Crib Chatter on Vacation for 4th of July Week

It’s time to go on vacation again!

I’m sure most of you will be enjoying some much needed time off this week as well.

I’ll be out of town on vacation all week so we’ll be on vacation schedule Monday through Wednesday. That means there will be just one post a day. (I know…it’s a drag.)

I’m taking a break on Fourth of July and on Friday, July 5th as well. There will be NO new posts on those days.

It’s still low inventory. I feel for those who are in the market to buy right now.

One administrative update: The new Crib Chatter site, with the forum page, is being worked on even as we speak. I’m excited about it and I know you long time Chatterers will LOVE it. It will be a big improvement over the current site.

There’s a lot to look forward to as we head into late summer and early fall.

As always, please be respectful of each other when commenting while I’m on vacation. I don’t want to have to leave the beach to intervene to break up a silly spat.

Happy Fourth of July and Happy Birthday America!


Not Everything Sells In a Day: A 3-Bedroom Duplex Down for $409K in Lincoln Park: 1051 W. Montana

1049 w montana

This 3-bedroom duplex down at 1051 W. Montana in Lincoln Park recently came on the market.

If the building looks familiar, that is because we chattered about the “sister” unit to this one across the hall at 1049 W. Montana in October 2011.

See our prior chatter here. You can see interior pictures of the unit here.

Back then, it had been on the market for 5 months and had reduced to $399,000.

It had central air, in-unit washer/dryer, and parking. 2 of the 3 bedrooms were in the lower level.

It finally sold in April 2012 for just $385,000.

Now we have the companion unit to test this much hotter market.

It has the same layout with 2 of the 3 bedrooms in the lower level.

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

It has central air and washer/dryer in the unit but the listing doesn’t say anything about parking. The other unit that sold last year had a parking spot.

Originally listed for $425,000 in May, it has been reduced to $409,000.

That’s below both the 2008 and 2006 purchase price.

Will this unit ultimately sell for under what 1049 W. Montana #1 sold for last year?

Mary Ellen Shannon at Coldwell Banker has the unit. See the pictures here.

Unit #1: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, no square footage listed, duplex down

  • Sold in September 1995 for $231,000
  • Sold in March 2002 for $343,000
  • Sold in August 2006 for $419,000
  • Sold in April 2008 for $435,000
  • Originally listed in May 2013 for $425,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $409,000
  • Assessments of $270 a month
  • Taxes of $6011
  • Central Air
  • Washer/dryer in the unit
  • No parking
  • Bedroom #1: 15×10 (lower level)
  • Bedroom #2: 13×10 (lower level)
  • Bedroom #3: 10×8 (main floor)



Unique Tri-Level Donohue Loft Sells for $25,000 Over Ask: 711 S. Dearborn in Printers Row

711 s dearborn approved

We last chattered about this 3-bedroom triplex loft in the Donohue at 711 S. Dearborn in Printers Row in April 2013.

See our April chatter here.

Back then, many of you liked it but that the high assessments were a burden.

Listed at $500,000, Groove was one of the few that took a guess at its future- saying that he thought it would sell in two months for over ask.

It just sold (so a little over 2 months) and yes, it sold for $25,000 over ask at $525,000.

If you recall, the building was built in 1883. It was the first building converted into residential lofts in Printers Row in the 1980s.

This particular unit was one of the more unique ones in the building.

The listing said it was 3 one-bedroom units stacked on top of each other and connected with an internal staircase.

The top floor of the triplex was the top floor of the building so even though it had timber ceilings, there was no one above you and only your unit below you on the other two floors.

It had exposed brick on each floor and arched windows on the top floor.

The loft actually faced east so it did NOT face Dearborn.

It also has some quirks like 2 kitchens.

The main kitchen had maple cabinets and black appliances while a smaller white kitchen is on the lowest level.

At 2450 square feet, there was a library on the second floor and a 8×8 laundry room.

The loft had central air.

There is no parking with this building but it’s available for purchase in the nearby high rise on Plymouth for $35,000.

It appeared to be on the market for the first time in 30 years.

Is anyone surprised it sold for over ask?

Margie Smigel at The Margie Smigel Group had the listing. You can still see the pictures here.

Unit #808: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2420 square feet

  • Sold before 1985
  • Was listed in April 2013 for $500,000
  • Sold in June 2013 for $525,000
  • Assessments of $1336 a month (includes heat and cable)
  • Taxes of $7285
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Parking available for $35,000 extra nearby
  • Bedroom #1: 16×16 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 14×15 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 14×15 (second floor)
  • Living room: 15×30 (main floor???)
  • Dining room: 14×16 (main floor???)
  • Laundry room: 8×8 (second floor)
  • Library: 15×15 (second floor)

Get a 1-Bedroom Brick and Timber Lincoln Park Loft for $320,000: 2226 N. Racine

2222 N. Racine approved

This 1-bedroom loft at 2226 N. Racine in Lincoln Park recently came on the market.

We’ve chattered about this complex before but they were all larger units.

This loft has 14-foot ceilings and an open floor plan with the bedroom on a “second” floor/half floor without full walls.

It has exposed brick walls and timber ceilings and large industrial sized windows.

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

The listing says the bathroom has been rehabbed.

It has central air, washer/dryer in the unit and parking is available for $30,000.

It is listed just $15,000 under the 2007 price at $320,000.

Will it be able to get it in this location?

Shaun Moskalik at Koenig & Strey Real Living has the listing. See the pictures here.

Or see it in person on Sunday, June 30 from 1- 3PM.

Unit #4: 1 bedroom, 1 bath, no square footage listed

  • Sold in March 1993 for $166,500
  • Sold in September 1997 for $197,500
  • Sold in July 2004 for $315,000
  • Sold in June 2007 for $335,000 (no parking included)
  • Currently listed for $320,000 (parking is $30,000 extra)
  • Assessments of $225 a month
  • Taxes of $4776
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom: 14×10

5 Years Later, Heated Sidewalks and Fully Wired 5-Bedroom House Returns: 2820 N. Paulina in Lakeview


Thanks goes out to the eagle eye of a dedicated Crib Chatter reader who recognized this contemporary 5-bedroom house at 2820 N. Paulina in Lakeview from our prior chatter of it in 2008 and 2009.

See our June 2008 chatter here.

It recently came back on the market and is now bank owned (with the bank having transferred the deed to a property management company.)

Built in 2007, on a smaller than standard 25×118 lot, it has apparently never been occupied.

Long term readers will remember it from its heated sidewalks, and built-in iPod docking stations (is this out of date already?) and 16 hidden cameras (!).


The new listing doesn’t mention the cameras, by the way. Maybe they have been removed.

The kitchen still has Wolf appliances but it appears that the cabinets have been replaced (you can see the previous listing pictures in the 2008 chatter.)

The bathrooms look the same, however.

2 of the 5 bedrooms are on the second floor with the third on the top floor. The other 2 bedrooms are in the basement.

The house is in the popular Burley School District.

Will it finally sell 6 years after it was built?

David Piche at Re/Max Signature has the listing. See the latest pictures here.

Or see it in person at the Open House on June 29 from 1PM-3PM.

2820 N. Paulina: 5 bedrooms, 5.5 baths, 4475 square feet, 2 car garage

  • Built in 2007
  • Was listed in June 2008 for $2.275 million
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in December 2009
  • Bank owned in December 2012
  • Currently listed for $1.54 million
  • Taxes of $26612
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 18×17 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 18×17 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 13×13 (basement)
  • Bedroom #4: 18×14 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #5: 12×14 (basement)


The Elusive “True” Lincoln Square 2-Bedroom Condo: 2238 W. Wilson

This 2-bedroom top floor unit at 2238 W. Wilson in Lincoln Square recently came on the market.

If you’ve noticed a dearth of posts about this neighborhood, you would be correct because I haven’t covered anything close to the Western Brown Line stop in Lincoln Square in years.

Inventory has completely dried up in an area that was once the hotbed of condo conversions.

That makes this 2-bedroom with deeded parking a hot commodity.

It is right in the heart of what most people consider to be “real” Lincoln Square- near the shops and restaurants on Lincoln and near the Brown Line.

The south facing unit has features buyers look for including in-unit washer/dryer but it doesn’t have central air. There are window units however.

The kitchen has maple cabinets, white appliances and a tile backsplash.

It has been listed $12,500 under the 2007 purchase price at $275,000.

Will this sell for over the list?

Robert Munds at Jameson Sotheby’s has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #3S: 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, no square footage listed

  • Sold in February 2001 for $180,000
  • Sold in June 2004 for $258,500
  • Sold in September 2007 for $287,500
  • Currently listed at $275,000
  • Assessments of $300 a month
  • Taxes of $3790
  • No central air- window units only
  • In-unit washer/dryer
  • Deeded parking
  • Bedroom #1: 14×12
  • Bedroom #2: 11×10
  • Living room: 14×14
  • Kitchen: 11×8

Market Conditions: What’s Up With the Ritz? 664 N. Michigan in River North

118 e erie

It has been one of the most anticipated buildings to begin closings since the real estate bust.

The Ritz-Carlton Residences at 664 N. Michigan in River North finally began closings in February 2013 after several delays.

Only if you looked at public records, it seemed as if nothing was closing despite the fact that, apparently at one point, nearly 40% of the building was pre-sold.

Crain’s Reports:

Thirty-one buyers who agreed to purchase a condo in the 89-unit project at 664 N. Michigan Ave. dropped their sales contracts in the first quarter, according to Chicago consulting firm Appraisal Research Counselors. The development, which began marketing in 2006, had just 11 sales under contract at the end of the quarter.

Apparently, country records show just 5 condos have closed since February. Prism, the developer, says 8 sales have closed and “many” of the pending buyers who backed out of contracts are now “displaying interest” in the tower again.

“The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Chicago is also experiencing a significant increase in both broker interest and direct buyer traffic due to the recovering economy and widely reported upswing in the luxury housing market,” the spokesman said in the statement.

It’s unclear how the buyers got out of their contracts. Purchase contracts for new condos often allow buyers to back out and get their earnest money back if the developer fails to complete their units by a certain deadline. A buyer who had a contract on a $1.7 million Ritz condo sued last fall to get his earnest money back, citing repeated delays in the project. Cook County court records show the case has been dismissed.

Though housing is recovering, the comeback has been driven from the bottom of the market rather than the top, said Jim Kinney, vice president of luxury sales at Baird & Warner Inc. Ultra-luxury buyers such as Kenneth Griffin have made recent big splashes, but homes worth $1 million or more failed to keep pace with the broader market last year.

That could be problematic for the Ritz, which at $1,200 per square foot is the most expensive active condo development in Chicago, according to Appraisal Research. The other two active luxury towers, Lincoln Park 2550 and the Trump International Hotel & Tower, asked $800 and $819 per square foot, respectively, for unsold condos in the first quarter.

“(The Ritz is) noticeably quite a bit more expensive, so you have to have someone who is really buying the brand,” Mr. Kinney said.

The assumption is that the luxury market is red hot.

But between The Ritz-Carlton Residences and Lincoln Park 2550, there is plenty of new construction luxury inventory.

Will we see price reductions on The Ritz and LP 2550 soon?

After delays, buyers back out of Ritz condo project [Crain’s Chicago Business, David Lee Matthews, June 25, 2013]

Own a Piece of Chicago’s History From the 19th Century in Old Irving Park: 4362 W. Grace

This 5-bedroom historic house at 4362 W. Grace in Old Irving Park came on the market in April 2013.

For those who love history, this house is for you.

Built in 1856, it is on a 118×144 lot (or 5 1/2 city lots.)

It has a rare detached 3-car garage.

Most of its vintage features have been restored. It has crystal chandeliers, stained glass, arched doorways and leaded glass.

The house has central air and 3 fireplaces.

It has the preferred bedroom layout with 4 of the 5 bedrooms are on the second floor.

Originally listed for $1.79 million in April, it has been reduced $100,000.

What price will get the deal done on this house?

Debra Kaden at Prudential Rubloff has the listing. See the pictures here.

4362 W. Grace: 5 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, no square footage listed, 3 car garage

  • I couldn’t find a prior price as the Recorder of Deeds couldn’t find the PIN but with all those lots maybe it has several PINs.
  • Originally listed in April 2013 for $1.79 million
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $1.69 million
  • Taxes of $12,669
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 21×18 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 11×14 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 15×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 16×13 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #5: 14×18 (main floor)


Another Summer Is Here and 919 W. Wisconsin Is Still On the Market

919 w wisconsin #1 approved

There are some properties that have been on and off the market nearly the entire time I’ve run this blog (which was started in 2007).

This 3-bedroom at 919 W. Wisconsin in Lincoln Park is one of them.

We last chattered about it in January of this year. See our chatter here.

But it was withdrawn and re-listed this spring for $179,000 more.

If you recall, this property has a unique outdoor space with multiple decks, a green house and gardens totaling 1144 square feet.

It also has 3356 square feet of living space on two levels, including a lower level recreation room.

The kitchen has stainless steel appliances. Despite it having a new agent, there are still no pictures of the bathrooms in the listing.

Built on a 25×73 lot, the property has windows on 3 sides, central air and 1-car garage parking with a parking pad for a second car.

It is apparently part of a 2-unit association.

There have been several lis pendens foreclosures filed on this property, the oldest being nearly 4 years ago.

The average time for a bank to repossession is 18 months in Cook County.

Will we still be chattering about this property in 2014?

Chaz Walters at Coldwell Banker now has the listing (Jenny Ames had it before). See the pictures (again) here.

919 W. Wisconsin: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 3356 square feet, 1 car garage

  • I couldn’t find a prior sales price but looks like it sold before 1989
  • Originally listed in October 2007 for $1.25 million
  • Reduced several times
  • Was listed in December 2008 at $999,970
  • Reduced
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in July 2009
  • Was listed in December 2009 at $935,000
  • Reduced
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in May 2010
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in June 2010
  • Was listed in January 2013 at $900,000
  • Price Raised
  • Currently listed at $1.079 million
  • Assessment now $202 a month (they were $182 a month in January 2013)
  • Taxes still $3808
  • Central Air
  • Greenhouse
  • Multiple decks – including a walkway that leads over the walled in garden
  • Bedroom #1: 11×18 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 11×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 10×12 (second floor)
  • Family room: 18×15 (lower level)

Looking for a Gold Coast 3-Bedroom With a Large Terrace? 849 N. Franklin

849 n franklin approved

This 3-bedroom in the Parc Chestnut at 849 N. Franklin in the Gold Coast just came on the market although it has been on and off the market since 2008.

3-bedroom units have surged in popularity because you have space for a family.

At 2500 square feet, this northeast facing corner unit has 2 master suites and a separate dining room.

The kitchen has stainless steel appliances.

The large, covered terrace has views of the John Hancock and downtown skyline.

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

In April 2012, this unit was listed as low as $800,000.

It has come back on the market at $875,000.

Will this unit finally sell in this hot market?

Barbara Griffin-Silz at Prudential Rubloff has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #1504: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2500 square feet, 2 car tandem parking included

  • Sold in March 2007 for $834,500 (it doesn’t list the parking in the original sale so I’m not sure if this included it or not.)
  • Has been on and off the market since 2008
  • Was listed in April 2012 for $800,000
  • Currently listed for $875,000
  • Assessments of $1079 a month (includes heat, a/c, doorman, cable)
  • Taxes of $8297
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 18×13
  • Bedroom #2: 17×12
  • Bedroom #3: 13×12
  • Den: 12×10