keep, those I believe get pointlessly installed to appear “high end”.

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  28. I dunno. I like my rainshower. I don’t think it’s practical for actually showering – it rinses off the soap before you can apply it – but for some reason just standing under it feels really good.

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  29. “Now rainshowers, you can keep, those I believe get pointlessly installed to appear “high end”.”

    Rainshowers are awful for women. How do we keep conditioner in our hair when washing? You cannot. You even have to step out of it just to lather the hair. So what’s the point?

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  30. I don’t think the outside is mishmash. I love the covered balcony, it makes it much more useful in Chicagos weather. And, while the inside is generic, it’s not offensive. I would think people that want unique, buy a fixer upper and Rehab to their specs. A lot of people don’t care about unique. They want a nice place to hang their hat, raise their kids and go to Cancun on vacation.

    I was one of those 20 somethings that lived on Newport in a gray stone, had roommates, parties, cub games, the whole thing. Sad the area is changing. Time of my life.

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  31. Do you really want to sit outside in the front of your house? A covered balcony in the back makes more sense.

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  32. Two words about why this house is not selling
    Barnett Homes

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  33. The view is better on the front. See the neighbors, other houses. Back yard you are looking at a garage and an alley. I think it would be fun to say hi to the neighbors having a glass of wine. Or, sit on my porch talking trash to Cardinal fans, like we used to.

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  34. Meh. I want to talk to my friends or read when I’m outside on my balcony. I don’t want to talk to random strangers. That’s what the internet is for.

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  35. Well, I like to get to know my neighbors. Not striking up conversations with random people walking by on the way to the el. I don’t read outside, too distracting.

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  36. “I am more perplexed by smaller cities that are just as or more expensive like Austin, Seattle, Portland, Atlanta, etc. These cities have no where near the depth of finance, consulting, or even F500 industries yet home prices are through the roof.”

    I used to think that cities with more expensive housing prices than Chicago’s were somehow unique in that their high prices were simply a reflection of their heightened desirability. But I’ve since come to believe that a major city like Chicago is the unique one actually, in that there’s a collective preconceived limit to what people here are willing to pay for a house, or rather there’s a limit to the amount of debt people are willing to take on to buy a house here regardless of their salary. Whether you’re a long time Chicagoan or whether you’re newly transplanted, most develop rigid parameters for what they want/need in a house and what they’re willing to borrow for it. It’s a cultural consciousness here, midwestern practicality(?), and maybe it isn’t such a bad thing within reason.

    I could fill pages and pages here with dozens of anecdotal stories of people/family/friends I know well that are living in other equally desirable cities in the country that I’m convinced are living on the financial edge – the math that funds their lifestyles just doesn’t add up, and that’s the thing, I’m the unique one because I actually do the math. As long as they have a salary to make the minimum payments and as long as housing prices are increasing, in their minds they’re totally fine regardless of how much debt they actually owe. There’s zero thought to retirement savings, rainy day funds, major house repairs – they’ll just sell it if that happens, make some money and do it again. It’s a cycle.

    I’m sure there are many similar situations here in Chicago, but they’re nowhere near the levels I see in other desirable cities, and *especially* in southern CA where the debt is insane, but again, that’s from what the rest of the desirable country thinks is a unique, perhaps provincial, Chicagoan’s perspective.

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  37. What I finally figured out about Chicago is that the one thing that holds prices down is the abundance of vacant land/ teardowns/ rehab opportunities/ and gentrification opportunities that don’t exist in a lot of other cities. I remember seeing a study a while back that directly correlated housing affordability with shadow supply like this. Look what’s happening in the West Loop with the meat packers and now the North Branch and “West Bucktown” and Bronzeville and Pilsen.

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  38. “What I finally figured out about Chicago is that the one thing that holds prices down is the abundance of vacant land/ teardowns/ rehab opportunities/ and gentrification opportunities that don’t exist in a lot of other cities.”

    Exactly. There’s a lot of space for a city of 2.7 million people. But I also find it interesting that given the choice between a smaller house in a prime area/block/school district/walkability/CTA verses a larger equally priced house in a less than prime situation, the larger house often times wins… not always, but it seems that space trumps all in this city, a city where we’re hardly living cheek to jowl. Must be all of those suburban raised transplants.

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  39. I disagree space trumps all and I don’t think there’s anything particularly unique about Chicago in this regard compared to most places, it’s the space-constrained Manhattans and San Franciscos that are the anomalies in the space vs. neighborhood tradeoff. Chicago is fairly normal in this regard.

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  40. ” Not striking up conversations with random people walking by on the way to the el. ”

    I’ve met all my baby momma’s on the el.

    “As long as they have a salary to make the minimum payments and as long as housing prices are increasing, in their minds they’re totally fine regardless of how much debt they actually owe. ”

    That’s the entire NW side of the city and most of the suburbs. Lots of folks in the suburbs with $60, $80, $100k+ incomes up to their eyeballs in debt. This town is certainly cheaper than other towns, or so I hear, but as Russ said, other than LA/NY, the upper middle class areas of most cities cost the same no matter where you are.

    ” midwestern practicality(?)”

    I have family in wisconsin and I tell you everyone I’ve ever met up there is the cheapest sonsabitches you’ll ever meet. Housing is cheap in Appleton and milwaukee because you have pry every penny from a wisconsite’s hands.

    “the larger house often times wins… not always, but it seems that space trumps all in this city, a city where we’re hardly living cheek to jowl. ”

    Space wins because the weather sucks here and most people spend most of their time indoors. most people other than winter sport enthusiasts stay indoors from about Mid-October to late March; and then most days in spring and fall are hit and miss. For example, it’s 87 yesterday – hot – but then it will the upper 40’s on Friday and rainy….and a weekend day too, another indoors day.

    Also utility costs here are fairly cheap – we have lake michigan for water, a bunch of power plants all around the states, and liquid natural gas pumped directly into our homes. We’re not buying heating oil nor are we running AC 24/7/365.

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  41. I have family in wisconsin and I tell you everyone I’ve ever met up there is the cheapest sonsabitches you’ll ever meet. Housing is cheap in Appleton and milwaukee because you have pry every penny from a wisconsite’s hands

    Except for lakefront in WI. Then it is wild what people will pay for apiecesofcrap and I mean wild. Trying to buy some lake front small homes and find myself amazed at this springs pricing versus last summers pricing. People are irrational at the moment. Maybe they will hit reality by labor day. Sure hope so!

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  42. “Except for lakefront in WI. Then it is wild what people will pay for apiecesofcrap and I mean wild. Trying to buy some lake front small homes and find myself amazed at this springs pricing versus last summers pricing. People are irrational at the moment. Maybe they will hit reality by labor day. Sure hope so!”

    There’s a word for those people:

    FIBs

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  43. Appleton and vicinity still provide a middle-income family easy ability to maintain a good-quality standard-of-living.

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  44. Haaaaa… Or FISH TABS

    Fu*king Illinois Sh*t Heads Towing A Boat

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  45. Trudi, What do you know about Barnett Homes? I had a buddy recently buy a home from this developer and he had nothing but outstanding things to say about them. He was previously under contract with another reputable builder, but pulled out of the deal due to inspection issues. He said these guys are fantastic. Not selling because there is a surplus of $1.8+ properties in the area.

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  46. “Two words about why this house is not selling
    Barnett Homes”

    Are they having broad inability to sell? There’s one near me that was wildly overpriced to start, and they took forever (ie, almost 24 months) to complete construction–and that’s with all sorts of weird construction choices and some obviously poor execution.

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  47. I looked at this one before buying my current place (when it was a pocket listing), because I loved the facade and had lived near it for years.

    Was really wanted to like it, but did not like the inside at all. No laundry room upstairs, no fireplaces, and low ceilings plus VERY thick walls (making it feel narrow) in the basement eliminated this from my list.

    My guess is it sells for 1.6 to someone who loves the outside as much as I did and is willing to compromise on the interior features.

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  48. I think it will go higher than 1.6…I would buy this place for 1.6.

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  49. eh, I take it back. The siding in the back really kills the vibe for me, on second look.

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  50. “I had a buddy recently buy a home from this developer and he had nothing but outstanding things to say about them.”

    He should let @fo take a walk through.

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  51. “The siding in the back”

    I’m not 100% sure, but it looks like vinyl–at $2m, it really should be something more interesting. I don’t think that it “must” be brick, but vinyl’s not ok at the price.

    If it’s hardie plank, that’s a lot better, but it’s still odd that they did the garage in brick, and not the house.

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