We Love Covered Pergola Lounges With TVs and Heaters: 507 W. Roscoe in Lakeview

This 4-bedroom top floor unit at 507 W. Roscoe in East Lakeview came on the market in September 2013.

At 3500 square feet, it is the entire top floor of this 3-unit building.

It’s key feature is the 600 square foot private rooftop deck with a “covered pergola lounge” with a tv and heater.

The deck also has a hot tub and bar.

The unit has French doors, crown molding and a separate family room.

The kitchen has dark cabinets and Wolf and Subzero stainless steel appliances.

The unit has central air and 2-car garage.

Is this condo an attractive alternative to a single family home?

Natalie Weiland at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #3: 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 3500 square feet, 2 car garage
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  • Sold in November 2008 for $720,000
  • Originally listed in September 2013 for $1.395 million
  • Currently still listed for $1.395 million
  • Assessments of $350 a month
  • Taxes of $10523
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 14×13
  • Bedroom #2: 16×14
  • Bedroom #3: 12×17
  • Bedroom #4: 11×13
  • Family room: 11×16
  • Laundry room: 9×9
  • Deck: 600 square feet

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Market Conditions: Are Flippers and Private Equity Pushing Up Chicago Prices?

One thing that’s different about this housing market versus the 2005-2006 frenzy is that we never used to mention “private equity” and “home buying” in the same sentence before.

But now that is common place.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the number of flips in the Chicago area doubled in the first nine months of the year.

Local investors attribute the heightened activity to the local housing market’s ongoing recovery and the imbalance between consumer demand for move-in ready homes and available inventory. That is driving up prices as bidding wars ensue, first among investors. Then, the rehabbed homes in sought-after neighborhoods are the subject of another bidding war, this time among consumers, which means greater profits for flippers.

A total of 2,235 single-family homes were sold and then resold within six months in the greater Chicago area between January and September, according to a report by RealtyTrac. That compares with 1,086 homes in the year-ago period.

In the third quarter alone, investors flipped 562 homes, a 28 percent increase from a year ago but down 15 percent from the second quarter. On average, home flippers made a gross profit of $85,814 in the third quarter, a 33 percent uptick from a year ago, making the Chicago area the 21st best market for flippers, RealtyTrac found.

“There’s definitely room for growth,” said Peter Menachem, chief operating officer of SNL Realty LLC, a company that will handle as many as 80 houses this year, compared with 63 last year. “People like a turnkey house.”
But are these flippers or rehabbers?

My definition of “flipper” is someone who does NOTHING to the property and resells it weeks/months later for a higher price. We saw plenty of this during the bubble, especially in condos.

Rehabbers buy a property, put money into it, and THEN get rid of it for a profit.

Either way, investor buyers are facing heated competition from “hedge funds” (aka private equity funds.)

Competition for properties remains fierce, as some investors snap up properties in desirable markets to sell to consumers, and other investors buy homes and reposition them as single-family rentals. There’s still a lot of money to be made, but it’s not a sector for the hobbyists, according to Sherwin Yellen, a longtime Chicago real estate investor.

“The hedge funds are bidding out the guys like me, the independents, 3-to-1,” Yellen said. “It’s very hard to buy.”

Is it even worth it to try and buy the foreclosure/short sale in some neighborhoods these days?

Can a “regular” investor compete against the big boys?

Home flipping gets fierce [Chicago Tribune, Mary Ellen Podmolik, Oct 16, 2013]

Why Don’t More Condos Have Luxury Built-Ins? 21 W. Chestnut in the Gold Coast

This 1-bedroom at 21 W. Chestnut in the  Gold Coast just came on the market.

It has extensive built-ins in both the living room/kitchen and the bedroom which creates a ton of extra storage space.

This unit has been completely remodeled.

It has 6-inch hand-scrapped white oak floors.

There is Lagamorph custom white cabinetry.

The kitchen has luxury appliances such as Miele and Viking.

There’s also Ann Sacks tile and marble.

The unit has central air, in-unit washer/dryer and parking is available for $35,000 extra.

Built-ins are used extensively in New York City condos.

Why don’t more people install them in Chicago condos?

Deborah Hess at Conlon has the listing. See the pictures here.

Or see it in person at the open house this Sunday, Oct 20, between 12- 2 PM.

Unit #1704: 1 bedroom, 1.5 baths, 878 square feet
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  • Sold in September 1999 for $216,000
  • Sold in November 2000 for $305,000
  • Sold in August 2001 for $285,000
  • Sold in August 2006 for $415,000 (included the parking)
  • Currently listed for $375,000 (parking is $35,000 extra)
  • Assessments of $584 a month (includes heat, a/c, doorman, cable)
  • Taxes of $4691
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom: 17×12
  • Foyer: 6×5

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Buy a Loft With Over $400,000 in Upgrades: 1000 W. Washington in the West Loop

This 2-bedroom authentic loft in 1000 W. Washington in the West Loop came on the market in September 2013.

It has a triplex layout with 18 foot timber ceilings and exposed brick.

The kitchen is described as “gourmet”  with stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops and yellow cabinets.

The bathrooms are listed as “over the top” with stone finishes.

There’s one bedroom on the main floor, one on the second floor and a den on the third floor.

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

The listing says the loft has had $400,000 in upgrades.

Can a unit be TOO updated?

Justin Francek at Dream Town Realty has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #438: 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2400 square feet, triplex
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  • Sold in May 2003 for $475,000
  • Originally listed in September 2013 for $649,900
  • Currently still listed at $649,900
  • Assessments of $950 a month (includes doorman, cable)
  • Taxes of $7578
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Garage parking included
  • Bedroom #1: 20×15 (main floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 15×12 (second floor)
  • Den: 19×10 (third floor)

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This Homepath 2/2 Has Been Listed for Over 3 Months: 3140 N. Sheffield in Lakeview

This 2-bedroom at the Residences at the Vic at 3140 N. Sheffield in Lakeview has been on the market since June 2013.

It is a Fannie Mae property with Homepath 3% financing available.

From the pictures, it looks like everything in the unit is intact.

It has hardwood floors in the main living area.

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

The bathrooms are white.

There is also a rare (at least for a condo this size) laundry room with side-by-side washer/dryer.

It has all the other features buyers look for including central air and garage parking is included.

It is NOT on the El side of the street.

Originally listed for $409,900 in June, it has been reduced about 11% to $364,900.

Why isn’t this selling?

Benjamin Beaty at Jameson Sotheby’s has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #502: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, no square footage listed
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  • Sold in July 2007 for $462,500
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in May 2010
  • Bank owned in February 2013
  • Listed in June 2013 for $409,900
  • Reduced several times
  • Currently listed for $364,900
  • Assessments of $312 a month
  • Taxes of $5142
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Parking included
  • Homepath financing available
  • Bedroom #1: 14×12
  • Bedroom #2: 12×11
  • Laundry room: 8×6

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Trying to Sell a 2-Bedroom Duplex Loft 6 Months Later: 203 S. Sangamon in the West Loop

This 2-bedroom duplex loft in the Beacon Lofts at 203 S. Sangamon in the West Loop recently came on the market.

It has authentic loft features including exposed ductwork and bricks and extra tall ceilings.

One bedroom is on the main floor (looks like it doesn’t have a window) and the master bedroom is on the second floor overlooking the living room.

It has diagonal hardwood floors.

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

There’s central air, washer/dryer in the unit and garage parking included.

It last sold just 6 months ago, in April 2013, when the market was much hotter.

The loft has come on the market $13,500 more than the last sale.

Will it be able to sell quickly in this fall market?

And for what price?

Elizabeth LaTour at Dream Town has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #306: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1667 square feet
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  • Sold in September 1999 for $291,500
  • Sold in April 2001 for $387,000
  • Sold in March 2006 for $355,500
  • Sold in March 2007 for $415,000
  • Sold in April 2013 for $436,500
  • Currently listed for $450,000
  • Assessments of $434 a month (includes cable)
  • Taxes of $5956
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Garage parking included
  • Bedroom #1: 13×13 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 13×12 (main floor)

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Get a Custom Streeterville 2/2 for $449,000 on the Mag Mile: 535 N. Michigan

This 2-bedroom at 535 N. Michigan in Streeterville just came on the market.

The building was constructed in 1962 and consists of mostly smaller 1-bedroom units.

But this is a true 2/2 that has been completely renovated with custom built-ins in every room. The listing says it has 9 custom closets.

It has dark hardwood floors throughout.

The kitchen is all custom with granite counter tops, a double dishwasher and a Liebherr refrigerator.

The unit has central air, but no in-unit washer/dryer. There is parking in the building (I believe it’s rental.)

This is a full service building with a top floor indoor pool and exercise room with city views.

The unit faces North and has city views.

Are built-ins a positive when selling a unit?

Vicky Keene at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #2514: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, no square footage listed
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  • Sold in August 1992 for $125,000
  • Sold in June 1995 for $146,000
  • Sold in December 1998 for $229,000
  • Sold in July 2008 for $380,000
  • Currently listed at $449,000
  • Assessments of $893 a month (includes cable, pool, doorman)
  • Taxes of $5159
  • Central Air
  • No washer/dryer in the unit
  • Parking in the building (rental?)
  • Bedroom #1: 24×11
  • Bedroom #2: 14×14

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This 5-Bedroom Vintage Tudor Just Reduced $200K: 1336 W. Catalpa in Lakewood Balmoral

This 5-bedroom Tudor at 1336 W. Catalpa in the Lakewood Balmoral neighborhood of Andersonville came on the market in July 2013.

It was built in 1905 on an oversized 50×123 corner lot.

It has many of its vintage features including beamed ceilings and pocket doors.

The kitchen has luxury finishes including Viking, Subzero and Gaggenau.

3 of the 5 bedrooms are on the second floor with the other two on the third floor.

There is also a “nanny suite” which includes a kitchenette on the third floor.

The house has a great room on the main level and a family room on the lower level.

It has central air and a 2-car garage.

Originally listed for $1.695 million, it has reduced $200,000.

Will this new price get it done?

Pamela Ball at Baird & Warner has the listing. See the pictures here.

1336 W. Catalpa: 5 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, 5200 square feet, 2 car garage
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  • Sold in September 1995 for $825,000
  • Originally listed in July 2013 for $1.695 million
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $1.495 million
  • Taxes of $17836
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 15×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 15×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 12×10 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 20×14 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #5: 14×12 (third floor)
  • Great room: 22×15 (main floor)
  • Family room: 21×13 (lower level)

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Full Floor Streeterville Penthouse Sells for Just $460,000: 247 E. Chestnut

We’ve chattered about this full floor 4-bedroom penthouse at 247 E. Chestnut several times over the last few years.

See our November 2012 chatter here.

It was  bank owned.

The listing price has been all over the place from as high as almost a million dollars to as low as $500,000.

It finally sold with a price of just $460,000.

Some of you may also recognize it from 2010 publicity about an auction of the property (as it was owned by an Emmy award winning soap opera writer.) See that story here.

If you recall, at 4700 square feet, it was a full-floor unit with 360 degree views of the Lake and city.

The kitchen was described in the old listing as a “chef’s kitchen” with pear wood cabinetry, stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops.

It had central air and washer dryer in the unit.

Parking was rental in the building.

Yes, the assessments truly were $4152 a month.

Did someone get a deal?

William Murray at Century21 had the listing. You can still see the pictures here in this Youtube video (warning – music!)

Unit #2500: 4 bedrooms, 5 baths, 4700 square feet, full floor penthouse
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  • Sold in August 1986 (but I couldn’t determine the price)
  • Was listed in March 2011 as a “short sale” for $500,000
  • Withdrawn
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in July 2011
  • Bank owned in November 2011
  • Originally listed in June 2012 for $949,900
  • Reduced within days
  • Was listed in June 2012 at $899,900
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in November 2012 at $799,900
  • Sold in October 2013 for $460,000
  • Assessments were $4152 a month (they were $4035 a month in March 2011) (includes heat, air conditioning, gas, doorman, cable)
  • Taxes now $17913 (they were  $16,636 in June 2012 and $13,032 in 2011)
  • Central Air
  • 6×9 laundry room
  • Rental Parking available
  • Bedroom #1: 16×21
  • Bedroom #2: 16×22
  • Bedroom #3: 12×20
  • Bedroom #4: 12×17
  • Media room: 12×24

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Is $600,000+ the New Price for a Luxury Lakeview 2/2? 1022 W. Diversey

We first chattered about this new construction 3-flat at 1022 W. Diversey in Lakeview in January 2012 just as the new construction boom was starting to take off.

See our August 2012 chatter about the building here.

The three units sold within 6 months for the following prices:
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  1. Unit #1: $732,500
  2. Unit #2: $435,000
  3. Unit #3: $528,000

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Unit #3, a 2-bedroom with a private rooftop deck, has come back on the market just 17 months later.

This unit had upgrades finishes including wainscoting, built-ins, and a box beamed ceiling.

The kitchen has Viking appliances and granite counter tops. The master bathroom has heated floors.

There is central air, washer/dryer in the unit and 1-car garage parking.

The unit has come on the market $121,000 over the 2012 price- at $649,000.

It used to be that the 3-bedroom duplex downs all sold in the $600,000s.

Is $600,000 now the new price for a luxury 2/2 in Lakeview?

Timothy Salm at Jameson Sotheby’s has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #3: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, no square footage listed
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  • Sold in March 2012 for $528,000
  • Currently listed at $649,000
  • Assessments of $197 a month
  • Taxes are $2937 (but shouldn’t they be “new”???)
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • 1-car garage parking included
  • Private roof deck
  • Bedroom #1: 14×12 (main level)
  • Bedroom #2: 12×10 (main level)

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