Get a 3-Bedroom Duplex Up in West Town for Under $500,000: 1708 W. Chicago

1702 w chicago

This 3-bedroom duplex up at 1708 W. Chicago in West Town came on the market in June 2017.

This is a 10-unit vintage building above 5-units of commercial space.

2 of the 3 bedrooms are on the main floor with the master suite on the second floor with a walk-in closet, bathroom and outdoor deck.

The kitchen has granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances.

There are also two other outdoor spaces.

It has the features buyers look for including central air, washer/dryer in the unit and 2-car parking. There’s apparently a parking space in a 2-car garage along with a second spot on the driveway behind the car in the garage.

According to one of the agent’s notes on Redfin: “Per listing agent, reserves are under $20K for this 10 residential plus 5 commercial unit building and a deck project is being discussed.”

With condo buildings from the boom years now 10+ years old or older, should buyers be concerned about building maintenance in these smaller condo buildings?

Caroline Weston at Big Shoulders Realty has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #3: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, duplex up, 1730 square feet

  • Sold in May 2003 for $330,000
  • Sold in May 2010 for $390,000
  • Originally listed in June 2017 for $479,900
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $474,900
  • Assessments of $302 a month (includes exterior maintenance, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $7184
  • Central Air
  • Washer/dryer in the unit
  • 2-car parking included (one garage space, one space on the driveway)
  • Bedroom #1: 14×14 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 10×11 (first floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 16×14 (first floor)



13 Responses to “Get a 3-Bedroom Duplex Up in West Town for Under $500,000: 1708 W. Chicago”

  1. ‘With condo buildings from the boom years now 10+ years old or older, should buyers be concerned about building maintenance in these smaller condo buildings?”

    HELL to the YEAH! I guarantee you only the minimum was done during the bust and as soon as they could, many original owners got the hell out and kicked the can down to the new ones.

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  2. This is a smoking good deal, buy now or be priced out forever!

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  3. Under 20k reserves for 10 units (~2k/unit) seems dangerously low. Is that the norm for smaller condo buildings?

    “a deck project is being discussed.” – That will certainly cost over 20k for this building. So potentially looking at a HOA increase or special assessment on the way…if they’re fiscally responsible…


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  4. JAN TERRI SEZ BUY! BUY BUY!!!!!!!!!

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  5. That’s a typical reserve balance. A lot of the smaller buildings don’t have huge reserve balances so you definitely need to read board minutes to see what major repairs / specials may be coming up.

    Lending guidelines typically will want to see at least 10% of the annual HOA dues going to reserves. So if we assume $300*10 units * 12 mos = $36,000 in HOA dues. At least $3600 should be set aside each year for reserves.

    The thing is when borrowers are putting 10% down or more usually only a “limited” review of the HOA is performed by the lender so the budget is not analyzed. The borrower would need to look deeper.

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  6. It’s nicer inside than I expected, but living above a store front is depressing. These types of buildings should have stayed apartments.

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  7. I’ve always wondered how lenders calculate HOA health. Thanks for that breakdown, Russ. So, typically speaking, the additional risk that lenders see when buyers put less than 10%-down triggers a more thorough budget analysis from the lender? Or is a budget analysis never done at all? I think I would want them doing that even if I were putting 20% down.

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  8. Elliot, correct. There is a “full review” and “limited review”. Basically Fannie & Freddie require the HOA to be evaluated. In the business, it is known as a condo association being “warrantable” meaning it meets minimum guidelines for both Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac.

    Limited review typically only asks a few questions 1) is HOA involved in any lawsuits, 2) commercial space 3) HOA is not a timeshare, condotel, short term rental and 4) no owner/entity owns more than 10% of the units.

    A full review is usually required with less than 10% down, jumbos, and investment occupancy. I guess lenders want a full review due to the additional risk. In these cases, the lender gets full budget, decs & by laws, and does a more thorough analyses of the HOA.

    Purchasers should be looking at all this regardless, but I’d be surprised if most really dig deep.

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  9. Great outdoor space. So-so location. Not a lot of character remains for such an old building and yes, the reserves are a bit low. Probably sell around 430-450K range I’d guess.

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  10. Not a bad looking place but that kitchen sucks. Loading the DW from the corner sink looks to be a PITA.

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  11. Am I missing something regarding west town? I kind of think the neighborhood sucks.

    That being said, I think this will sell for high 400’s. It’s a lot of square footage and good outdoor space. Yeah, it’s old and kinda blah – but the price compensates for that.

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  12. @Riz – No, you are not missing anything. I don’t see the appeal of West town or the West Loop. For that kind of money, I’d rather be in River North, Lincoln Park, Gold Coast, or even the South Loop.

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  13. Riz, that is the challenge of being an urban pioneer. You have to be willing to see the appeal of a neighborhood before anyone else does. True, West Town is still gritty, but I do think the neighborhood has some potential.

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