Do Millennials Want to Live on Historic Alta Vista Terrace? 3808 N. Alta Vista in Lakeview

3808 n alta vista

This 3-bedroom row house at 3808 N. Alta Vista Terrace in Lakeview came on the market in June 2017.

Alta Vista Terrace is a Chicago Landmark District.

These 40 row homes were built from 1900 to 1904 and were built to look like London row homes.

From the Chicago Landmark website:

This street represents one of the last real estate developments of Samuel Eberly Gross, a highly colorful realtor responsible for the construction of thousands of houses in the Chicago area. Sometimes called “A Street of Forty Doors,” Alta Vista Terrace displays a lively variety of architectural styles and detail, yet every townhouse on one side is duplicated with only minor variations at the diagonally opposite end of the block. The distinctly human scale creates a unity and harmony rarely found elsewhere in the city.

There is no parking on the east side of the street but the west side has space behind the row homes for a garden or 1-car parking.

This row house is on the preferred west side of the street and has 1-car secured parking along with a landscaped patio.

The lot measures 25×40.

The house has some vintage features, including oversized bay windows with leaded glass in the living room and a built-in hutch and brick fireplace in the dining room.

The three bedrooms are on the second floor along with a 6×7 den and a bathroom.

The listing says there is a “chef’s kitchen” with white cabinets, stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops, the original tin ceiling and a built-in banquette.

It also has an “English basement” with a family room, a laundry room, a full bath and storage.

The row house has 2 fireplaces and central air.

The listing also says it has new mechanicals and a new roof.

Originally listed for $899,000 in June, it has been reduced $100,000 to $799,000.

We’ve chattered about several of these row homes over the years. In 2011-2012, some of these would sell in the $500,000s.

But that was in a slow market.

Now, at $799,000, this row house is no longer in the starter home category.

Who are the target buyers for these now?

Won’t these be turning over to the next generation of buyers, i.e. the Millennials?

Will Millennials want to live on a historic street such as this?

There are currently 3 of these row homes on the market.

Julie Sachs Capps at Berkshire Hathaway KoenigRubloff has the listing. See the pictures here.

3808 N. Alta Vista Terrace: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2010 square feet, row house

  • Sold in January 1988 for $235,000
  • Sold in June 1996 for $350,000
  • Sold in March 2000 for $450,000
  • Sold in May 2005 for $720,000
  • Originally listed in June 2017 for $899,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $799,000
  • Taxes of $11,351
  • Central Air
  • 1-car outdoor parking
  • Bedroom #1: 12×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 9×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 12×11 (second floor)
  • Family room: 14×20 (lower level)
  • Laundry room: 10×8 (lower level)
  • Den: 6×7 (second floor)

The 3-Bedroom North Side Starter Home: 3037 W. Leland in Ravenswood Manor

This 3-bedroom single family home at 3037 W. Leland in Ravenswood Manor came on the market in May 2017.

Built in 1906, it is on a larger than standard Chicago lot of 30×140.

It has a 2-car detached garage and a deck with a hot tub.

The house has hardwood floors in the living and dining room.

The kitchen has white cabinets, stainless steel appliances and a breakfast bar.

It has the layout most buyers look for with all three bedrooms on the second floor, including the master suite.

The second floor also has skylights.

The listing also says it has an unfinished basement.

This house is about 6 blocks from the Francisco brown line stop. The Rockwell street restaurants and Lincoln Square shops are within walking distance.

Originally listed for $475,000, it has been reduced and is now listed at $424,900.

This house was under contract in September but has now come back on the market.

We’ve been chattering about the high prices in some parts of the city, especially on the north side.

Is this house a good starter home for those looking on the north side?

Thomas Moran at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here (sorry, I don’t have a street shot of this house but I wanted to crib about it anyway.)

3037 W. Leland: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 1952 square feet

  • Sold in December 1986 but there’s no price listed
  • Sold in June 2011 for $375,000
  • Originally listed in May 2017 for $475,000
  • Reduced
  • Under contract in September 2017
  • Currently listed for $424,900
  • Taxes of $5919
  • Central Air
  • 2-car garage
  • Bedroom #1: 19×14 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 18×10 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 13×10 (second floor)


Looking for a Renovated Loft? A 1-Bedroom at 523 S. Plymouth in Printers Row

523 s plymouth

This 1-bedroom loft in the Peterson Lofts at 523 S. Plymouth in Printers Row in the South Loop came on the market in September 2017.

The Peterson Lofts was built in 1917 and has 49 units. It’s one of the rare buildings with indoor parking.

This loft is west facing, which means its views are not blocked by Library Tower, which was built on the east side of this building on State Street.

It has concrete ceilings, exposed ductwork, exposed brick and a wall of industrial windows.

The listing says it has been “totally remodeled” and has a custom kitchen and new baths.

The kitchen has dark wood cabinets, granite counter tops, a designer backsplash, stainless steel appliances and a breakfast bar.

The bedroom is not fully enclosed but has new carpet, a full bath with a double vanity and a walk-in closet.

This loft has features buyers look for including central air, washer/dryer in the unit and parking is available to rent in the building.

Originally listed for $329,500, it has been reduced $30,500 to $299,000.

At 1100 square feet, is this a deal compared with renting in the neighborhood?

Stefan Harbov at Avian Realty has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #702: 1 bedroom, 1.5 baths, 1100 square feet

  • Sold in May 1995 for $145,000
  • Sold in September 1997 for $156,500
  • Sold in July 2006 for $285,500
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in January 2015
  • Judicial county sale in December 2016 for $230,000
  • Originally listed for $329,500
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $299,000
  • Assessments of $525 a month (includes heat, cable, exercise room, exterior maintenance, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $4509
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Parking is leased in the building or neighborhood
  • Bedroom: 14×16

Chicago Market Conditions: September Sales Fall 3.7% YOY While Median Price Rises

tombstones in the gold coast Oct 2017

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

Sales have slipped from last year, which follows the trend that existed over the summer of weaker year-over-year sales.

The city of Chicago saw a 3.7 percent year-over-year home sales decline in September 2017 with 2,309 sales, down from 2,398 in September 2016. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in September 2017 was $275,000, up 5.8 percent compared to September 2016 when it was $260,000.

September sales for the last 10 years:

  • 2007: 2172 sales
  • 2008: 1816 sales
  • 2009: 1918 sales
  • 2010: 1403 sales
  • 2011: 1498 sales
  • 2012: 1845 sales
  • 2013: 2395 sales
  • 2014: 2242 sales
  • 2015: 2414 sales
  • 2016: 2398 sales
  • 2017: 2309 sales

Median prices for the last 10 years:

  • 2007: $267,750
  • 2008: $268,600
  • 2009: $225,000
  • 2010: $180,000
  • 2011: $190,000
  • 2012: $188,900
  • 2013: $230,000
  • 2014: $249,000
  • 2015: $250,000
  • 2016: $260,000
  • 2017: $275,000

“Although the market has slowed somewhat from peak summer activity, it continues to push forward, with decreases in overall inventory and market time reflecting continued interest in investing in a home,” said Rebecca Thomson, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and Vice President of Agent Development at @properties.

“Moving into the colder months, pricing properties correctly will continue to be the key to capturing serious buyer attention, and quick decision making and flexibility will gain greater importance as inventory declines.”

Average time on the market fell again to just 51 days from 58 days a year ago.

Total statewide inventory plunged to 60,669 from 67,796 in September 2016.

The mortgage rates remained low, with the 30-year fixed averaging 3.81% from 3.46% last year.

“Housing inventory continues to dampen sales,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “This problem is reflected in the significant increases in the sales prices of foreclosed properties, increasing by over 15 percent compared to 5 percent for regular sales.”

Would we see record sales if they were actually building more new properties?

And with prices at all time highs, the baby boomers retiring, and presumably wanting to move to warmer climates with fewer taxes, why aren’t more properties coming on the market?

Strong buyer demand, lower inventory push Illinois home prices higher in September (Illinois Association of Realtors, Press Release, October 20, 2017)


Chicago Market Conditions: Will Starter Condos Ever Again Be Built in the GreenZone?

2 w delaware approved

In the decade before the 2008 housing bust, thousands of “starter” condos were built in the GreenZone neighborhoods of Chicago.

By “starter”, I mean they were condos ranging in prices from $150k to $400k and ranged in size from studios to 2-bedrooms.

Since the bottom of the bust in 2012, nearly all the new construction in the GreenZone has been “luxury” including new brick 3-flats in Lincoln Park and Lakeview where 2/2s start at $500,000 to 3-bedroom and 4-bedroom family units in River North, Streeterville and Gold Coast high rises.

Even new townhouses are priced above $500,000 now.

And while new construction luxury buildings keep getting announced, today, Crain’s reported that one of the new condo developments that had been a condo building at 2 W. Delaware in the Gold Coast, then went to apartments, then were being sold again, are now going back to apartments.

From Crain’s:

A venture led by Letchinger bought more than 150 rented condos last year in the high-rise at 2 W. Delaware Place, a project that stalled after the crash. With the condo market rebounding, Letchinger planned to renovate the building and sell the unsold units at prices ranging from $715,000 to $4.4 million.

Now, after selling just nine units, he’s changing course. With tenants willing to pay sky-high rents to live in the building, Letchinger plans to keep renting out the remaining 144 unsold units, some at more than $10,000 a month.

“While we would love to sell them, it’s just the path of least resistance,” said Letchinger, president of JDL Development. “From a pure economic standpoint, it doesn’t make sense to sell them.”

Though the downtown condo market is healthy, it’s not booming, and JDL and its partners, Norridge-based Harlem Irving and New York-based Angelo Gordon, ultimately decided it made more sense to swim with the tide than against it.

“There’s just not a lot of velocity” in the condo market, Letchinger said. Though traffic at 2 W. Delaware’s sales center was good, “there’s not a lot of depth to the market.”

Letchinger’s JDL is the developer behind the nearly sold out 70-unit No. 9 Walton that is going up next door to this building. That’s also a luxury building.

There are also numerous other luxury high rises currently being built including One Bennett Place and the Wanda Vista.

The Vista has 406 units and is, I’ve been told, about 45% sold. But even with that sales rate, that still leaves over 200 units that are priced at $1 million+.

2 W. Delaware has 198 total units. Some will remain condos while the others will be apartments (again).

But for those hoping that the over building in the apartment market would ultimately result in some apartment to condo conversions, hopefully at lower prices than the $1 million price point, are their hopes now dashed?

Are the days of starter condos in the GreenZone over?

And is that just a normal development as Chicago becomes a more successful city?

Developer aborts condo sales at Gold Coast tower [Crain’s Chicago Business, Alby Gallun, October 18, 2017]





A Duplex Brick Loft With a Massive Rooftop Terrace: 215 W. Illinois in River North


This 2-bedroom duplex loft in the Anchor Lofts at 215 W. Illinois in River North came on the market in July 2017.

The Anchor Lofts were one of the first buildings converted into lofts in River North in the early 1990s.

It has 18 units and garage parking.

This loft has exposed brick walls and the original timber beams along with what looks to be a dry walled ceiling.

There’s a chef kitchen with luxury stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops.

The master bedroom is on the main floor along with a 16×16 walk-in closet and an en suite bathroom.

The second floor has a family room, a bathroom and a bedroom with what looks like glass walls.

There is a wall of glass doors which leads out to a huge “renovated terrace” with city views.

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

Originally listed for $1.6 million, it has been reduced $100,000 to $1.5 million.

Will this reduced price bring a quick sale?

Justin Oliver at Urban Real Estate has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #6B: 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 3000 square feet

  • Sold in February 2001 for $525,000
  • Sold in May 2015 for $1.4 million
  • Originally listed in July 2017 for $1.6 million
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $1.5 million
  • Assessments of $607 a month (includes exterior maintenance, lawn care, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $16,813
  • Central Air
  • Parking included
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 16×13 (main level)
  • Bedroom #2: 13×8 (second level)
  • Family room: 21×18 (second level)
  • Walk-in closet: 16×16 (main level)
  • Laundry room: 11×15 (main level)
  • Terrace: 45×14


Trying to Sell a Custom 5-Bedroom Smith Park House for 49% More: 2435 W. Erie


This 5-bedroom single family home at 2435 W. Erie in the Smith Park neighborhood of West Town came on the market in June 2017.

But for those of you who have been long time readers, this house may look familiar.

We chattered about it all the way back in 2008 when it was newly constructed.

A blast from the past!

You can see our chatter here along with some interior pictures.

Built on a 30×125 lot in 2007, it has unique custom finishes including coffered ceilings, custom millwork and detailed moldings (see the pictures to see just how custom it is).

It has 2 wood burning fireplaces and radiant heated flooring on several floors.

There are 2 full laundry rooms.

The kitchen has custom raised panel cabinetry in antique glaze, oil rubbed bronze hardware and a 48′ Viking range.

The baths are described as “luxury” and there’s a full steam room.

There are two terraces and a deck over the garage.

The house also has a great room and a home theater room.

Old listings said the house was 5500 square feet but the current listing doesn’t have the square footage.

This house apparently never originally sold. It became bank owned either in 2009 or 2016 (both show up in the public record).

It was listed by the bank in August 2016 for $999,000 and sold last November for $867,000.

According to those listing pictures, the kitchen and baths were in place, along with the appliances. See that listing here.

The house came back on the market just 7 months later, in June 2017, for $1.299 million.

Is the market so hot that this home will be resold within a year for 49% more?

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

Or see it in person at the Open House on Sunday, Oct 22 from 1 – 2:30 PM.

2435 W. Erie: 5 bedrooms, 4.2 baths, no square footage listed (but it was listed at 5500 sq feet in old listings)

  • Former house sold in March 2004 for $345,000
  • Originally listed in July 2008 for $1.499 million
  • Doesn’t appear to have ever sold
  • Bank owned in either 2009 or 2016
  • Listed by the bank in August 2016 for $999,900
  • Sold in November 2016 for $867,000
  • Originally listed in June 2017 for $1.299 million
  • Still listed for $1.299 million
  • Taxes of $18,598
  • Central Air
  • 3-car garage
  • 2 wood burning fireplaces
  • Bedroom #1: 21×15 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 12×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 11×14 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 19×14 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #5: 13×11 (lower level)- travertine flooring
  • Theater room: 19×16 (lower level)
  • Great room: 20×31 (lower level)
  • Family room: 21×15 (main level)

Get a 4-Bedroom Restored 1885 Gold Coast Mansion for Under $2.4 Million: 1404 N. LaSalle

1404 n lasalle

This 4-bedroom single family home at 1404 N. LaSalle in the Gold Coast/Old Town came on the market in May 2017.

Built in 1885, this limestone home is on a 20×99 lot yet still manages to have 3-car parking with a car turntable.

There are 5 fireplaces including an original one in the restored dining room which also has inlay patterned wood floors and a vintage chandelier.

The listing says the kitchen is a custom “chef’s kitchen” with Viking appliances, wet bar, an expansive marble island and an attached sun room which leads to a Trex deck.

Two bedrooms are on the second floor and both are en suite.

The master bedroom is on the third floor with tray ceilings, a spa bath and a cedar rooftop deck with a hot tub and outdoor fireplace.

The fourth bedroom is in the lower level along with a full bath and the family room.

The listing says the house is a “smart home” and has new lighting, wiring, plumbing, and surround sound.

It also says its in the Ogden and Lincoln Park High School school districts.

The house has been reduced $310,000 to $2,349,000.

LaSalle Drive in the Gold Coast/Old Town area is often overlooked by buyers.

Is this house a deal compared to new construction?

Steve McEwen at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures here.

1404 N. LaSalle Drive: 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, 5802 square feet

  • Sold in October 1997 for $297,500
  • Originally listed in May 2017 for $2,659,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $2,349,000
  • Taxes of $19,656
  • Central Air
  • 3-car garage parking with turntable
  • 5 fireplaces
  • Bedroom #1: 16×19 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 15×19 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 12×21 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 12×19 (lower level)
  • Library: 14×15 (second floor)
  • Recreation Room: 16×30 (lower level)
  • Deck: 15×27 (third floor)

A Vintage 3-Bedroom With All the Modern Amenities: 517 W. Roscoe in East Lakeview

517 w roscoe #2

This 3-bedroom second floor unit at 517 W. Roscoe in East Lakeview came on the market in June 2017.

This complex was built in 1925 and has 9 units and rare garage parking behind the building.

It is larger than many single family homes at 2850 square feet and has vintage features such as an entry gallery that is 18 feet long and crown molding.

There’s a sun room that overlooks the tree tops, and a dining room.

All 3 bedrooms have bathrooms.

The kitchen has white cabinets and white appliances with what looks like granite counter tops.

There’s also an attached breakfast room.

The listing says there are “newer windows.”

Along with the garage parking, the unit includes the features of more modern buildings such as a washer/dryer in the unit and space pac cooling.

The listing says the unit is in the Nettlehorst school district.

Is this the ideal East Lakeview family home?

517 w roscoe #1

Brad Lippitz at BerkshireHathaway KoenigRubloff has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #2W: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2850 square feet

  • Sold in December 1987 for $209,000
  • Sold in October 1991 for $250,000
  • Sold in July 1996 for $260,000
  • Sold in October 2001 for $550,000
  • Originally listed in June 2017 for $765,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $725,000
  • Assessments of $691 a month (includes heat, exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger and snow removal)
  • Taxes of $9697
  • Space pac cooling
  • Washer/dryer in the unit
  • Garage parking included
  • Fireplace
  • Bedroom #1: 16×12
  • Bedroom #2: 12×16
  • Bedroom #3: 14×16
  • Sunroom: 14×9
  • Breakfast room: 9×13
  • Gallery: 8×18



The $1 Million Condo at Buckingham and Halsted: 744 W. Buckingham in Lakeview

744 w buckingham

This 3-bedroom new construction condo at 744 W. Buckingham in Lakeview came on the market in March 2017.

It’s a 4-unit all-brick building with garage parking that was built by Ronan Builders.

The lot is 32.5 x 133.

This is a top floor unit with its own 69×28 private roof deck.

The unit has all the features and finishes you would expect out of 2017 new construction.

There is a custom trim/molding package.

The kitchen has custom cabinets, quartz or granite counter tops, and luxury appliances by Subzero, Bosch, Wolf and Kohler.

The bathrooms have Grohe, Kohler and Ann Sacks Tile Work.

Originally priced last March at $1,099,000, it has been reduced $94,000 to $1.05 million.

Is $1 million the new reality for new construction penthouse condos in East Lakeview?

Felicia Marinescu at Mod Realty has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #4: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 1900 square feet

  • New construction
  • Originally listed in March 2017 for $1,099,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $1.05 million
  • Assessments of $299 a month (includes electric, exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger, and snow removal)
  • Taxes are “new”
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 15×14
  • Bedroom #2: 11×11
  • Bedroom #3: 11×11
  • Private deck: 69×28