Does a Townhouse on the 12th Floor Make Sense? 55 E. Erie in River North

55 e erie

This 3-bedroom townhouse at 55 E. Erie in River North was on the market for a few months in 2015 and then recently came back on in January 2016.

No, your eyes are not deceiving you.

It is a townhouse on the 12th floor of this building (as seen in the right on the picture above.)

It’s 4 stories and has its own private entrance, just like most townhouses at ground level.

The townhouse has both stairs and an interior elevator to each level.

The first floor is the living/dining/kitchen.

The master suite takes up the entire second floor with the other two bedrooms on the third floor.

The fourth floor has an indoor and outdoor kitchen along with a 1,000 square foot private rooftop deck which is landscaped and has a pergola.

The listing says the property has been “completely gutted.”

It has a custom kitchen with white cabinets and dark stone countertops with Subzero, Wolf and Miele appliances.

There’s also a wood paneled den with coffered ceiling.

2 parking spaces are included in the building’s garage and you get the benefit of the doorman and other high rise amenities.

Is this a nice compromise for someone who wants the levels of a single family home but with the security of a high rise?

Margaret Baczkowski at Jameson Sotheby’s has the listing. See the pictures here.

55 E. Erie SH-2: 3 bedrooms, 4 baths, 2 half baths, 4325 square feet

  • Sold in September 2005 for $2 million (per Zillow)
  • Originally listed in April 2015 for $3.195 million
  • Withdrawn in November 2015
  • Re-listed in January 2016 for $2.999 million
  • Currently still listed at $2.999 million (includes 2-car parking in the building’s garage)
  • Assessments of $2460 a month (includes heat, gas, doorman, cable, Internet, exterior maintenance, scavenger, exercise room)
  • Taxes of $39,592
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer on the second floor
  • Elevator (am assuming homeowner pays for maintenance of this)
  • Bedroom #1: 15×19 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 15×15 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 24×16 (third floor)


Not Everything Is Selling in a Day: Smart Tech Home in West Town Reduces: 900 N. Richmond

We last chattered about this 4-bedroom “Smart Tech” home at 900 N. Richmond in West Town (East Humboldt Park???) in February 2016.

You can see our chatter here.

If you recall, this is one of several dozen similar homes that have been built in West Town, Avondale, Logan Square and other gentrifying neighborhoods since the bust.

These houses were called “Smart Tech” because the floors were flaxseed sealed oak hardwoods and they used no VOC paint. There were also LEED appointments.

They were meant to be townhouse alternatives, i.e. affordable starter homes in up and coming neighborhoods.

Here’s what one of them looked like on Rockwell in West Town:

1214 n rockwell approved

The house on Richmond has the same open concept as the others, with living room, dining room and kitchen on the main floor along with a floating stair case.

The kitchen has modern white and gray gloss cabinets, quartz counter tops and stainless steel appliances. There is also a kitchen island.

3 of the 4 bedrooms are upstairs and the master bedroom has an ensuite bath.

The fourth bedroom and the recreation room are in the lower level.

There’s a two-car garage, a concrete patio and a pergola. It is a corner lot so the yard is also fenced in.

Originally listed in February 2016 at $589,000, it has been reduced $19,100 to $569,900.

The market is red hot, especially for single family homes.

Why isn’t this selling?

Karen Biazar at North Clybourn Group still has the listing. See the pictures here.

900 N. Richmond: 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2400 square feet, 2 car garage

  • Sold in December 2000 for $357,000
  • Lis pendens filed in January 2012
  • Sold in December 2012 for $65,000
  • New construction home sold in April 2014 for $449,000
  • Originally listed in October 2015 for $589,900
  • Withdrawn in December 2015
  • Re-listed in February 2016 for $589,000
  • Reduced in April 2016
  • Currently listed at $569,900
  • Taxes of $6145
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 15×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 14×9 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 10×10 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 15×10 (lower level)
  • Recreation Room: 13×33 (lower level)

Historic Gold Coast Mansion and Coach House Returns to the Market: 1432 N. State Parkway

1432 n state parkway approved

This 8-bedroom mansion at 1432 N. State Parkway in the Gold Coast just came on the market.

But if it looks familiar that’s because we chattered about it several times when it last came on the market in 2008 during the Great Recession.

You can see our 2008 chatter here and our 2011 chatter here.

It took 3 years to sell mostly because it needed to be renovated and brought back into the modern era. Additionally, the economy was in the tank.

Built in 1883 by Chicago architect A. M. F. Colton, it is on a 50×132 lot with a side drive and a coach house- which has 3 bedrooms and 1 bath.

The house originally had 7600 square feet and the coach house another 2000 square feet for 9600 square feet total but the lower level has been excavated making room for a recreation room, theater and game room which has added square footage.

The property now totals 10,250 square feet.

Back in 2008, most of the house’s vintage character had been preserved including the mahogany wood moldings, paneling and 3 original fireplaces.

Here are the pictures from the 2008 listing:



It has since been updated and transformed, including installing central air. There was space pac cooling previously.

There’s a 3 car garage with a heated driveway which can hold up to 5 more cars.

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

Ceilings on each of the floors are 10 feet+.

But while the vintage character has been preserved, the mahogany paneling in the entry foyer and living spaces has been painted white.

Does the white trim modernize the house? Or would you have left the original woodwork?

And how long will the house stay on the market this time?

Jennifer Ames at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures here.

1432 N. State Parkway: 8 bedrooms, was 6.5 baths- is now 7.5 baths,  was 9600 square feet- is now 10,250 square feet, 3 car parking

  • I couldn’t find a prior sales price going back to the 1980s
  • Was listed in October 2008 for $7.25 million
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in September 2010 for $5.9 million
  • Sold in March 2011 for $4.985 million
  • Currently listed at $9,499,000
  • Taxes are now $85,347 (they were $45,163 in 2008)
  • Central Air
  • 9 fireplaces (!)
  • Bedroom #1: 20×17 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 13×18 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 15×17 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 21×17 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #5: 14×15 (second floor)
  • Coach house: 3 bedrooms, 1 bath

23.5% Appreciation in Just 14 Months for a Loop Loft: A 2/2 at 728 W. Jackson

728 w jackson #2 approved

This 2-bedroom loft in the Haberdasher Lofts at 728 W. Jackson just came on the market.

Haberdasher is a full service building with 220 units and a parking garage. Half the building has timber lofts and half is concrete.

This loft is on the timber side of the building and has exposed brick and the large industrial windows that loft lovers dream about.

The kitchen was redone a couple of years ago and has dark cabinets, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances.

The bedrooms have been enclosed and now have barn doors as their doors. Only one bedroom has windows.

It has wide plank hardwood floors in the living/dining room and carpet in the bedrooms.

The loft has the other features buyers look for including central air, washer/dryer in the unit and indoor parking.

This loft sold just 14 months ago, with the same kitchen and bathrooms, for $428,500.  It looks like the only upgrades/rehab is the enclosed bedrooms.

If you want to see what the 2015 listing pictures looked like- you can see those here.

It has come back on the market listed for $100,500 more at $529,000.

That’s appreciation of 23.5% in just over a year.

Will it get the premium?

John Oertel at Dream Town has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #222: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1500 square feet

  • Sold in August 1997 for $199,500
  • Sold in July 2000 for $257,000
  • Sold in September 2002 for $284,000
  • Sold in May 2005 for $338,500
  • Sold in June 2011 for $263,000
  • Sold in February 2015 for $428,500
  • Currently listed for $529,000 (includes parking)
  • Assessments of $670 a month (includes gas, cable, exercise room, lawn care, scavenger)
  • Taxes of $4419
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 17×13
  • Bedroom #2: 12×9


Get a 2-Bedroom Loft in Lakeview for Under $300,000: 3150 N. Sheffield

3150 n sheffield

This 2-bedroom loft in the Vic Lofts at 3150 N. Sheffield in Lakeview just came on the market.

The Vic Lofts were converted into condos in 2005.

It has exposed concrete ceilings and ductwork with hardwood floors throughout.

The kitchen has wood cabinets, glass tile backsplash, granite counter tops and black appliances.

Both bedrooms have windows, which can be rare in lofts.

The loft has central air, but no washer/dryer in the unit. The building has a laundry room.

There also isn’t deeded parking but there’s rental parking in the garage next door. But with the Belmont El stop just steps away, who needs a car?

Listed at $285,000, is this a deal for Lakeview?

Veronica Miklusicak at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #509: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1000 square feet

  • Sold in October 2005 for $235,000
  • Sold in March 2006 for $279,000 (remember when people would buy pre-construction and flip the unit after they closed it for more?)
  • Sold in October 2009 for $255,000
  • Sold it for November 2012 for $235,000
  • Currently listed for $285,000
  • Assessments of $314 a month (includes exterior maintenance and scavenger)
  • Taxes of $3050
  • Central Air
  • No washer/dryer in the unit- but laundry room in the building
  • No deeded parking- rental parking in the garage next door available
  • Bedroom #1: 13×8
  • Bedroom #2: 10×8

Did the Price of this Silver Tower 3-Bedroom Double in 6 Years? 303 W. Ohio in River North

303 w ohio approved

This 3-bedroom duplex in the Silver Tower at 303 W. Ohio in River North just came on the market.

It is on the 12th floor which has some unique features for the building including 13 foot ceilings on the main level of this unit and a 900 square foot lighted and covered terrace with a 30 foot high ceiling and city views.

The outdoor furniture, Weber grill and outdoor television are included in the sale.

There’s also a deeded storage corridor on that level.

The main floor of this unit includes the living/dining room and kitchen along with 2 of the 3 bedrooms.

The master bedroom is on the second floor.

The unit has a smart home upgraded thermostat and Bluetooth lighting system.

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

There’s central air, washer/dryer in the unit and 2 side-by-side deeded parking spaces are available for $70,000.

If you include the parking, this unit is listed for $1,469,999 which is more than double the 2010 purchase price of $720,500, which did include the parking.

It’s also listed for $654,999 more than the 2014 sale- which was just 19 months ago- and also included both parking spaces.

Is a doubling of prices in 6 years the new reality facing buyers in River North?

Will the sellers get the premium?

Weston Harding at X PWS Real Estate has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #1201: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 1800 square feet, duplex

  • Sold in January 2010 for $720,500 (included 2 parking spaces)
  • Sold in July 2014 for $815,000 (included 2 parking spaces)
  • Currently listed for $1,399,999 (2 parking spaces are $70,000 extra) = $1,469,999
  • Assessments of $927 a month (includes doorman, cable, exercise room, lawn care, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $8890
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Outdoor furniture, Weber grill and outdoor television included in sale
  • Bedroom #1: 13×16 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 12×10 (main level)
  • Bedroom #3: 9×9 (main level)
  • Covered terrace: 22×23



A New Record High Price for a 2/2 in Crilly Court? 1708 N. Wells in Old Town

1708 n wells

This 2-bedroom in Crilly Court at 1708 N. Wells in Old Town just came on the market.

We’ve chattered about this complex many times since it was converted from apartments into condos right at the peak of the boom in 2007.

Built in 1866, it has two fireplaces, crown molding and a deck off the back of the unit that overlooks the courtyard.

The units sold quickly originally and prices have never looked back as not only has the complex held its value, but it has gone up in price even during the dark times of 2011-2012.

The collection of buildings is right in the heart of Old Town, near restaurants, shops, transportation and Second City.

This 2-bedroom with den has come on the market after a full kitchen renovation.

The original kitchen was the old dark wood cabinets with dark granite counter tops. The unit now has white custom cabinets and a big kitchen island with Carrera counter tops.

There’s a built-in Leibherr refrigerator, a BlueStar range, a Bosch dishwasher and Restoration Hardware finishes.

The unit has a custom in-ceiling speaker system throughout and new lighting in each room.

If you recall, there are only 8 parking spots in the courtyard and those sold originally with the larger 3-bedroom units.

So this unit doesn’t have parking. It is leased in the neighborhood.

It does have the other features buyers look for, however, including central air and washer/dryer in the unit.

The unit is listed at $615,000 or $104,000 more than the 2013 sales price. This would be a new record sales price for a 2/2 unit on the Wells Street side of this complex.

Will it get the premium?

Phyllis Hall at Berkshire Hathaway KoenigRubloff has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #3: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1520 square feet

  • Sold in July 2007 for $461,000
  • Sold in March 2013 for $511,000
  • Currently listed for $615,000 (with a new kitchen)
  • Assessments of $442 a month (includes exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $8214
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • No parking- it’s leased in the neighborhood
  • Bedroom #1: 12×17
  • Bedroom #2: 11×13
  • Family room: 10×15


South Loop Loft Sells for $15,100 Over List Price in 4 Days: 1439 S. Michigan

1439 s michigan

This 2-bedroom penthouse loft in Trevi Square at 1439 S. Michigan in the South Loop came on the market on March 3, 2016.

It was a duplex corner unit with 17 foot ceilings and walls of exposed brick and concrete ceilings.

The kitchen had white cabinets, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances.

The master bedroom was on the second floor while the second bedroom was on the main level.

It had the features buyers look for including central air, washer/dryer in the unit and heated garage parking which was $30,000 extra but had to sell with the unit (most likely because it’s not deeded separately in the public records.)

Listed at $349,900 plus $30,000 for the parking, this loft was under contract in just 4 days.

It just closed, including the parking, for $15,100 over the list price at $395,000.

Are you ready to bid over the asking price to get the property you want this spring?

Jacqueline Colando at Redfin had the listing. You can still see the pictures of the loft here.

Unit #612: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1300 square feet, duplex up

  • Sold in February 1998 for $188,000
  • Sold in May 2007 for $375,500
  • Originally listed on March 3, 2016 for $349,900 plus $30,000 for the parking = $379,900
  • Under contract on March 7, 2016
  • Sold on April 20, 2016 for $395,000 (included the parking)
  • Assessments of $464 a month (includes cable, internet, exterior maintenance, scavenger, and snow removal)
  • Taxes of $4292
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 11×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 11×9 (main floor)


Chicago Market Conditions: March Sales Decrease 3.4% as Tight Inventory Squeezes Buyers

Lincoln Park spring flowers April 2012

The March sales numbers are out. While the market remains hot, inventory is still tight. Many are blaming the tight inventory on the year over year decline in sales.

From the Illinois Association of Realtors:

The city of Chicago saw a 3.4 percent year-over-year home sales decrease in March 2016 with 2,099 sales, down from 2,173 in March 2015. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in March 2016 was $268,500, up 3.3 percent compared to March 2015 when it was $260,000.

Historic data courtesy of G:

City of Chicago condo/TH/SFH closed totals March
year/closed/median/% REO-Short Sales
Year Closed Median %REO/SS
1997 1,226 $126,875
1998 1,540 $137,003
1999 1,766 $152,125
2000 1,793 $167,500
2001 1,800 $195,000
2002 2,112 $210,000
2003 2,261 $225,000
2004 2,772 $244,950
2005 2,822 $271,125
2006 3,000 $275,862
2007 2,399 $285,000
2008 2,098 $300,000
2009 1,219 $217,000 37%
2010 1,860 $207,750 38%
2011 1,481 $163,763 49%
2012 1,630 $170,500 44%
2013 1,894 $187,500
2014 1,875 $235,000
2015 2,173 $260,000
2016 2.099 $268,500

“Consumers this spring will be challenged to find just the right property from a diminished pool of homes to choose from,” said Illinois REALTORS® President Mike Drews, GRI, broker-associate with Charles B. Doss Co. in Aurora. “Based on increasing median prices and average days on market, it’s clear if they do find the home of their dreams they are going to have to move quickly and be prepared in some instances to pay more in the face of heightened competition.”

The time it took to sell a home in March averaged 77 days, down from 85 days a year ago. Available housing inventory totaled 58,613 homes for sale, a 12.3 percent decline from March 2015 when there were 66,852 homes on the market.

Average 30-year mortgage rates were similar to a year ago at 3.70% down from just 3.76% in March 2015.

Inventories remain near record lows in some parts of the City of Chicago and for certain product, i.e. single family homes in certain neighborhoods or 3-bedrooms in others.

“Intense buyer interest during the first months of the year further reduced the already low number of properties which were on the market,” said Dan Wagner, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and senior vice president for government relations at the Oakbrook-based Inland Real Estate Group of Companies, Inc. “With more properties coming on the market as consumers embrace the spring selling season, we should see inventories better able to meet significant buyer demand. Homes are selling faster than they were last year, so consumers need to act quickly if they are interested in buying.”

Will low inventories strangle this booming market?

Or will sellers finally start to list later this spring as prices hit new highs in many neighborhoods?

Illinois home prices climb 4.3 percent in March; sales increase 1.9 percent [Illinois Association of Realtors, Press Release, April 20, 2016]

Are First Time Buyers Priced Out of the West Loop? A 2-Bedroom Penthouse at 910 W. Madison

910 w madison

This 2-bedroom top floor unit at 910 W. Madison in the West Loop came on the market in March 2016.

This building was constructed in 2003 when loft-living was at its peak, especially in this neighborhood.

This unit, therefore, has higher ceilings and exposed air ducts.

The main living areas face south with the bedrooms facing north.

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

There’s a south facing terrace that runs the length of the unit.

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

Including the parking, this 1378 square foot 2-bedroom will cost you $625,000.

Are first time buyers priced out of the West Loop now?

Edwin Diaz at Baird & Warner has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #1001E: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1378 square feet

  • Sold in January 2003 for $441,000 (included the parking)
  • Originally listed in March 2016 for $625,000
  • Reduced (???)
  • Currently listed for $590,000 (plus $35,000 for parking) = $625,000
  • Assessments of $652 a month (includes exterior maintenance, scavenger and snow removal)
  • Taxes of $6718
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 10×17
  • Bedroom #2: 10×11