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
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  • 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


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
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  • 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)


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
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  • 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)


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
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  • 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)


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

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  • 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)


Love Converted Churches? A 2-Bedroom in Lakeview: 3252 N. Kenmore


This 2-bedroom in a converted church at 3252 N. Kenmore in Lakeview just came on the market.

The listing says it’s “not cookie cutter.”

It has 10-12 foot ceilings throughout and 9 windows.

The kitchen has maple cabinets and stainless steel appliances.

It has heated garage parking, central air, washer/dryer in the unit and a small deck.

The unit has come on the market for $40,000 more than the 2006 purchase price, or $499,000.

Will it get the premium to peak pricing?

Brad Lippitz at Prudential Rubloff has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #202: 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, no square footage listed

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  • Sold in August 1994 for $179,000
  • Sold in April 1998 for $270,000
  • Sold in June 2005 for $459,500
  • Sold in September 2006 for $459,000
  • Currently listed for $499,000
  • Assessments of $301 a month (includes water)
  • Taxes of $5697
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Heated garage parking included
  • Bedroom #1: 16×13
  • Bedroom #2: 13×12
  • Den: 12×10



Rehabbed 3-Bedroom West Town Townhouse Is Still Available: 642 N. Armour

We’ve chattered about this 3-bedroom townhouse at 642 N. Armour in West Town several times over the last year.

See our June 2013 chatter here.

It was a Fannie Mae property, was bought and rehabbed, and returned to the market in June 2013.

It was listed in June at $399,950.

The townhouse has been under contract several times since then, even after it came back on the market at the higher price of $425,000.

It has now come back on the market again.

If you recall, it has new plumbing, decks and HVAC.

The kitchen is new and has granite counter tops and a Bosch appliance package.

All the baths are new.

You can see what it looked like before in this YouTube video (warning- music!).

Two bedrooms are on the second floor and the third is on the top floor.

There are several decks and a lower level den.

Will this townhouse have as much success selling now that fall is approaching as it did in early summer?

Nick Patterson at Kale Realty still has the listing. See the pictures here.

642 W. Armour: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, no square footage listed, one attached garage

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  • Sold in May 1996 for $198,000
  • Sold in September 2003 for $365,000
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in June 2011
  • Fannie Mae Homepath property
  • Was listed in August 2012 for $374,900
  • Reduced several times
  • Was listed in November 2012 at $309,900
  • Sold in February 2013 for $250,000
  • Was listed in June 2013 at $399,950
  • Under contract several times
  • Price raised to $425,000
  • Currently listed for $425,000
  • Taxes of $4488
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 17×13 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 14×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 14×10 (third floor)
  • Den: 14×13 (lower level)


Want to be a Landlord in Bucktown? A Victorian 2-Flat at 1636 N. Claremont

This Victorian 2-flat at 1636 N. Claremont in Bucktown has been on the market since July 2013.

It looks to be connected to another 2-flat next door.

Each unit appears to have its own separate entrance.

Here are the units:

  1. Unit #1: 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, no central air, rent of $1450 a month
  2. Unit #2: 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, no central air, rent of $1445 a month

The building was built in 1891 on a 25×125 lot.

The unit has high ceilings, crown moldings and arched doorways.

There are lovely gardens in the backyard but no garage although the building next door has a garage so there is plenty of space and an alley in the back in case you want to build one.

The units don’t have central air but there are window units.

There is an unfinished basement with a washer/dryer for the building.

Does this make sense as an investment?

1636 n claremont #2

Elizabeth Galfer at Jameson Sotheby’s has the listing. See the pictures here.

1636 N. Claremont: 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2-flat

  • Sold in March 2007 for $485,000
  • Originally listed in July 2013 for $580,000
  • Currently still listed for $580,000
  • Taxes of $8207
  • Total rental income of $34,740
  • No central air- window units only
  • Washer/dryer in the basement
  • No parking


Market Conditions: Is an Apartment Glut Coming to Chicago?

I posted two articles over the weekend in the comments about the slowdown in the rental markets in Los Angeles and New York City.

In LA, about 6,000 apartments are being built. Here in Chicago, according to Crain’s, it’s about 5300 apartments with the possibility of another 3,000 on deck by 2015.

Some are saying that there will soon be a supply/demand imbalance as the new apartments won’t be absorbed quickly enough.

Many developers and landlords say they’re not nervous, citing an improving job market and downtown Chicago’s growing appeal to well-paid professionals in their 20s and 30s who would rather rent than own. The risk of a glut is small because the market is good at regulating itself, they say, and lenders and investors know when to stop.

“No, there isn’t anything to worry about,” says Curt Bailey, president at Related Midwest, developer of a new 500-unit tower at 500 N. Lake Shore Drive.

The math shows that supply and demand already are getting out of whack. Developers will complete an average of 2,679 apartments downtown this year and next, according to Appraisal Research. The consulting firm’s quarterly survey covers an area bounded roughly by North Avenue, Cermak Road and Ashland Avenue, and focuses on larger buildings.

But in the last four quarters, a key measure of demand, absorption—the change in the number of occupied downtown apartments—has totaled 975 units. Annual absorption downtown has averaged 1,348 units over the last three years, about half the increase in supply forecast in 2013 and 2014.

Mr. Bailey of Related Midwest, meanwhile, has gone all in on the downtown residential market, with the recently completed Lake Shore Drive apartments and a 504-unit rental project under construction at 111 W. Wacker Drive The firm, owned by New York-based Related Cos., recently acquired the defaulted loan on the Chicago Spire site and has agreed to buy another development site next door to its Streeterville tower. Mr. Bailey won’t say whether he plans apartments or condos on the properties.

He dismisses talk of an apartment glut, saying the annual increase in demand for downtown housing—apartments and condos—has averaged about 3,000 to 4,000 units since 1990, more than enough to absorb the additional rental supply. And the city, he says, is only becoming a more appealing place to live.

Is the apartment market about to cool?

If so, will this push some developers to make the transition to condos more quickly?

How will rising rates impact the decision to go condo?

Or will developers be left holding the bag with both a weak apartment market AND a weak condo market?

The dark side of downtown’s apartment boom [Crain's Chicago Business, Alby Gallun, August 26, 2013]