Would You Buy The Furnishings? A 2-Bedroom at 510 W. Erie in River North

This 2-bedroom at Erie on the Park at 510 W. Erie in River North has been on the market since December 2011.

It recently reduced $70,000, although I can’t tell if that is a “real” price reduction as it was previously listed at $475,000 and now it is listed at $405,000 plus $70,000 for two deeded parking spots.

OR- it is also listed at $499,999 fully furnished.

The unit has a Buulthaup custom kitchen with stainless steel appliances.

There is a pivot flat screen television in the living/dining room.

The unit doesn’t have the typical hardwood floors in the main living area but instead has slate floors in the living/dining/kitchen and hardwood floors in the bedrooms.

The listing says it was “lightly lived in as 2nd home.”

How many buyers would be interested in buying it furnished?

Gabrielle Glass at G Squared Realty has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #1005: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, no square footage listed

  • Sold in September 2002 for $380,000 (no parking included)
  • Originally listed in December 2011
  • Was listed in July 2012 for $475,000 (not sure if parking was included or extra)
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $405,000 (plus $70,000 for 2 parking spaces)
  • OR- fully furnished for $499,999 (not sure if that includes the parking or not)
  • Assessment of $758 a month (includes heat, a/c, doorman)
  • Taxes of $5800
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 12×14
  • Bedroom #2: 12×14

Market Conditions: Zillow Calls Chicago Housing Market Bottom As Of February 2012

The last few weeks has seen a lot of “bottom” calls in real estate both in Chicago and nationally.

Yesterday, Zillow’s market bottom call was all the rage. (Before you complain about Zillow’s “accuracy” just know that it wasn’t the first to call the market bottom in recent days. But it does have a good PR firm.)

Nearly one-third of the 167 metropolitan areas tracked by Zillow posted annual price increases for the second quarter compared with the year-ago period. Prices rose fastest in cities with fewer homes for sale and strong investor demand. Phoenix prices rose 12% from one year ago while Miami was up 6%.

“It seems clear that the country has hit a bottom in home values,” said Stan Humphries, Zillow’s chief economist, who had previously forecast that housing wouldn’t hit bottom until late this year or early in 2013. The fact that the gains came during a period in which the economy wasn’t very strong suggests “there’s some fundamental organic strength to the housing market,” Mr. Humphries said.

Zillow also called a market bottom for Chicago.

Date of the bottom? February 2012.

The real estate website has decided that the Chicago area’s housing market bottomed in 2012’s first quarter, specifically in February when Zillow’s home value index for the Chicago area fell 1.5 percent from January.

From February through June, however, Zillow’s index of home values rose 2.2 percent in the Chicago area. The index may fluctuate up and down but Zillow doesn’t expect the market to again be as bad as it was in February.

How easy (or hard) is it to call a bottom in a bear market?

Will all the experts be right?

Zillow: Chicago real estate market hit bottom in February [Chicago Tribune, Mary Ellen Podmolik, July 24, 2012]

Home prices reflect strengthening [Wall Street Journal, Nick Timiraos, July 24, 2012]

Full Of Vintage Charm For Under $300,000: 9046 S. Hamilton in Beverly Hills

This 4-bedroom single family home at 9046 S. Hamilton in the Beverly Hills neighborhood of  Beverly came on the market in June 2012.

Yes, it’s actually called “Beverly Hills” and the neighborhood has lovely signs telling you so.

Built in 1924 on an oversized lot of 52×133, the listing calls the architecture style “English”.

It has some of its vintage features intact including stained glass windows, crown molding and hardwood floors.

It has a full, unfinished basement and the listing says it has a new drain tile and sump.

2 of the bedrooms are on the main level along with a full bathroom and 2 are on the second level also with a full bathroom. There is also another room on the second level which is tandem to one of the bedrooms.

There’s no central air and there’s just a one car garage.

At what price will someone take a chance on this house?

Cheryl Cronin at Prudential Biros Real Estate has the listing. See the pictures here.

9046 S. Hamilton: 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1925 square feet, 1 car garage

  • I couldn’t find any prior sale (estate sale, perhaps?)
  • Originally listed in June 2012 for $305,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $295,000
  • Taxes of $3581
  • No central air
  • Fireplace
  • Bedroom #1: 11×14 (main level)
  • Bedroom #2: 10×11 (main level)
  • Bedroom #3: 13×15 (second level)
  • Bedroom #4: 11×14 (second level)

Market Conditions: Surprise! First Half Luxury Home Sales in the Chicagoland Area The Same As in 2011

The data doesn’t lie.

It seemed to me that the luxury home market was hotter than the previous few years but Crain’s refuted my non-data “theory” with real data.

200 homes priced over $1.5 million sold in the first half of the year in the Chicagoland area which was the same number as sold in 2011 and was just 3 more than sold in 2010 (which saw 197 sales.) There are 1019 homes currently listed above $1.5 million in the Chicagoland area.

The peak number of sales was, not surprisingly, 2006 when 381 homes sold over $1.5 million.

The low point was in 2009, when just 168 homes sold.

[It appears this article is referring ONLY to single family homes- and NOT condos.]

Traditionally, luxury homes have been the “first market to fall and the first market to pick up” through economic cycles, said Jim Kinney, vice-president of luxury home sales at Baird & Warner. Though high-end home sales are up 19 percent from the bottom in 2009, they have held steady this year while the broader market has perked up.

“There’s obviously fewer and fewer people trading up when you get to the top of the pyramid,” Mr. Kinney said. “Instead of a pyramid, it’s looking like a straw.”

Uncertainty over the upcoming presidential election has kept some luxury buyers on the sidelines this year, Mr. Kinney said, and the euro crisis and sluggish U.S. economy also may be a concern among some would-be buyers. And many buyers still face the same old problem: They can’t buy a new, more expensive home until they sell their old one.

The “best” markets?

  1. Lincoln Park – 33 sales
  2. Winnetka- 33 sales
  3. Hinsdale- 21 sales

Those markets with the highest inventory based on prior sales?

  • Northbrook was #1 with 102 months of inventory and 19 properties listed
  • Clio’s Oak Brook has 48 months of inventory with 36 properties listed
  • Hinsdale, another Clio favorite, has 30 months of inventory with 80 properties on the market

Northbrook tries to explain its #1 ranking.

Based on sales activity, Northbrook is the weakest high-end market, with 102 months of supply — more than eight years. Just 19 homes in the north suburb are on the market for $1.5 million or more, but only two have sold thus far this year.

The listing agent on one of those sales, Shaun Raugstad of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, said the statistics are likely skewed because of Northbrook’s smaller market.

Yet he also admits a buyer-friendly climate and that “people tend to flock a little more east” than Northbrook.

“People know exactly what they’re looking for, and in this market they want to find their dream home,” he said.

What are luxury sales really like in the city if you add in condos?

What happens to Lincoln Park’s luxury “inventory” when Lincoln Park 2520 (aka 2550 N. Lakeview) and its hundreds of condos is added to the equation?

What does it mean for the overall market if luxury sales are NOT picking up?

Luxury sales lag as housing market picks up [Crain’s Chicago Business, David Lee Matthews, July 24, 2012]

Marlborough 1-Bedroom Rehab Still Available 7 Months Later And Reduced $10,000: 400 W. Deming in Lincoln Park


We last chattered about this rehabbed 1-bedroom in the Marlborough at 400 W. Deming in East Lincoln Park in January 2012.

See our prior chatter here.

In January, most of you thought the rehab was nicely done but without central air, in-unit washer/dryer or parking and high assessments, you thought it was overpriced by about $70,000 and should sell around $200,000.

If you recall, the unit had been bank owned before undergoing a “complete gut.”

It is no longer just a 1-bedroom with a separate dining room but it is a 1-bedroom plus den and a separate dining room.

Here are the before and after room sizes:


  • Bedroom: 17×11
  • Living room: 18×12
  • Dining room: 12×11
  • Kitchen: 10×7


  • Bedroom: 17×11
  • Living room: 13×11
  • Dining room: 11×10
  • Kitchen: 12×11
  • Den: 8×7

There is now a double sided marble fireplace in the living room.

The kitchen is completely new with stainless steel appliances and “rare honed marble” counter tops.

There is crown molding and walnut stained floors.

The bathroom has Toto, Robern and Grohe finishes.

In the last 7 months, it has been reduced just $10,000 to $259,900.

Is this rehabber just being stubborn or will patience be a virtue now that the market is apparently improving?

Eugene Fu at @Properties still has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #9N: 1 bedroom, den, 750 square feet

  • Sold in July 1991 for $102,500
  • Sold in October 1995 for $106,500
  • Sold in August 1998 for $126,500
  • Sold in March 2001 for $172,000
  • Sold in March 2004 for $209,000
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in June 2009
  • Listed for rent in February 2010
  • Bank owned in April 2010
  • Originally listed in September 2010 for $174,900
  • Reduced numerous times
  • Sold in August 2011 for $112,000
  • Listed again in January 2012 for $269,900
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $259,900
  • Assessments of $605 a month(includes heat, gas, doorman, cable)
  • Taxes of $3455
  • No central air
  • No in-unit washer/dryer
  • No parking (rental only in the neighborhood)

2700 Square Feet of “Finished Opulence” in Beverly: 9524 S. Claremont

This 4-bedroom Cape Cod at 9524 S. Claremont in Beverly has been on the market since May 2012.

It originally sold last November as an estate sale. Back then, it was just a 2 bedroom, 1 bath at 1282 square feet.

Now, after a rehab that included new windows, new roof, mechanicals, plumbing and electrical, the 1955 house is 2700 square feet of “finished opulence.”

It now has a 700 square foot master suite with a master bath and closet.

There’s also a finished basement.

The kitchen is completely new with dark wood cabinets, stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops and a tile backsplash.

Built on an oversized 40×125 lot, it has central air and a 2 car garage.

It’s been reduced $20,000 since it came on the market and is now listed at $339,990.

Is this a deal for a Beverly starter home?

William Biros at Prudential Biros Real Estate has the listing. See more pictures here.

9524 S. Claremont: 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2700 square feet, 2 car garage

  • Sold in October 1988 (no price given)
  • Sold as an “estate sale” in November 2011 for $120,000
  • Originally listed in May 2012 for $359,990
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $339,990
  • Taxes of $4647
  • Central Air
  • 2 fireplaces
  • Bedroom #1: 24×14 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 12×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 11×12 (main floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 11×10 (main floor)
  • Family room: 24×25 (basement)

Buy A 2-Flat in East Humboldt Park For Just $95,000: 923 N. Francisco

This 2-flat at 923 N. Francisco in East Humboldt Park just came on the market.

It is a short sale and is listed at just $95,000.

Both units are rented for the following:

  1. Unit #1: 2/1 with rent of $800 a month
  2. Unit #2: 2/1 with rent of $800 a month

The building is on a standard 25×125 lot and has a 2 car garage.

From the interior pictures, it appears that the kitchens have been updated as they have maple cabinets and stainless steel appliances.

The listing says the building is “partially renovated.”

Does this building make sense for an investor?

Kathy Li at Century 21 S.G.R. has the listing. See the pictures here.

923 N. Francisco: 2-Flat, 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2 car garage

  • I couldn’t find a prior sales price but it looks like it last sold in the 1980s (?)
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in December 2011
  • Currently listed as a “short sale” for $95,000
  • Tenants pay utilities
  • Taxes of $4583
  • Rent of $1600 a month (2 units)

Get This Luxury 2-Bedroom For 32% Under the 2009 Price in River North: 110 W. Superior

This top floor 2-bedroom in the recognizable blue building that is 110 W. Superior in River North came on the market in June 2012.

Built in 2008, the building has just 58 units.

This unit has luxury finishes including Snaidero cabinets in the kitchen with quartz counter tops and SubZero, Wolf and Bosch appliances.

It has dark bamboo floors throughout the main living space and electronic window shades on the floor to ceiling windows.

This unit has been reduced $24,000 since June.

It is now listed about 32% under its 2009 purchase price at $725,000.

Is this a deal?

Or is it just in line with the overall market correction?

Cathy Ivcich at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #2703: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1650 square feet

  • Sold in May 2009 for $1,061,000 (included the parking)
  • Originally listed in June 2012 for $749,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $725,000 (includes the parking)
  • Assessments of $921 a month (includes cable and doorman)
  • Taxes of $15,779
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 15×12
  • Bedroom #2: 12×10
  • Office: 10×8


Everything Is New: A New Kitchen And Two New Baths For This Lakeview Loft: 1635 W. Belmont


This 2-bedroom in the Cinema Lofts at 1635 W. Belmont in Lakeview just came on the market.

It last sold as a short sale in November 2010 for just $315,000.

But it has been renovated with a completely new kitchen and two new baths.

If you have a Redfin account, you can see the 2010 listing pictures. The previous kitchen was the original 1997 kitchen with white cabinets, white appliances and laminate counter tops.

The bathrooms were much the same.

The current kitchen has new cherry cabinets, stone counter tops and a tile backsplash along with stainless steel appliances, including a SubZero refrigerator.

The master bathroom also has a new vanity and a stone walk in shower. There aren’t any pictures in the listing of the second bath.

The unit is a top floor corner unit with south and west views. It has two decks.

It also has the other features that buyers look for including central air, in-unit washer/dryer and the rare 2-car parking.

The Cinema Lofts is a doorman building but the unit is what is called a “soft loft” in that it has higher ceilings and exposed duct work but none of the other features of “authentic” lofts such as exposed brick, beams or timber or concrete ceilings.

With all the upgrades, and buyers wanting “new”, will this seller get a quick sale?

Tod Pratt at Koenig & Strey Real Living has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #702: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1500 square feet, 2 car parking

  • Sold in September 1997 for $256,000
  • Sold in January 1998 for $282,000
  • Sold in July 2003 for $409,500
  • Sold in July 2006 for $454,000
  • Sold as a “short sale” in November 2010 for $315,000
  • Currently listed for $450,000
  • Assessments of $557 a month (includes cable, doorman)
  • Taxes of $8217
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 16×13
  • Bedroom #2: 15×11


Is 3% Under the 2004 Price Even A Deal For This Lakeview Loft? 811 W. Aldine

This 2-bedroom at the Mandel Bros. Lofts at 811 W. Aldine in Lakeview just came on the market.

It is a Fannie Mae Homepath property which allows the purchaser to buy it for just 3% down.

At 1400 square feet, it has exposed brick walls and timber ceilings.

I can’t tell if it’s on one level or multiple levels. It appears to have a sizable 10×16 deck (maybe a roofdeck?)

It also appears from the pictures that the kitchen and baths are intact.

The kitchen has white cabinets, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances (although it looks like the refrigerator is missing.)

The listing says it doesn’t have central air and it doesn’t say anything about washer/dryer- but other units in the building that we chattered about in prior years had both of those things. Sometimes the distress listings are not completely accurate.

The listing also lists 2-car parking and then in another location says parking is not included.

It’s come on the market just 3% below the last purchase in 2004.

Is this even a deal or is the 2001 price a more likely selling price?

Ayoub Rabah at Great Street Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #5NF: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1400 square feet

  • Sold in June 2001 for $362,000
  • Sold in September 2002 for $388,000
  • Sold in June 2003 for $401,000
  • Sold in July 2004 for $421,500
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in March 2011
  • Currently listed as a “Fannie Mae Homepath” property at $408,900
  • Assessments of $333 a month
  • Taxes of $7126
  • No central air???
  • Washer/Dryer not mentioned
  • Possibly 2-car parking (???)
  • Bedroom #1: 13×16
  • Bedroom #2: 10×13
  • Deck: 10×16 (third floor?)