Pre-Chicago Fire Painted Lady Still on the Market 3 Years Later: 2029 N. Seminary in Lincoln Park

We’ve chattered about this 4-bedroom Victorian at 2029 N. Seminary in Lincoln Park several times over the last few years.

See our September 2012 chatter here.

It came on the market in 2010. Last year, some of you were surprised it hadn’t yet sold.

Built in 1861 on a 25×124 lot, the house pre-dates the Chicago fire (making it among the oldest houses we’ve ever chattered about) and the oldest in West Lincoln Park.

The listing says it was originally a farmhouse.

With 3 fireplaces it still has its antique mantles and leaded glass.

It also has the modern amenities of central air and a 2-car garage.

The extensive listing says it was last renovated in 1992 (when it also last sold.)

The kitchen has white cabinets and black appliances.

It has reduced $45,400 in the last 12 months.

Is this house not selling because buyers want “new”?

Jennifer Ames at Coldwell Banker still has the listing. See the pictures and floorplan here.

2029 N. Seminary: 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, no square footage listed, 2 car garage
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  • Sold in May 1992 for $560,000
  • Originally listed in June 2010 for $1,749,000
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in February 2012 at $1,574,900
  • Was still listed in September 2012 at $1,574,900
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $1,529,500
  • Taxes now $13,766 (they were $16573 in September 2012)
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 15×19 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 15×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 11×11 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 13×15 (lower level)
  • Recreation Room: 19×14 (lower level)


City Living at its Best in this Luxury 1-Bedroom: 505 N. McClurg in Streeterville

This 1-bedroom in the Parkview Condominiums at 505 N. McClurg in Streeterville just came on the market.

It doesn’t get any more “middle of the city” than this.

The corner unit has several city views including from its balcony.

At 1053 square feet, this unit is oversized compared to most 1-bedrooms so there is room for a dining room table.

It has an open kitchen with granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances and cherry cabinets.

It’s a full-service building with an outdoor pool, exercise room and doorman.

The unit has central air, washer/dryer in the unit and parking is available for rent or $50,000 extra.

Santiago Valdez at Re/Max Signature has the listing. See the pictures here.

Or you can see it in person at the Open House on Sunday, September 29 from 1- 3 PM.

Unit #1906: 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 1053 square feet
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  • Sold in July 2008 for $448,000
  • Currently listed for $459,900 (parking is $50,000 extra)
  • Assessments of $421 a month (includes heat, gas, doorman, cable, pool)
  • Taxes of $6202
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom: 14×12


Have a Lot of Cars? 5 Indoor Parking Spaces Included: 111 S. Morgan in the West Loop

This 3-bedroom penthouse duplex-up at 111 S. Morgan in the West Loop recently came on the market.

At 2600 square feet, it has outdoor spaces on both floors.

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

One bedroom is on the main floor with the other two on the second level.

There is also a 5×6 laundry room on the main floor.

But the real selling point of this penthouse are the FIVE indoor deeded parking spaces that are included in the price.

Are car enthusiasts the target market for this duplex?

Richard Lillie Jr. at Ascend Real Estate has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #906: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2600 square feet, duplex up
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  • I couldn’t find an original price
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in October 2009
  • Currently listed for $899,000
  • Assessments of $1100 a month (includes cable, doorman)
  • Taxes of $11,472
  • 5 indoor parking spaces included
  • Bedroom #1: 18×16 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 16×11 (main floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 11×12 (second floor)
  • Laundry room: 5×6 (main floor)


They’re Not Going to Give It Away: 607 W. Deming in Lincoln Park

We last chattered about this 8 bedroom vintage house at 607 W. Deming in Lincoln Park in March 2010.

See our prior chatter here.

If you recall, it was subject to the Chicago Tribune’s “Elite Street” column because the property was owned by former Channel 7 reporter Andy Shaw and was being used as a bed and breakfast.

The historic property, which was built in 1886 on a 32×210 lot, is nearly 9000 square feet and the listing says it’s zoned RM-5.

The main building has 2 owners units and the coach house in the rear has 3 separate apartments.

It has a garage and 1-car parking pad.

You’ll remember from the Elite Street article:

“We ran it as an inn at full speed for more than a decade, and we loved every minute,” Shaw said. “It’s a great house on a great street in a great neighborhood, and we attracted some of those most interesting visitors in the entire world. It was a phenomenal experience and a wonderful business for my wife to run while I did my ABC job.”

As the couple approached 60, however, they started to burn out. They listed the property for eight months in 2007 for $2.999 million. They relisted it last year for $3 million.

“We don’t have to sell,” Shaw said. “If we needed to get the cash out of it, we’d sell it for a lot less. There’s no reason to give it away.”

Buyers could continue operating the inn or convert it to a single-family home, condos, a nonprofit group’s headquarters or a corporate training center, Shaw said.

“It’s a turnkey,” he said. “It’s ready to go right now in any number of ways.”

Shaw’s ready to check out of B&B business [Chicago Tribune, Feb 25, 2010, Bob Goldsborough]

Over three years later, the property is still available.

Listed at $3 million in 2010, it has been reduced to $2.575 million.

Will this property finally sell in 2013?

Elizabeth Ballis at Coldwell Banker now has the listing. See the pictures here.

607 W. Deming: 8 bedrooms, 5.5 baths, 8900 square feet, coach house
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  • Sold in 1998 for $973,000 (per the Tribune article)
  • Originally listed in February 2007 for $2.999 million
  • Withdrawn in August 2007
  • Re-listed in June 2009 for $3 million
  • Was listed in March 2010 at $3 million
  • Was listed in February 2013 for $2.75 million
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $2.575 million
  • Taxes now $24307 (they were $31,407 in March 2010)
  • Central Air
  • Garage plus 1-car parking pad


Some Properties Didn’t Sell This Summer: A 6-Bedroom Queen Anne at 3500 N. Janssen in Southport

We last chattered about this 6-bedroom Queen Anne at 3500 N. Janssen in Southport in May 2013, when the housing market was on fire.

See our May 2013 chatter here.

But not every property participated in the buying frenzy as this house is still available this fall.

Last time we chattered about it, most of you loved it and wished you could buy it (with the exception of a few of you who had to compare it to homes on the North Shore- which is apples to oranges.)

If you recall, it is located in a popular sub-section of Southport, near the Southport brown line stop and all the shops and restaurants.

However, it’s not in the coveted Blaine school district but is in Hamilton instead.

The listing says it has a “reconfigured” floor plan with a new kitchen, with white cabinets and upscale stainless appliances, new electrical, new plumbing and new HVAC.

Built in 1901, the 6400 square foot house is on an oversized 42×123 corner lot.

Four of the bedrooms are on the second floor, with one on the main floor and one on the lower level.

There’s also luxury extras like a wine cellar.

It has been reduced $51,000 since last May.

Why isn’t this house selling?

Jennifer Ames at Coldwell Banker still has the listing. See the pictures here.

3500 N. Janssen: 6 bedrooms, 4 baths, 6400 square feet, 2 car garage
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  • Sold in October 1996 for $550,000
  • Sold in April 1998 for $890,000
  • Sold in August 2003 for $1.925 million
  • Originally listed in May 2012 for $2.95 million
  • Withdrawn in November 2012
  • Re-listed in February 2013 for $2.75 million
  • Was still listed in May 2013 at $2.75 million
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $2.699 million
  • Taxes of $17,130
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 17×15 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 14×11 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 14×11 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 12×11 (main floor)
  • Bedroom #5: 11×8 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #6: 12×17 (lower level)
  • Media room: 16×25 (lower level)


Market Conditions: August Sales Rise 22% YOY as Median Price Jumps 22.5%

The latest monthly sales numbers are in from the Illinois Association of Realtors.

August remained hot with the highest number of sales since 2007.

“The city of Chicago saw a 22.0 percent year-over-year home sales increase in August 2013 with 2,797 sales, up from 2,293 in August 2012.

The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in August 2013 was $245,000 up 22.5 percent compared to August 2012 when it was $200,000. Chicago condo prices also saw double-digit gains for the month, posting a 17.6 percent jump to $282,250. Average time on market in the city was 47 days, down 36.5 percent compared to 74 days in August 2012.”
Here is the data for the last 6 years:

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  • 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: 2797 sales

Median home prices over the last 5 years:
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  • 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

Chicago condo sales for August:
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  • 2007: 2,246 sales
  • 2008: 1489 sales
  • 2009: 1,239 sales
  • 2010: 876 sales
  • 2011: 1052 sales
  • 2012: 1396 sales
  • 2013: 1775 sales

“In the city of Chicago, we continue to see condo sales drive our market, with an increase in the number of units sold to 1,775 in August 2013, up 23.1 percent from the previous year, and the median home price has risen by 17.6 percent, to $282,250,” said REALTOR® Zeke Morris, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS and Operating Principal and Managing Broker, Keller Williams Realty, CCG. “As inventory is absorbed in some of the more popular areas of Chicago, our hope is that it spawns interest in neighborhoods that have not experienced the same growth, but offer viable, affordable housing options key to the economic renewal of our city.”

“Price and sales recovery continues and the forecast for the last quarter suggest that the momentum will be maintained,” noted Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “The price mix of homes sold is moving back to pre-recession levels as price increases move more homes into higher categories and as home buyers begin to seek more expensive properties. The sluggish economic recovery and increasing mortgage interest rates have not yet dampened housing demand.”

Illinois seems to be faring better than what is going on on the national level. The National Association of Realtors is uncharacteristically pessimistic about the housing market going forward.

“This high sales activity could be the last hurrah for the next 12 or 18 months,” Yun said. The NAR projects next year’s sales to total 5.2 million, and August’s rate “clearly exceeds my forecast projection.”

“A prolonged increase in mortgage rates will begin to hold back buyers,” who now appear to be prompted by higher rates to jump in before they go even higher, he said. “All the forces are for rising mortgage rates” though in the wake of Wednesday’s FOMC meeting, rates could dip, but only for one or two weeks.

Yun also said the new house shortage continues, slowing the pipeline Realtors depend on to provide more existing units for sale, that Realtor lock-box accesses in some markets took a nosedive in August, suggesting a slowdown ahead, and that first-time buyers are more “shut out” of the market than ever, meaning future move-up buyers will be fewer. And, Yun added, the trajectory of first-time sales is still aimed further downward.

What will happen this fall?

A) Low inventory will continue to push up Chicago housing prices
B) Inventory will remain low but sales will slow as well
C) Sales will remain about the same as the pre-recession September/October sales- i.e. we’ve gone back to a “normal” market
D) None of the above

Illinois home sales and prices continue upward climb in August; Statewide sales rise 17.3 percent, median prices rise 13.6 percent [Illinois Association of Realtors, Press Release, September 19, 2013]

US NAR: Existing home sales surprise again in August [MNI, Denny Gulino, September 19, 2013]

Love Sears Roebuck Homes? 6721 W. Hurlbut in Old Norwood Park is Back

We last chattered about this 3-bedroom Sears Roebuck home at 6721 W. Hurlbut in Old Norword Park in October 2010.

See our prior chatter here.

Back in 2010 it was listed at $674,900 and most of you thought it was overpriced.

If you recall, it was constructed in 1925 on an oversized lot measuring 45x150x50x150.

The prior listing said the house still had the original front porch.

In 2010 it was listed as a 4-bedroom but this time it’s a 3-bedroom with an office.

2 of the 3 bedrooms are on the main floor with the master bedroom set up as a second floor master suite. The office is on the first floor.

It has a finished basement with an adjacent weight room.

The house also has a first floor family room with cathedral ceilings.

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

The house has space pak cooling and a wall air conditioning unit on the second floor. It also has a 1.5 car detached garage.

The house is located in one of the best elementary school districts in the city.

It has come back on the market $115,000 less than when we last chattered about it 3 years ago, at $559,900.

Is it finally priced to sell?

Marti Corcoran at Century 21 McMullen hast the listing. See the pictures here.

6721 W. Hurlbut: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2131 square feet, 1.5 car garage
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  • Sold in January 1989 for $173,500
  • Sold in January 1996 for $235,000
  • Sold in April 1998 for $333,000
  • Originally listed in April 2010
  • Was listed in October 2010 for $674,900
  • Withdrawn
  • Re-listed in August 2013 for $559,900
  • Currently still listed for $559,900
  • Taxes of $6084 (they were $5890 in October 2010)
  • Space pak but also wall air conditioning unit on the second level
  • Bedroom #1: 22×18 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 13×12 (main floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 12×11 (main floor)
  • Office: 12×11 (main floor)
  • Family room: 20×17 (main floor)


Suburbs in the City with a 5-Car Garage: 1345 W. Wolfram in Lakeview

This 6-bedroom single family home at 1345 W. Wolfram in Lakeview has been on the market since September 2012.

It is on a rare double lot measuring 52×124.6 which allows it to have that other rare feature: the 5 car garage.

At 9050 square feet, it has 7 full bathrooms and 2 half baths.

It has 4 decks and a basketball court.

If you have a lot of children using those bedrooms, there is a lower level nanny’s quarters complete with a full kitchen.

The double lot allows you to have 4 bedrooms on the same level, all with ensuite bathrooms.

The kitchen is gourmet with luxury stainless steel appliances.

If you don’t want to walk up and down all the stairs, there is an elevator.

Originally listed over a year ago, it has been reduced $245,999 to $2.95 million.

What’s holding back a sale on this house?

Jennifer Ames at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures and the floorplan here.

1345 W. Wolfram: 6 bedrooms, 7 full baths, 2 half baths, 9050 square feet, 5 car garage
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  • I couldn’t find a prior sales price
  • Originally listed in September 2012 for $3,195,999
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $2.95 million
  • Taxes of $11,866
  • Central Air
  • 3 fireplaces
  • Nanny’s quarter with kitchen
  • Bedroom #1: 21×15 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 15×14 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 11×15 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 11×18 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #5: 11×13 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #6: 8×16 (lower level)


Where’s the Money in Real Estate? Reselling Foreclosures: 5235 N. Ravenswood in Andersonville

This 1-bedroom loft in the Map Factory Lofts at 5235 N. Ravenswood in Andersonville came on the market in August 2013.

It’s a duplex down with timber ceilings and exposed brick.

The living and dining room are on the main floor with a spiral staircase connecting to the bedroom and a 13×10 den, along with the bathroom, on the lower level.

The kitchen has white cabinets and white appliances.

It has central air and an outdoor parking space but there’s no in-unit laundry.

A lis pendens foreclosure was filed on this unit in 2010 and then it sold for $82,500 in a judicial sale in July 2013.

It came back on the market almost immediately, in August, for nearly triple the purchase price, at $219,888.

How much money will this investor make on this loft?

Ngocmai Huynh at VNT Realty has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #5: 1 bedroom, 1 bath, duplex down, no square footage listed
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  • Sold in May 1995 for $100,000
  • Sold in May 1997 for $119,000
  • Sold in September 1998 for $140,000
  • Sold in June 2004 for $241,500
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in May 2010
  • Judicial sale in July 2013 for $82,500
  • Originally listed in August 2013 for $219,888
  • Still listed at $219,888
  • Assessments of $243 a month
  • Taxes of $3528
  • Central Air
  • No washer/dryer in the unit
  • 1 parking space included
  • Bedroom #1: 15×16 (lower level)
  • Den: 13×10 (lower leve)


5 Bedrooms and 5 Fireplaces All For Under $1 Million in the Gold Coast: 1210 N. Astor

This 5-bedroom duplex down in the historic 1210 N. Astor in the Gold Coast just came on the market.

Built in 1897 and designed by Holabird & Roche, this south and east facing first floor unit has all of the vintage features you would expect from this era.

The unit still has the original hardwood floors, pocket doors and plaster moldings along with 10.5′ ceilings.

There are 5 fireplaces, 4 of them on the main level and 1 in the lower level.

3 of the 5 bedrooms, including the master bedroom, are on the main floor. There is also a massive 12×8 “dressing area” off the master bedroom. What do you think this room was originally supposed to be in 1897?

The kitchen has white cabinets and stainless steel appliances with what looks to be granite counter tops. There is also a nearby butler’s pantry.

It has central air and in-unit washer/dryer.

One listing I saw said it has parking but I don’t think this building, with just 14 units, has any deeded parking.

Is this a deal for this space?

Beth Wexner at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #1A: 5 bedrooms, 4 baths, no square footage listed, duplex down
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  • Sold in March 1999 for $525,000
  • Sold in June 2004 for $978,000
  • Was listed in 2010-2011 but withdrawn
  • Currently listed for $999,000
  • Assessments of $2646 a month (includes heat, water)
  • Taxes of $18402
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • 5 fireplaces
  • Parking (or not???)
  • Bedroom #1: 13×18 (main floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 15×15 (main floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 13×9 (main floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 9×10 (lower level)
  • Bedroom #5: 12×11 (lower level)
  • Family room: 15×16 (lower level)