The Pre-War High-Rise Family Home Steps From the Mag Mile: 222 E. Chestnut

This 4-bedroom pre-war condo at 222 E. Chestnut in the Gold Coast has been on the market about a year.

It has many of its original 1929 features including parquet floors, the original crown molding, picture framing and wainscoting, French doors, a wood burning fireplace and a butler’s pantry.

At 2750 square feet, it also has a full-sized dining room and a grand entrance foyer measuring 24×7.

There are only 2 units per floor in this building and only 46 total units.

The unit has North, South and West views.

It has central air but there’s no parking with the building. There is monthly rental right next door however.

There’s also no in-unit washer/dryer with this unit but some of the others appear to have it which means it is probably allowed.

The listing says it’s in the Ogden school district.

Originally listed in September 2012 for $890,000, it has been reduced $91,000.

Is this a good option for families looking for space in this location?

Mario Greco at Rubloff has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #12A: 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2750 square feet
[unordered_list style="bullet"]

  • I couldn’t find the last sale but it might have been in 1988
  • Originally listed in September 2012 for $890,000
  • Reduced several times
  • Currently listed at $799,000
  • Assessments of $1529 a month (includes heat, gas, doorman)
  • Taxes of $8306
  • Central Air
  • No washer/dryer in the unit
  • No parking- but rental next door
  • Bedroom #1: 17×13
  • Bedroom #2: 13×12
  • Bedroom #3: 13×9
  • Bedroom #4: 21×11

[/unordered_list]

East Lincoln Park 1-Bedroom On the Park Can Now Be Yours for Under $210,000: 2500 N. Lakeview

We last chattered about this 1-bedroom at 2500 N. Lakeview in early August 2013.

See our prior chatter here.

At 900 square feet, it is east facing so it DOES have Lincoln Park views.

A month ago, it was priced at $219,000 and many of you thought that was a deal for the square footage, location and the fact that it had in-unit washer/dryer.

It has now been reduced to $209,900.

The unit has some unique features that you normally don’t find in a 1970s building including teak herringbone cherry floors, crown molding and French doors.

The kitchen has maple cabinets, Corian counter tops and white appliances.

The listing says there are new floor to ceiling windows.

There are 2 wall air conditioning units and it also has in-unit washer/dryer. Parking is available to rent in the building for $155 a month.

This is a full-service building with a doorman, pool and exercise room.

What’s happened to the market in the last 4 weeks?

Have sellers missed their golden opportunity?

Heidie Maslo at Coldwell Banker still has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #503: 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 900 square feet
[unordered_list style="bullet"]

  • Sold in June 1997 for $145,000
  • Was listed in August 2013 for $219,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $209,900
  • Assessments of $594 a month (includes doorman, pool)
  • Taxes of $3384
  • No central air- wall units instead
  • In-unit washer/dryer
  • Parking available to rent in the building for $155 a month
  • Bedroom: 16×13

[/unordered_list]

The Elusive 3-Bedroom East Lakeview Townhouse: 621 W. Oakdale

This 3-bedroom vintage townhouse at 621 W. Oakdale in East Lakeview just came on the market.

It’s rare to find a 3-bedroom townhouse in this location because of the age of the properties in East Lakeview.

This townhouse has some of its vintage features intact including crown molding, two fireplaces, French doors, and a secret kitchen staircase that leads to an office or library.

It also has features modern buyers look for including all 3 bedrooms on the second floor and a lower level family room with a bar and a sauna.

The kitchen has cherry cabinets, granite and stainless steel appliances.

It has central air and a 1-car garage (which it looks like you have to pull in sideways.)

The house is built on a 23×49 lot. The outdoor space appears to be a second floor deck on top of the garage.

There are no HOAs with this townhouse although there is a row of maybe 5 or 6 of these all connected on this block.

Does that mean you’re left to guilt your next door neighbor into painting his front deck?

A few months ago, this would have sold in a day.

Now’s your chance.

Is this townhouse a good duplex down alternative?

Nancy Finley at Keller Williams Preferred has the listing. See the pictures here.

621 W. Oakdale: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, no square footage listed, 1 car garage
[unordered_list style="bullet"]

  • Sold in February 1991 for $235,000 (though the public record looks messed up so I’m not sure this is correct)
  • Currently listed for $585,000
  • No assessments
  • Taxes of $7658
  • Central Air
  • 2 fireplaces
  • Sauna
  • Bedroom #1: 21×15 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 15×11 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 12×11 (second floor)
  • Family room: 21×16 (lower level)

[/unordered_list]

Bank Owned 2-Bedroom Reduces $14,100: 3534 N. Lake Shore Drive in Lakeview

We last chattered about this 2-bedroom vintage unit at 3534 N. Lake Shore Drive in Lakeview in August 2013.

See our prior chatter here.

If you recall, it is bank owned.

This is the unit where some of the hardwood floors and moldings have been painted.

The building was built in 1924 so this unit has the pre-war features like tall ceilings, hardwood floors, crown molding, generous room sizes and a big entry foyer.

The kitchen has white cabinets and stainless steel appliances.

There are no pictures of the bathrooms.

It has washer/dryer in the unit but no central air and there’s no mention of parking.

With no sale in the last month, the unit was recently reduced $14,100.

Will this reduction be enough to tempt a buyer in a rising interest rate environment?

Ron Ehlers at Jameson Sotheby’s still has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #12D: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1500 square feet
[unordered_list style="bullet"]

  • Sold in June 1993 for $150,000
  • Sold in December 1995 for $160,000
  • Sold in September 2006 for $430,000
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in August 2010
  • Bank owned in April 2013
  • Was listed in August 2013 for $299,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $284,900
  • Assessments of $894 a month (includes water, cable)
  • Taxes of $5036
  • No central air
  • Washer/Dryer hook-ups in the unit
  • No mention of parking
  • Bedroom #1: 14×14
  • Bedroom #2: 14×13

[/unordered_list]

New York Style 2/2 Lofts are Listing at $675,000 in Bucktown: 1521 N. Milwaukee

This 2-bedroom loft at 1521 N. Milwaukee in Bucktown just came on the market.

If the building looks familiar, it’s because we chattered about the south facing sister unit, Unit #3N, in March 2012.

See our prior chatter here.

Back then, the 1600-square foot loft was listed at $499,000. Many of you thought the price was way too high for that location and it should sell for under $400,000 (but remember, this was in 2012- before the market “recovery.”)

It had luxury kitchen appliances, a private rooftop deck and parking included.

It ended up selling in June 2012 for $450,000.

You can still see pictures of that unit here.

Now Unit #3E has come on the market. It is also south facing and has a private rooftop deck.

The listing says it has a “gourmet chef’s kitchen” with stainless steel appliances. The bathrooms are marble and onyx.

It has 12-foot ceilings and exposed brick.

The loft has a side-by-side washer/dryer and central air.

Garage parking is included.

By the way, this building is NOT on the El side of Milwaukee so the El does NOT run right behind the building.

This loft has come on the market for $225,000 more than Unit #3N sold for last year, or $675,000.

Has Bucktown become the priciest neighborhood in the city?

Sophia Klopas at Koenig & Strey Real Living has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #3E: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, no square footage listed
[unordered_list style="bullet"]

  • Sold in August 2006 for $536,000
  • Currently listed for $675,000
  • Assessments of $219 a month
  • Taxes of $7566
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Garage parking included
  • Bedroom #1: 23×12
  • Bedroom #2: 14×12
  • Living room: 22×22
  • Kitchen: 14×10
  • Office: 9×9

[/unordered_list]

Old Town 3-Bedroom SFH Restored to Perfection Reduces $130,000: 1836 N. Lincoln Park West

We last chattered about this historic 3-bedroom single family home at 1836 N. Lincoln Park West in Old Town in July 2013.

See our prior chatter here.

At that time, most of you were in love with the house but a few thought that it was overpriced at $1.729 million. An “Old Town bubble” was mentioned.

But at $1.5 million, some of you thought it would sell quickly.

6 weeks later, the house is still available and has just been reduced $130,000 to $1.599 million.

If you recall, it has an old pedigree. It was built in 1876 for Charles Wacker on a smaller than average Chicago lot of 28×110.

The house has a 1-car garage and a brick patio in the backyard.

The listing says it has been “restored to perfection” yet many of its vintage features remain including the original moldings, shutters, staircase and Tiffany stained glass windows.

It last sold in 2008 “as-is”, but back then it was a 4 bedroom with only 1.5 baths. It is now a 3-bedroom with 2.5 baths.

All 3 bedrooms are on the second floor and there’s now a master bathroom as well so it seems that the 4th bedroom was sacrificed for the bath.

The old listing said the home could be expanded to 5 bedrooms (probably by putting bedrooms in the basement.)

The kitchen has modern brown cabinets with stainless steel appliances and some kind of grey countertops (concrete or stone?).

The house has central air.

Is the size of the house the sticking point at this price?

The listing now simply says “home can be expanded.”

Daniel Pape at Hudson Parker Realty still has the listing. See the pictures here.

1836 N. Lincoln Park West: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, no square footage listed, 1 car garage
[unordered_list style="bullet"]

  • Sold in July 2008 “as-is” for $950,000
  • Was listed in July 2013 at $1.729 million
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $1.599 million
  • Taxes of $15333
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 14×13 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 13×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 14×9 (second floor)
  • Office: 9×8 (main floor)
  • Family room: 17×15 (lower level)

[/unordered_list]

Get a 4-Bedroom Lincoln Park Townhouse For Just $649,500: 2757 N. Greenview

We last chattered about this 4-bedroom townhouse at 2757 N. Greenview in Lincoln Park in early July 2013.

See our July 2013 chatter here.

It had been on the market since February 2013 without any takers and had been listed at $699,000 since April.

This townhouse has the preferable layout most buyers look for with 3 bedrooms on the third floor and the fourth on the top floor.

There is a main level family room while the living/dining and kitchen are on the second level.

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

It has skylights, 3 outdoor spaces and an attached 2-car garage.

There are just 12 units in the complex.

The listing says it’s in the Prescott school district.

A 4-bedroom Lincoln Park townhouse listed for under $1 million is quite elusive.

This one is now priced under $650,000.

Will this price finally have the buyers stampeding to the door?

Mario Greco at Prudential Rubloff still has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #B: 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 2800 square feet, 2 car garage
[unordered_list style="bullet"]

  • Sold in January 2000 for $515,000
  • Sold in October 2005 for $785,000
  • Originally listed in February 2013 (I couldn’t find a list price)
  • Withdrawn in March
  • Re-listed in April 2013 for $699,000
  • Was still listed in July 2013 for $699,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $649,500
  • Assessments of $250 a month
  • Taxes of $11,223
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 16×14 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 10×10 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 10×10 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 16×15 (fourth floor)
  • Family room: 16×13 (main floor)

[/unordered_list]

Our Favorite Tuscan Villa is Still Available: 2965 N. Sheridan in Lakeview

Gary posted about this house in the forums. We’ve chattered about this 4-bedroom single family home, nicknamed the “Tuscan Villa” at 2965 N. Sheridan in East Lakeview several times over the last few years.

See our August 2012 chatter here.

It’s been on the market for over a year, but in July 2013, it reduced $300,000 to $1.399 million.

If you recall, the house has some unique features, including an interior atrium and a solarium.

Built on a 23×151 lot, all 4 bedrooms are on the second floor.

The kitchen has luxury appliances including Subzero and Bosch.

There is also central air and a 2-car garage.

It has been on and off the market since November 2007- which is almost SIX YEARS.

Not only that, but the bank filed a lis pendens foreclosure over 3 years ago, in July 2010. (But it does not appear to be interested in taking possession.)

At what price will this house finally get sold?

Brent Rosenbower at Prudential Rubloff still has the listing. See the pictures here.

2965 N. Sheridan: 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, 4600 square feet, 2.5 car garage
[unordered_list style="bullet"]

  • I couldn’t find an original sales price
  • Listed in November 2007 for $2.8 million
  • Reduced and re-listed
  • Was listed in August 2008 for $2.28 million
  • Lis Pendens filed in September 2008
  • Was listed in October 2008 for $2.28 million
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in July 2010
  • Was listed in April 2011 for $2.35 million
  • Was listed in August 2012 for $2.35 million
  • Reduced
  • Was listed for $1.699 million
  • Reduced in July 2013
  • Currently listed for $1.399 million
  • Taxes are now $10,021 (they were now $9931 in 2012)
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 43×20 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 12×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 20×10 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 23×20 (second floor)

[/unordered_list]

Market Conditions: Apartment Market Cools Heading Into Fall

I saw a lot of rental moving vans around Chicago over the weekend even though October 1 is the big move-in/move-out day.

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the red hot apartment market is now starting to cool as fall approaches.

We’ve been chattering about this for several weeks- with just anecdotal stories- to back it up. It appears renters are no longer fighting it out for those dream apartments.

From the Tribune:

Less than a month before moving, first-time renters Esther Levine and two friends toured four three-bedroom apartments on a Saturday morning and found two places they loved.

The friends settled on the apartment that’s within their budget and close to public transportation and a park.

“It is a little less than what each of us had agreed to pay (in rent), so we are saving some money,” said Levine, 23, a project director for a market research company.

Levine and her friends are among many renters witnessing a transformation in the Chicago-area rental market.

As recently as a year ago, many renters were stunned by skyrocketing rates and forced to make on-the-spot leasing decisions because the rental market was so tight. But a housing rebound and a boom in apartment construction in downtown Chicago appear to be making a difference.

“It is still a landlord’s market, but demand seems to be dropping, especially as Chicago’s warm weather rental season is nearing its end,” said Maurice Ortiz, director of operations for Apartment People, an apartment locator company in Chicago. “That should give renters more selection and hold rents steady.”

The outlook is brighter from a renter’s point of view. “Renters now have four or five choices rather than one or two,” Ortiz said.

The key to the downtown market is to watch for incentives. As soon as you start seeing “2-months free” ads, you know that it is a tenant driven market.

So far, we haven’t seen new rental incentives. But thousands of new units are expected to come on the market in the next 12 months.

“A lot of our clients are relocating to Chicago or have never lived in the city. They want the urban experience and are seeking to be located near work,” he said. “The people who are renting these luxury apartments are mostly would-be condo buyers who are choosing to rent.”

However, Galvin explained, “We are seeing a definite divide in the market between the newest luxury properties coming online this year and those built during the last wave between 2009 and 2011. The newest buildings are leasing faster than ever, and prices are the highest Chicago has ever seen.”

It is different for buildings built just a few years ago, he said.

“Those properties were commanding the top market rents and had almost 100 percent occupancy earlier this summer,” Galvin said. “Now they are trying to keep residents from jumping ship to the newest kid on the block. They are offering at least one month of free concessions, and prices are dropping as we move closer to winter. Renters are saying, ‘Why should I pay the same thing for a 3-year-old building when I can get brand new at the same price?’”

Ortiz says he has not seen any rental price drops.

“A few buildings may be offering insider incentives to renewals,” he said, but he is not aware of incentives for new renters.

Most downtown properties have switched to computer systems that price rents daily, like airline or concert seats, and fluctuate with demand, said Ron DeVries, vice president of Appraisal Research Counselors.

What does this rental slowing mean to the condo market? (if anything?)

Apartment outlook brightens for Chicago renters [Chicago Tribune, Sharon Stangenes, September 2, 2013]

The 3-Bedroom Wicker Park Duplex Down: 1525 N. Wood

This 3-bedroom duplex down at 1525 N. Wood in Wicker Park came on the market in July 2013.

But it had been on the market from 2010 until 2011 without a sale. It has the living/dining/kitchen on the main level along with the master bedroom while the other two bedrooms and the family room are on the lower level.

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

The master bathroom is marble. This unit has a private deck above the garage.

It has central air, washer/dryer in the unit and 1-car parking.

It was recently reduced $19,900 to $530,000.

What happened to the hot market?

John Vossoughi at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #1: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, duplex down, no square footage listed

[unordered_list style="bullet"]

  • Sold in October 2003 for $422,000
  • Sold in October 2005 for $510,000
  • Was listed in 2010 and 2011
  • Re-listed in July 2013 for $549,900
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $530,000
  • Assessments of $100 a month
  • Taxes of $7305
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Parking included
  • Bedroom #1: 14×12 (main level)
  • Bedroom #2: 13×11 (lower level)
  • Bedroom #3: 11×10 (lower level)
  • Family room: 20×14 (lower level)

[/unordered_list]