Good News! The Pratt Mansion Is Under Contract: 2100 W. Pratt Blvd in West Ridge

We’ve chattered about this 112-year old mansion at 2100 W. Pratt Boulevard in West Ridge several times over the last few years.

Our last chatter was in July 2012 after the bank took control of the property.

See that chatter here.

But there’s good news!

After originally being listed in January 2011 for $2.45 million and being reduced all the way down to $749,900, it has gone under contract.

Aw…shucks Groove.

No wonder you’ve been so quiet lately. Why didn’t you tell us about the big purchase?

If you recall, the house was built in 1900. The earlier listings said it was a summer home and took 4 years to complete.

The 5-bedroom home has hardwood floors throughout and 5 fireplaces.

Built on an oversize 187×150 lot, there is a 3-car garage which the prior listing said was also the original chauffeur’s quarters.

20 years ago an indoor pool was also added to the house (you can check it out in the pictures- it has now been drained.)

The kitchen has white cabinets, black counter tops but the appliances are now missing.

There is central air.

The house sits across from Warren Park’s golf course. 

Is this an indication that if you price a property “right” you can make a quick sale?

Or was this house, with that big lot, just too good to pass up?

Richard Babula at Century 21 Rainbo Realty has the listing. See the latest pictures here.

2100 W. Pratt Boulevard: 5 bedrooms, 4 baths, 3 half baths, 12,000 square feet (new listing says 8865 square feet- so maybe it is excluding the chauffeur’s apartment), 3 car garage

  • Last sold in 1900
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in October 2010
  • Originally listed in January 2011 for $2.45 million
  • Was still listed in March 2011 for $2.45 million
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in June 2011 at $1.89 million
  • Reduced several times
  • Was listed in January 2012 at $1.29 million
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in April 2012 at $848,000
  • Withdrawn
  • Was re-listed as “bank owned” in July 2012 at $749,900
  • Under contract
  • Taxes now $16036 (they were $14,225 previously)
  • Central Air
  • Indoor Pool
  • 5 fireplaces
  • Bedroom #1: 20×26 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 15×15 (main floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 14×12 (main floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 20×19 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #5: 17×10 (second floor)

Sorry! Crib Chatter Is Taking A Sick Day But You Can Chatter About Downtown Price Declines Since 2008

I came down with a really nasty virus last night that knocked me out of commission. I thought I might be able to post at least one new post today, but I still feel equally as terrible and don’t want to even sit in front of a computer (my couch is calling instead.)

So Crib Chatter is taking a sick day today.

In the meantime, you can all chatter about the latest report on the Chicago market by the Appraisal Research.

Downtown condo prices are down 18% since 2008 but it was worse in some areas and better in some others. (Surprise, surprise – location, location, location.)

By the way- the people who said that “downtown” was defined on the south as Cermak in the other thread was correct.

A recent survey of 65 large downtown condo buildings found that resale prices on a square-foot basis fell 18 percent on average from 2008 to 2012. The Gold Coast registered the smallest decline, 11 percent, while the South Loop suffered the largest, 30 percent, according to Appraisal Research Counselors, the Chicago-based consulting firm that conducted the survey.

The disparity makes sense considering the South Loop was the epicenter of the city’s development boom — and its bust, as buyers failed to show up for many new projects after the market started falling in 2006. Overbuilding was less of a problem in the Gold Coast, an older, wealthier neighborhood.

“People talk about barriers to entry. Well, there are more barriers to entry in the Gold Coast than other markets,” said Gail Lissner, vice-president at Appraisal Research. “This sampling shows a bunch of those buildings have done very well.”

The survey covers more than 20,000 condos in the area bounded roughly by North Avenue, Cermak Road, Lake Michigan and Ashland Avenue. The area comprises about 80,000 condos, so the survey captures roughly a quarter of the total market.

Here are the losses by neighborhood:

  • Gold Coast: down 11%
  • Loop: down 12%
  • River North: down 14%
  • South Streeterville: down 17%
  • West Loop: down 22%
  • South Loop: down 30%

Not surprisingly, the Gold Coast has the highest prices, $433 a square foot this year, according to the report. The Park Tower, 800 N. Michigan Ave., led the market overall, at $760 a square foot.

Prices have risen since 2008 in just three downtown buildings: the Park Tower, where they rose 10 percent, the Regatta, a building in the Lakeshore East development, where they rose 2 percent, and the Bristol, a building at 57 E. Delaware Place, where they rose 63 percent. But the Bristol’s increase was skewed by one $6 million penthouse sale this year.

For those of you who think that the distressed sales are NOT affecting the GreenZone, you would be wrong.

Sales of foreclosed and other distressed condos have depressed prices, accounting for 28 percent of all resales in the first half of 2012, up from about 2 percent in 2008, according to the survey. Distressed sales have been a bigger issue in the South Loop, accounting for 23 out of 25 sales this year — 92 percent — in a building at 1720 S. Michigan Ave., where prices have fallen 40 percent since 2008.

Is any of this a surprise to anyone who reads Crib Chatter?

Downtown condo resale prices down 18% since 2008 [Crain’s Chicago Business, David Lee Matthews, Aug 23, 2012]

Market Conditions: Remember The Catalyst? More Chatter About The Sizzling Apartment Market

High rise condo development might be dormant, but the apartment market is alive and well.

From Crain’s:

Marquette Cos. has taken control of Catalyst, a proposed 223-unit rental tower in at 630 W. Washington St., from developer Gary Rosenberg, who was facing foreclosure while trying to secure financing for the project, one of several planned downtown high-rises amid a sizzling apartment market.

Marquette acquired the loan on the development site from lender Kennedy Funding Inc. and worked out a so-called deed-in-lieu of foreclosure that allowed Mr. Rosenberg to retain a stake in the project, said Darren Sloniger, Marquette’s managing director of acquisitions.

The developer aims to break ground on the tower in the fourth quarter and has received “a preliminary commitment” from a lender to finance construction, he said. He declined to identify the lender but said Marquette was seeking a loan of less than $50 million. Mr. Rosenberg did not return a call Tuesday.

But are the developers worried about too many apartment buildings being built at once?

Mr. Sloniger isn’t worried, saying the Catalyst project won’t face as much competitive pressure as other new buildings because it doesn’t have very many nearby. The project’s proximity to downtown office towers also will give it an edge in attracting professionals who want to be within walking distance of work, he said.

“We’re in a spot that we really like,” he said.

There is also new apartment activity further west, across the highway.

Northbrook-based Michigan Avenue Real Estate Group, which counts Chicago White Sox and Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf among its co-founders, wants to build four, four-story buildings totaling 81 apartments at the intersection of Madison and Aberdeen streets in the West Loop, said its president, Thomas Meador. It would be the firm’s first new-construction project, which Mr. Meador said the company is undertaking because of the strength of the rental market.

“We’re a strong believer in the West Loop for new apartment projects. There’re very few actual rental properties there — there’re a number of rented condominiums, but there are very few ground-up apartment developments in the West Loop, period,” said Walter Rebenson, CEO of Ascend Real Estate Group LLC, a Chicago-based firm planning a nine-story, 216-unit apartment building at Madison Street and Racine Avenue, just about a block west of the Michigan Avenue group site.

One apartment building would have 18 units and be located at the corner of Madison and Aberdeen. There would be another 9-unit building across the intersection. The other building would have 54 units.

The buildings would primarily offer two-bedroom, two-bathroom units between 1,100 and 1,200 square feet, with rents averaging $2 per square foot. A smattering of one- and three-bedroom apartments are on tap as well. The buildings will have covered parking, 10-foot high ceilings and rooftop patios.

“You can only be bullish on the apartment market in Chicago,” Mr. Meador said.

Most of the press I’m seeing recently is in apartment rentals. Heck, even the housing blogs are covering the rentals now.

Are some of these new buildings providing a real alternative to buying in neighborhoods which have few rentals?

Reinsdorf-founded firm plans West Loop apartments [Crain’s Chicago Business, Micah Maidenberg, August 22, 2012]

Marquette plans apartments in West Loop, suburbs [Crain’s Chicago Business, Alby Gallun, August 22, 2012]

Should You Rent Or Buy In Old Town? A 900 Square Foot 1-Bedroom At 1212 N. Wells

This 1-bedroom in the Neopolitan at 1212 N. Wells in Old Town just came on the market.

It is a Fannie Mae Homepath property.

From the listing pictures, it appears the kitchen and bath are intact.

The kitchen has maple cabinets and black appliances.

The unit has two balconies including what looks to be a rather large terrace.

It has hardwood floors in the main living areas and a fireplace.

The unit has central air and washer/dryer in the unit.

However, the listing doesn’t say anything about parking. It looks like the prior sale in 2003 did NOT include it.

Here are some monthly payment scenarios if you were to buy this unit at the current list price of $209,500 (using Baird & Warner’s mortgage calculator):

  1. Putting 20% down ($41,900) with a 30-year at 3.75%: $1782 a month
  2. Putting 10% down ($20,950) with a 30-year at 3.75%- also includes PMI: $2018 a month

OR- you can rent nearly right across the street at 1225 Old Town, the new luxury mid-rise building. See the building’s website here.

It has a 1-bedroom, 1 bath unit with 875 square feet. Those are listed for:

  1. $2510 to $3825 a month

Parking is extra I believe. So you may have to tack on another couple hundred dollars a month.

Is buying now a no-brainer?

Katarina Ciric at Redline Realty has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #206: 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 900 square feet

  • Sold in September 2003 for $276,500
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in March 2011
  • Fannie Mae Homepath property
  • Currently listed at $209,500
  • Not FHA approved
  • Assessments of $473 a month (includes cable, doorman, tennis courts)
  • Taxes of $4886
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom: 14×10


Market Conditions: Chicago Home Sales Jump 26.2% in July Year Over Year But Median Price Fell

Without further ado, the Illinois Association of Realtors released the July sales data yesterday:

In the city of Chicago, July 2012 home sales (single family and condominiums) totaled 2,088, up 26.2 percent from 1,655 homes sold in July 2011. The city of Chicago median home sale price for July 2012 was $205,000, down 2.4 percent compared to July 2011 when it was $210,000.

The city of Chicago saw a continued incline in the number of all units sold through July 2012 over the same period in 2011, including 23.2 percent more condos sold in Chicago.

Here’s the July data since 1997 (thanks, once again, to G for the info):

  • 1997: 1,694
  • 1998: 2,139
  • 1999: 2,186
  • 2000: 2,013
  • 2001: 2,410
  • 2002: 2,661
  • 2003: 3,105
  • 2004: 3,429
  • 2005: 3,487
  • 2006: 3,088
  • 2007: 2,819
  • 2008: 2,200
  • 2009: 2,040
  • 2010: 1,631
  • 2011: 1,666
  • 2012: 2,088

“Condos remain a cornerstone of the Chicago marketplace and an affordable option for first-time homebuyers and investors looking for both value and the experience of city living,” said REALTOR® Zeke Morris, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and Operating Principal and Managing Broker, Keller Williams Realty, CCG. “Condo sales remain a strong indicator of a market recovery. Competitive pricing and low interest rates create investment opportunities some may have not otherwise been able to achieve.”

In the 9-county Chicago area, sales rose 29.1% but the median price fell 5.9% to $172,000 from $182,700.

Statewide, sales were up 25.5% to 12,355. That was the best July since 2007 when 14,735 homes sold. The median price also fell statewide by 1.7% to $148,000.

“Despite the unclear signals for the future pace of economic recovery, the Illinois and Chicago-area housing sales and price forecasts suggest that the housing market will maintain the positive momentum into the fall,” said Dr. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory of the University of Illinois.

Are the July sales finally sending a signal that the worst is behind us?

July home sales in Illinois up 25.5 percent from a year ago; Statewide median price at $148,000 [Illinois Association of Realtors, Press Release, August 22, 2012]

2-Bedroom Wicker Park Loft House Reduces Another $20,000: 1275 N. Hermitage

We’ve chattered about this 2-bedroom single family home with loft features at 1275 N. Hermitage in Wicker Park several times.

See our May 2012 chatter here.

It was listed last fall and then withdrawn. The house then came back on the market in the spring at a slightly higher price.

But since that time, it has been reduced another $20,000.

In the two other times we chattered about it, some of you were concerned that the El was just a little too close for comfort.

If you recall, the house is more like a loft than your typical single family home.

Built in 1881 on a 37x15x25x39 lot, it has exposed brick and ductwork common in most lofts.

At 2000 square feet, the master suite is located on the second level, along with an office.

The second bedroom is in the lower level with a full bath.

The house has 2 outdoor spaces including a 13×9 deck off the main level and a 360 degree panoramic rooftop deck.

The kitchen has cherry cabinets and Wolf and Subzero appliances.

While the house has central air, it doesn’t have any parking. There is apparently 2-car leased parking nearby.

Is the lack of parking what is holding this property back from a sale? We’ve seen plenty of properties directly on the El tracks sell quickly before.

Jenna Smith at Redfin still has the listing. See the pictures here.

1275 N. Hermitage: 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2000 square feet

  • Sold in June 1989 for $23,500
  • Sold in July 1990 for $55,000
  • Sold in December 1995 for $150,000
  • Sold in December 1999 for $215,000
  • Sold in December 2003 for $330,000
  • Sold in June 2008 for $482,000
  • Originally listed in August 2011 (I couldn’t find an original list price)
  • Was listed in September 2011 for $449,900
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in October 2011 at $435,000
  • Withdrawn in October 2011
  • Re-listed in May 2012 at $439,900
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $419,900
  • Taxes of $6617
  • Central Air
  • No parking- 2 car leased parking available nearby
  • Bedroom #1: 19×14 (second level)
  • Bedroom #2: 23×14 (lower level)
  • Office: 23×11 (second level)

3-Bedroom SFH “Recently Redone” In West Town: 1414 W. Ohio

This 3-bedroom single family home at 1414 W. Ohio in West Town (is this Noble Square?) came on the market in August 2012.

It was bank owned in 2007 and last sold in 2008.

If you have a Redfin account, you can see a 2008 picture of the front of the house.

The listing says the house was “recently redone.”

It has cherry cabinets, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances. There is also a wine fridge in the island.

At 1950 square feet, it has a first floor family room.

All 3 bedrooms and the laundry room are on the second floor.

Built on a standard 25×125 lot, it has central air and a 2-car garage.

It has been reduced $2,000 since it was listed two weeks ago.

How hot are single family homes in this neighborhood?

Will the seller get $306 a square foot?

Erik Sachs at RpV Realty has the listing. See the pictures here.

1414 W. Ohio: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 1950 square feet, 2 car garage

  • Sold in June 1988 for $80,000
  • Sold in September 2005 for $499,000
  • Bank owned in June 2007
  • Sold in May 2008 for $335,000 (per Redfin)
  • Originally listed in August 2012 for $599,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $597,000
  • Taxes of $5583
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 15×18 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 13×10 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 13×10 (second floor)
  • Family room: 13×14 (main level)

Is Being Close to Wrigley Field Still a Selling Point? 3531 N. Sheffield in Lakeview

his 2-bedroom duplex down at 3531 N. Sheffield in Lakeview is just a half a block away from Wrigley Field.

It has 12 foot ceilings.

One bedroom is on the main floor and the second bedroom is on the lower level.

There is also a family room on the lower level.

The kitchen has white cabinets and stainless steel appliances.

It has the features that buyers look for including a washer/dryer in the unit and central air.

It also has a unique feature of 3 car tandem outdoor parking spots for an extra $20,000.

The unit was originally listed 15 months ago, in May 2011.

It has been reduced $46,000 to $309,000.

We’ve chattered in the past about Wrigley Field being used as a selling point for properties.

Is that still the case in this market?

This unit is listed $3,000 under the 2001 purchase price.

Is it a deal?

Jay Wallace Camp at Jameson Sotheby’s has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #1S: 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, duplex down, no square footage listed

  • Sold in July 1996 for $209,500
  • Sold in May 2000 for $300,000
  • Sold in February 2001 for $312,000
  • Sold in April 2006 for $388,000
  • Originally listed in May 2011 for $355,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $309,000 (plus 3-car tandem parking for $20,000)
  • Assessments of $271 a month (includes cable)
  • Taxes of $6870
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 14×11 (main floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 16×10 (lower level)
  • Family room: 15×14 (lower level)


How Much Does A New Kitchen Matter? 3118 N. Lincoln in Lakeview

This 3-bedroom penthouse at 3118 N. Lincoln in Lakeview has been on the market since June 2012.

It last sold only 14 months ago, in June 2011.

But the new listing includes a entirely new kitchen complete with floor to ceiling cabinets, slate floors, and a huge kitchen island with granite counter tops and a wine fridge.

You can see the 2011 kitchen from the prior listing pictures here (click on photos).

The unit is west facing and has 1800 square feet on one level.

It has 2 skylights and there is a much coveted 2 heated garage spaces included.

The building has an elevator.

This unit has been under contract at least once (as I was going to post on it weeks ago but saw it was already under contract.)

Originally listed $49,900 more than the 2011 sales price, it has been reduced $10,000.

Will the new kitchen make a difference in the sale of this unit?

Eric Newman at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #5B: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1800 square feet, 2 car garage parking

  • Sold in April 1999 for $350,000
  • Sold in February 2007 for $534,000
  • Sold in June 2011 for $450,000
  • Originally listed in June 2012 for $499,900
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $489,900
  • Assessments of $247 a month
  • Taxes of $7150
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • 2 skylights
  • Bedroom #1: 18×13
  • Bedroom #2: 15×10
  • Bedroom #3: 13×12

Forget The Boring White Box, Buy This 2-Bedroom Instead: 549 W. Belden in Lincoln Park

Tired of the boring white box new construction? Then this 2-bedroom at 549 W. Belden in Lincoln Park is for you.

It is a top floor unit in a 20-unit vintage building built in 1892.

The corner unit has tall ceilings in the living/dining area with a spiral staircase leading to a second level loft which has a staircase leading to a private rooftop deck with city views (see the pictures to understand what I mean.)

The living/dining area has parquet floors and stained glass windows. Much of the original woodwork also appears intact including moldings around the windows.

It has a wood burning fireplace.

The kitchen has white cabinets, white appliances and marble counter tops.

The unit has central air and in-unit washer/dryer but there is no parking (it is rental in the neighborhood.)

It also doesn’t appear from the listing that there is an elevator in the building.

It has been reduced $10,000 since May.

Who’s the targeted buyer for this unique property?

Daniel Pape at Hudson Parker Realty has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #4FE: 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, no square footage listed

  • Sold in November 1991 for $192,000
  • Originally listed in May 2012 for $429,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $419,000
  • Assessments of $250 a month
  • Taxes of $4894
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • No parking- rental in the neighborhood
  • Rooftop deck: 14×10
  • Bedroom #1: 10×16
  • Bedroom #2: 10×12
  • Loft: 12×8 (second floor)