Is Edgewater Still a Great First Time Buyer Neighborhood? 1122 W. Catalpa


This 1-bedroom in Catalpa Gardens at 1122 W. Catalpa in Edgewater came on the market in November 2017, went pending, and now has come back onto the market.

Catalpa Gardens was built in 2007-2008 but too many investors bought in the building and foreclosures were rampant during the housing bust.

It has 126 loft-like units and a heated parking garage.

The unit is on the 9th floor and has lake, east, south and north views.

It has 10 foot concrete ceilings and the listing says “tons of upgrades.”

The kitchen has 42 inch custom espresso cabinets, a backsplash, granite counter tops and GE profile stainless steel appliances.

The listing says there’s a “spa-like” bath with a vessel sink and a waterpik showerhead.

The unit has central air along with a Nest thermostat, washer/dryer in the unit and heated garage parking is available for $15,000.

It’s just a block to the Bryn Mawr Red Line stop and, yes, that’s the El line running right next to the building.

Originally listed for $180,000 in November 2017, it went under contract and has now come back on the market for $179,900.

During the boom years, Edgewater was a good first time home buyer neighborhood.

Is that still the case?

Ilsa Conover at Jameson Sotheby’s has the listing. See the listing here.

Unit #905: 1 bedroom, 1 bath, no square footage listed

  • Sold in October 2009 for $162,500 (included parking)
  • Sold in March 2015 for $163,500 (included parking)
  • Originally listed in November 2017 for $180,000
  • Went under contract in December
  • Re-listed in January 2018 for $179,900 (parking is $15,000 extra)
  • Assessments of $480 a month (includes on-site manager/engineer, security door locks, exercise room, bike room)
  • Taxes of $3049
  • Central Air
  • Washer/dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom: 13×10
  • Balcony


12 Responses to “Is Edgewater Still a Great First Time Buyer Neighborhood? 1122 W. Catalpa”

  1. Price isn’t bad but I cant see this place ever appreciating as it should just get converted into apartments

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  3. I know a few friends and cousins, who are younger and just starting in a professional job, and would love a place like this. Not everyone will be able to afford $450k + for a condo but still would like to buy. This is really close to the red line station, very walkable and right next to the LFP.

    Main issue I see, is the assessments are really high for someone in this bracket. That’s a huge chunk of their income each month and they won’t be going to Whole Foods all that often.

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  4. I don’t know rents in Edgewater very well. Could you rent a nice new place like this for $1500 a month or less? Could your cash invested diversified or in an ETF do better over, say 4 years? I agree I don’t see it appreciating (much), and with selling and HOA costs factored in – meh. It’s a place to live.

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  5. yep, that $100 price drop is the game changer

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  6. anoninedgewater on January 24th, 2018 at 10:59 am

    I am a lurker but just wanted to chime in that after ~2 years of reading CC and watching Chicago real estate pricing and inventory, I bought a condo in Edgewater as a first time buyer in 2016 (I also used Lucid Realty; thanks Gary for running a great company!).

    I think Edgewater is a great first time buyer neighborhood, both where this unit is located, and in the area West of Broadway. Edgewater is a vibrant, safe, and walkable neighborhood near the lake, Broadway, Andersonville, and schools such as Peirce are well rated and improving. People I’ve met are incredibly proud of where they live, and to me the area feels less transient than previous Chicago neighborhoods I’ve lived in. A lot of people I meet moved here from other Chicago neighborhoods, have stayed for years and plan to stay for years.

    Downsides are average household incomes are lower than some other neighborhoods, the commute downtown is an extra 15 min via red line compared to Lincoln Park / Lakeview, and it’s a pain sometimes to meet up with friends in non-northside neighborhoods.

    IMO even with these drawbacks, I am incredibly happy I bought here overall.

    If I were in the market for a 1/1 in this neighborhood however, I would rent. Vintage multi-unit buildings with no parking offer good 1/1 rental units in the $900-1100 range which seems compelling to me over paying almost 200k for this unit. Also this building really backs RIGHT to the red line and the upcoming RPM reconstruction effort for the red line tracks might make living here a pain in a few years when this part of the tracks is being rebuilt.

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  7. Seems like they tried to shoehorn “luxury” units (with a “spa-like” bath) into a location that is far from luxury. The neighborhood to the east has a long history of problems with high crime.

    It’s right next the the train, and very close to the train station, which is far from luxury living. The kicker is that construction is expected to start later this year on a 24 month project to completely rebuild nearby Bryn Mawr CTA station. It’s going be noisy.

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  8. I remember this building…it was built during the “bubble” and became a major Recession Victim shortly thereafter. Lots of foreclosures and short sales, so whoever picked up a unit here “for a song” a few years ago should be positioned to make a decent profit now. The building appeals to young people (owners or renters)who want a loft-like living space without the price of a “real loft.” The noise on the L side is buffered a bit but then, there are much more expensive places in Lincoln Park whose residents don’t seem to mind the noise either.
    “High Crime?” Years ago, when the nearby Kenmore/Winthrop Corridor was a troubled neighborhood, but not so much now.

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  9. Hmmm…and nobody has mentioned the yellow-and-blue “Andersonville” color scheme on the exterior?

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  10. anoninedgewater on January 25th, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    I totally agree, the color scheme is bad. The scale of this building is huge and to use such big, saturated colors feels aggressive compared to everything around it.

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  11. I bought my first condo in Edgewater last summer after years of living in Lincoln Park and I could not be happier. In my budget I was able to get everything I absolutely had to have (2 bedroom, outdoor space, in-unit w/d) and all of my “would like to haves” (top floor, fireplace, dining room). I truly feel like I live in a neighborhood — I garden at Peterson Garden Project’s Vedgewater and meet my neighbors when I stop by to water and harvest after work, I teach cooking classes at the same organization’s cooking school at Broadway Armory, I know the manager at Income Tax, I know my cashiers at Devon Market, I have access to incredible Indian and Ethiopian and Thai food, on my way home I can stop at Aldi if I’m on a budget or Whole Foods if I need some great seafood or a hard-to-find ingredient, I see families walking their dogs at all hours of the day, I can walk to the lake and have a drink at the Waterfront Cafe. The commute is 15 minutes longer, but I always get a seat now and can read the entire way there and back, and I like being able to bop up to Evanston to do some shopping or go to their farmers’ market. I do wish there weren’t so many vacancies on Broadway and Devon (maybe the Target will attract more investment?), but overall I really couldn’t be happier. I know everyone talks about safety, but I haven’t felt any less safe here than I did in Lincoln Park, where there was a shooting up the street from me and multiple muggings on my block. Plus, it doesn’t feel so bro-ish all the time. I do notice that I don’t go to anything on the west side of the city as often because it’s such a pain on public transit.

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  12. 100% agree with anoninedgewater’s and Mike’s comments. So glad I bought in Edgewater where you get more for your money. It feels safer than most other north side/near West side neighborhoods, no tourists or gaggles of bros. Easier red line commute. Only downfalls are: 1) commuting to O’Hare from here is a pain, and 2) sometimes it’s hard to get friends to come up this way because they don’t realize the world does exist north of Wrigley/it’s not all “Uptown.”

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