Selling in Less Than a Year: 3816 N. Fremont in Lakeview

We’ve chattered about several one bedroom condos where the owners were trying to sell in only a year. But what about a bigger, more expensive unit?

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3816 N. Fremont was a conversion of an older graystone in Lakeview in 2007. This 3-bedroom duplex sold in June 2007 and came back on the market in February 2008.

The property has had several price reductions since.

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Unit #1: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths

  • Sold in June 2007 for $717,500
  • Originally listed in February 2008 for $775,000
  • Reduced several times
  • Currently listed for $738,900 (parking included)
  • Assessments of $154 a month
  • No taxes yet (new construction)
  • Coldwell Banker has the listing

Lake views in a boutique building: 3726 N. Lake Shore Drive

Not all of the buildings along north Lake Shore Drive are the big vintage apartments and co-op buildings.

Take this 3-unit boutique building at 3726 N. Lake Shore Drive in Lakeview. It was built in 1920.

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Unit #2 is on the market, apparently, for the first time in 88 years. From the listing:

Spectacular opportunity for large home on one floor. Original owner/estate sale. Huge yard, basketball court, garage parking for 2+ cars and elevator. Extraordinary original details. Oval dining room, bay facing lake, original moldings.

View of lake, park, permanent, unobstructed view in small three unit building.

Absolutely beautiful space, needs to be restored to match grand era. Huge rooms, huge potential. Bring your architect or designer, there is nothing else like this!

With all the other million dollar units out there, who’s willing to take on this rehab?

The room sizes are enormous. They just don’t build them like this anymore:

  • Living Room: 36 x 18
  • Dining Room: 25 x 18
  • Kitchen: 25 x 14
  • Family Room: 17 x 10
  • Bedroom #1: 18 x 18
  • Bedroom #2: 13 x 17
  • Bedroom #3: 16 x 14
  • Bedroom #4: 14 x 19

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Unit #2: 5 bedrooms, 3 baths, no square footage provided

  • What did it sell for in 1920?  There is no information in the public records
  • Currently listed for $1.85 million (parking included)
  • Assessments of $1222 a month
  • Taxes of $7,173
  • Rubloff has the listing

Recipe to Sell a Property: Raising the Price? 143 W. Burton

In March 2008 we chattered about this 6-unit art-deco building at 143 W. Burton in River North/Old Town with two units on the market.

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Neither one had been “upgraded” (i.e. no granite or stainless steel in the kitchens.)

Both were one bedroom units.

The units are still on the market. One has had a price increase. The other one has been reduced by $19,900.

Unit #2S used to have the parking included in the price. Now, the parking is sold separately and the price has been raised.

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Unit #2S: 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 800 square feet

  • Sold in November 2001 for $194,500
  • Sold in August 2002 for $214,000
  • Was listed in March 2008 at $260,000 (included the parking)
  • Increased!
  • Currently listed for $265,000 (parking is $20k extra)
  • Assessment of $210 a month (special is paid)
  • Taxes of $3,298
  • No Central Air
  • Berg Properties has the listing

The other seller appears to be more motivated.

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Unit #3S: 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 800 square feet, penthouse unit with skylight

  • Sold in June 2004 for $233,000
  • Was listed in March 2008 at $249,900 plus 29k for parking
  • Reduced 
  • Now listed for $230,000 plus $29k for parking
  • Assessments of $210 a month
  • Taxes of $3,406
  • No central air
  • $2000 closing credit to buyer
  • Stellar Properties Inc. has the listing

By the way, these are the exact same interior and exterior pictures that were available 5 months ago.

Waiting and Waiting and Waiting for a Buyer: 224 W. St. Paul

How long will developers wait to sell their units?

Apparently years.

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224 W. St. Paul in Old Town is a conversion of a historic three flat and coach house. Two out of the four units have sold.

The first floor unit, which is a three bedroom duplex down, has been on the market nearly two years. So has the coach house.

The duplex unit has never had a price reduction.

Is this developer just waiting for the “right” buyer?

All three of the bedrooms, I believe, are in the duplex down part of the unit. But it has a gorgeous vintage stained glass window in the small living room (which is 14 x 11).

Here’s the listing:

TOTAL GUT 1ST FLOOR DUPLEX 3BR’S, 2 1/2 BATHS, FAMILY ROOM, LOADS OF CLOSET SPACE, LIVING ROOM W/ ORIGINAL STAINGLASS WINDOWS, POCKET DOORS, HARDWOOD FLOOR WITH INLAID BORDER, GAS FIREPLACE WITH ORIGINAL TILES.

ALL NEW PLUMBING, ELECTRIC STAINLESS STEEL APPLIANCES, GRANITE COUNTERTOPS, 42 NATURAL CHERRY WOOD CABINETRS, ISLAND, THERMO PANE MARVIN WINDOWS, CROWN MOLDING, W/D, INDIVIDUAL HEAT & A/C.

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Unit#1: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, no square footage given

  • Originally listed in February 2006 for $699,000
  • Currently listed for $699,000
  • No parking
  • Assessments of $298 a month
  • No tax info yet
  • Sudler Sotheby’s has the listing

Do New Appliances and Counters Matter? 330 S. Michigan

We chattered in March 2008 about Unit #2002 in 330 S. Michigan in the Loop with its unique skylights in the livingroom.

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It is still on the market and has had some renovations done and furniture re-arranged.

It has also been reduced by $14,010.

Do new stainless steel appliances and granite countertops matter?

BEFORE

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AFTER

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LIVING ROOM BEFORE

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 LIVING ROOM AFTER

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Unit #2002: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1500 square feet

  • Sold in April 2000 for $290,000
  • Was listed in March 2008 for $499,000 plus $45,000 for parking
  • Reduced
  • Now listed for $484,990 plus $45k for the parking
  • Duel skylights in the living/dining area
  • Full-sized washer dryer in its own laundry room area
  • Assessments of $650 a month
  • Taxes of $4,827
  • Keller Williams- River North Office has the listing

Back to the 1970s: 601 W. Dickens in Lincoln Park

There are a lot of 1970s buildings in Lincoln Park. 601 W. Dickens is one of them.

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Built in 1973, the 2-bedroom duplex has been renovated.

Does that make you forget the lower ceilings?

Here’s the listing:

BEAUTIFULLY RENOVATED DUPLEX UP RIGHT ON OZ PARK! FLOOR TO CEILING WINDOWS IN EVERY ROOM; KITCHEN WITH CHERRY CABINETS GRANITE, STAINLESS APPLIANCES, GLASS BACKSPLASH; ALL MARBLE BATHROOMS; REFINISHED HARDWOOD FLOORS AND NEW CARPETING.

LARGE BALCONY OFF THE LIVING ROOM AND A PRIVATE LANDSCAPPED YARD. PARKING INCLUDED IN THE PRICE

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Unit #A2: 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, no square footage given

  • Sold in October 2004 for $390,000
  • Sold in January 2007 for $412,500
  • Currently listed for $499,999 (parking included)
  • Assessments of $140 a month
  • Taxes of $5611
  • Central Air
  • @Properties has the listing

We Love Gorgeous Porches: 847 W. Bradley in Lakeview

Rooftop terraces are nice, but there’s something about a covered porch that is cozy.

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This 3 bedroom unit at 847 W. Bradley in Lakeview has one of those- in a gorgeous full length front porch.

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The unit is in the hard-to-sell $600,000 to $700,000 price range though.

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Unit #2F: 3 bedrooms,  2.5 baths

  • Sold in August 2003 for $570,000
  • Sold in April 2006 for $638,000
  • Originally listed in February 2008 for $683,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $647,500 (parking included)
  • Assessments of $220 a month
  • Taxes of $7733
  • Central air
  • The third bedroom has been turned into a family room
  • Rubloff has the listing (click on the link to see more pictures of the great porch)

Steals and Deals: Living in the Loop for Under $250k: 420 S. Clinton

Want to walk to work?

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You can get a one bedroom plus den at the Gotham Lofts, at 420 S. Clinton, in the loop for under $250,000– including the parking.

The Gotham Lofts is a brick and timber loft complex converted in the late 1990s which includes 420 S. Clinton and 417 S. Jefferson.

Is this a deal?

The “den” is 9 x 8. The bedroom is 12 x 11.

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Unit #617: 1 bedroom plus den, 1 bath, no square footage given

  • Sold in July 2003 for $226,000
  • Sold in May 2007 for $277,000
  • Originally listed for $289,000
  • Reduced
  • Now $249,000 (includes the parking)
  • Assessments of $315 a month
  • Taxes of $1908
  • Central Air
  • Washer/dryer in the unit
  • Top floor
  • Century 21 Sussex & Reilly has the listing

WSJ: Mortgage Insurers Consider All of Chicago A ‘Declining Market’

The Wall Street Journal is talking about the tightening lending standards in today’s issue.

According to the article, the entire Chicagoland area is now designated a “declining market” by 4 out of 5 of the largest mortgage insurers.

That means that mortgage insurers are routinely requiring at least a 10% downpayment to purchase a house, and sometimes more. From the WSJ:

“To put this blanket overlay on my marketplace and say it’s all a declining market, it’s not true,” says David Hanna, managing partner of Prudential SourceOne Realty in Chicago. City neighborhoods such as Lincoln Park and Hyde Park, as well as affluent suburbs such as Hinsdale, still are seeing home prices appreciate, he says.

Mr. Hanna points out the declining-market tag has hit such unlikely transactions as a $1.1 million sale of a home in Wilmette, a well-to-do suburb. The buyer had to come up with an extra 5% down payment.

In another case, a two-unit building in Chicago was ready to be sold to an investor for $449,000, when the required down payment again was boosted. The buyer still is trying to come up with the funds. It turned out that a different investor in that neighborhood had defaulted on seven properties, driving down comparable prices.

Mr. Hanna says such circumstances should be taken into account. “Maybe one project, because of past history, you have issues, but you’re impacting literally thousands of other people,” he says.

Mortgage insurers say the data they receive on home sales aren’t conclusive enough to be more precise in designating declining markets.

Other costs of obtaining a loan are also increasing.

Next month, for example, MGIC plans to charge an annualized premium of up to 0.75% of the loan balance for fixed-rate, 30-year mortgages with a 10% down payment, up from 0.67% this month. The company doesn’t plan to change course anytime soon.

“Housing cycles don’t correct quickly,” says MGIC’s Mr. Zimmerman.

Has anyone heard of mortgage insurers requiring more than the 10%?

Mortgage Insurers Raise Bar [Wall Street Journal, July 15, 2008]

Update on Some Past Properties in Lincoln Park: Now Reduced

Remember the vintage with good bones but an older kitchen on lovely Pine Grove at 2724 N. Pine Grove in Lincoln Park that we chattered about in early June

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It’s still on the market and has been reduced again.

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Unit #3: 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, diningroom

  • Sold in August 1999 for $210,000
  • Originally listed for $325,000
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in June 2008 for $309,000 (parking is rental nearby for $225 a month)
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $299,000
  • Assessments of $382 a month
  • Taxes of $3072
  • Window units  (no central air)
  • No Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • The Jelinek Group at Coldwell Banker has the listing

This vintage unit that we chattered about last April at 2523 N. Burling has also been reduced. But it still sits on the market.

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Unit #2: 3 bedroom, 2 baths, 1625 square feet

  • Sold in June 2006 for $595,000
  • Was listed in April 2008 for $599,000 (parking included)
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $579,000 (parking included)
  • Washer/dryer in the unit
  • Back porch
  • Central air
  • Assessments of $100 a month
  • Taxes of $5936
  • Coldwell Banker has the listing