On the Market Over 5 Months in Lakeview: A 3-Bedroom Duplex at 820 W. George

820 w george

This 3-bedroom duplex at 820 W. George in Lakeview first came on the market in May 2017.

Built in 1993, it is a rare first floor duplex up as this style of construction isn’t built anymore (they are almost always duplex downs.)

The living room, dining room, kitchen and family room are on the main floor along with a half bath.

The kitchen has white cabinets, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances.

All three bedrooms and the two full baths are on the second floor, along with the laundry room.

The master-suite has a walk-in closet and it’s own bath with double vanity.

It has a private 600 square foot garage roof as well as 1-car garage parking.

The unit also has central air.

It originally came on the market for $750,000 in May 2017 and then the price was actually RAISED after one week on the market to $779,000.

But after that, it was reduced numerous times and was even listed for rent for $3950 a month at one point.

It is now listed for $599,900, or $25,100 under the 2006 selling price of $625,000.

Three bedroom duplexes have been a hot commodity. This one has the bedrooms well above ground, instead of in the basement where they normally are located.

Is this a deal?

Matt Laricy at Americorp has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #1: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2200 square feet, duplex up

  • Sold in July 1993 for $325,000
  • Sold in May 1999 for $440,000
  • Sold in August 2006 for $625,000
  • Sold in March 2011 for $505,000
  • Originally listed in May 2017 for $750,000
  • Price raised after a week to $779,000
  • Reduced numerous times
  • Was listed for rent from 8/31 to 9/13 for $3950 a month
  • Currently listed for $599,900
  • Assessments of $300 a month (includes exterior maintenance, scavenger and snow removal)
  • Taxes of $11,817
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 34×18 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 14×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 15×10 (second floor)
  • Laundry room: 8×6 (second floor)
  • Family room: 18×16 (main floor)



How Long Do You Live in a Loft? A 1-Bedroom at 711 S. Dearborn in Printers Row

711 s dearborn approved

This 1-bedroom loft in the Donohue Building at 711 S. Dearborn in Printers Row just came on the market.

The Donohue Building is one of the original loft conversions in this neighborhood and is considered one of the top loft buildings in the city.

It has a timber and a concrete side. This loft is in the timber side.

The loft has 11 foot ceilings with exposed timber beams and exposed brick walls along with large, west facing industrial windows.

It has the original hardwood maple floors, which the listing says have been refinished.

The kitchen was renovated in 2016 by the prior owner. It has dark Thomasville solid hardwood stained maple soft close cabinets, quartz counter tops and LG and Kitchenmaid stainless steel appliances.

The listing says there is all new plumbing, wiring and a hot water heater.

There’s no central air, only window cooling units, but there is washer/dryer in the unit.

Parking is available to buy or rent in the building.

This is the 4th time this unit has been on the market in the last 5 years.

Is it hard to live in a loft for the long term?

Mary Gamber at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #406: 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 900 square feet (the 2016 listing said it was 875 square feet)

  • Sold in August 1989 for $87,000
  • Sold in July 1997 for $112,000
  • Sold in February 1999 for $117,500
  • Sold in April 2012 for $175,500
  • Sold in July 2015 for $177,000
  • Sold in November 2016 for $263,000
  • Currently listed for $275,000
  • Assessments of $528 a month (includes heat, security system, cable, exercise room, exterior maintenance, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $2939
  • No central air- window units only
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • No parking. Available to rent or buy in the neighborhood
  • Bedroom: 13×12

Should You Buy Ahead of the Big South Loop Related Development? 1530 S. State

1530 s state approved

This 3-bedroom duplex up at 1530 S. State in the South Loop recently came on the market.

At 3150 square feet, it has as much square footage as many single family homes and townhouses in the Green Zone.

The corner unit has 75 feet of floor to ceiling windows with, the listing says, protected skyline views facing north and east.

It has 10 foot ceilings, exposed duct work and 3.5″ solid maple hardwood floors that have been recently refinished.

There’s a DeGuilio kitchen with Subzero, Miele and Thermador appliances, stainless steel counter tops and a 9-foot island.

All 3 bedrooms are on the second floor.

The unit has a large master suite with 2 walk-in closets. The bathroom has Snaidero cabinetry with Calcutta marble counter tops.

The first floor also has a family room, a laundry room and a 20 foot north facing terrace.

It has central air and one parking space is included with the option for a second for $50,000.

Related’s large 60-acre site is just a block away. That development is expected to bring in housing, commercial buildings, restaurants and a riverwalk.

There’s also talk of it possibly being an Amazon headquarters location.

But either way, it looks likely to finally get developed over the next decade.

Should you be buying into the nearby buildings now to get in before property values explode higher?

Mary Beth Malone at @Properties has the listing. It is agent owned. See the pictures here.

Unit #1012: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 3150 square feet

  • Sold in July 2001 for $633,000
  • Sold in October 2003 for $785,000
  • Currently listed for $1.25 million (includes one parking space and second is available for $50,000)
  • Assessments of $1481 a month (includes heat, a/c, gas, doorman, cable, Internet, exercise room, exterior maintenance, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $10,731
  • Central Air
  • Washer/dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 23×14 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 15×13 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 19×11 (second floor)
  • Family room: 17×14 (main level)
  • Laundry: 10×5 (main level)
  • Balcony: 20×6

This Gold Coast Row House Has Been On and Off the Market for 8 Years: 47 E. Bellevue

47 e bellevue

This 4-bedroom greystone row house at 47 E. Bellevue in the Gold Coast came on the market in June 2017.

Built in 1885, it has 5400 square feet and 3 outdoor spaces.

It has some of its original features including crown molding, the grand staircase and bay windows.

The listing says there were new mechanicals put in in 2013.

There’s also a newer chef’s kitchen with white cabinets and a 48″ stainless steel refrigerator.

There’s also built-ins in the dining room along with limestone floors in the living room.

It has a bonus “hideaway” room, which the listing says could be used for an office, and exercise room or entertaining. You can see it in the pictures.

The master suite takes up the entire third floor and has a walk-in closet.

The row house has central air but there’s no parking. The listing says they will pay for 3-years parking across the street in the 50 E. Bellevue high rise lot.

This property has been on and off the market since 2009 both as a listing for sale and as a rental.

Bellevue is considered to be one of the top streets in the Gold Coast with a host of restaurants/shops on one end and Lake Michigan on the other.

What’s keeping this row house from selling in 2017?

Maria Metlzer at Baird & Warner has the listing. See the pictures here.

47 E. Bellevue: 4 bedrooms, 4 baths, 5400 square feet

  • Sold in August 2001 for $1.38 million
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in January 2009
  • Originally listed in February 2009 for $3.9 million
  • Reduced and withdrawn
  • Looks like it became bank owned in August 2010
  • Re-listed in December 2010 for $2.15 million
  • Withdrawn in January 2011
  • Re-listed in June 2012 for $1.799 million
  • Listed for rent in September 2012 for $10,000 a month
  • Also re-listed for rent in 2016 and 2017 for $11,500 a month
  • Re-listed in June 2017 for $2.4 million
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $2.1 million
  • Taxes of $30,938
  • Central Air
  • No parking- but will pay 3 years across the street in 50 E. Bellevue
  • Bedroom #1: 17×13 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 17×13 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 11×13 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 13×15 (lower level)
  • Family room: 14×13 (main level)
  • Exercise room: 10×13 (second level)

Jenny’s Dream: A Townhouse Under $500K Close to Downtown: 467 N. Armour in Noble Square

This 2-bedroom townhouse at 467 N. Armour in the Noble Square neighborhood of West Town just came on the market.

Sorry, I don’t have a picture of this 8-unit complex, but I wanted to crib on it anyway because Jenny is looking for a townhouse with these criteria:

“There are too many people who want to live in the same neighborhoods and pay very little for their places. I want a sub-$500,000 townhouse within a 15 minute drive from downtown. Every so often such a place comes on the market, but it’s rare. There’s a lot of competition for places at that price point in areas where I would want to live.”

This townhouse is one of the rare ones she mentions as it is priced under $500,000 and is within a 15 minute drive of downtown.

It has three outdoor spaces, including a private rooftop deck.

There’s a family room on the first level along with a patio, the laundry room and a 1-car garage.

The kitchen has granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances and an island.

The master suite has a walk-in closet and a rain shower.

Both bedrooms are on the third floor.

The listing says it is “walkable to Fulton Market.”

These townhouses are fee simple which may account for the different colors of the garages and front doors in the listing picture.

It has been on and off the market since 2009. It was actually listed earlier in the year, in February, for $34,900 less than it is currently listed, and was withdrawn after 2 months on the market.

Townhouses are popular with buyers and competition at “affordable” price points is fierce.

Will Jenny have to settle for less than her unicorn criteria?

Or is her dream townhouse attainable?

Katharine Waddell at Jameson Sotheby’s has the listing. See the pictures here.

Or go see it at this weekend’s Open Houses on Saturday, Sep 23 from 11:30-1 pm and Sep 24 from 12-2 pm.

467 N. Armour: 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, no square footage listed

  • Sold in March 1998 for $220,000
  • Sold in April 2003 for $300,000
  • Sold in July 2004 for $359,000
  • Sold in May 2005 for $380,000
  • Was on the market off and on from 2009 to 2017
  • Was on the market to rent in 2015 for $2450 a month
  • Listed in February 2017 for $425,000
  • Withdrawn in April 2017 still listed at $425,000
  • Currently listed for $459,900
  • No assessments: fee simple
  • Taxes of $7400
  • Central Air
  • Private rooftop deck
  • Bedroom #1: 15×9 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 12×10 (third floor)
  • Family room: 15×11 (main floor)
  • Laundry: 5×4 (main level)

Market Conditions: August Sales Fall 4.5% in Chicago: What’s to Blame?

Flowers in the Gold Coast 2017

The Illinois Association of Realtors is out with the August sales data. Yes, sales slowed at the end of the summer.

The city of Chicago saw a 4.5 percent year-over-year home sales decline in August 2017 with 2,716 sales, down from 2,844 in August 2016. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in August 2017 was $285,000, up 5.2 percent compared to August 2016 when it was $271,000.

August sales since 2007:

  • August 2007: 2923 sales
  • August 2008: 2078 sales
  • August 2009: 1927 sales
  • August 2010: 1486 sales
  • August 2011: 1787 sales
  • August 2012: 2209 sales
  • August 2013: 2850 sales
  • August 2014: 2414 sales
  • August 2015: 2701 sales
  • August 2016: 2844 sales
  • August 2017: 2716 sales

August median price since 2007:

  • August 2007: $305,000
  • August 2008: $297,500
  • August 2009: $229,900
  • August 2010: $200,000
  • August 2011: $192,500
  • August 2012: $200,000
  • August 2013: $245,000
  • August 2014: $269,500
  • August 2015: $271,000
  • August 2016: $271,000
  • August 2017: $285,000

“With the improvement in the economy, people decided to enjoy their summer and the disposable income in their pockets,” said Matt Silver, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and partner at Urban Real Estate. “While this contributed to a slight slowdown in year-over-year sales, the market is on track and poised for a strong autumn; days on market continue to decline, and our year-to-date sales are higher than last year’s. Energy and attention is shifting to the housing market and the opportunities therein.”

Statewide market times continued to fall. It was down to 48 days from 55 days a year ago.

Total statewide inventory also continued to shrink, falling 11.4% to 60,462 from 68,240 properties a year ago.

“The uncertainty in the Illinois economy over the last two years has contributed to a dampening of housing demand in contrast to the generally positive outlook in the rest of the country,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois.  “At the same time, declines in inventory are still exerting upward pressure on housing prices and thus reducing affordability.”

Last year, sales were weak in August as well and lack of inventory was to blame.

This year, it sounds like it was three things: lack of inventory, problems in the state with the budget/pensions that is dampening demand, and people enjoying their summers and buying things other than housing.

There’s no doubt inventory is low, but it had been low all year long even as sales continued to rise.

Was the sales slowdown in August just a blip that will be long forgotten in a hot fall market?

August brings higher Illinois home prices, lower sales amid tight inventory [Illinois Association of Realtors, Press Release, September 20, 2017]

Looking for a True Mid-Century Modern Apartment? 1040 N. Lake Shore Drive in the Gold Coast

1040 n lake shore drive #1

This 2-bedroom in The Carlyle at 1040 N. Lake Shore Drive in the Gold Coast recently came on the market.

The Carlyle was built in 1964 and has 128 units.

It’s a full service building overlooking the Lake with doormen, an exercise room and an indoor rooftop pool.

This unit on the 27th floor has a 33 foot east facing balcony as well as a private west facing balcony from the master suite.

It’s being sold “as-is.”

There’s wall-to-wall carpeting throughout with floor to ceiling windows.

The unit has an eat-in kitchen with what looks to be the original cabinets as well as original fixtures like the sink, which appears to be brown in color. It has a window with lake views.

The master suite has a walk-in closet.

This unit is just 1.5 baths but the listing says “plumbing in place for addition of full second bathroom.”

In what is certainly a mid-century feature, the second bedroom appears to be completely wood paneled, including matching closet doors.

The building is 100% owner occupied.

No pets are allowed.

If you were the buyer, would you keep some of the unique mid-century modern features, like the paneling?

1040 n lake shore drive #2

Millie Rosenbloom at Baird & Warner has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #27B: 2 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, no square footage listed

  • There’s no prior sale going all the way back to 1989 when records became available
  • Currently listed for $965,000
  • Sold “as-is”
  • Assessments of $1819 a month (includes doorman, exercise room, pool, exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $19,039
  • Central Air
  • Washer/dryer in the unit
  • Parking included
  • 2 balconies, including one east facing
  • Bedroom #1: 17×17
  • Bedroom #2: 12×14
  • Dining room: 15×13
  • Living room: 25×18
  • Kitchen: 20×11



Market Conditions: Could Chicago’s Housing Market Handle Amazon’s 2nd Headquarters?

Hancock picture September 2017

Since Amazon announced it wanted to open up a second headquarters in North America, it has become like the quest to host the Olympic Games among major city (and some not-so-major) mayors and governors as they rush to put together the best “bid.”

Amazon has requirements, however (sorry Gary, Indiana, Tulsa and others hoping to bid), including:

  1. At least 1 million in population
  2. An airport with non-stops to Seattle and DC as well as international destinations
  3. Prefers an urban location with access to public transportation

It could bring as many as 50,000 jobs (not all at once, obviously) and may spend up to $5 billion building out a campus. Most of the jobs will be managerial/administrative in nature, such as tech, accounting etc. The average pay is around $100,000.

According to many urban planners, Chicago is among the forefront of those who would be bidding on it.

But could our housing market handle it?

Can we house the first couple of thousand employees who would show up to work here?

Crain’s looked at possible impacts:

  • Amazon employees would create another Bucktown, perhaps on the West Side. An influx of high-end buyers could “speed up the process that we already see in the West Loop and Fulton Market,” said Thad Wong, a co-head of real estate brokerage @properties. As North Side neighborhoods all along Milwaukee Avenue fill up, “it’s inevitable that people look west,” Wong said. With good CTA service, ample classic Chicago buildings mixed among empty land and great parks, East Garfield Park and later West Garfield Park might see a wave of rehab and renewal wash in.
  •  Anti-gentrification flareups would multiply. Seattle’s tech boom, fueled by Microsoft and other employers, not just Amazon, has made it one of the nation’s most unequal cities as measured by household income, with lower- and middle-income people moving farther out in search of affordable housing. In Chicago, where established populations have fought against gentrification in Bridgeport, Humboldt Park, Uptown and other areas, “you would see increased pressure on lower-income households and increased tension over the need for affordable housing,” said Geoff Smith, executive director at the Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University.
  • Fears of an apartment downturn would dissipate. “There are thousands and thousands of new apartments being built downtown in the next few years,” said Gary Lucido, president of Lucid Realty based in West Town. With about 8,000 apartments scheduled for completion in 2017 and 2018, on top of thousands opened in the past few years, rents have been dropping to get them filled up. “In the absence of Amazon,” Lucido said, “are we facing a glut?”

The developers of the Finkl steel site, which is along the Chicago River in Lincoln Park/Bucktown, are said to be putting together a proposal involving their mixed use parcel.

Another juicy possibility, is Related’s 60-acre parcel along the south branch of the Chicago River, south of Roosevelt Road and north of Chinatown. With the Riverline development already happening just north of it, it’s inevitable that a riverwalk will extend down that entire shore line with multiple water taxi stops, shops and restaurants.

Related’s property also could incorporate Metra and possibly a Red Line stop.

There’s also talk of the Old Main Post Office in the West Loop which is awaiting renovation.

Whichever city Amazon chooses will see big impacts.

Do the pros outweigh the cons for Chicago? Or will the city who “wins” end up regretting it?

What would Amazon do to Chicago’s housing market? [Crain’s Chicago Business, by Dennis Rodkin, September 14, 2017]

Should You Restore That 1960s Vintage Kitchen? 1300 N. Astor in the Gold Coast

1300 n astor

This 1-bedroom in Astor Tower at 1300 N. Astor in the Gold Coast recently came on the market.

The listing says this is a designer-owned corner unit.

It has new porcelain tile throughout.

And instead of ripping out the original 1960s kitchen, this home owner chose to restore it instead.

Yes, those are yellow mid-century modern cabinets.

The bathroom also has the original vanity mirror with lights going all the way around it.

The unit has central air but no parking and no washer/dryer in the unit. There’s coin laundry in the building.

When should you ditch the old kitchen and when should you try and save it?

Helen Beller at Berkshire Hathaway KoenigRubloff has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #18C: 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 800 square feet

  • Sold in April 1988 for $42,000
  • Sold in November 1991 for $67,000
  • Sold in July 2000 for $164,500
  • Sold in October 2006 for $234,000
  • Currently listed for $275,000
  • Assessments of $795 a month (includes heat, doorman, cable, exercise room)
  • Taxes of $4399
  • Central Air
  • No in-unit washer/dryer (coin laundry in the building)
  • No parking
  • Bedroom: 14×12
  • Living room: 21×14


Selling That “New” Condo 5 Years Later: A 2-Bedroom at 1348 W. Diversey in Lakeview

1348 w diversey

This 2-bedroom top floor unit at 1348 W. Diversey in Lakeview came on the market in June 2017. (It’s the one on the right in the picture above.)

We chattered about this building, and its sister building next door, back in 2012 when they were under construction.

See our chatter here.

Back then, the market was still pretty sick but was in the process of bottoming. New construction condos started to be built on the north side and sold quickly, including those in both of these buildings.

If you recall, this is an all brick building.

The kitchen has dark modern cabinets, stainless steel appliances and stone counter tops.

There’s a wine fridge in the kitchen as well as a second one on the second floor landing, which leads to a private rooftop deck.

Unlike the sister building next door, there’s no pergola on the top floor of this unit but there’s city views.

The second floor also has custom cabinetry and a small office space.

The master suite bathroom has a double sink and a separate spray shower.

The unit has central air, washer/dryer in the unit and one garage space is included.

Originally listed for $599,000, it has been reduced by $14,000 to $585,000.

These condos represented the current trends of that year, with modern cabinets and wide plank floors.

How are these contemporary finishes holding up just 5 years later on the re-sale?

Jim Streff at Berkshire Hathaway KoenigRubloff has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #3: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, no square footage listed

  • Sold in December 2012 for $477,500 (per Zillow)
  • Originally listed in June 2017 for $599,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $585,000 (includes 1 car garage parking)
  • Assessments of $175 a month (includes exterior maintenance, lawn care, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $8498
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Private rooftop deck
  • Bedroom #1: 18×13
  • Bedroom #2: 10×10
  • Den: 17×8 (second floor)
  • Deck: 40×18 (second floor)