Bucktown Bank-Owned McMansion Reduced $910K: 2322 W. Charleston

It’s back!

We chattered about this new construction McMansion home at 2322 W. Charleston in Bucktown (along with its next-door-neighbor twin, 2324 W. Charleston) nearly a year ago.

Back in February 2008, the owner was under stress as a lis pendens had been filed.

Read our chatter and see pictures here.

Now, it’s bank-owned and has been reduced by $910,000 from its original 2007 listing price.

Here’s its history:

2322 W. Charleston: 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 2 car garage

  • Old house sold in January 2005 for $360,000
  • Sold in October 2006 for $1.5 million
  • Lis pendens filed in June 2007
  • Was listed in July 2007 for $1.7 million
  • Reduced to $1 million by February 2008
  • Bank-owned as of October 6, 2008
  • Now back on the market at $790,000
  • Taxes of $13,775
  • Lisa Kay at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the listing and newer interior pictures here.

Market Conditions: Are Sellers Capitulating in Chicago?

The Chicago Tribune writes that many real estate agents are finally seeing sellers capitulating and lowering prices significantly in 2009.

Are they?

On Tuesday, a key index showed that Chicago-area home values in November posted the biggest one-month decline on record. The latest drop in the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price index has all but wiped out the local market’s gains and returned prices to May 2004 levels.

“We’re essentially at fair market value,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer of Harris Private Bank.

While he said he believes the worst is behind the market, he added: “Given the credit conditions and the environment, it wouldn’t be a surprise to me if we shot [below fair market value].”

Real estate agent Rhonda Crump finds herself having to heed the same advice she’s given clients. The lack of activity in real estate has affected her family’s finances.

So five months ago, she and her husband decided to sell the three-bedroom Beverly home they bought in 2006 for $273,000 and added more than $20,000 in upgrades. The original listing price was $349,000. After several reductions, Crump cut the price Monday to $280,000.

“We are doing everything we can in terms of price,” she said.

In Morgan Park, an expansive 6-bedroom, 51/2-bath home that was listed for $1 million in 2005—and is now a foreclosure with major water damage—is listed at $349,500.

Such homes are a steal for buyers, but they can also lower the value of similar houses within a one-mile radius.

“Foreclosures, even short sales, they are going to bring down values,” said Henry Torn, a buyer’s agent with Chicago Realty Partners. “We live in a new age.”

Real estate agents say home price tide has turned, sellers are capitulating [Mary Ellen Podmolik, Chicago Tribune, Jan 28, 2009]

Brewster 2-Bedroom Reduced $6K: 2800 N. Pine Grove in Lakeview

It’s not just the penthouse in The Brewster at 2800 N. Pine Grove in Lakeview that isn’t selling.

We last chattered about this 2-bedroom remodeled unit last June.

See the pictures and our chatter here.

Since then, it has been reduced another $6,000. It also is not currently on the MLS- but it is on Craigslist.

Here’s its history:

Unit #5A: 2 bedrooms, 1 bath (listing now calls it a 1-bedroom plus den)

  • Sold in March 2000 for $187,000
  • Sold in August 2002 for $241,000
  • Sold in May 2004 for $279,500
  • Was listed in June 2008 for $275,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $269,000 
  • Assessments of $333 a month
  • No w/d in the unit (but building allows it)
  • No parking
  • Window unit air conditioning
  • Second bedroom is “open” to the rest of the unit.
  • Dana Wingate at Prime Property Partners has the listing. See the craiglist ad here.

We Love Authentic Lofts: 2332 S. Michigan in Motor Row

In the last sevveral years, some developers have been converting old automobile showrooms on South Michigan (known as “Motor Row”) in the South Loop into outstanding authentic lofts.


This 22-unit building at 2332 S. Michigan is a blend of the authentic loft elements of brick and high ceilings with modern kitchens and bathrooms.

This particular unit is a 2-bedroom triplex with a “recreation room” on the top floor, complete with wetbar and city views from a private deck.




Vivienne Frow at Rubloff has the listing. See more pictures, a virtual tour and a floorplan here.

See the property website here.

Unit #409: 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, recreation room, about 1730 square feet

  • I believe it is still available from the developer – as I couldn’t find a prior sales price
  • Currently listed for $569,000 plus $30,000 for parking
  • Assessments are $174 a month
  • Taxes are “new”
  • Triplex
  • Fireplace
  • Open House: Thursday, January 29 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM

$3K Reduction on Clybourn Corridor New Construction: 1718 N. Clybourn

We last chattered about this 2-unit new construction building at 1718 N. Clybourn in Lincoln Park (or the Clybourn Corridor, as it is usually known) in October 2008.

See our last chatter and pictures here.

Both units are still on the market and the top floor unit has now been reduced another $3,000.

Are buyers swayed by $3,000 reductions these days?

Here’s its history:

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

  • Originally listed in August 2007 for $799,000
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in October 2008 at $698,000 (parking is $30k extra)
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $695,000 (parking is extra)
  • Assessments are $200 a month
  • Taxes are “new”
  • Jeff Graves at Coldwell Banker still has the listing. See more pictures here.

Do You Have Vision? 5919 S. Calumet in Washington Park

Just in time for the Olympics. This 10-bedroom brownstone mansion at 5919 S. Calumet awaits someone with vision.


The listing says it needs a complete gut rehab. It used to be a single family home and then was converted into 4-units.




Marki Lemons at Rubloff has the listing. See more pictures and a virtual tour here.

See the property website here.

5919 S. Calumet: 10 bedrooms, 5 baths, no square footage listed, 4 car parking

  • Sold in February 1989 for $30,000
  • Currently listed for $189,500
  • Taxes of $4915
  • No central air
  • 3 fireplaces

Vintage Beauty on the Lake: 3400 N. Lake Shore Drive

They just don’t build them like this anymore. And we love to look at them.


This 4-bedroom, 4000 square foot vintage unit in 3400 N. Lake Shore Drive in Lakeview still has the original mahogany millwork, plaster and paneling.

It also has all the modern conveniences: central air, washer/dryer and parking.

What more can you ask for?




Meredith Meserow at Koenig & Strey has the listing. See the listing and more pictures here.

Unit #8EF: 4 bedrooms, 4 baths, 4000 square feet

  • Sold in September 2000 for $852,500
  • Sold in April 2002 for $1.05 million
  • Sold in June 2005 for $1.425 million
  • Currently listed for $2.25 million
  • Assessments of $2300 a month
  • Taxes of $18,000
  • Parking included
  • Central Air
  • 2 Fireplaces
  • Listing says the master bath was recently renovated

Market Conditions: What If Construction Stops on Your Condo Tower?

What if you had put down a deposit for a unit in Waterview Tower several years ago?  How long would you be willing to wait for your dream unit?

Construction has halted on the building on Wacker Drive in the Loop.

Crain’s updates construction developments at several of the new highrises in this week’s issue. According to Crain’s, Waterview Tower is 67% sold.

Owners in many buildings are in limbo land, waiting for construction to be completed.  Crain’s highlights these five:

  • Chicago Spire
  • Lincoln Park 2520
  • Waterview Tower
  • X/O Condominiums
  • Solstice on the Park

From Crain’s:

Manish Shah is all too familiar with this bind. He agreed in December 2006 to buy a two-bedroom unit at the GlasHaus development, 1327 S. Wabash Ave., and plunked down $24,000 in earnest money.

At the time, developer Piedmont Group Inc. told Mr. Shah that the sale of his $440,000 unit would close in the second half of 2008. But in an Oct. 20 letter to buyers, Chicago-based Piedmont pushed the date back.

Construction is delayed, and units won’t be ready for delivery until at least autumn 2010.

Until then, Mr. Shah, 35, figures he’s stuck.

“The money that’s locked up is opportunity lost,” he says. “I’ve been trying to get out of (the contract), but I can’t.”

A buyer who bought on the 50th floor in the Spire is patiently waiting out the delays, the article says. But buyers in other buildings aren’t so accomodating.

A “drop-dead” clause — which gives buyers a way out without forfeiting earnest money if a condo isn’t delivered by a certain date — can be a useful shield. But most sales contracts don’t contain such provisions unless the buyer’s attorney insists on them.

Mr. Shah and two other buyers say their GlasHaus sales contracts have no such out.

It’s definitely frustrating,” says Amit Pathak, 25, who put down about $18,000 on a $361,900, 852-square-foot unit in July 2007.

Marilyn Engwall shares that frustration. She agreed in January 2006 to pay $330,990 for a 900-square-foot, 17th-floor unit.

Now, she’d like Piedmont to return her $16,545 in earnest money. She says she needs it to pay for repairs to her Albany Park bungalow, where she’ll live for at least another two years until her condo is ready.

“I guarantee I’m not the only one in this situation,” says Ms. Engwall, 43. “I would love to move there, but it’s not going to happen anytime soon. And I need that money now.”

Stuck in condo limbo [Crain’s Chicago Business, Jan 26, 2009]

Chicago Spire Update [Crain’s Chicago Business, Jan 26, 2009]

Lincoln Park 2520 Update [Crain’s Chicago Business, Jan 26, 2009]

Waterview Tower Update [Crain’s Chicago Business, Jan 26, 2009]

X/O Condominiums Update [Crain’s Chicago Business, Jan 26, 2009]

Solstice on the Park Update [Crain’s Chicago Business, Jan 26, 2009]

Lincoln Park Single Family “Short Sale” Reduces $199K: 2533 N. Greenview

We last chattered about this “short sale” 5-bedroom single family home at 2533 N. Greenview in Lincoln Park in September 2008.

See the pictures and our prior chatter here.

It is still on the market, still listed as a “short sale” and the listing says it is still currently rented for $5,000 a month.

But it has been reduced by $199,501 and is now listed for $8001 under its 2006 sales price.

Here’s its history again:

2533 N. Greenview: 5 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2 half baths, 2 car garage, 3000 square feet

  • Built in 1996
  • Sold in August 2006 for $997,500
  • Originally listed in July 2008 for $1.25 million
  • Was listed as a “short sale” on the MLS in September 2008 for $1.189 million (although the Craigslist ad said $1.15 million)
  • Reduced numerous times
  • Currently listed for $989,499
  • Taxes of $10,523
  • There is still NO lis pendens pending on the property
  • Listing says it is currently rented for $5,000 a month
  • Vista Way Realty has the listing. See more pictures here.

Cheapest House in Old Town is Now Cheaper: 1454 N. Orleans

We last chattered about this 3-bedroom single family home at 1454 N. Orleans in Old Town in May 2008. It was among the cheapest single family homes currently on the market in Old Town.


It’s gotten $34,000 cheaper since we last chattered about it. The sellers are also now “motivated.”

Are the El tracks, right in front of the house, putting a damper on buyers’ enthusiasm?

Otherwise, the house looks renovated and current. There is deeded parking included in the price next door at the Royalton Towers.




Ann Rossley at Rubloff now has the listing. See more pictures and a virtual tour here (much better pictures than the last time we chattered about the property.)

See the property website here.

See our old chatter here.

1454 N. Orleans: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 car parking

  • Sold in August 1994 for $146,500
  • Was listed in April 2008 for $775,000
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in May 2008 for $749,000
  • Reduced
  • Re-listed in January 2009 for $715,000
  • Taxes of $7,558
  • Central Air
  • Parking next door at Royalton Towers- deeded