Has the Market Changed in East Lincoln Park in Just 3 Months? 562 W. Arlington

562 w arlington #1 approved

This third floor unit in the 4-unit vintage greystone at 562 W. Arlington in East Lincoln Park came on the market in August 2014.

We’ve chattered about this building numerous times over the years including in May 2014 when the top floor unit, #4, was on the market.

See that chatter here.

Unit #4, which is the same square footage and has similar finishes as Unit #3, sold in August and has this sales history:

Unit #4: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1700 square feet

  • Sold in July 2005 for $610,000
  • Sold in July 2007 for $715,000
  • Was listed in May 2009 for $699,000
  • Reduced
  • Withdrawn in 2011
  • Was listed in May 2014 at $679,000
  • Reduced to $659,000– wherein it went under contract
  • Sold in August 2014 for $635,000

So it shouldn’t be a surprise that Unit #3 came on the market at $659,000.

This unit has 2 outdoor spaces, including a front stone balcony.

It has some of its vintage features still intact, including 2 fireplaces and coved moldings.

The kitchen has white cabinets, granite counter tops and luxury Viking and Subzero appliances.

The unit has all the features buyers look for, including central air, washer/dryer in the unit and a gated parking space.

Will a buyer of Unit #3 get a deal compared to #4 thanks to a changing market?

Johnnye Paige at DreamTown has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #3: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1700 square feet

  • Sold in August 2005 for $625,000
  • Sold in May 2011 for $573,000
  • Originally listed in August 2014 for $659,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $619,000
  • Assessments of $205 a month (includes water and snow removal)
  • Taxes of $8739
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • 1 car gated parking included
  • Bedroom #1: 15×12
  • Bedroom #2: 13×12
  • Dining room: 12×12

6 Years Later, Do We Still Love This Rooftop Deck? 1647 N. Sedgwick in Old Town

1647 n Sedgwick

This vintage 2-bedroom at 1647 N. Sedgwick in Old Town just came on the market in September 2014.

If it looks familiar to some of you old timers, that’s because it is. We last chattered about it back in the “innocent” times, in June 2008.

See our very interesting prior chatter here.

At the beginning of the summer of 2008, the financial markets had not experienced the collapse of Lehman Brothers or of the stock market.

And the housing market was still pretty “hot.”

Some of you called this unit your “dream” home in 2008.

This top floor unit in a 3-unit vintage building has tall ceilings and original wood moldings along with a wood burning fireplace in the living room.

If you look at the pictures in the 2008 chatter, you can see that the kitchen cabinets have been painted white and there are now quartz counter tops and stainless steel appliances.

I can’t tell exactly what they did in the bathroom but that’s at least a new vanity and lighting.

This unit has two outdoor spaces, a deck off the back and a private rooftop deck with city views.

It has all the other features that buyers look for, including central air, washer/dryer in the unit and rare (at least for Old Town) garage parking.

People who went to the open house for this unit in 2008 reported that it was swarming with people.

The agent at that time posted this comment:

“I was the listing agent for this property. We received 5 offers within the first week, accepted the best. However, the buyer got cold feet and walked. We reactivated the listing on the MLS, but immediately returned to the other 4 offers and accepted one within a few days. The property sold for near the asking price with five offers on the table. It was without a doubt, a fantastic property and it was a joy to represent.”

There was also a spirited discussion in the old chatter about who could afford this $420,000 unit (i.e. who even had a down payment).

Inventory levels in Lincoln Park were discussed – with Steve Heitman actually saying :

“Let’s not forget that 95% financing is still available. My guess is that the credit markets will loosen in the next 6 months.”

Homedelete wagered that this unit would again sell at the 1999 price (which was $300,000).

G said inventory wasn’t dropping due to sales saying:

“This is the typical bubble after-effect where the sellers insist on chasing the market down, thus making it somewhat sticky.”


Having sold in a week in a bidding war in 2008, this unit has returned 6 years later priced just $13,000 above the 2008 purchase price, at $425,000.

It’s currently been on the market for 11 days.

30-year fixed mortgage rate when it went under contract in June 2008 = 6.3%

30-year fixed mortgage rate right now = 4.1%

What will happen with this unit this go around?

Gregory Desmond at Berkshire Hathaway KoenigRubloff now has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #3: 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, no square footage listed

  • Sold in October 1997 for $252,000
  • Sold in November 1999 for $300,000
  • Sold in July 2008 after a bidding war for $412,000
  • Listed in September 2014 for $425,000
  • Currently still listed for $425,000
  • Assessments now $173 a month (they were $150 a month in 2008)
  • Taxes now $5996 (they were $3916 in 2008)
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Garage parking included
  • Bedroom #1: 14×9
  • Bedroom #2: 12×9
  • Private rooftop deck: 27×16



Trying to Sell a 3-Bedroom Penthouse One Year Later in Southport: 1550 W. Cornelia

1550 w cornelia

This 3-bedroom penthouse at 1550 W. Cornelia in the Southport neighborhood of Lakeview came on the market in early September 2014.

If it looks familiar, that’s because the unit was last on the market in the summer of 2013 and actually just sold a year ago, in September 2013.

This building was built in 2007.

It has 22-units and an elevator.

This unit is a true penthouse, complete with a private roof-top deck with a custom pergola and city views.

The kitchen has dark cabinets and Wolfe and Subzero stainless steel appliances.

It has a master bedroom suite with its own private bathroom.

This is a rare 3-bedroom that also has 3 baths.

The unit also comes with 2-heated garage parking spaces.

It sold for $730,000 last September.

This year, it came on the market at $755,000 but has now reduced to $719,000.

How much has the market slowed in the last year?

Lynn Clary at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures here.

You can also see it at the Open House, Sunday, October 5: 11:00 am – 1 pm.

Unit #501: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, no square footage listed

  • Sold in April 2008 for $721,500
  • Sold in August 2009 for $710,000
  • Sold in September 2013 for $730,000
  • Originally listed in September 2014 for $755,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $719,000
  • Assessments of $443 a month (includes water, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $7761
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • 2 car parking included
  • Bedroom #1: 12×15
  • Bedroom #2: 14×12
  • Bedroom #3: 15×13

CMK Offers Incentives on its New South Loop Condo Tower: 1345 S. Wabash

In May 2014, CMK announced it would begin selling the first new condo building in the South Loop to be built and marketed after the crash.

1345 S. Wabash will be a 15-story building with an attached parking garage.

It will have 10 foot ceilings and, as is the CMK style, exposed concrete.

The kitchens will have European style cabinets with quartz counter tops and stainless steel appliances.

The bathrooms will have Duravit floating vanities.

The units will have central air and washer/dryer hook-ups.

This is the first “affordable” condo building to be announced since the bust.

The available units are priced as follows:

  • 1 bedrooms from $228,900
  • 2 bedrooms from $289,900

On Sep 30, CMK sent an e-mail to Chicago brokers informing them of incentives on the building.

For contracts secured between Oct 1 and Oct 31, 2014, the broker will be paid a 2.5% COOP Commission plus a $2500 broker bonus.

Similarly, for contracts signed during October, buyers will receive a buyers incentive in the form of a “closing cost credit” of $2500.

Are incentives at a building that just launched its sales center a few months ago a bad sign?

With no new construction for years in the South Loop, shouldn’t there be a lot of pent up demand for new product?

For pictures and floorplans, check out 1345 S. Wabash’s website here.

Trying To Sell With Construction Next Door: 165 N. Canal on the Near West Side

165 n canal approved

This 3-bedroom in Randolph Place at 165 N. Canal on the Near West Side just came on the market.

It has the coveted north and east views which means it looks over the Chicago River.

It has 2 balconies and 2-car tandem parking.

The kitchen has granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances.

All 3 bedrooms are enclosed, which is preferred (even for those buying in loft buildings.)

But just to the north of this building, on the other side of the El tracks, the office building called River Point is being built over the railroad tracks.

And just to the east of this building, after more than 10 years of debate as to what, if anything, would be built on the sliver of land over the railroad tracks right next to 165 N. Canal, another office building has started construction called 150 N. Riverside.

You can see renderings of what 150 N. Riverside is expected to look like on Curbed here.

Part of the property will have a park (if you scroll down you on the Curbed link can see it in the pictures.)

Currently, the east facing units in this building look out onto the River with the train tracks right in front of the building (and yes- you CAN hear the trains going by.) With the new building, the train tracks will be covered (as they are by the Boeing building across the street.)

But certainly some views will be impacted by the new office buildings.

Does nearby construction influence your decision to buy?

Or is it just part of city living?

James Horwath at Berkshire KoenigRubloff has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #812: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, no square footage listed

  • Sold in April 1999 for $485,000
  • Sold in April 2005 for $660,000
  • Currently listed for $725,000 (tandem parking included)
  • Assessments of $837 a month (includes doorman, cable, exercise room)
  • Taxes of $11,302
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 12×18
  • Bedroom #2: 12×12
  • Bedroom #3: 12×16

Looking for a Penthouse Pied-A-Terre in River North? A 1-Bedroom at 340 W. Superior

340 w superior

This top floor 1-bedroom at 340 W. Superior in River North just came on the market.

At 1016 square feet, it is a “true” penthouse with a 31×12 private terrace that looks west with “sunset and city views.”

The apartment was “conceived by renowned designer William Eubanks” and has 10 foot ceilings with crown molding.

The kitchen has light cabinets (white?) with granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances.

The bathrooms are marble.

It has central air, washer/dryer in the unit and garage parking is available for $35,000.

The listing calls it the most beautiful pied-a-terre in Chicago.

Are half a million dollar pied-a-terres popular in River North?

Nancy Thomas at Berkshire Hathaway KoenigRubloff has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #PH5: 1 bedroom, 1.5 baths, 1016 square feet

  • Sold in October 2002 for $357,500
  • Currently listed for $475,000 plus $35,000 for the parking
  • Assessments of $865 a month (includes heat, a/c, gas, doorman, cable)
  • Taxes of $8151
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom: 13×11

Market Conditions: Chicago Sales Drop 15.3% Year Over Year in August

Skyline with Sears Tower Nov 2010

The Illinois Association of Realtors is out with the August home sales and it comes as no surprise to those of us following the market that Chicago’s housing market cooled off at the end of the summer.

Sales were down statewide, in the 9-county Chicagoland area and in the City of Chicago. It was the largest decline in sales in Chicago since 2011.

From the Illinois Association of Realtors:

The city of Chicago saw a 15.3 percent year-over-year decrease in home sales in August 2014 with 2,414 sales, down from 2,850 in August 2013. The median price rose to $270,000 versus $245,000 in August 2013, an annual increase of 10.2 percent.

August sales since 2007:

  • August 2007: 2923 sales
  • August 2008: 2078 sales
  • August 2009: 1927 sales
  • August 2010: 1486 sales
  • August 2011: 1787 sales
  • August 2012: 2209 sales
  • August 2013: 2850 sales
  • August 2014: 2414 sales

August median price since 2007:

  • August 2007: $305,000
  • August 2008: $297,500
  • August 2009: $229,900
  • August 2010: $200,000
  • August 2011: $192,500
  • August 2012: $200,000
  • August 2013: $245,000
  • August 2014: $270,000

The IAR blamed “tighter housing inventory and credit availability” for the slide in sales.

“August rounded out the typically hot summer market with a trend we’ve seen all year. Chicago buyers have fewer homes to choose from yet are finding their desired house in a shorter amount of time,” said Matt Farrell, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and managing partner of Urban Real Estate. “Median home prices are flourishing as a result of these focused buyers presenting their best offer despite the low inventory.”

But is inventory actually lower than last year- when it was also pretty awful? Last year’s IAR press release for August also talked about tight inventories.

And there is no indication that credit availability is any more difficult than it was 12 months ago.

Mortgage rates were actually lower this year than last, averaging 4.1% compared to 4.4% a year ago. If anything, that should have spurred the market, not depressed it. In August 2013 everyone was worried about rising rates.

Sales have been lower year over year every month this year in Chicago except one.

What’s causing the cooling in the housing market in 2014?

Illinois median home prices increase 6.1 percent in August; Home sales down amid tight inventory [Illinois Association of Realtors, Press Release, September 22, 2014]

Paying $800,000 to Live on Ashland: A 3/3 at 1309 N. Ashland in Wicker Park

1309 n ashland

This 3-bedroom at 1309 N. Ashland in Wicker Park came on the market in June 2014.

This building is the former Polish Women’s Alliance building and used to be a theater. It is part of the “Polish Downtown” or “Polish Triangle” that was the headquarters of the Polish community in the late 1800s through about 1950 in Wicker Park anchored by Milwaukee, Ashland and Division.

The building was converted into 7 condos at the height of the housing bubble in 2006.

This unit has 22-foot high ceilings with a spiral staircase that leads to a large lofted space.

The kitchen has modern cabinets, Subzero and Miele appliances and Carrera quartz counter tops.

It has dark stained floors and 2 balconies.

The unit appears to look out the back of the building (and NOT Ashland.)

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

It’s also just two blocks away from the Division Blue line El stop and near the hot Milwaukee/Division restaurant corridor.

After selling from the developer in 2006 for $700,000, it has come on the market in 2014 at $799,900.

Before you say “no way” on the price- it’s “sister” unit, #303, also a 3/3 with similar finishes, just came on the market at $825,000. It has the same pictures and the same realtor.

Is $800,000 the new reality, even on Ashland, for hot Bucktown?

Carrie McCormick at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #302: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, no square footage listed

  • Sold in November 2006 for $700,000
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in October 2009
  • Bank owned in June 2012
  • Sold in August 2012 for $360,000
  • Listed in July 2014 for $799,900
  • Currently still listed at $799,900
  • Assessments of $291 a month
  • Taxes of $11,477
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Garage parking
  • Bedroom #1: 16×15
  • Bedroom #2: 13×13
  • Bedroom #3: 16×10
  • Loft: 25×20




We Love Authentic Lofts: Get 3500 Square Feet in Printers Row at 727 S. Dearborn

727 s dearborn approved #1

This 2-bedroom brick and concrete loft in the Donohue Annex at 727 S. Dearborn in Printers Row came on the market in April 2014.

We’ve chattered about the Annex several times before. It’s the southern most part of the Donohue loft building.

Built in 1883, the Annex has 10.5 foot concrete ceilings (not timber like in the other part of the Donohue) and it still has one of the original building elevators.

The Donohue was one of the first original loft conversion condo buildings in the city.

This unit is a massive 3500 square foot southwest corner unit with city views.

It has floor to ceiling windows and a wide open living/dining and kitchen space.

The kitchen has terracotta floors with a large kitchen island and wine fridge. It has Subzero appliances.

There’s a circular library and one of the bathrooms has a claw foot tub (check out the pictures.)

It is a live/work space so there are some at-home businesses in the building as well as just some businesses (which is why there are desks in the pictures with this unit.)

There’s a washer/dryer hook-up in the unit, central air but no parking. There is leased parking nearby or some buy parking in the Plymouth building across the street.

The listing says it’s in the South Loop Elementary school district.

Since April, it has reduced $46,000 to $849,000.

Who has the vision to turn this loft into their dream home?

Jennifer Ames at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #812: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 3500 square feet

  • Sold in July 1991 for $380,000
  • Sold in October 1999 for $475,000
  • Sold in July 2000 for $562,000
  • Sold in July 2003 for $718,000
  • Originally listed in April 2014 for $895,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $849,000
  • Assessments of $1801 a month (includes heat, cable)
  • Taxes of $10,998
  • No parking- leased for $200 a month in the neighborhood
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer hook-ups in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 14×26
  • Bedroom #2: 10×14


Are 3-Bedroom Townhouses Still Hot? 1301 W. George in Lakeview

1301 w george

This 3-bedroom townhouse at 1301 W. George in Lakeview came on the market in June 2014.

While it is a townhouse  in a 16-unit association, it has features of a loft with exposed brick, large industrial windows, and a den/loft on the third floor that overlooks the master bedroom on the second floor.

The second bedroom is also on the second floor with the third bedroom in the basement with its own bathroom. The listing says this could be used as a family room or is “ideal” for a live-in relative.

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

It has two outdoor spaces: a private side yard and a private roof top deck with city views.

The townhouse also has a rare side-by-side 2-car parking in a heated garage.

It has been on and off the market all summer with no price reductions and recently was re-listed at the same price as it was listed for in August.

3-bedroom townhouses at all price points have been the holy grail in the Green Zone since the Great Recession as buyers realized they could live longer in a larger property if their family expanded.

Are 3-bedroom townhouses still hot?

Craig Easly at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

1301 W. George: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2400 square feet, 2 car parking

  • Sold in October 1997 for $331,500
  • Sold in February 2000 for $430,000
  • Sold in November 2002 for $520,000
  • Originally listed in June 2014 for $589,000
  • Withdrew in July
  • Re-listed in July 2014 for $629,000
  • Withdrew in August
  • Re-listed in September 2014 for $629,000
  • Assessments of $80 a month (includes water, snow removal)
  • Fee simple
  • Taxes of $7902
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 15×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 10×7 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 15×12 (lower level)
  • Den/loft: 21×12 (third floor)
  • Rooftop deck