The 3-Bedroom Wicker Park Duplex Down: 1525 N. Wood

This 3-bedroom duplex down at 1525 N. Wood in Wicker Park came on the market in July 2013.

But it had been on the market from 2010 until 2011 without a sale. It has the living/dining/kitchen on the main level along with the master bedroom while the other two bedrooms and the family room are on the lower level.

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

The master bathroom is marble. This unit has a private deck above the garage.

It has central air, washer/dryer in the unit and 1-car parking.

It was recently reduced $19,900 to $530,000.

What happened to the hot market?

John Vossoughi at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

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

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  • Sold in October 2003 for $422,000
  • Sold in October 2005 for $510,000
  • Was listed in 2010 and 2011
  • Re-listed in July 2013 for $549,900
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $530,000
  • Assessments of $100 a month
  • Taxes of $7305
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Parking included
  • Bedroom #1: 14×12 (main level)
  • Bedroom #2: 13×11 (lower level)
  • Bedroom #3: 11×10 (lower level)
  • Family room: 20×14 (lower level)


Love Converted Churches? A 2-Bedroom in Lakeview: 3252 N. Kenmore


This 2-bedroom in a converted church at 3252 N. Kenmore in Lakeview just came on the market.

The listing says it’s “not cookie cutter.”

It has 10-12 foot ceilings throughout and 9 windows.

The kitchen has maple cabinets and stainless steel appliances.

It has heated garage parking, central air, washer/dryer in the unit and a small deck.

The unit has come on the market for $40,000 more than the 2006 purchase price, or $499,000.

Will it get the premium to peak pricing?

Brad Lippitz at Prudential Rubloff has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #202: 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, no square footage listed

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  • Sold in August 1994 for $179,000
  • Sold in April 1998 for $270,000
  • Sold in June 2005 for $459,500
  • Sold in September 2006 for $459,000
  • Currently listed for $499,000
  • Assessments of $301 a month (includes water)
  • Taxes of $5697
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Heated garage parking included
  • Bedroom #1: 16×13
  • Bedroom #2: 13×12
  • Den: 12×10



Rehabbed 3-Bedroom West Town Townhouse Is Still Available: 642 N. Armour

We’ve chattered about this 3-bedroom townhouse at 642 N. Armour in West Town several times over the last year.

See our June 2013 chatter here.

It was a Fannie Mae property, was bought and rehabbed, and returned to the market in June 2013.

It was listed in June at $399,950.

The townhouse has been under contract several times since then, even after it came back on the market at the higher price of $425,000.

It has now come back on the market again.

If you recall, it has new plumbing, decks and HVAC.

The kitchen is new and has granite counter tops and a Bosch appliance package.

All the baths are new.

You can see what it looked like before in this YouTube video (warning- music!).

Two bedrooms are on the second floor and the third is on the top floor.

There are several decks and a lower level den.

Will this townhouse have as much success selling now that fall is approaching as it did in early summer?

Nick Patterson at Kale Realty still has the listing. See the pictures here.

642 W. Armour: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, no square footage listed, one attached garage

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  • Sold in May 1996 for $198,000
  • Sold in September 2003 for $365,000
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in June 2011
  • Fannie Mae Homepath property
  • Was listed in August 2012 for $374,900
  • Reduced several times
  • Was listed in November 2012 at $309,900
  • Sold in February 2013 for $250,000
  • Was listed in June 2013 at $399,950
  • Under contract several times
  • Price raised to $425,000
  • Currently listed for $425,000
  • Taxes of $4488
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 17×13 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 14×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 14×10 (third floor)
  • Den: 14×13 (lower level)


Want to be a Landlord in Bucktown? A Victorian 2-Flat at 1636 N. Claremont

This Victorian 2-flat at 1636 N. Claremont in Bucktown has been on the market since July 2013.

It looks to be connected to another 2-flat next door.

Each unit appears to have its own separate entrance.

Here are the units:

  1. Unit #1: 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, no central air, rent of $1450 a month
  2. Unit #2: 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, no central air, rent of $1445 a month

The building was built in 1891 on a 25×125 lot.

The unit has high ceilings, crown moldings and arched doorways.

There are lovely gardens in the backyard but no garage although the building next door has a garage so there is plenty of space and an alley in the back in case you want to build one.

The units don’t have central air but there are window units.

There is an unfinished basement with a washer/dryer for the building.

Does this make sense as an investment?

1636 n claremont #2

Elizabeth Galfer at Jameson Sotheby’s has the listing. See the pictures here.

1636 N. Claremont: 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2-flat

  • Sold in March 2007 for $485,000
  • Originally listed in July 2013 for $580,000
  • Currently still listed for $580,000
  • Taxes of $8207
  • Total rental income of $34,740
  • No central air- window units only
  • Washer/dryer in the basement
  • No parking


Market Conditions: Is an Apartment Glut Coming to Chicago?

I posted two articles over the weekend in the comments about the slowdown in the rental markets in Los Angeles and New York City.

In LA, about 6,000 apartments are being built. Here in Chicago, according to Crain’s, it’s about 5300 apartments with the possibility of another 3,000 on deck by 2015.

Some are saying that there will soon be a supply/demand imbalance as the new apartments won’t be absorbed quickly enough.

Many developers and landlords say they’re not nervous, citing an improving job market and downtown Chicago’s growing appeal to well-paid professionals in their 20s and 30s who would rather rent than own. The risk of a glut is small because the market is good at regulating itself, they say, and lenders and investors know when to stop.

“No, there isn’t anything to worry about,” says Curt Bailey, president at Related Midwest, developer of a new 500-unit tower at 500 N. Lake Shore Drive.

The math shows that supply and demand already are getting out of whack. Developers will complete an average of 2,679 apartments downtown this year and next, according to Appraisal Research. The consulting firm’s quarterly survey covers an area bounded roughly by North Avenue, Cermak Road and Ashland Avenue, and focuses on larger buildings.

But in the last four quarters, a key measure of demand, absorption—the change in the number of occupied downtown apartments—has totaled 975 units. Annual absorption downtown has averaged 1,348 units over the last three years, about half the increase in supply forecast in 2013 and 2014.

Mr. Bailey of Related Midwest, meanwhile, has gone all in on the downtown residential market, with the recently completed Lake Shore Drive apartments and a 504-unit rental project under construction at 111 W. Wacker Drive The firm, owned by New York-based Related Cos., recently acquired the defaulted loan on the Chicago Spire site and has agreed to buy another development site next door to its Streeterville tower. Mr. Bailey won’t say whether he plans apartments or condos on the properties.

He dismisses talk of an apartment glut, saying the annual increase in demand for downtown housing—apartments and condos—has averaged about 3,000 to 4,000 units since 1990, more than enough to absorb the additional rental supply. And the city, he says, is only becoming a more appealing place to live.

Is the apartment market about to cool?

If so, will this push some developers to make the transition to condos more quickly?

How will rising rates impact the decision to go condo?

Or will developers be left holding the bag with both a weak apartment market AND a weak condo market?

The dark side of downtown’s apartment boom [Crain’s Chicago Business, Alby Gallun, August 26, 2013]


Want Unique? This 4-Bedroom Edgewater SFH was a Butter Factory: 1414 W. Highland

1414 w highland

This 4-bedroom single family home at 1414 W. Highland in Edgewater came on the market in May 2013.

In its previous life, it was apparently a butter factory.

Now, it’s a 4200 square foot contemporary home on a 50×112 lot with a 2-car garage.

It has a large master suite and sunroom on the top floor along with a 1500 square foot rooftop deck.

The kitchen has modern white cabinets and stainless steel appliances.

Is the market just as hot in Edgewater as the rest of the city?

Colin Hebson at Dream Town Realty has the listing. See the pictures here.

1414 W. Highland: 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 4200 square feet, 2 car garage

  • Sold in February 1994 for $64,000
  • Sold in September 2005 for $562,000
  • Sold in November 2011 for $915,000
  • Originally listed in May 2013 for $1.1 million
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $950,000
  • Taxes of $10,840
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 26×17 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 20×11 (main floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 20×20 (main floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 18×11 (main floor)
  • Sunroom: 20×16 (second floor)


Vintage 2-Bedroom Rowhouse Returns 3 Years Later: 2343 W. Altgeld in Logan Square

2343 w altgeld

We last chattered about this 2-bedroom vintage rowhouse at 2343 W. Altgeld in Logan Square in April 2010.

See our prior chatter here.

Most of the chatter was on the rowhouse’s location near the Kennedy Expressway.

The rowhouse is on a smaller than normal Chicago lot of 18×100.

If you recall, it has 2-bedrooms on the second floor, an unfinished basement, a backyard and a 1.5 car private garage (although the listing says that it could fit 2 small cars or 1 oversized car.)

There are hardwood floors throughout.

The kitchen still has white cabinets and appliances.

The rowhouse has the other bells and whistles buyers look for like central air. It also has a full bath with each bedroom on the second level.

Back in 2010 it was listed at $299,000 but never sold.

It has come back on the market at $374,500.

Will it sell for the higher price in this hot market?

Mario Greco at Prudential Rubloff now has the listing. See the pictures here.

2343 W. Altgeld: 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 1.5 car garage, 1600 square feet

  • Sold in October 1988 for $56,000
  • Sold in March 1990 for $230,000 (?)
  • Bank owned in June 1995
  • Sold in September 1995 for $81,000
  • Sold in December 1995 for $95,000
  • Sold in August 1999 for $172,000
  • Sold in October 2003 for $305,000
  • Originally listed in May 2009
  • Currently listed at $299,000
  • Taxes of $4500
  • Central Air
  • Unfinished basement
  • Bedroom #1: 17×15
  • Bedroom #2: 12×10

We Love Brick and Timber 1-Bedroom Lofts in River North: 420 W. Grand

420 w grand

This 1-bedroom loft in 420 W. Grand in River North just came on the market.

With all the high rise development, many people forget that much of River North was just a bunch of run-down warehouses until about 20 years ago.

This 1200 square foot south facing loft has the features that loft lovers look for including large industrial windows, tall timber ceilings and walls of exposed brick.

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

The bedroom is fully enclosed.

There are two bathrooms in this unit and both are marble.  On a side note, an agent once told me that in many of these larger 1 bedroom/2 baths in the building that they used to be 2-bedroom units but the wall was removed to allow for the large living/dining area. I don’t know if that is true of this unit as well. But that’s how some of the 1-bedrooms ended up with 2 full baths.

It has central air, washer/dryer in the unit and garage parking is included.

This loft has come on the market $1500 above its 2007 price.

Are we already back to peak prices in River North?

Kelly Lynch at Koenig & Strey Real Living has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #4G: 1 bedroom, 2 baths, 1200 square feet

  • Sold in December 1993 for $181,000
  • Sold in July 1996 for $205,000
  • Sold in November 1998 for $225,500
  • Sold in April 2003 for $310,000
  • Sold in October 2007 for $387,500
  • Currently listed for $389,000
  • Assessments of $358 a month (includes water)
  • Taxes of $4372
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Garage parking included
  • Bedroom : 17×14



Market Conditions: After a Hot July, Will Chicago’s Housing Market Cool in August?

Housing is big news this week. Chicago’s real estate experts and some agents have been chiming in about July’s hot sales. The Sun-Times even put rising real estate prices on the front page.

From the Tribune:

Despite the positive report, the local housing market’s recovery continues to be uneven. Unlike eight to 10 years ago and except for investors, people who are priced out of choice neighborhoods are not looking at fringe neighborhoods in search of a good deal and future appreciation, said Zeke Morris, president of the Chicago Association of Realtors.

“We still need pioneers, people who are willing to take that chance in neighborhoods,” Morris said. “I’m happier that our median price is moving up. The only thing I caution people about is, the top half of the median is not the problem. The bottom half is the problem. How do we get prices at the lower half of the median moving up?”

In July, the median sales price of a home sold in the nine-county Chicago area rose 18.3 percent from a year ago, to $201,075, the Illinois Association of Realtors reported Wednesday. The median price of a home sold within the city increased 25 percent year over year, to $250,000.

While those kind of numbers seem reminiscent of the bubble years of runaway home prices, that’s not the case this time, real estate agents say. They add that homeowners who expect their properties to fetch unrealistically high prices are being urged to ratchet down their expectations.

“We’re not seeing prices skyrocketing,” said Michael Golden, a co-founder of @properties. “Pricing is still very moderate. The market today is much more thoughtful, much more careful, even though it is hotter than it was two years ago.”

The slower pace of activity that Prudential Rubloff agent Francesca Rose has seen in August is welcome because it means a more balanced market and a less-panicked buyer.

“The nervousness and the panic, people feel like they’re going to make the wrong decision,” Rose said, adding: “When we say it’s slow, it’s relative. It’s slow relative to April.”

The Sun-Times covers the bidding wars but also talks about slowing in August.

“The inventories are so low that there’s really no place for prices to go but up,” said broker Leigh Marcus of @properties. Marcus works Chicago neighborhoods from the South Loop to Rogers Park, and he reports brisk sales and bidding wars for homes with attractive features.

He handled such a sale in July for Joe Chasen, an options trader at the Chicago Board of Trade. Chasen said the Bucktown rowhome sold in three days and drew a strong response because of features such as a yard and rooftop party space.

Marcus said it sold for $861,500 and that six offers were made, all above the asking price.

Chasen said he bought a house in Glenview before selling in Bucktown and had to beat out other bidders. “I think I hit the market at a good time, just before interest rates began to tick up,” he said.

Marcus said the higher rates are just now having an effect. He said he detected a slowdown in sales starting in August beyond the typical impact of vacations and back-to-school preparations.

Wesbury, however, said the market will take the rates in stride. He said that with more confidence in place, “buyers are more willing to buy than back when rates were lower but buyers thought home prices might fall further.”

Will the experts be right about August cooling?

July’s heady housing gains in, around Chicago not expected to be replicated [Chicago Tribune, Mary Ellen Podmolik, August 22, 2013]

Housing market heats up in Chicago area with July sales up 36.1% [Sun-Times, David Roeder, August 22, 2013]


3-Bedroom Duplex Up Brick and Timber Loft Returns: 612 N. Oakley in West Town

612 n oakley approved

We’ve chattered about this brick and timber authentic loft in The Village Lofts at 612 N. Oakley in West Town several times over the last year.

Our first chatter, in May 2012, consisted of debating whether or not this property was in the Ukrainian Village or the Patch.

No one could decide.

See that chatter here.

Back in May, most of you thought it was overpriced for the neighborhood.

But that was then and this is now.

If you recall, it has exposed brick and timber ceilings in 2000 square feet.

There are two bedrooms and two baths on the main floor along with the main living area.

A steel staircase takes you to the second floor where a master suite and a 25 foot landscaped west facing terrace awaits.

The kitchen has maple cabinets and stainless steel appliances.

The loft has the other features buyers look for including central air, in-unit washer/dryer and parking.

Last July, this loft was reduced to $448,000.

It has come back on the market at $524,900.

Is the market $76,900 hotter just 13 months later?

Didn’t it also appear on a recent episode of House Hunters? (it was the one where the couple was looking for a 3-bedroom with vintage character in Lakeview, so of course, they went to look at this loft in West Town.)

Gregory Quadrini at Prudential Rubloff has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #207: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, duplex up, 2000 square feet

  • Sold in June 1999 for $260,000
  • Sold in December 2001 for $350,000
  • Was listed in May 2012 for $475,000 (parking included)
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in July 2012 for $448,000 (parking included)
  • Withdrawn
  • Currently listed for $524,900 (parking included)
  • Assessments of $362 a month
  • Taxes of $5784
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 21×13 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 25×10 (main floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 12×11 (main floor)