Is Significant Appreciation Over in Lincoln Park? 628 W. Wrightwood

This 2-bedroom in 628 W. Wrightwood in Lincoln Park came on the market in September 2013.

This is an elevator 5-story building so you don’t have to worry about carrying groceries or kids up a bunch of stairs.

At 1400 square feet, it has hardwood floors and crown molding.

The kitchen has granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances.

The baths are marble.

There’s garage parking and a community roof top deck.

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

The unit was just reduced $9,000 and is now listed $7,000 under the 2008 purchase price.

It’s also listed just $15,000 above the 2002 purchase price.

That’s 11 years with almost no appreciation (or maybe negative appreciation depending on what it sells for.)

Even as many people still equate Lincoln Park with one of the “best” neighborhoods- for real estate- it appears to be lagging other neighborhoods in appreciation.

If you have a time horizon of less than 5 years, should you stay away from buying in Lincoln Park?

Christopher Mundy at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #3W: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1400 square feet, den
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  • Sold in June 1998 for $379,000
  • Sold in August 2002 for $500,000
  • Sold in May 2008 for $522,000
  • Originally listed in September 2013 for $524,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $515,000
  • Assessments of $320 a month
  • Taxes of $6749
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Garage Parking included
  • Bedroom #1: 18×13
  • Bedroom #2: 13×11
  • Den: 11×8
  • Laundry room: 10×5

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Should You Rent the 2/2 or Should You Buy It? 2754 N. Hampden in Lincoln Park

This 2-bedroom at 2754 N. Hampden Court in Lincoln Park just came on the market.

It’s a complete rehab and has most of the features buyers look for.

The kitchen has dark cabinets, stainless steel appliances and a tile backsplash.

There’s crown molding and dark wood floors in the main living area.

It’s a split floor plan with the bedrooms on opposite sides of the unit.

Parking is included and there’s a washer/dryer in the unit.

There’s no central air but there is wall air conditioning.

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

I used the mortgage calculator on Baird & Warner’s website with a 20% down payment on the asking price (or $75,980) with a 4% 30-year rate.

Monthly payment is: $2625

Should you buy it or rent it?

Karen Pence at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #1603: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1300 square feet
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  • Sold in May 2013 for $212,500 (was this one unit combined with another for a 2/2?)
  • Currently listed for $379,900 (parking included)
  • Assessments of $603 a month (includes pool, doorman, cable)
  • Taxes of $5905
  • No central air- wall units only
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 14×12
  • Bedroom #2: 12×11

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Market Conditions: Chicago September Home Sales Were the Best in 7 Years

The Illinois Association of Realtors is out with the September 2013 home sales.

Both sales and prices continued to rise.

The city of Chicago saw a 23.4 percent year-over-year home sales increase in September 2013 with 2,352 sales, up from 1,906 in September 2012. 

The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in September 2013 was $231,000 up 22.6 percent compared to September 2012 when it was $188,400. Chicago condo median prices continued to see double-digit gains, posting a 18.7 percent jump to $273,000. Average time on market in the city was 50 days, down 30.6 percent compared to 72 days in September 2012.

September sales for the last 7 years:
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  • 2007: 2172 sales
  • 2008: 1816 sales
  • 2009: 1918 sales
  • 2010: 1403 sales
  • 2011: 1498 sales
  • 2012: 1845 sales
  • 2013: 2352 sales

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Median prices for the last 7 years:
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  • 2007: $267,750
  • 2008: $268,600
  • 2009: $225,000
  • 2010: $180,000
  • 2011: $190,000
  • 2012: $188,900
  • 2013: $231,000

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Thanks to G we also have a longer history of the September condo/townhouse sales. While prices were up year over year, it still trails the Great Recession year of 2008 though it is now beating the second Great Recession year of 2009.

The  higher median price is also probably due to fewer distress sales.

Year/Sales/Median

1996 757 $127,000
1997 959 $142,900
1998 1,158 $158,950
1999 1,195 $180,000
2000 1,255 $219,900
2001 1,249 $223,000
2002 1,621 $245,000
2003 2,114 $255,500
2004 1,960 $269,450
2005 2,344 $276,538
2006 2,006 $285,000
2007 1,650 $310,200
2008 1,188 $311,750
2009 1,159 $270,000
2010 820 $240,000
2011 863 $234,600
2012 1130 (don’t have median price data)
2013 I don’t have the number of condo sales but median price was $273,000

“The city of Chicago saw a 25.4 percent year-to-date home sales increase through September 2013 over the same nine month period in 2012, to 20,904 units sold, over last year’s 16,674,” said REALTOR® Matt Farrell, managing partner at Urban Real Estate and president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS®. “The surge we’ve seen is likely due to an increased feeling of stability in the housing market, as well as the return of jumbo loan options for buyers. Chicago remains among the most affordable urban markets for families looking to make a world-class city their home, and still offers attractive housing options for those in the first-time buyer or move-up marketplace.”

“The partial government shutdown has dampened the housing market’s continuing recovery,” noted Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory of the University of Illinois.  “However, both sales and prices are forecast to continue at a much faster rate than a year ago and continued completion rates for foreclosures promise a return to a more normal market situation within 6 to 12 months.”

These are solid numbers at a time when interest rates were rising.

With inventory still low, why aren’t more developers building more new product?

Illinois housing gains extend into fall; Sales up 19.8 percent, median prices rise 12.9 percent in September [Illinois Association of Realtors, Press Release, October 21, 2013]

Luxury Loft Week: Multi-Level Brick and Timber With a Rooftop Deck in Streeterville: 540 N. Lake Shore Drive

This 2-bedroom loft at 540 N. Lake Shore Drive in Streeterville has been on and off the market since 2009.

At 2520 square feet, it has the features loft buyers love including nearly every wall done in exposed brick and tall timber ceilings.

The loft has a loft of its own on the second floor which also leads to the private rooftop deck, although it doesn’t appear there are lake views from it.

The kitchen has maple cabinets, stainless steel appliances and stone counters.

The loft has central air but no in-unit washer/dryer.

There’s also no deeded parking with the unit but there is rental in the building.

This loft was listed as high as $1.09 million in 2009.

When it came back on the market this August, it was listed at $839,000.

It has since reduced $40,000 to $799,000.

Is this loft now priced to sell?

Amy Settich at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #718-719: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2520 square feet
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  • Sold in July 1998 for $175,000 (this looks like it could be a combined unit of some sort so I’m not sure if the PIN includes just one of the units or not)
  • Sold in August 2000 for $230,000
  • Was listed in 2009 for $1,099,900
  • Withdrawn in 2010
  • Re-listed in August 2013 for $839,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $799,000
  • Assessments of $1176 a month
  • Taxes of $7978
  • Central Air
  • No washer/dryer in the unit
  • Rental parking for $205-$245 a month
  • Bedroom #1: 16×22
  • Bedroom #2: 21×22

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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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