How Hot Is Old Town? The 700 Sq Ft 2-Bedroom in Gaslight Court Sells: 1407.5 N. Wells

1407 n wells approved

We’ve chattered about this 2-bedroom in Gaslight Court at 1407.5 N. Wells in Old Town 3 times over the last 4 years.

See our latest chatter in March 2013 here.

If you recall, it was listed for $70,000 over what it had sold for just 2 1/2 years before.

Many of you were obsessed with the realtor’s description of it as “sheque and inviting.” But at least one who chimed in about price thought we shouldn’t be concerned about the property’s past price history.

Listed at $320,000 it just recently closed for $277,500, or $27,500 over the 2010 price.

If you recall, in 2009, the square footage was listed at just 700 square feet.

The kitchen is the same as it was previously. It has maple cabinets, white appliances and an island.

There was no central air. It is window units only.

There also wasn’t any parking with the unit, but it does have an in-unit washer/dryer.

The unit has just come back on the market as a rental available June 1 for $2300 a month.

Was this a good rental investment property given how hot Old Town is?

Kenneth Beltran at D’Aprile properties had the listing.  You can check out the rental listing (with pictures) here.

Unit #3E: 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, approximately 700 square feet (according to the 2009 listing)

  • Sold in January 2002 for $190,000
  • Sold in June 2009 for $235,000
  • Sold in September 2010 for $250,000
  • Originally listed in March 2013 for $320,000
  • Sold in May 2013 for $277,500
  • Assessments now $350 a month (they were $266 a month in 2010)
  • Taxes now $3678 (they were $2642)
  • Now available to rent for $2300 a month
  • No central air- window units only
  • In-unit Washer/dryer
  • No parking
  • Balcony
  • Bedroom #1: 11×11
  • Bedroom #2: 10×10
  • Living room: 19×13
  • Kitchen: 13×9


Host Grand Parties All Summer On Your Private Rooftop Deck In East Lakeview: 3144 N. Sheridan

3144 n sheridan

We last chattered about this 3-bedroom top floor vintage unit at 3144 N. Sheridan in August 2012.

See our prior chatter here.

Many of you liked the unit but thought it would be too noisy living on Sheridan.

It didn’t sell last year and is now back to try again.

If you recall, the building, has to be one of the original in the neighborhood as it was constructed in 1914.

The living/dining/sunroom has several sets of French doors, a wood burning fireplace and crown molding.

It has its own laundry room, measuring 5×7.

The unit also has a new marble master bathroom.

The third bedroom is currently being used as a den and has a wet bar.

The kitchen has a combo of black and stainless steel appliances.

It has central air, but no parking. That is available for rent next door.

You can’t miss the spiral staircase in the vintage dining room, however. It leads to a 27×33 private rooftop deck with, the listing says, “lake & harbor” views.

Unit #2A, in the same building, has been on and off the market since March of last year. It is now under contract at the list price of $440,000. But it doesn’t have the rooftop deck, of course.

This unit has come on the market for about $10,000 less than it was listed for when we chattered about it last year, at $549,900.

With little on the market, and no competition from the unit below it, will this finally sell quickly?

Robin Miner at @Properties still has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #3A: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1850 square feet

  • Sold in October 1992 for $320,750
  • Sold in August 1996 for $229,000
  • Originally listed in September 2009 for $598,000
  • Withdrawn in 2010
  • Was listed in September 2011 for $574,900
  • Reduced 
  • Was listed in April 2012 for $559,000
  • Was still listed in August 2012 for $559,000
  • Withdrawn
  • Now listed for $549,900
  • Assessments of $559 a month (includes cable)
  • Taxes of $6847
  • Central Air
  • In-unit washer/dryer
  • No parking- available for rent next door for $200 to $260 a month
  • Bedroom #1: 21×16
  • Bedroom #2: 13×13
  • Bedroom #3: 14×9

Market Conditions: Prices Back to 2005, or Nearly Peak Levels in “Core Locations”

1201 s prairie

According to Crain’s, 120 condos out of 500 have gone under contract since coming back on the market early this year in the South Loop.

Related isn’t saying how many of the sales were in each building. It is selling units in Harbor View at 1901 S. Calumet, The Grant at 1201 S. Prairie and Adler Place at 1629 S. Prairie.

From Crain’s:

“We certainly thought there was going to be a strong reaction to this, with great pent-up demand, but not at this accelerated level,” Mr. Bailey said. “People are seeing the South Loop for what it is: an extremely vibrant and great neighborhood to live in.”

Related’s momentum offers another piece of evidence that the city’s condo market is pulling itself out of its funk.

The South Loop was hit especially hard: A Crain’s analysis last year found that more than half of the 44 boom-era condo projects in the neighborhood ran into financial trouble in the past five years, and a survey of large downtown condo buildings found South Loop owners lost 30 percent of their property value between 2008 and 2012, the worst performance of any downtown submarket during that time.

Now, with the market back on the upswing, Related is raising prices on its condos by about 10 percent, Mr. Bailey said.

“That hasn’t stopped demand from continuing. It’s terrific to be in this position,” he said.

If you didn’t buy last year, it sounds like you’re out of luck as some believe prices are back to their peak, or 2005 level, in certain locations.

Related’s pace is impressive, but not surprising to Marc Realty Residential Principal David Ruttenberg, who specializes in acquiring distressed condo projects, including a failed 94-unit development at 2300 S. Michigan Ave.

Mr. Ruttenberg says home prices have risen back to 2005, or nearly peak, levels in “core locations,” including parts of the South Loop, amid a sudden change in buyer philosophy.

“There’s more demand than supply, really, for newer assets,” Mr. Ruttenberg said.

Are prices really back to 2005 peak in the South Loop which, as the article says, saw a 30% decline during the bust?

And if prices really are spiking 20% or 30% why aren’t more accidental landlords getting out while the getting is good?

Sales surge at South Loop condo towers [Crain’s Chicago Business, David Lee Matthews, May 9, 2013]

3-Bedroom With “Exclusive Rights” to the Lower Level Returns to the Market: 2227 N. Bissell in Lincoln Park


It seems like a lot of properties we’ve seen in the past several years that didn’t sell are suddenly coming back on the market. And who can blame them for trying again with these market conditions?

We last chattered about this first floor 3-bedroom at 2227 N. Bissell in Lincoln Park in April 2010.

See our prior chatter here.

There is apparently a 3-bedroom, 2 bath unit on the main floor and then a second unit on the lower level.

In the prior listing, it described it as a “unique” space which had a kitchen, bedroom, den and bathroom.

This time, it says “1st floor has exclusive rights to 1000 square foot lower level.”

It’s still not clear if there is a separate entrance for this 1000 square foot lower level or if you access it from within the main unit.

But just to refresh your memory, the kitchen has stainless steel appliances and is open to the dining room. There are hardwood floors throughout.

The main unit has central air, washer/dryer in the unit and garage parking.

The downstairs kitchen has white cabinets and black appliances. I’m not sure about the central air there.

Confused yet? Go check out the pictures.

The unit has come back on the market $33,000 less than its price in April 2010.

What will be the fate of this property this go around?

Tiffany Moret at @Properties now has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #1: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 1000-square feet of lower level living space, 1 car parking

  • Sold in May 1998 for $320,000
  • Sold in February 2000 for $395,000
  • Sold in July 2004 for $600,000
  • Listed in January 2010 for $624,900
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in April 2010 for $598,000
  • Withdrawn
  • Currently listed for $565,000
  • Assessments still $125 a month
  • Taxes now $7515 (they were $6690 in 2010)
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 13×11 (main level)
  • Bedroom #2: 12×11 (main level)
  • Bedroom #3: 10×9 (main level)

Get Ready For Summer With Your Very Own City Lights Hot Tub: 221 E. Walton in the Gold Coast

221 e walton

We’ve chattered about this 3-bedroom at 221 E. Walton in the Gold Coast several times over the years.

See our August 2012 chatter here.

Many of you have loved the 18 foot floor to ceiling windows overlooking the Lake and the private terrace with a hot tub with city views (imagine that in the summer!).

But it was always the price that bothered you. Listed at $1.399 million at that time, most of you thought it should sell between $1 million and $1.1 million.

If you recall, the unit has dentil and crown molding as well as custom built-ins.

2 of the three bedrooms are on the second floor with the third on the main level. From the floorplan, it appears that the master bedroom is the room open to the living room and that the second bedroom has been turned into a master bedroom closet.

The kitchen has stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops.

The unit also has 12 skylights.

You also get outdoor space, and city views, from the third floor terrace which, yes, has that great hot tub.

It has washer/dryer in the unit and deeded parking is available for $50,000 each. 

But it doesn’t have central air. It is wall unit cooling. The building was constructed in 1981.

It has come on the market at $1.295 million this time but one parking space is no longer included as it was last year.

The sister penthouse without the hot tub (but it DOES have a terrace) is under contract at $899,000.

Will this finally sell in 2013?

Eudice Fogel at Prudential Rubloff still has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #20PE: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2355 square feet

  • Sold in May 2001 for $1.375 million
  • Sold in September 2002 for $1.2 million
  • Originally listed in March 2011 for $1.499 million
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in November 2011 at $1.399 million (included one parking space)
  • Was listed in August 2012 at $1.399 million (included one parking space)
  • Withdrawn
  • Currently listed at $1.295 million (parking is $50,000 extra each)
  • Assessments now $1563 (they were $1471 a month in August 2012) (includes doorman, cable)
  • Taxes  now $7395 (they were $6821 in November 2011)
  • Wall unit air conditioning
  • In-unit washer/dryer
  • Bedroom #1: 18×17 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 20×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 13×12 (main floor)

There’s Nothing Like a Vintage High Rise Apartment: A 2-Bedroom at 415 W. Aldine in East Lakeview

415 w aldine #1

This 2-bedroom 15th floor vintage unit at 415 W. Aldine in East Lakeview just came on the market.

Built in 1927, the building has just 2 units per floor.

At 2000 square feet, it has features you don’t see in modern apartments including a barrel vaulted entry foyer.

The kitchen has white cabinets, granite counter tops and backsplash and luxury appliances by Viking, Bosch and Bertazzoni.

The unit has 3 exposures: North, South and East.

There’s no central air (only window units) or in-unit washer/dryer. The listing also says parking is “available”- does that mean just rented in the neighborhood?

It is listed $65,000 higher than the 2010 purchase price (I can’t tell if the kitchen was put in after that sale or not.)

That’s 19.4% appreciation.

Will this unit get it?

415 w aldine #2

Violet Sudler at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #15D: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2000 square feet

  • Sold in September 1991 for $180,000
  • Sold in September 1993 for $180,000
  • Sold in October 2003 for $285,000
  • Sold in March 2007 for $332,500
  • Sold in December 2008 for $345,000
  • Sold in May 2010 for $335,000
  • Currently listed for $400,000
  • Assessments of $797 a month (includes heat, cable, Internet)
  • Taxes of $4128
  • No central air – window units only
  • No in-unit washer/dryer
  • Parking available in the neighborhood

Looking For a 2-Bedroom With a 400 Sq. Ft. Private Terrace in the South Loop? 1430 S. Michigan

1430 s michigan

This 2-bedroom penthouse in the mid-rise building at 1430 S. Michigan in the South Loop just came on the market.

It was originally a 1400 square foot 3-bedroom which has been converted into a 2-bedroom.

It has 10 foot ceilings and floor to ceiling windows.

The kitchen has upgraded appliances including Subzero, a wine fridge and granite counter tops.

But what makes this unit unique is the 400 square foot terrace which is large enough to have some serious summer parties.

It has central air, washer/dryer in the unit and parking is available for $25,000.

This unit is listed for $65,000 more than the 2003 purchase price.

How much have prices rebounded in the South Loop this year?

Nicole Schroeder at Midtown Realty Group has the listing. See the pictures here.

PH 6: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1400 square feet

  • Sold in March 2001 for $259,000
  • Sold in September 2003 for $345,000
  • Listed for $410,000 (parking is $25,000 extra)
  • Assessments of $495 a month
  • Taxes of $5043
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 14×14
  • Bedroom #2: 11×9


Contemporary Fans Take Note: This 2-Bedroom Has Returned To the Market In West Town: 919 N. Wolcott


We’ve chattered about this 2-bedroom contemporary at 919 N. Wolcott in West Town several times over the years.

Check out our August 2011 chatter here.

Is it just me or are a lot of properties coming back on the market that tried to sell a few years ago but couldn’t?

And it seems like they are all listing for significantly more.

If you recall, this building is Ranquist designed. 

The top floor unit has been converted from a 3-bedroom to a 2-bedroom but it also has two outdoor spaces including a private 9×15 terrace off the master bedroom and a large 11×26 terrace off the great room.

It has a top of the line Arclinea kitchen with Miele and Gaggeneu appliances. The massive kitchen island also has a modern stainless steel counter top.

The master bath has Ann Sacks tile.

There is central air, an in-unit washer/dryer and parking.

Back in August 2011 it had been reduced to $628,000 which included the parking.

This time around it is listed at $699,900.

Will patience net the sellers the higher price 2 years later?

Ivona Kutermankiewicz at Koenig & Strey Real Living has the listing again.  See the pictures here.

Unit #302: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2 car parking

  • Sold in March 2004 for $430,000
  • Sold in July 2008 for $707,500 (included the parking)
  • Originally listed in August 2010 for $700,000
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in December 2010 for $689,000 (plus $18,000 for parking)
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in May 2011 for $650,000 (plus $18,000 for parking)
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in August 2011 at $628,000 (included the parking)
  • Withdrawn in September 2011
  • Currently listed at $699,900 (includes the parking)
  • Assessments now $334 a month (they were $284 a month in 2011)
  • Taxes now $7232 (they were $6959)
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 14×14
  • Bedroom #2: 10×12
  • Family room: 10×11


Market Conditions: Investors Paying Record Prices For Luxury Apartment Buildings- Is It a Sign?

Crain’s reported that an investment group apparently has paid a record per unit price for the luxury apartment building at 1225 N. Wells in Old Town that was only completed last year.

Heitman LLC, a Chicago-based real estate investment firm, has agreed to pay about $158 million for a 250-unit luxury apartment building, according to people familiar with the transaction. The price equates to $632,000 per unit, a high for Chicago and a sign of soaring investor demand for trophy apartment towers, fueled by ultra-low interest rates.

The previous record was a 2007 sale of the Grand Plaza East Tower at 540 N. State for $545,738 per unit. That was just before the crash.

Few are predicting that the good times will end badly. But the feverish investment activity is eliciting comparisons to 2007, another golden period for real estate investors that ended when global financial markets crashed in 2008.

“Things are getting silly again,” says Dan Fasulo, managing director of Real Capital Analytics, a New York-based research firm.

That’s because the Federal Reserve’s loose monetary policy has pushed interest rates on bonds and other investments to near-historic lows, forcing many big investors to seek higher returns in real estate and other assets, he says.

And nearly 5,000 more apartments are slated to come on the market downtown by the end of 2014.

The Hines-JDL venture completed the 16-story building at 1225 N. Wells St. last year. The project is among the first in a wave of high-end downtown apartment towers launched in recent years by developers aiming to capitalize on high occupancies and soaring rents. Net rents at luxury downtown apartment buildings have risen 33 percent since bottoming out at the end of 2009, according to Appraisal Research.

In the fourth quarter, tenants at 1225 Old Town paid the second-highest net rents in the city: $3.04 a square foot, after Aqua Tower on the New East Side at $3.17, according to Appraisal Research.

Up to this point, demand for high-end apartments has outpaced supply. The question on many minds is whether the building boom will create a glut, forcing landlords to slash rents to attract and retain tenants.

What’s the end game for these landlords?

Just how high can rental prices go?

Is real estate’s ‘silly season’ returning? [Crain’s Chicago Business, Alby Gallun, May 6, 2013]

The 4-Bedroom Cottage at 1750 W. Grace in North Center Returns 4 Years Later


We last chattered about this 4-bedroom single family home at 1750 W. Grace in North Center in December 2009.

But long time Chatterers will remember it from the early days because we chattered about it many times over the first few years of this site.

It was even featured on an episode of HGTV and had design plans drawn up from the show about how to renovate the house.

You can see interior pictures in our very first chatter on the house in 2008 here.

It never sold but has now returned to the market 4 years later to try again.

There are no interior pictures with the house this go around so we’ll have to assume it looks much the same as it did previously.

Built in 1878 on a standard 25×125 lot, the house does have central air and a 2-car garage.

The public records don’t say that it’s bank owned but a lis pendens foreclosure was filed in 2011.

Will this finally sell in the “hot” market of 2013?

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

1750 W. Grace: 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2400 square feet, 2 car garage

  • Sold in May 2006 for $555,000
  • Was listed in May 2008 for $669,900
  • Reduced several times
  • Was listed in November 2008 for $584,900
  • Withdrawn
  • Re-listed in April 2009 for $575,000
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in June 2009 for $550,000
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in December 2009 for $535,000
  • Withdrawn in 2009
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in January 2011
  • Now re-listed for $599,000
  • Taxes now $9171 (they were $7162 in 2009)
  • Central air
  • Basement
  • Bedroom #1: 17×15 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 11×10 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 9×8 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 10×9 (main floor)