After More Than 2 Years On The Market, This Wildwood 4-Bedroom SFH Finally Sells: 6924 N. Tonty

We last chattered about this 4-bedroom single family home at 6924 N. Tonty in the Wildwood neighborhood of Forest Glen in May 2012.

See our prior chatter here.

We had a lively discussion on whether this part of the city is really “the city”.

As far as the house goes, several of you had been in it over the two years it was listed and said it had a strong cigarette smell.

But after being reduced about $200,000 to $498,000, some of you thought it wasn’t too far off the correct price.

The house finally sold in July 2012 for $448,000.

If you recall, the house was built in 1940 and is on an oversized lot of 45×151.

For those of you not familiar with Wildwood, it is in the Northwest corner of the city and has winding streets without curbs. A metra stop is nearby for the commute downtown.

The house had hardwood floors on the main floor along with arched doorways and a woodburning fireplace in the living room.

All four bedrooms were on the second floor.

There was also a lower level recreation room and a main floor family room.

The house had central air and a 1-car garage.

The kitchen had white appliances and what looks like original cabinets.

Is the final sales price of this property surprising given that homebuyers mainly want “new” and move-in ready?

Kathleen Nettleton at Re/Max 1st had the listing. You can still see the interior pictures here.  

6924 N. Tonty: 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2262 square feet, 1 car garage

  • Sold before 1986
  • Originally listed in May 2010 for $689,900
  • Reduced numerous times
  • Was listed in May 2012 at $498,000
  • Sold in July 2012 for $448,000
  • Taxes of $5546
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 18×15 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 15×15 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 13×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 11×10 (second floor)
  • Recreation room: 22×14 (lower level)

Buy A Foreclosure, Fix It Up And??? A 1-Bedroom in 3110 N. Sheridan in East Lakeview

This 1-bedroom at 3110 N. Sheridan in East Lakeview has been on the market since November 2011.

Bank owned in 2009, it has been totally rehabbed with some interesting finishes we normally don’t see in one bedroom condos.

It has heated slate floors.

The kitchen has a Bosch dishwasher, a Monogram oven and a Traulsen refrigerator.

Granite counter tops? Nah. It has concrete counter tops and a subway tile backsplash.

The bathroom is also unique with marble floors and an oversized walk-in shower (there’s no tub).

There’s no central air, just wall units. There is also no in-unit washer/dryer.

There’s parking available in the building for $15,000.

This unit was originally listed for $110,000 more than the 2009 purchase price, at $210,000.

It has been reduced to $164,000.

Another 1-bedroom in the building with new granite counter tops and kitchen cabinets but white appliances, Unit #802, is under contract at $155,000.

Is this unit now a deal given the finishes?

Thomas McCarey at @Properties has the listing (it also appears to be agent owned.)  See the pictures here.

Unit #1104: 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 750 square feet

  • Sold in February 1997 for $60,000
  • Sold in July 2000 for $111,000
  • Sold in January 2003 for $155,000
  • Sold in July 2006 for $200,000
  • Lis pendens filed in June 2008
  • Bank owned in March 2009
  • Sold in August 2009 for $100,000
  • Originally listed in November 2011 for $210,000
  • Reduced numerous times
  • Currently listed at $164,000
  • Assessments of $450 a month (includes cable, roof top pool)
  • Taxes of $2711
  • No central air (wall units only)
  • No in-unit washer/dryer
  • Parking is $15,000 extra
  • Bedroom: 17×12

Market Conditions: Are The Canadians Buying Up Chicago Real Estate?

We’ve all heard the stories of the Russians buying up trophy properties on the coasts. There have also been reports of the Chinese being big buyers in Vancouver.

According to a survey taken in June by the National Association of Realtors, foreign national buyers made up 8.9%, or $82.5 billion, of the $928 billion spent on U.S. residential real estate from April 2011 to March 2012.

That’s up sharply from the year before when it was just $66.4 billion.

Not surprisingly, more than 50% of those sales took place in just 5 states: Florida, California, Texas, Arizona and New York.

But that doesn’t mean Chicago is chopped liver.

According to the Forbes article, it is the Canadians who are buying up everything in our fair city.

“If the Chinese are the second-largest foreign buyers of U.S. homes, who’s No. 1? Our neighbors to the north in Canada. Canadians accounted for 24% of sales to foreigners in the year to March, according to NAR. And it’s not likely to let up: says Canadians account for the most international search activity on the listing site every month in nearly all of major U.S. metro areas.

Canadians have been a dominant purchasing force in hard-hit Sunbelt states like Arizona and Florida. A relatively weak greenback coupled with low home prices represents an opportunity to scoop up a home that could be used for vacations now and retirement later.

Canadians have also been buying in the Midwest, including Chicago. “Close proximity to Canada makes it an easy place for Canadians to invest money,” says Bob Krawitz of RE/MAX Signature in Chicago. He says interest runs along all price points, from distressed properties that can be fixed up and rented out to seven-figure mansions along Lakeshore Drive.”

Over the years, we’ve made fun of all the articles that said that foreigners would keep the market elevated. Remember the Spire and its global marketing plan?

But has that now changed?

Will an influx of foreign money put a floor under Chicago housing prices?

Real Estate Tourism: Who’s Really Buying America’s Homes? [Forbes, Morgan Brennan, August 10, 2012]

Get a 1300 Sq. Ft. 2-Bedroom/2 Bath For Under $275,000 In Hamlin Park: 2143 W. Wellington

This 2-bedroom in Welbourn Row at 2143 W. Wellington in the Hamlin Park neighborhood of North Center came on the market in July 2012.

At 1300 square feet, it has a lot of the features buyers look for including both bedrooms having completely enclosed walls and windows.

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

The kitchen has stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops.

The building was constructed in 2005 and has 24 units.

It is located just one block from Hamlin Park.

Originally listed at $285,000, the unit has been reduced $35,000.

Is this a deal?

Jason Stratton at Koenig & Strey Real Living has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #403: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1300 square feet

  • Sold in April 2005 for $282,500
  • Originally listed in July 2012 for $285,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $250,000 (plus $25,000 for parking)
  • Assessments of $264 a month
  • Taxes of $3789
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 15×13
  • Bedroom #2: 13×10



Your Penthouse Hot Tub Overlooking The City Lights Still Awaits in the Gold Coast: 221 E. Walton

We last chattered about this unique 3-bedroom penthouse at 221 E. Walton in the Gold Coast in November 2011.

See our November 2011 chatter here.

Many of loved the unit with its 18 foot wall of windows overlooking Lake Michigan. But you felt that the layout limited the number of buyers and that it would need some updating.

Listed at that time at $1.399 million, some of you guessed that it would sell around $1 million to $1.1 million.

10 months later, the penthouse is still available and is still listed at $1.399 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. How many other Gold Coast penthouses have their own private hot tub?

It has washer/dryer in the unit and deeded parking (with a second space available for $50,000) but it looks like no central air. It is wall unit cooling. The building was constructed in 1981.

What will it take to sell this property in 2012?

Eudice Fogel at Prudential Rubloff still has the listing. See the pictures and the floorplan 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 (includes one parking space)
  • Currently still listed at $1.399 million (includes one parking space)
  • Assessments of $1471 a month (includes doorman, cable)
  • Taxes  now $7295 (they were $6821 in November 2011)
  • Wall unit air conditioning
  • In-unit washer/dryer
  • Can purchase second parking space for $50,000
  • Bedroom #1: 18×17 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 20×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 13×12 (main floor)

Fannie Mae Lists For $10K More Than 2003 On This 3-Bedroom Townhouse: 642 W. Armour in West Town

This 3-bedroom townhouse at 642 W. Armour in West Town recently came on the market.

It is a Fannie Mae Homepath property and can be purchased for just 3% down.

It has 2 bedrooms on the second floor and a 3rd bedroom on the top floor.

The kitchen looks intact with white cabinets but the appliances are missing.

It also appears from the listing pictures that the bathrooms are intact.

There are hardwood floors in the living room.

The listing says there’s no central air. But there is an attached 1-car garage.

Fannie Mae has listed this for $9900 more than the 2003 list price.

Will it get the premium?

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

642 W. Armour: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, listing says 1120 square feet, one attached garage

  • 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
  • Currently listed for $374,900
  • Taxes of $4488
  • No central air (?)
  • Bedroom #1: 17×13 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 14×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 14×10 (third floor)

This 2-Bedroom Gold Coast Townhouse Has Seen It All During This Housing Bust: 820 N. Dearborn

Talk about a microcosm of the market.

This 2-bedroom townhouse at 820 N. Dearborn in the Gold Coast has gone from a foreclosure in 2009, to being rehabbed in 2010, to being rented out in 2011 and now it is listed for sale once again.

We’ve actually chattered about it several times over the years- when it was both bank owned and after the rehab.

See our last chatter about it, in March 2011, here.

At that time, it was listed at $530,000 and several of you thought it would sell for just under $499,000 (or within 10% or so of that price.)

In August 2011, it was reduced even further, and was listed at $499,900, before being withdrawn from the market. It looks like it was put up for rent at $3700 a month. (I don’t know what it ultimately rented for- but if someone has the info from the MLS, for instance, please share.)

A year later, it has come back to test the market again and is priced at $500,000.

If you recall, the kitchen has been renovated with cherry cabinets, stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops.

The bathrooms have marble floors.

The top floor space is now a family room (with a full-sized bath and wet bar) with a private deck and skylights.

The two bedrooms are on the second floor.

It has one car parking and a parking pad.

There are four units in the complex.

Will this seller be rewarded for his patience (by renting it out) with a sale in 2012?

Todd Mackay at Dream Town has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #B: 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 1800 square feet, 1 car parking plus second space in parking pad

  • Sold in January 1996 for $230,000
  • Sold in June 2005 for $477,500
  • Sold in May 2007 for $750,000
  • Lis pendens in April 2008
  • Bank owned as of May 2009
  • Originally listed in June 2009 for $589,900
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in July 2009 for $539,900
  • Sold in November 2009 for $415,000
  • Originally listed in June 2010 for $550,000
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in March 2011 for $530,000
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in August 2011 for $499,900
  • Withdrawn
  • On the rental market in August 2011 for $3700 a month
  • Has come back on the market in August 2012 at $500,000
  • (Looks like it was also listed on Craigslist in July 2012  for $4000 a month)
  • Assessments of $146 a month
  • Taxes now $7932 (they were $10,291 in March 2011)
  • Central Air
  • Skylights
  • Bedroom #1: 16×13 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 12×11 (second floor)
  • Kitchen: 8×9
  • Family room: 16×13 (third floor)

Will Tight Inventory Lead To Premium Prices in Lakewood Balmoral? A 5-Bedroom SFH at 5457 N. Wayne

If you’re looking for a single family home in the historic Lakewood Balmoral district in Andersonville, you’re not in much luck right now.

This 5-bedroom home at 5457 N. Wayne is one of just 2 houses currently available.

Built on a 29×123 corner lot, it has features that buyers look for including four of the five bedrooms on one level (the second floor). The fifth is in the basement.

The listing says it has a “luxury” kitchen with cherry cabinets, granite counter tops and what looks to be Viking and SubZero stainless steel appliances.

The house has a full walk-out basement with a family room and the fifth bedroom.

It has a 2-car garage, central air and 2 decks.

Originally listed in March 2012 at $320,000 over the 2007 purchase price, it has been reduced $80,000.

But it is still listed $240,000 above the 2007 price.

Will this house get the premium simply because of the lack of inventory in the neighborhood?

Bob Satawake at Jameson Sotheby’s has the listing. See the pictures here.

5457 N. Wayne: 5 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 2 car garage, no square footage listed

  • Sold in March 1988 for $110,000
  • Sold in July 2005 for $588,000
  • Sold in June 2007 for $1.25 million
  • Originally listed in March 2012 for $1.57 million
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $1.49 million
  • Taxes of $14207
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 16×14 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 21×15 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 12×11 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 12×11 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #5: 12×11 (in walk-out basement)
  • Family room: 23×14 (in walk-out basement)



Market Conditions: New Downtown Condo Sales Fall Year Over Year In Q2

Developers are still having trouble finding buyers for new construction condos in downtown Chicago as luxury rentals and distressed sales of cheaper, older units are proving to be tough competition.

From Crain’s:

Developers sold 182 downtown condos in the second quarter, up from 113 in the first quarter but down from 196 a year earlier, according to a report from Appraisal Research Counselors, a Chicago-based consulting firm.

“There are not only rental alternatives, there are excellent rental alternatives, newly finished with all the bells and whistles,” said Appraisal Research Vice-president Gail Lissner. “Anybody buying a residence right now really needs to want to stay there for a long time.”

Another drag may be level of distress driving the market, with 22 percent of all second-quarter downtown condo sales being sold by a lender or as a short sale, where a property trades for less than its level of debt, according to Appraisal Research. Distressed deals are more common in the resale market and drag down prices of neighboring properties, Ms. Lissner said.

The good news is that inventory is at its lowest in 12 years. It peaked in 2007 at nearly 6,000 units. Many of those have been converted to rental units.

In one encouraging sign, the supply of unsold new condos continues to shrink, to 1,529 units in the second quarter, down from 1,670 in the first quarter and 1,828 in the fourth quarter of 2011. Nearly 500 of those units are concentrated in three failed South Loop towers that will resume marketing next year.

Leading all projects in sales was 200 N. Dearborn St., a condo conversion that sold 37 units in the second quarter, said developer Nick Gouletas of American Invsco Corp. Aided by several price cuts and a discount for cash buyers, the project has particularly appealed to parents of students attending the downtown campus of Loyola University Chicago, Mr. Gouletas said.

Other sales leaders include CMK Development Corp., which sold 18 units in the 714-unit building at 235 W. Van Buren St., and Hinsdale-based Foxford City LLC, which sold 18 units at the Van Buren Lofts, 1224 W. Van Buren St., after buying 52 unsold condos in the struggling project last year and cutting prices.

The number of sales will be inflated in the second half of 2012 as the luxury Ritz Carlton begins closings on its units. I’m waiting to see how many of those actually close as, in some cases, contracts were signed many years ago.

We’ve seen new construction units flying off the shelf in some neighborhoods like Lakeview and Lincoln Park but that was in small and mid-rise buildings.

Are all the luxury rental buildings, where the finishes and amenities are similar to actually buying the condo, just too much to competition for developers downtown?

Why save for a down payment when you can get the same thing with just a few thousand down in a security deposit?

Downtown condo sales dip in the second quarter [Crain’s Chicago Business, David Lee Matthews, Aug 14, 2012]

The Chicago Market Is Far From “Normal”: 2965 N. Sheridan in East Lakeview

We’ve chattered about this 4-bedroom mediterranean style home nicknamed the “Tuscan Villa” at 2965 N. Sheridan in East Lakeview several times over the years.

See our last chatter, in April 2011, here.

If you recall, the house has some unique features, including an interior atrium and a solarium.

Built on a 23×151 lot, all 4 bedrooms are on the second floor.

The kitchen has luxury appliances including Subzero and Bosch.

There is also central air and a 2-car garage.

It has been on the market since November 2007- which is almost FIVE YEARS.

Not only that, but the bank filed a lis pendens foreclosure 25 months ago.

Since we last chattered about the house in April 2011 the price still remains stuck at $2.35 million.

Anyone care to guess when the bank will actually take this house back?

And how long after that it will come back on the market at a reduced price?

How many other houses are like this one all over the city of Chicago (waiting for the bank to take it back- sometimes for years?)

Brent Rosenbower at Prudential Rubloff still has the listing. See the pictures here.

2965 N. Sheridan: 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, 4600 square feet, 2.5 car garage

  • I couldn’t find an original sales price
  • Listed in November 2007 for $2.8 million
  • Reducedand re-listed
  • Was listed in August 2008 for $2.28 million
  • Lis Pendens filed in September 2008
  • Was listed in October 2008 for $2.28 million
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in July 2010
  • Was listed in April 2011 for $2.35 million
  • Currently still listed for $2.35 million
  • Taxes now $9931 (they were $9348)
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 43×20 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 12×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 20×10 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 23×20 (second floor)