Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Looking up! Avondale condo median price up 32% from 2015

Avondale views from a balcony on North Kimball near the Belmont CTA Blue Line. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty

Our client recently secured a purchase contract on a newer construction condo in the Avondale neighborhood. The contract is currently in attorney review and inspection. Avondale has been a popular alternative to the red hot Logan Square neighborhood to the south. Development has benefitted from access to the CTA Blue Line and highways... while the area remains relatively affordable to artists, musicians, creatives and the working class who've long immigrated northwest to the neighborhood.

It's a good time to take a look at recent attached units (condo, townhouse) sales in Avondale.

Our client jumped on a new listing featuring a full, private roof top deck. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty 

167 condos were sold in the Avondale neighborhood in 2020. The median price of a sold condo over that period is $365,000.  That's up 32% since 2015. The highest priced sold attached unit is 3113 N Karlov Unit 3-4, Chicago IL 60641 for $646,721. The new construction townhouse has size and private backyard outdoor space. The lowest priced sale is 4009 West Nelson Unit 9C for $92,000. The one bedroom, one bath unit is located in the far western border of Avondale a bit far from the Blue Line.

2019, 172 condos sold with a median price of $370,000
2018, 190 condos sold with a median price of $345,000
2017, 176 condos sold with a median price of $312,000
2016, 158 condos sold with a median price of $279,000
2015, 167 condos sold with a median price of about $276,000


Sunday, January 17, 2021

For Sale! South Loop townhouse $479,900

20 West 15th Street, Unit E, Chicago IL 60605 asking $479,900.
 Bright living room with wood burning fireplace looks out onto private courtyard. Willis Tower views outside your door. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty and VHT.com

We love this townhouse value in South Loop! 20 West 15th Street - Unit E is located in the popular Dearborn Park II development between 14th and 15th streets. It's a true walk-to-everything location. Cottontail Park is just steps away. Endless restaurants, bars and services outside your door. Four blocks from CTA Red Line, one mile from world class Museum Campus, Soldier Field, historic Prairie District, Grant Park and the amazing lakefront.  

Wide open floor-plan with true dining area.

Details include:

Two bedrooms plus large den/office (converted from 3rd bedroom).
Parking space in private courtyard
Wood burning fireplace
New bathroom vanities and lighting
Fresh paint and new carpet throughout
New rubber roof coating with warranty
Private fenced in patio
In-unit washer and dryer
Fee-simple ownership with low monthly assessment for Homeowners Association

Enormous 3rd floor main bedroom with sitting area, en suite bathroom and Willis Tower views to the north. Fresh paint and brand new carpet. 

Attractive brand new vanity and lighting. 

Kitchen completely renovated and opened up about four years ago. Awesome counter space, storage and walk-out patio. 

The South Loop neighborhood is full of great views, restaurants, shopping and parks. 

Miles of lakefront parks, beaches, concert venues and public facilities to get outside!

South Loop is  great neighborhood to bike around... easy to the lakefront paths.

World class art and museums outside your door.

Easy shopping with Trader Joe's, Jewel, Whole Foods, Target and small markets in every direction.

Chicago is known for its great restaurants and South Loop is no different! Eleven City Diner has been one of my favorite spots.

Pre-volleyball meal at the The Weather Mark Tavern last fall.

Lincoln Square new developments small and large


2308 W Winnemac, Chicago IL 60625 was a small frame two-flat sold in fall of 2020 for $325,000. The building was torn down and will be replaced by a new construction single family home. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty unless otherwise noted.

It will be another year of active development around Lincoln Square. Late last year I wrote about several larger condo/ apartment developments on the way HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE. We also wrote about a handful of three to six unit developments.  A quick walk around the neighborhood and you'll see plenty of new single family construction too. 

5119 N Claremont, Chicago IL 60625 sold for $509,500. The frame two-flat sits on a wide 34' x 133' lot.  A demolition permit was issued December 9th, 2020. The wide lot will allow for a larger than average single family home.

The original property at 2130 West Leland, Chicago IL 60625 shown above (center blue house).  The property was sold for $680,000. Google Maps image.

2610 West Winona, Chicago IL 60625 property was sold for $935,000 in late 2020. A house sits on a rare 90' wide by 150' long lot. Three new houses have been permitted for construction.

2610 West Winona in Lincoln Square.  The very unique three city lot property was sold and will be developed into three new single family homes.

If you are looking to buy of sell a home or condo in Chicago or the Chicagoland suburbs please contact us! erojas@kalerealty.com  More Lincoln Square posts HERE

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Evanston single family home sales up 25% year over year


No denying that Evanston brings the charm... for a price. The median sales price of a house in 2020 was $585,000. Home sales were bonkers. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty

2020 was the gift that kept giving 😀 Despite real social, political and economic challenges the local real estate markets exploded. Many reports have pointed out how Chicago's near and further out suburbs single family home sales were hot, hot, hot. Let's take a look at one of the nearest of "suburbs"... the City of Evanston.

Evanston single family home sales

536 Single family homes sold from January 1st 2020 to December 21st 2020 (sold homes recorded in our MREDLLC.com MLS). That's up about 25% year over year. The median price of a sold house for 2020 was $585,000, up about 14% over 2019.

In 2020, 63 closed homes (on the MLS) sold for over $1 million. of those four were over $2 million and two were over $3 million. There were undoubtedly several more high-end private or off-MLS sales. 

Looking back at 2019 (a normal year) 431 single family homes closed.  The median price for a sold house was about $510,000.  42 of those homes sold over $1 million. Five of those reached the $2 million mark. No homes recorded in the MLS broke $2 million.

  • 2018, 422 home closed with a median price of $550,000
  • 2017, 465 homes closed with a median price of $532,000
  • 2016, 488 homes closed with a median price of $518,000
  • 2015, 492 homes closed with a median price of $502,000

2020 may have been the first year in Evanston to close over 500 single family homes! I looked back to 2007 (still in the ramp up before the mortgage crash) and no year broke 500 with 2007 itself only closing 368 houses. 2020 sold smashed the mark with 536!

The lakefront parks and beaches remain the biggest draw to Evanston personally speaking. Followed closely by the robust commerce, jobs and architecture.

I was in Evanston a couple days last week looking at single family homes with a client. They will make the move from a city condo. Evanston has always been tops on my list if we were to move from the city. Mainly I enjoy access to the lakefront parks, recreation and beaches. Second to that is the robust business community, great schools and park district. Third... the architecture! I wouldn't miss a beat from my current city life  The only barrier is price. We bought our current house many years ago and it serves are family well. Moving to a comparable situation in Evanston would be expensive!

However there is a diverse range of housing and budget options in Evanston. Pockets in the south and west of Evanston provide more affordability while  homes within a mile or two of the lakefront can be well over the median price. No matter where you live in Evanston the benefits remain similar. Schools, commerce, park districts, the lakefront and architecture! 

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Senior Citizens may defer Cook County real estate taxes

Homes in Belmont-Cragin (Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)

Our Senior Citizens having trouble paying their property taxes may qualify for relief. The Cook County Treasurer offers the Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Deferral program. If qualified seniors may defer up to $5,000 in a tax year.  The cost is 6% simple interest on the deferred amount. Any amount owed is payable from proceeds upon sale of the home. 

Check out eligibility and program details HERE

Monday, January 11, 2021

Viewing and buying "off-market", private and Pre-MLS properties: What does that mean?


Homes in Lincoln Square early this month (all photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)

I've shown my clients "off-market" or Pre-MLS properties for sale over the past few weeks. We provide our clients with access to "off-market" listings: Pocket, private and Pre-MLS home listing options to view and buy. What does that mean? 

A Pre-MLS listing is a property offered for sale by a licensed broker that is scheduled to be listed on the MLS at a later date. Some folks like to try out the listing price, retain some privacy and/ or wait until after the holidays to place in the MLS for the entire world to see.

A "pocket listing" is generally a property that is not scheduled to be listed on the MLS. However the seller has either entered into a listing agreement with a broker or made it known to one or many brokers they are willing to sell if a willing and able buyer is produced.

A Private Listing is a property listed for sale in our MLS Private Listing Network. Member brokers of the MLS can access this in a special category but it is not viewable by the general public on third party sites.

A bungalow was offered PRE-MLS before the holidays.

Sellers often hire licensed Real Estate Brokers to make their properties available for sale PRIOR to listing on a local Multiple Listing Service. Once on the MLS the property is available to all paid member brokers in the MLS and to public third party web sites (Trulia, Zillow etc...). This process is fairly intrusive to the seller as you can imagine. There are any number of reasons a seller may choose to offer their property for sale the "off market" route. Privacy and feeling out the listing price are the two major reasons.

Typically a listing contract is signed between the listing brokerage and seller allowing the broker to actively seek buyers (brokers are regulated by state and federal advertising and fair housing law). Brokers list the property on their company sites, personal real estate sites, social media and broker list-serves following the rules and regulations.  However the property is not listed on a member's local MLS to be fed on all reciprocal websites. 

As a full time Licensed Real Estate Broker I invest time and money to provide access to "off market" properties. I scan my various resources every day, network and stay on top of the market areas my clients want to purchase in. Contact us to search for your next property!

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Under contract! Lincoln Square four-unit building sold (vacant lot still available)


5138 N Claremont, Chicago IL 60625 (Photo Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty and VHT.com)

We recently listed and secured a contract for 5138 N Claremont, Chicago IL 60625 in the Lincoln Square neighborhood after one week on the market.  The contract is expected to close before the end of the year. We listed the building for $849,900. 

Take a look at more photos and listing information HERE

5130 N Claremont, Chicago IL 60625 asking $399,900.

For sale: 5130 N Claremont Chicago IL 60625 asking $399,900. Our vacant corner lot listing (standard size 25' x 125') adjacent the south side of the building is available. Build your dream home near Winnemac Park and in the boundaries of 1+ rated Chappell and Amundsen school districts.   More info HERE  

If you are interested in buying or selling small multi-unit buildings, houses or condos in and around Lincoln Square or other Chicago neighborhoods please contact us at erojas@kalerealty.com 

Recent Kenwood Chicago home sales


A home on South Greenwood in Kenwood (all photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)

I took my kids for a walk around Kenwood yesterday with a stop at #44's home for a photo. It dawned on me I've taken my two older kids around a couple times but the eight and five year olds had not been to the neighborhood. My eight year old Stanley likes "mansions" so it was high time he saw THESE mansions. They had fun. 

No one was home... THANKS OBAMA

One of the few contemporary mansions in Kenwood

I use to do much more business in Kenwood/ Hyde Park in the earlier 2000s. This was a product of working with more relocation clients and the sort of heated development market of 2005-2008. That said these days I still frequent the neighborhoods after trips to 31st Street Beach, kids' sports, visiting friends or on bicycle trips down the lakefront. After looking around today I wondered how Kenwood fared in this unique roller coaster of a real estate year.

Kenwood Single Family Home Sales

Kenwood is less dense than many Chicago neighborhoods that reside close to the lakefront. Due to the extremely large parcels in the historic district (relative to the rest of the city) there are fewer single family homes. The price point varies greatly from the historic district homes south of 47th Street and the majority greystones packed a little tighter north of 47th Street.

28 Kenwood single family homes closed from January 1st to December 18th of this year. This is the lowest number of homes sold since 2014. However the median price of a sold home this year is $595,000. That's the highest median price since 2015 ($670,000).

Plenty of space for lawn darts.

The highest priced sold home is 4943 South Woodlawn, Chicago IL 60615 for $2,425,000.  In the past five years the highest priced sold home topped out at $2.75M. The lowest priced single family home sold is 4415 South Berkeley, Chicago IL 60653 for $195,000. The vintage row house style property last sold in 2018 for $135,000 (no improvements look to have been made).  Interestingly five homes sold on the 4400 Block of South Berkley block making it 18% of total Kenwood single family home sales so far this year. 

-2019, 40 single family homes closed over the same period with a median price of about $539,000. 

-2018, 46 homes sold with a median price of $565,000.

-2017, 32 homes sold with a median price of $479,000.

-2016, 32 homes sold with a median price of $580,000

-2015, 30 homes sold with a median price of $670,000

-2014, 28 homes sold with a median price of $426,500

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Large new grocery development coming to Lincoln Square

The Fifth-Third Bank building at 4800 N Western in Lincoln Square. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kaler Realty

The Fifth-Third Bank property on the northwest corner of North Western Avenue and West Lawrence Avenue in Lincoln Square will be redeveloped with a grocery store tenant. Rumors I've heard were confirmed by a post this week from the 40th Ward Alderman's office. The zoning allows for the re-development of the property "as of right". There would be no need for the community approval or zoning process. The developer of the project has not disclosed the specific grocery store tenant that will lease the space.

A bank drive-through and two bank parking lots are adjacent to the west of the building.

Lincoln Square has become one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Chicago (if home sale numbers, restaurants, schools, new development and sale prices mean anything). But the high profile corner of Lawrence and Western still has a bit of a gritty underused feel. An old Walgreens with pigeon soiled plaza, a vacant Mattress Firm storefront, the over-sized drabby bank building and vacant adjacent commercial building... and parking lots.  In fact there is a Burger King with a large, barely used surface parking lot across the street from the bank parking lots.  

Looking east over the parking lots.

Looking northeast down West Lawrence Ave.

The property has large underused parking lots in a prime location near the popular shops, restaurants and CTA Western stop of Lincoln Square. 

A legitimate concern is the affect a large chain grocery store may have on local business.  Even with several grocery options within 4 to 6 blocks of this location I feel a quality grocer would not be detrimental to local stores. Harvest Time and Gene's Sausage Shop (closest, local owned shops) have specialty products and service that keep loyal patrons coming back. Tony's Fresh Market serves a large diverse area six blocks north. The Mariano's is six blocks straight east could be affected. However it is a large corporate chain in which most people I talk to feel the quality has gone down since it was purchased by Kroger.

The new development would be just steps away from "downtown" Lincoln Square shops and restaurants.

Just a few stores of many in the main shopping plaza of Lincoln Square.

Friday, December 11, 2020

New Lakeview turf, park near Diversey golf range


I enjoyed a bike commute yesterday and stopped to take a few photos along the lakefront paths. Looking east at the new park area being developed adjacent to the Diversey Driving Range between West Barry and West Diversey. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty unless otherwise noted.

One of my favorite areas for outdoor recreation is getting better. A new turf field with lighting and an improved "natural park" area are being developed in southern Lakeview. The lakefront parks and facilities between West Barry Ave and West Diversey Parkway are really pleasant. There is work-out equipment, gravel trails, a golf driving range, tennis courts, concessions and the harbor. 

Renderings of the turf field and natural area from the 44th Ward Alderman web site

Of course the real estate along this strip of parkland and amenities is fantastic.  There is a mix vintage mid-rise and high-rise buildings overlooking the park. I took a look at sales west of North Sheridan to the lakefront and West Diversey to West Belmont. Attached condos have a relatively accessible median price of $245,000 over the last 12 months. Now, many of these are one bedroom condos with high assessments.  Over the same period the highest priced sale in these boundaries is $1,950,000 at 3030 North Lakeview Drive, Unit 202. Chicago IL 60657.

High-rise and vintage apartment homes overlook the amenities along the lakefront. They will enjoy the improved natural area... although some nearby residents complained about the new turf field with lights. Median price of a condo is $245,000 but a larger home will cost you much more in purchase price and assessments.