Get a 2/2 in a Classic Beaux Arts Building at 3314 N. Lake Shore Drive for Under $200K

3314 n lake shore drive approved

This 2-bedroom in 3314 N. Lake Shore Drive in Lakeview has been on and off the market since 2013.

It most recently came back on the market in February of this year.

If you’re a fan of Parisian architecture, this is the building for you.

Built in 1916, it was the first shoreline high rise apartment building constructed north of North Avenue.

It was, of course, meant for the rich.

According to “Chicago Apartments: A Century of Lakefront Luxury” when it opened, each floor contained a single unit 18-room, 5 bath apartment that rented for about $10,000 a year. Residents included all the ritzy families of Chicago at the time, including those with the names of Spiegel, Ward, Peacock and Goldblatt.

Over the years, the units were reconfigured and when the building was sold to a new owner in 1951 for under $400,000 it contained 49 apartments. Since then, units have been reconfigured so that there are now 29.

The building was converted to condominiums in 1983.

This unit, however, is not one of those that looks out over Lake Shore Drive.

On the second floor, it doesn’t have the vintage features of the building.

It does, however, have a rare small terrace.

The kitchen has granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances and the white cabinets with wood trim that were once popular.

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

There’s no parking but it is available in the neighborhood for between $150 and $250 a month.

This unit has recently been reduced to $199,000.

Given the exploding rents in the neighborhood, is this a deal?

Brad Lippitz at Berkshire Hathaway KoenigRubloff has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #2D: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1315 square feet

  • Sold in June 1989 for $140,500
  • Sold in March 2000 for $165,000
  • Was listed in 2013, 2014 and 2015
  • Re-listed in February 2016 for $219,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $199,000
  • Assessments of $1202 a month (includes heat, a/c, cable, exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $5795
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • No parking- but available in the neighborhood for $150 to $250 a month
  • Bedroom #1: 16×15
  • Bedroom #2: 13×11

11 Months on the Market for this Manhattan Building 3-Bedroom: 431 S. Dearborn in the Loop

431 s dearborn

This 3-bedroom in the Manhattan Building at 431 S. Dearborn in the Loop came on the market in June 2015.

The Manhattan Building was built in 1891. It was converted to condos in the late 1990s. It’s a doorman building.

This unit is 1 of only 4 top floor units.

It has south and west views.

It has a split floor plan with hardwood floors in the living room and one of the bedrooms. There is carpet in the other two bedrooms.

The kitchen has white appliances and what look like maple cabinets.

It has the features buyers look for including central air and washer/dryer in the unit. There’s no parking with the building, but in this location, would you need a car?

The blue, red, brown and orange line stops are within a few blocks.

It even has a wood burning fireplace, which is rare for a high rise.

Since June, this has been reduced $24,900 to $325,000 yet it still can’t find a buyer.

Why isn’t this selling?

Is it a deal for the square footage?

Steven Paige at Re/Max has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #1602: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1600 square feet

  • Sold in September 1997 for $224,500
  • Sold in September 1999 for $289,000
  • Originally listed in June 2015 for $349,900
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $325,000
  • Assessments of $846 a month (includes doorman, exterior maintenance, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $3922
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • No parking
  • Bedroom #1: 16×14
  • Bedroom #2: 16×12
  • Bedroom #3: 12×12



Vince Vaughn Splits Penthouse Into 2 and They Are Already Both Under Contract: 159 E. Walton in the Gold Coast

159 e walton approved

We’ve chattered about Vince Vaughn’s Palmolive penthouse at 159 E. Walton in the Gold Coast several times over the years.

You can see the 2012 chatter here.

He’s been trying to sell it since 2011 to no avail.

Last week, he took the unusual step of splitting the triplex penthouse into two units composed of one full floor unit and a top floor duplex.

The full floor unit, which is 4292 square feet, will be priced at $4.2 million.

The penthouse duplex, with 7880 square feet, will set you back $8.5 million.

Apparently, no one wanted all that space.

Having the penthouse as a duplex and not as a triplex as it’s currently configured — was “originally how the developer had it done,” Malkin said. “We got feedback from buyers that (the triplex) was too much square feet.”

“Like most things in those price points, it’s something that’s a second or third or fourth home for someone,” Malkin said. “So we decided this was a different marketing opportunity. We thought we’d see if this was a better way to do it.”

Malkin said a potential buyer of just the 36th and 37th floors would not need to make many changes to the unit, necessarily. However, the 35th floor likely would require significant alterations, she said. The option also exists that a buyer may come on the scene and choose to buy all three levels, she said.

According to the Tribune, an internal staircase would have to be removed if someone bought the full floor unit.

It looks like it was giving buyers what they wanted, because BOTH units have gone under contract in only a week.

Were there already buyers waiting on the sidelines to buy the split units before they went to the press with this? (And if so- why go to the press with it at all?)

Or did buyers suddenly materialize for the smaller units at the same time within a week of splitting them because the market is that hot?

Or is the same buyer actually buying both listings after all?

Katherine Malkin at Baird & Warner has both listings.

You can see the pictures for the full floor unit here.

159 E. Walton #35: 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 4292 square feet

  • Currently listed for $4.2 million
  • Under contract in just a week
  • Assessments of $4034 a month (includes heat, a/c, gas, doorman, cable, exercise room, exterior maintenance, scavenger, snow removal
  • Taxes are $15,556 (per Redfin)
  • 1 car parking included
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit

You can see the pictures for the top floor duplex here.

159 E. Walton PH: 3 bedrooms, 5.5 baths, duplex, 7880 square feet

  • Sold in September 2006 for $12 million
  • Originally listed in June 2012 for $18.4 million
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in 2012 for $16.75 million
  • Reduced to $13.9 million
  • Split up the unit into 2 units
  • Now listed as a duplex for $8.5 million
  • Under contract in only a week
  • Assessments now $8988 (they were $11,595 a month as one unit in 2012)
  • Taxes now $34,920 (they were $42,772 as one unit in 2012)
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit

Market Conditions: Best April in 8 Years Even With Record Low Inventory

Chicago skyline from Grant Park August 2015

As we already knew, things are hot, hot, hot.

I know this “news” is from last week, but it’s our duty to chatter about the monthly sales numbers so here it is.

From the Illinois Association of Realtors:

The city of Chicago saw a 7.9 percent year-over-year home sales increase in April 2016 with 2,628 sales, up from 2,435 in April 2015. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in April 2016 was $287,500, up 6.0 percent compared to April 2015 when it was $271,325.

Here are the sales statistics for April since 2007:

  • 2007: 2419 sales
  • 2008: 1886 sales
  • 2009: 1407 sales
  • 2010: 1984 sales
  • 2011: 1466 sales
  • 2012: 1816 sales
  • 2013: 2392 sales
  • 2014: 2256 sales
  • 2015:  2435 sales
  • 2016: 2628 sales

Here are the median prices:

  • 2007: $289,800
  • 2008: $300,000
  • 2009: $218,000
  • 2010: $225,000
  • 2011: $169,000
  • 2012: $184,400 (IAR says it was $182,000 but I have $184,400 from last year’s data)
  • 2013: $223,500
  • 2014: $250,000
  • 2015: $271,325
  • 2016: $287,500

“After posting only modest sales gains in March, Chicago saw in April a return to what would be expected in a market marked by high consumer demand,” said Dan Wagner, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and senior vice president for government relations at the Oakbrook-based Inland Real Estate Group of Companies, Inc. “It’s taking 47 days on average to sell a home, which is a breathtaking pace and shows why inventories have plummeted once again.”

“Any suggestion the state’s housing market was beginning to slow appears to have been premature,” said Illinois REALTORS® President Mike Drews, GRI, broker-associate with Charles B. Doss Co. in Aurora. “A buyer can’t dawdle in a market like this. Any delay can result in losing the home they want as there are so many other motivated buyers in this spring market.”

Mortgage rates were about where they were last year at this time, so it’s not lower rates that is pushing the buyers to jump in.

Are buyers afraid if they don’t buy now they’ll be priced out forever?

And will that “median” (which just means that a lot more luxury properties are selling)- finally reach new record highs this year?

April brings strong gains in Illinois home sales and prices [Illinois Association of Realtors, Press Release, May 20, 2016]

Crib Chatter is On Vacation This Week

Record low inventory?

It is WORSE than 2013 when I had to go to like 2 posts a month because there was nothing to chatter about. But, there’s a lot that appears to be coming on the market in the upper bracket. We may have to concentrate on the upper bracket market for the rest of the summer if things continue like this.

If you aren’t under contract in a week or two, then you’re priced wrong because nearly everything is selling instantly.

Do you have stories of getting involved in bidding wars?

Have you heard of buyers waiving inspections?

Tell us your war stories this week.



Cheaper Than Renting? A Studio in The Brewster at 2800 N. Pine Grove in Lakeview

2800 n pine grove approved

This studio in the historic Brewster building at 2800 N. Pine Grove in East Lakeview just came on the market.

The Brewster was built in 1893 as a luxury apartment building and it has internal iron staircases, cat walks and a huge skylight.

Not only did Charlie Chaplin live in one of the penthouses in 1915-1916, but several movies were filmed in the building including the Untouchables and Child’s Play.

The listing says this studio is one of the largest studios in the building.

It has high ceilings with crown molding and a fireplace along with parquet floors in the main living area.

The kitchen has a big window and wood cabinets and what looks like an original built-in cabinet.

It has white appliances and a European style washer/dryer unit, which is somewhat rare for this building which also has a laundry room.

There is a window air conditioning unit.

There’s no parking with the building. It’s available to rent in the neighborhood.

The listing says this is being sold “as-is.”

It is listed at $110,000. If you put 5% down and finance for 30 years at 3.8%, even while paying PMI, that’s a monthly payment of $732.

There’s taxes and the $238 HOA too.

But does it make sense to buy this rather than pay the record high rents in the neighborhood?

Lucas Augustyn at Chel Group Realty has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit 7J: studio, 525 square feet

  • Sold in September 1995 for $24,000
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in June 2015
  • Currently listed “as-is” for $110,000
  • Assessments of $238 a month (includes doorman, exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $1874
  • No central air- window unit
  • Euro-style washer/dryer in the unit
  • No parking
  • Living area: 21×9
  • Kitchen: 9×7

4-Bedroom Victorian on a Double Lot in Roscoe Village Returns: 1805 W. Cornelia

1805 w cornelia

This 4-bedroom single family home at 1805 W. Cornelia in Roscoe Village just came on the market.

If it looks familiar that’s because we chattered about it numerous times in 2012. You can see our original April 2012 chatter here.

In 2012 it was described as a “Victorian”.

Built on a double sized Chicago lot of 50×125, it has a pergola, fire pit, perennial garden and greenhouse. In 2012, it also had a koi pond. I wonder what happened to that?

For a time, the property was also marketed as the house and the second lot separately.

You can see the two separate listings in our October 2012 chatter here.

But none of it sold and it was withdrawn.

It has since returned to the market with a “total remodel.”

In 2012, the main level was carpeted with those individual flooring squares. It now has hardwood floors.

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

There are two master suites. Two bedrooms are upstairs while two are on the main level.

The location, near the El line and the Metra line, is still the same.

It also still doesn’t have parking, but the house does have central air.

Last time, they tried to sell at the bottom of the market.

This time, they are selling at the top.

Will they be more successful this time?

Leigh Marcus at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

1805 W. Cornelia: 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, no square footage listed

  • Sold in September 1995 for $93,500
  • Sold in April 2002 for $335,000
  • Was listed in April 2012 for $899,000
  • Withdrawn
  • Currently listed for $750,000
  • Taxes now $15410 (they were $9965 in 2012 which was just for one lot. Second lot was $6279)
  • Central Air
  • No parking
  • Bedroom #1: 17×25 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 15×14 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 8×12 (main floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 11×11 (main floor)

Live Near the Hot Division Street Corridor: A 2/2 at 1058 N. Paulina in the East Village

1058 n paulina approved

This top floor 2-bedroom at 1058 N. Paulina in the East Village neighborhood of West Town just came on the market.

For those of you have been reading this blog a long time, you might recognize it as we chattered about it when it was on the market in 2010.

See our chatter here.

Back then, some of you thought it was a little pricey for a “cookie cutter” condo. But that was in 2010, when we were still in the middle of the bust.

You may recall that it has a small Juliet balcony off the front of the unit and a deck off the back that is accessed through a separate hallway.

The listing says it has a “gourmet” kitchen with stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops.

The master suite has a walk-in closet and a spa bath.

It has all the other features buyers look for, including central air, washer/dryer in the unit and garage parking.

This unit didn’t sell in 2010 when we last chattered about it, but it finally DID sell in 2012.

A lot has changed in the neighborhood since 2010. The Division Street area has gotten even hotter as more restaurants and bars have opened.

This unit is listed for $90,000 more than the 2012 purchase price, and, at $419,000, would be a new record high for this property.

Will it get the premium in this market?

Sam Shaffer at Chicago Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #3: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1200 square feet

  • Sold in April 2002 for $295,000
  • Originally listed in April 2010 for $359,900
  • Withdrawn
  • Sold in July 2012 for $329,000
  • Currently listed for $419,000
  • Assessments now $118 a month (they were $150 a month in 2010) includes water, common insurance
  • Taxes now $4739 (they were $4114 in 2010)
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Garage parking included
  • Bedroom #1: 14×10
  • Bedroom #2: 11×10


Would You Endure a Co-Op Interview? A 1-Bedroom at 2440 N. Lakeview in Lincoln Park

2440 n lakeview

This 1-bedroom in 2440 N. Lakeview in Lincoln Park came on the market in October 2015.

2440 N. Lakeview is one of the high rise apartment buildings built along the lakefront and along Lincoln Park in the 1920s age of luxury.

Built in 1927, it has just 94 units, and is a co-op.

This unit faces the landscaped courtyard.

It was on the market in 2014 and early 2015 before being pulled and “upgraded” with new electrical wiring, light fixtures and plumbing.

The original oak flooring was refinished throughout and there’s new maple flooring in the kitchen.

The kitchen has the original wood kitchen cabinetry with new appliances.

The unit has tall ceilings and crown molding that were a given for this time period.

5 original windows were also restored.

There’s no washer/dryer in the unit but the building does allow it (why didn’t they do it when restoring the unit?)

It also doesn’t have central air.

2440 N. Lakeview is one of the few buildings with its own parking garage. Parking is leased for $135 a month.

The building only allows 80% financing.

HOAs include the real estate taxes and a bunch of other expenses including cable, the Internet, heat, and gas.

There’s no leasing. It is 100% owner occupied.

No dogs are allowed.

And in order to buy, you have to pass board approval, including an interview.

Co-op interviews are rare in Chicago, unlike in New York where it is fairly common.

Would you be willing to interview with a building in order to buy an apartment?

Jane Domvrot at Berkshire Hathaway KoenigRubloff has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #2C: 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 1200 square feet, co-op

  • I don’t have the prior sale
  • Listed, after upgrade, in October 2015 for $298,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $289,999
  • Assessments of $1055 a month (includes heat, gas, cable, Internet, real estate taxes, doorman, exercise room, exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger and snow removal)
  • Taxes are included in HOAs
  • No central air
  • No in-unit washer/dryer (but allowed)
  • Parking is leased in garage for $135 a month
  • Bedroom: 12×22
  • Living room: 14×22
  • Dining room: 12×21
  • Gallery: 7×11



Do You Have the Vision to Transform This Brick and Timber Loft? 540 N. Lake Shore Drive in Streeterville

540 n lake shore drive

This 1-bedroom loft at 540 N. Lake Shore Drive in Streeterville just came on the market.

It’s a large, 1280 square foot 1-bedroom with 12 foot timber ceilings and multiple walls of exposed brick.

In fact, all 4 living room walls are brick, with one painted white.

There are two windows in the living room and hardwood floors in part along with porcelain tiles in part.

The bedroom also has a window along with a built-in bed, storage and a glass block wall.

The kitchen has those white cabinets with the natural wood trim (original to the 1980s or 1990s, I think) and a mix of white and black appliances.

There are 2 full baths, including a huge master bath with a soaking tub.

The unit has central air but no in-unit washer/dryer, although the building does allow it so one can be installed.

Parking is rental in the building for $205 a month.

This is the only authentic loft condo building in Streeterville.

This loft is a blank slate kind of property, awaiting your touch.

Do you have the vision to restore it to its loft glory?

Matt Laricy at Americorp has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #210: 1 bedroom, 2 baths, 1280 square feet

  • Sold in January 1995 for $145,000
  • Sold in March 2006 for $253,000
  • Currently listed for $319,724
  • Assessments of $757 a month (includes heat, a/c, doorman, cable)
  • Taxes of $4341
  • Central Air
  • No in-unit washer/dryer but can be installed
  • No deeded parking but rental parking for $205 a month in the building
  • Bedroom: 16×20
  • Living room: 20×19