Get a 5-Bedroom Victorian House in Lincoln Park for Just $499,000: 637 W. Schubert

637 w schubert #1

This 5-bedroom Victorian house at 637 W. Schubert in Lincoln Park came on the market in May 2013.

Originally listed for $575,000, it has been reduced to just $499,000.

What’s the catch?

Built in 1876, it is on a smaller than average size lot of 27×52.75.

There’s no garage.

One side of the house is also on the unusual “street/alley” that is Geneva Terrace which leads to the enclave of million dollar homes that we have chattered about before (see that chatter here.)

It is being sold “as-is” as a teardown (in fact, it is listed both as a house and as a piece of land on the MLS.)

The listing says it has RT4 zoning.

Most of the listing pictures are of the exterior of the house although there are a couple of the interiors.

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

How low will this go before a developer takes a chance?

637 w schubert #2

Maribel Selva at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures here.

637 W. Schubert: 5 bedrooms, 2 baths, no garage

  • Sold before 1987
  • Originally listed in May 2013 for $575,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed “as-is” for $499,000
  • Taxes of $7802
  • No central air
  • Bedroom #1: 10×10 (main level)
  • Bedroom #2: 12×10 (main level)
  • Bedroom #3: 10×10 (main level)
  • Bedroom #4: 10×12 (second level)
  • Bedroom #5: 10×10 (second level)


Buy a 2-Bedroom Loft in the Heart of Wicker Park For Under $375,000: 1259 N. Wood

1259 n Wood

This 2-bedroom loft at 1259 N. Wood in Wicker Park came on the market in June 2013.

It has authentic loft features including exposed brick and 15 foot timber ceilings with exposed ductwork.

It is a top floor unit with roof rights.

The kitchen has maple cabinets and black appliances.

It has all the features buyers look for including central air, washer/dryer in the unit and gated parking.

The loft is right in the middle of the Wicker Park scene, near the North/Damen intersection of shops and restaurants as well as the Division street scene and blue line stop.

The unit has been reduced $10,000 in the last month.

It only has 1.5 baths instead of 2 baths.

Is the lack of two full baths what is keeping this on the market?

Gregg Fisher at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #406: 2 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, 1300 square feet

  • Sold in July 2000 for $306,000
  • Sold in May 2008 for $383,000
  • Originally listed in June 2013 for $385,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $375,000
  • Assessments of $270 a month
  • Taxes of $4418
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Gated parking included
  • Bedroom #1: 10×13
  • Bedroom #2: 11×12


The Case Study Penthouse With Private Roof Deck Lists for $2.5 Million: 156 W. Superior in River North

156 w superior

The 2-bedroom penthouse in Case Study, the modern mid-rise at 156 W. Superior in River North, recently came on the market for the first time since it was originally purchased in 2006.

This is a “true” penthouse with a stainless steel staircase to a private roof top deck with city views.

The unit has 14 foot ceilings, floor to ceiling windows and concrete floors.

The kitchen has white Archlinea cabinets and stainless steel appliances.

All the living space appears to be on the main floor, including the 2 bedrooms.

Built in 2006, the 11-unit building has no doorman. The elevator is keyed directly to this unit.

It has central air, washer/dryer in the unit and 2-car parking.

We’ve seen that the bigger 3-bedroom units have been strong sellers this year. There is no square footage listed with this unit.

Will only having 2-bedrooms, and not 3, impact resale of this unit?

Robert John Anderson at Baird & Warner has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #PH: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, no square footage listed, 2 car garage

  • Sold in August 2006 for $1.635 million
  • Currently listed for $2.5 million
  • Assessments of $639 a month (includes cable)
  • Taxes of $21607
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Private rooftop deck
  • Bedroom #1: 23×13 (main level)
  • Bedroom #2: 19×16 (main level)

Get a Renovated Vintage 2/2 Across From Lincoln Park for $499K: 2440 N. Lakeview

2440 n lakeview

This 2-bedroom in 2440 N. Lakeview in Lincoln Park recently came on the market.

What I like about this site is that we often see the properties again several years later after renovations have been made.

We chattered about this unit before, in September 2008, when it was listed as a renovation project. The prior listing said “Bring this beauty back to life.”

The old listing also called it a “blank slate.”

See the 2008 pictures here (and the comments are pretty amusing as well).

It sold in 2009 and now has come back on the market completely restored with all new plumbing and electrical.

The listing says it has Pella Arch Series windows, space pac and a Bosch washer/dryer.

The kitchen now has white cabinets, stainless steel appliances and quartzite counter tops.

The bathrooms have also been renovated.

The unit still has some of its vintage features including crown molding.

The building is a co-op with 96 units and has parking, which is included in the assessment.

The assessment also includes property taxes.

Will this sell quickly given its location across from Lincoln Park and that it is “new”?

Michael Ritchie at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #12D: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1400 square feet, co-op

  • Originally listed in September 2008 for $250,000
  • Sold in September 2009 for $202,000
  • Currently listed for $499,000
  • Assessments of $1723 a month (includes property taxes, gas, heat, parking, doorman, Internet and cable)
  • Taxes are included in the assessment
  • Space pac cooling
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Parking included
  • Bedroom #1: 20×13
  • Bedroom #2: 18×12
  • Dining room: 20×12
  • Laundry room: 4×3

Cash Only If You Want to Buy the “Castle on the Kennedy”: 3721 N. Parkview Terrace in Irving Park

We last chattered about the “Castle on the Kennedy”, the 5-bedroom new construction house that looks like a castle at 3721 N. Parkview Terrace in Irving Park, in May 2010.

See our May 2010 chatter here.

Back then, it was listed at $1.89 million.

While everyone agreed that it was too high for the neighborhood, when someone suggested it could sell for under $500,000 others thought that was crazy.

Three years later, it has come back on the market at $425,000.

The situation of the property is the same as 3 years ago, however.

It is still being delivered in “drywall state.”

The master suite still takes up the entire third floor.

It’s still unclear if it has central air (but since it’s unfinished, a buyer can obviously put it in.)

A buyer better have the cash on hand though because the listing says “Bank prefers cash only. Sold in as is, where is condition subject to court approval.”

It’s on an oversized 131x124x71 lot.

What is the market for this house even at the lowered price?

Lindsey Delrahim at Jameson Sotheby’s has the listing. See the exterior picture here (no pics of the interior in the listing.)

3721 N. Parkview Terrace: 5 bedrooms, 5.5 baths, 7000 square feet, 2 car garage

  • Sold in December 2005 for $150,000
  • Was listed in May 2010 for $1.89 million
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in June 2010
  • Amended lis pendens foreclosure filed in March 2012
  • Currently listed for $425,000
  • Taxes of $2926 (they were $4069 in May 2010)
  • Bedroom #1: 18×16 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 15×11 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 15×11 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 14×11 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #5: 14×11 (second floor)


Market Conditions: The Luxury Market Might Not Be as Hot as Everyone Believes

With all the cheerleading going on, you’d think the luxury market was sizzling hot.

But is it?

Crain’s does it’s mid-year update on the luxury market in the Chicagoland area.

While sales are up 14% from a year ago, and are much higher than the dark years of 2009 and 2010, they are still well under the 2006 peak.

A total of 228 homes sold for at least $1.5 million during the first six months of the year, a 14 percent jump from the 200 homes sold over the same period in both 2012 and 2011, according to brokerage Baird & Warner Inc., which analyzed information from Midwest Real Estate Data LLC.

While that number represents a gain from a low of 168 sales in the first half of 2009, it’s well below the 381 in the first half of 2006, when the market peaked, said Jim Kinney, vice president of luxury home sales at Baird & Warner.

“Everyone’s dancing around saying, ‘Happy days are here again,’” he said. “A 14 percent increase is great, but it’s not anything earth-shattering and it’s certainly not a return to pre-crash-type numbers, so I think we’ve got a ways to go.”

Lincoln Park was the most active neighborhood/city with 45 sales over $1.5 million. Winnetka and Hinsdale tied for second with 27 sales each.

According to MRED, 898 homes are listed for at least $1.5 million in the Chicago area, which translates to a 25-month supply based on current sales trends.

“Any time you get under double digits (in months) for supply numbers it starts getting to be a very, very healthy market,” Mr. Kinney said. “A lot of the stuff in the city is starting to favor the sellers,” partially because there’s less available land to build on.

That’s not the case in the suburbs, where supply continues to outpace demand in many areas. Burr Ridge was the weakest high-end market in the first half of 2013, with 168 months’ worth of inventory — enough to last 14 years based on current sales trends, according to Baird & Warner. Only two Burr Ridge properties listed for at least $1.5 million have sold so far this year.

Does this data also include condos or is this just single family homes? The article isn’t clear.

Most of the unsold condos in the new construction Ritz building and 2550 N. Lincoln Park are not even listed on the MRED so they would not be included in “inventory” calculations. There are over 150 of these in this price range that would be considered part of the “luxury” market.

Adding those to the calculations probably nearly doubles the number of luxury condos on the market.

But either way- inventory is higher than most people think.

With high inventory levels in the luxury bracket, is this the only part of the housing market where you can still get a deal?

Luxury home sales rise 14 percent in the first half [Crain's Chicago Business, Abraham Tekippe, July 9, 2013]


Are We Back To 2007 Prices On 2-Bedroom Lakeview Townhouses? 1125 W. Newport

1125 w newport

This 2-bedroom townhouse at 1125 W. Newport in Lakeview just came on the market.

We’ve chattered about this complex before. This townhouse is one of the highly coveted corner units.

It has the standard townhouse layout with the two bedrooms on the third floor, the living/dining/kitchen on the middle floor, with a family room on the main level.

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

It has central air and an attached one car garage.

I couldn’t find the 2007 sales price in the public record but Zillow and Redfin list it as $492,000.

The townhouse has come back on the market at $495,000.

Are we back to 2007 prices for townhouses in Lakeview?

Evan Kane at Realty Scientist has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #A: 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, no square footage listed, 1 car garage

  • Sold in July 1995 for $265,000
  • Sold in May 1998 for $313,500
  • Sold in May 2007 for $492,000 (per Zillow and Redfin)
  • Currently listed for $495,000
  • Assessments of $165 a month
  • Taxes of $5984
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 14×12 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 14×10 (third floor)
  • Family room: 13×13 (main level)

Live in a 1885 Bakery Building in Old Town: 1759 N. Sedgwick

1759 n sedgwick

This 3-bedroom at 1759 N. Sedgwick in Old Town came on the market in May 2013.

The building was built in 1885 as a bakery.

It was rehabbed in 1995 and has 4 units.

At 2320 square feet, it has 11 foot ceilings and 2 wood burning fireplaces.

The kitchen has white cabinets, white appliances and black counter tops.

It has central air, washer/dryer in the unit and a 1-car garage.

Originally listed at $810,000, it has been reduced $11,500 to $798,500.

With everything selling so quickly, why isn’t this property?

Judith Cory at Koenig & Strey Real Living has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #2: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2320 square feet, 1 car garage

  • Sold in November 1993 for $334,000
  • Sold in December 1995 for $405,000
  • Sold in April 1997 for $420,000
  • Originally listed in May 2013 at $810,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $798,500
  • Assessments of $192 a month
  • Taxes of $11,141
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 14×17
  • Bedroom #2: 11×12
  • Bedroom #3: 10×12
  • Laundry room: 5×6


This Old Town Vintage Rowhouse is on the Market for the First Time in 14 Years: 1730 N. Wells

1730 n wells

This 3-bedroom Victorian rowhouse at 1730 N. Wells in Old Town just came on the market.

From what I can tell, it’s the first time it’s been on the market in 14 years.

Built in 1876, it has 2050 square feet on a 22×42 lot.

It has many of its original features including crown molding, wood trim, stained glass and built-ins.

It has a finished lower level family room.

The kitchen has wood cabinets and white appliances and counter tops.

2 of the three bedrooms are on the third floor with the third on the second level.

There’s no parking but the rowhouse does have central air.

Given how hot Old Town has been, will this sell quickly even though it doesn’t have parking?

1730 n wells #2

Frederic Scovell at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures here.

1730 N. Wells: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2050 square feet

  • Sold in September 1994 for $335,000
  • Sold in July 1999 for $512,000
  • Currently listed at $849,000
  • Taxes of $11,498
  • Central Air
  • No parking
  • Bedroom #1: 14×12 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 11×11 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 11×11 (second floor)
  • Family room: 16×19 (lower level)


Market Conditions: Are Higher Mortgage Rates the Elephant in the Room?

Welcome back from the holiday break Crib Chatterers.

Last week 30-year mortgage rates rose to a national average of 4.46% from 3.93% the week before, the largest one week increase since 1987.

It pushed mortgage rates to their highest level in 2 years.

Rates may go even higher this week as, while you were all still enjoying your barbecues on Friday, July 5, the bond market sold off resulting in yet another day of spiking mortgage rates. 

Some in the mortgage industry were saying it was the worst day for mortgage rates in history. Perhaps our own resident mortgage rate expert, Russ, can chime in to tell us what he’s seeing on the ground.

Rates spiked as high as 4.875% on Friday with rates remaining as high as 4.75%.

Rates have been rising for the past 2 months.

So far, rising rates haven’t put a damper on the hot housing market but most of the May and June sales were conducted at lower rates that were locked in previously. Going forward, that is unlikely to be the case.

Will this mean a slowing housing market come August and September in Chicago?

Or will all cash sales be able to put a floor under the market?