The Lakeview SFH Alternative: A 3-Bedroom Penthouse at 2919 N. Burling

2919 n Burling

This 3-bedroom penthouse at 2919 N. Burling in Lakeview came on the market in October 2016.

The building has 9 units with attached, covered parking.

I can’t tell if there is an elevator but neither the current listing or the prior listing in 2014 says that it does so I am assuming it does not.

The unit has 12 foot ceilings and 3 outdoor spaces including a front terrace, a back deck and a private rooftop deck.

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

It has a family room and a laundry room that is as big as a bedroom in most condos.

There is central air.

At 2800 square feet, it is bigger than most single family homes.

It also isn’t the more common “duplex down” configuration.

The unit came on the market for $969,000 and has reduced $30,000 to $939,000.

Why isn’t this selling in this low inventory market?

Mariana Knittle at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #J: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2800 square feet

  • Sold in March 1999 for $555,000
  • Sold in July 2001 for $755,000
  • Sold in February 2014 for $885,000
  • Originally listed in October 2015 for $969,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $939,000 (parking included)
  • Assessments of $367 a month (includes exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger)
  • Taxes of $11,051
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 17×16
  • Bedroom #2: 16×10
  • Bedroom #3: 13×12
  • Family room: 14×12
  • Laundry room: 11×10

Just In Time for Santa, the Best Lincoln Park Deal of 2015: 1434 W. Wrightwood

1434 w wrightwood

This 2-bedroom townhouse in the Embassy Club at 1434 W. Wrightwood in West Lincoln Park just came on the market.

It is bank owned.

The listing says it is 1500 square feet.

The kitchen has white appliances and what looks to be intact cabinets.

The bathrooms also appear to be intact.

It’s being sold “as-is”.

There is central air and a 1-car attached garage.

This complex is kitty-corner from Wrightwood Park, which has an outdoor swimming pool, a children’s playground, and a running track.

Listed at just $394,900, a sales price under $400,000 would be a 2011-type price in this complex even though this is one of the smaller 2-bedroom townhouses.

The townhouses in the Embassy Club usually sell at $450,000+.

Is the bank underpricing it to spur a bidding war?

Linda O’Donnell at Re/Max Signature has the listing. See the pictures here.

By the way- I don’t know where Redfin is getting the prior sales listing information for this property because the public record doesn’t have the prior sales that Redfin has.

1434 W. Wrightwood: 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 1500 square feet, 1 car attached garage

  • Sold in September 1993 for $341,500
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in August 2011
  • Bank owned in October 2015
  • Currently listed “as-is” for $394,900
  • Assessments of $418 a month (says it includes cable but with bank owned listings this isn’t always correct)
  • Taxes of $9275
  • Central Air
  • 2 fireplaces
  • Bedroom #1: 15×12
  • Bedroom #2: 14×11


Dramatic Price Cut on Bank Owned Gold Coast 2/2: 111 E. Chestnut

111 e chestnut

This corner 2-bedroom at 111 E. Chestnut in the heart of the Gold Coast and the Mag Mile shopping district has been on and off the market throughout 2015.

It is now bank owned.

From the pictures, the unit appears to be intact.

Located on the 12th floor, it has the preferred northeast side exposure which includes the John Hancock building.

The kitchen has white cabinets and white appliances.

There is a fully marble master bathroom.

The unit has washer/dryer in the unit, window air conditioning and deeded parking, which can sell for anywhere from $45,000 to $75,000 a spot, is included.

The listing says this is a deal and is $100,000 lower than other 2-bedrooms in the building that are under contract.

In July 2015, it was listed for $595,000.

It recently came back on the market listed nearly $100,000 less, at $499,000, which includes the parking.

Rentals are allowed in this building.

Is this a deal for an investor?

Sophia Klopas at Berkshire Hathaway KoenigRubloff has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #12A: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1600 square feet, northeast corner

  • Sold in May 1997 for $264,000
  • Was listed in January 2015 for $595,000
  • Under contract in February 2015
  • Came back on the market in July 2015 at $595,000
  • Reduced to $529,000 in late July 2015
  • Not sure when it became bank owned- looks like October 2015
  • Re-listed in December 2015 for $499,000 (includes 1 indoor garage parking spot)
  • Assessments of $868 a month (includes doorman, cable, internet, exercise room, pool, exterior maintenance, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $6783
  • No central air- built-in window units
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 16×13
  • Bedroom #2: 16×14
  • Laundry room: 5×7

Market Conditions: What Will Happen to the Housing Market Now that the Fed is Raising Rates?

I’ve been running this blog for 8 years and in that time there has only been one Federal Reserve policy: cutting rates and keeping them near zero.

For the first time in 9 years, the Federal Reserve has raised the Fed Fund rate. Yes, it was just a quarter point to 0.50%.

But most analysts believe the Fed will be raising several more times next year.

That will almost certainly put pressure on 10-year treasuries, which are what determine mortgage rates.

This change in Federal Reserve policy could be a big deal because:

  1. Mortgage rates may rise
  2. This is the first time that many of today’s buyers have ever experienced a rising rate environment (and not a declining one)- what will they do?

Will we see a rush of sellers listing in the new year to sell before mortgage rates rise further (if they rise at all)?

Will we see a rush of buyers attempting to lock in low mortgage rates so they will be buying in the first few months of the year, pushing up prices even more?

Will we see a dramatically slowing housing market by the second half of the year, if the Fed raises rates once or twice more by that time?

Or will it not matter at all if rates rise because the job market is so strong that another half a percent or 1% on a mortgage isn’t that big of a deal?

Normally I wouldn’t do a separate post on this topic but for 9 years the policy has been one way and now it has changed. There has been much economic discussion on this blog over the years, a lot of it really good.

Now’s your chance to state your case.

Where will the Chicago housing market go in 2016 now that we’re in a rising rate environment?

1870s Lincoln Park Farmhouse Comes Back on the Market as Possible Teardown: 2734 N. Marshfield

2734 n marshfield

This 2-bedroom farmhouse at 2734 N. Marshfield in Lincoln Park just came on the market.

If it looks familiar, that’s because we chattered about it twice in 2014. You can read our March 2014 chatter here.

If you recall, the farmhouse was built in 1870 but has been transformed into a contemporary loft-like space inside with a floating staircase.

It has floor to ceiling windows in the back of the house which look out onto the 25×127 lot.

The master bedroom is on the second level with the second bedroom on the first level.

The kitchen has stainless steel appliances and butcher block counter tops.

It has all the other features buyers look for including central air and a 2-car garage.

But there have been two lis pendens foreclosures filed against the house and it is now being sold as a possible teardown.


It has come on the market $100,000 less than when we chattered about it nearly 2 years ago.

With all the new single family home construction on the north side, will it now sell for its land?

James Bellavia at @Properties now has the listing. You can see the listing here (no interior pictures, however.)

2734 N. Marshfield: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1119 square feet, 2 car garage

  • Sold in January 1988 for $91,000
  • Was listed in September 2013 for $599,000
  • Still listed in March 2014 for $599,000
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in April 2014
  • Withdrawn
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in June 2015
  • Listed “as-is” for $499,900
  • Taxes now $7447 (they were $7216 in March 2014)
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 19×13 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 6×15 (main floor)
  • Family room: 10×12 (main floor)

20% Appreciation in 14 Months for this Loft in the Hot Clybourn Corridor: 1872 N. Clybourn

1872 n clybourn

This 2-bedroom loft in the Clybourn Lofts at 1872 N. Clybourn in Lincoln Park came on the market in December 2015.

At 1800 square feet, it has authentic loft features including exposed brick, timber ceilings and large, industrial Northeast facing windows.

The master bedroom is enclosed but the second bedroom is lofted and open to the rest of the space.

The kitchen has white cabinets and the listing says a new Viking double oven and refrigerator.

The loft has central air, washer/dryer in the unit and 1 outdoor parking space was included.

This loft was sold by the original 1980s owner just 14 months ago, in October 2014, for $430,000.

It came back on the market on December 3 of this year and went under contract in just 11 days even though it was listed at 20% more than its 2014 sale.

If you want to see if anything was done to it, or if it was an apples to apples sale, you can see the 2014 interior pictures and listing here.

Normally, I don’t like to crib about properties that are already under contract but this loft will likely show incredible appreciation in just a short period of time.

The Clybourn Corridor is hot again with the New City development bringing a new supermarket, movie theater, shops, restaurants and an apartment rental tower.

Will we see a flood of new listings this spring as homeowners try and cash in on the incredible price increases happening in many neighborhoods?

Deborah Hess at Conlon has the listing. You can see the pictures of the current listing here.

Unit #306: 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, 1800 square feet

  • Sold in 1987 but the ccrd doesn’t have a price
  • Sold in October 2014 for $430,000 (outdoor parking included)
  • Originally listed on Dec 3, 2015 for $519,000 (outdoor parking included)
  • Under contract in just 11 days
  • Assessments of $529 a month (includes cable, exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger, internet)
  • Taxes of $6845
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 12×10
  • Bedroom #2: 13×12 (second floor)
  • Office: 11×10
  • Loft: 8×7 (second floor)


Market Conditions: Are Parts of the GreenZone in Bubble 2.0?

Chicago Magazine recently decided to look into the hot West Loop market.

The West Loop is hot with trendy restaurants and new tech offices, and now a shortage of family-size condos is leading to bidding wars and higher prices.

“I’m being contacted repeatedly by brokers on behalf of their buyers wanting to know about any larger units coming to market,” says Berkshire Hathaway KoenigRubloff agent Cindy Wilson. “Interest in three-beds and two-beds with a den is off the charts.” Wilson sold two 2,200-square-foot units at 850 West Adams Street this summer—one for more than $100,000 above its $699,000 asking price, the other before it had even posted to the Multiple Listing Service.

How quickly are prices going up? A three-bedroom loft at 16 North Carpenter Street sold for $548,000 in August 2013 and again for $825,000 in June of this year. Another, at 6 North Throop Street, closed for $473,000 in January 2012 and $715,000 this July.

“We went to see a three-bed at 14 North Peoria on its first day on the market and wrote up an offer that night,” says Baird & Warner’s Clare Zaro. “By the next day five other offers had come in.” They beat the competing offers only by inserting an escalation clause into their offer, pledging to best the top offer by a certain amount—a risky move, but an attention grabber. They ended up closing for $635,000, $40,000 above list price.

“You don’t see as many bidding wars in areas like Lincoln Park, because sellers come right out of the gate with high prices,” Zaro says. In the West Loop, sellers have recently listed for lower prices in hopes of triggering a bidding war.

According to the article, there is just 2 months worth of inventory in the neighborhood.

But are builders building new condos?

There are some new rental buildings going up, and smaller condo projects, but nothing that would alleviate the inventory problem.

How high will prices rise in the West Loop?

Is this a sign of bubble-like conditions again percolating in Chicago, or is it healthy supply and demand?

West Loop can’t keep up with demand for large condos [Chicago Magazine, by Ian Spula, Nov 25, 2015]

Nearly 1700 Square Feet for Just $425,000 in the South Loop: 1307 S. Wabash

1307 s wabash

This top floor 2-bedroom in the Film Exchange Lofts at 1307 S. Wabash in the South Loop came on the market in September 2015.

It has west facing exposures with a balcony and vaulted ceilings

Although it is a loft building, it doesn’t have any of the features of authentic lofts. There is no exposed bricks, beams or columns.

It does have exposed duct work, however.

It has diagonal hardwood floors and a laundry room with a full-sized washer/dryer.

The kitchen has stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops with a breakfast bar.

The unit has central air and garage parking is available for $25,000 extra.

It has 1690 square feet, which is bigger than most 3-bedrooms.

With the parking included, this unit is listed at just $425,000.

Is this one of the better deals, for the square footage, in the GreenZone?

Susan Dickman at Berkshire Hathaway KoenigRubloff has the listing. See the pictures here.

You can also see it in person at the Open House this Sunday, December 13, from 10 am to 12 pm.

Unit #707: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1690 square feet

  • Sold in August 2002 for $340,000 (included the parking)
  • Originally listed in September 2015 for $395,000 (parking is $25,000 extra)
  • Still listed at $395,000 (with parking $25,000 extra)
  • Assessments of $717 a month (includes cable, exterior maintenance, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $6329
  • Central Air
  • Full size washer/dryer
  • Bedroom #1: 15×15
  • Bedroom #2: 14×14
  • Laundry room: 7×3

Does the South Loop Still Have All the Best Deals? A 2-Bedroom at 1101 S. State

1101 s state

This 2-bedroom on the 21st floor at 1101 S. State in the South Loop came on the market in September 2015.

The building was built in 2004 and has 242 units, a doorman, and an outdoor pool.

This corner unit has the very sunny south and west exposures.

The listing says there are custom window treatments with blackout blinds in the bedrooms.

There are Brazilian cherry floors in the main living area.

The kitchen has a breakfast bar along with granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances.

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

Originally listed under $350,000, at $349,900, it has been reduced to $345,000.

That still makes this unit, at 1200 square feet, one of the more affordable 2/2s in the GreenZone.

Even though prices have risen in the last few years, is the South Loop still the place to look for deals?

Jennifer Liu at Jameson Sotheby’s has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #2107: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1200 square feet

  • Sold in November 2005 for $401,000
  • Bank owned in February 2011
  • Sold in November 2011 for $215,000
  • Originally listed in September 2015 for $349,900
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $345,000 (parking included)
  • Assessments of $728 a month (includes doorman, cable, Internet, pool, exterior maintenance, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $4035
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 14×10
  • Bedroom #2: 13×10

3-Bedroom Contemporary Renovation With Lake Views: 40 E. 9th in the South Loop

40 e 9th

This 3-bedroom in 40 E. 9th in the South Loop came on the market in October 2015.

The listing calls it “architecturally renovated” in the contemporary style.

It has north and east exposures with 2 of the 3 bedrooms facing east with some lake views.

It has a beamed ceiling and stained concrete floors along with contemporary finishes.

There’s an 8 foot wet bar.

The Master Suite has an equipped office with lake views and a spa-like bathroom with a walk-in rain shower and two closets.

The kitchen has wood modern cabinets but everything else is stainless including the appliances, counter top and sink. There’s a wine fridge.

The unit has central air and washer/dryer. It doesn’t say parking is included but it looks like it has a garage space.

Priced at $794,000, is this another sign that the South Loop is on its way to a full condo recovery?

Brenda Mauldin at Baird & Warner has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #1406: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2000 square feet

  • Sold in November 2014 for $350,000
  • Originally listed in October 2015 for $794,000
  • Currently still listed at $794,000
  • I can’t tell if that price includes a parking spot or not
  • Assessments of $1214 a month (includes a/c, doorman, cable, exercise room, exterior maintenance, scavenger and snow removal)
  • Taxes of $6650
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 21×20
  • Bedroom #2: 15×11
  • Bedroom #3: 17×10