Monday, October 15, 2018

Condo association dispute? Written policy is required by January 2019

Condo associations large and small must have a written policy for disputes available to owners by January 2019. Photo VHT.com and Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
I often read the long running Chicago Tribune real estate section question and answer series dealing with condo associations. I learned today an Illinois legislative act passed years ago to form an Ombudsperson office for condo association disputes has a couple important dates coming up. 

The state's Condominium and Community Interest Ombudsperson office was formed to educate the public and provide resources for condo associations. They may also field disputes and help resolve disputes between owners and condo associations when violations may have occurred. The act requires condo associations to have a written policy for association disputes by January 2019.

Helpful info:

Explanation of what is the Ombudsperson office (it is a real person) HERE

Office of the Ombudsman

You may read the Act here

Helpful home owners association information

Updated: Architectural Artifacts in Ravenswood to close shop

One of my older, and favorite, photos from Architectural Artifacts in Ravenswood. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
Crain's is reporting today that Architectural Artifacts at 4325 North Ravenswood Avenue, Chicago IL 60613 will close shop.  The one of a kind 80,000 sq/ft  antiques dealer will auction off it's inventory with Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.  For me this is one of the businesses that exemplifies the Ravenswood business, retail and residential corridor like no other.

The cavernous interior of the Architectural Artifacts retail shop and event space.  
Architectural Artifacts will remain selling online.    I am told by our local Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce the events space will remain operational.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Chicago murals: Ella and Pitr at Ten Cat Tavern

Mural at 3937 North Ashland, Chicago IL 60613 in Lakeview (Photo Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)
This mural is viewed from the parking lot of Play It Again Sports 3939 North Ashland in Lakeview.  Full shot below.  It has graced the Ten-Cat Tavern in Lakeview now for a couple years. Googled around and found it is by   French artists Ella & Pitr . What a coup by the long time building and tavern owners.  Where else but Chicago can you buy used baseball cletes and stop and stare at international works of art?


Google street view

Working with landlords... rookies and pros!

A new kitchen was installed at this North Center two bedroom, two bath rental. Our landlord associate offers really affordable rents for the area. 

Freshly renovated vintage apartments in North Center.  We often refer tenants to this great landlord and contractor. He refers his home owner clients to us when they need to sell. We're there for you too!

A professional landlord, client and friend of ours asked us to take a look at some of his renovated rental units.
  We had lunch in North Center and then took a look at finished units.  We also checked another building to consult on window and other exterior renovations.  We often act as advisers and sounding boards for our many clients. In this case we even snapped photos for the rental advertisements while there.

In this case our landlord associate wanted to get a pulse of market rate rents and improvements.  Even though he's a 30 year pro owning, renting and renovating real estate he still wants to hear from his trusted guys! We often work with his tenants and home renovation clients... finding their first homes or selling their newly renovated properties. 

Open House Chicago is here this weekend! Top picks

We have been lucky enough to sell a unit in Lake Point Tower.  The building is celebrating 50 years and may be viewed at this year's Open House Chicago. (All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)

Open House Chicago is here! One of the coolest events for anyone who loves the look and feel of our city. See iconic and meaningful architecture, significant blocks, inspiring interiors, important exteriors and private, rarely seen locations. 

Chicago architecture reporter Blair Kamin named Lake Point Tower as a top 10 must see at this year's Open House ChicagoThe event boasts 250 locations.  Check out his top picks.  They include Chicago Architecture Center, Poetry Foundation, Charles Deering Library, Northwestern University and more.

Spertus Building 610 South Michigan, Chicago IL 60605
Two of my favorite downtown sites in the past were the Spertus Building and Roosevelt University, Auditorium Building. 




Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Sold! Lincoln Square classic house closes after multiple offers

Before going back on the market we worked with our sellers and contractors to make significant improvements to the home.
Every real estate transaction is different.  This classic Lincoln Square house at 5043 North Oakley, Chicago IL 60625 with inviting front porch closed last week after multiple purchase offers. Despite enthusiastic offers over list price we had trouble closing the deal.  After the first two deals did not close we advised our clients to make strategic repairs and improve the curb appeal.  The result was a selling price $5,000 over the $599,900 listing price!

In this case the home seller lived out of state.  The house was tenant occupied during the first attempt to sell.  After they moved out we compiled a list of projects based on the home inspections and evaluation by a trusted independent contractor (including some structural work). We quickly completed the improvements and deep cleaning by managing the project daily. We sold the home the first weekend back on the market and avoided a long vacancy for the sellers.

If you are buying or selling single family homes, condos or multi-units on the North Side of Chicago and surrounding suburbs please contact us. 

Report! DeVry University coming to Ravenswood/ Lincoln Square Sears development

The vintage former Sears store at 1900 West Lawrence (all photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)
The Chicago Tribune reports DeVry has signed a lease for a commercial space at the Ravenswood/ Lincoln Square Sears store re-development.  The stalled project has ramped up due to the signing and new construction loans.  The neighborhood will see 59 new residential units soon enough. The great location steps from Ravenswood Metra, grocery stores, fitness centers, breweries and more will be a hit.

A zoning variance for Binny's Beverage Depot was shot down by neighboring stakeholders for the commercial space in the past.  I think a vocational school marks a diverse offering to the community.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Wicker Park single family home sales, median price up 15% from 2016

The house to the right is an attractive renovation with a dormer.  The house on the right is being sold as a tear down and will most likely be developed into a house or get a variance for a three-flat.
A client of ours is looking to build a new house in Wicker Park.  It is a challenging task to first find a tear down property or vacant lot and then build within a reasonable budget. We have to make the numbers work.  Our client is also open to new construction by builders/developers but has not liked what she's seen in "speculation" houses. Let's take a look at Wicker Park and greater West Town single family home sales.

Wicker Park single family home sales January 1st to October 5th, 2018
56 single family homes have sold so far this year. The median price in the Wicker Park sales area is $1,230,000.  The highest priced sold home is 1753 West Wabansia, Chicago IL 60622 for $3,125,000.  The lowest priced sold house is 1620 West Blackhawk, Chicago IL 60622 for $609,000.

I've seen standard city lots in Wicker Park ("tear-down/ vacant lot properties around 25'x125) selling from $470K to $550K but they are rare.  Competition for a build-able lot is steep.

Wicker Park neighborhood sales area.
In 2016, 46 houses sold with a median price $1,075,000. Four years ago in 2014, 47 homes sold with a median price of $1,050,000. Median price has jumped 15% from 2016 to 2018.

Looking over West Town
West Town single family home sales January 1st to October 5th, 2018
167 West Town single family homes have sold this year with a median price of about $990,000. The highest sold home this year is still 1753 West Wabansia in Wicker Park, Chicago IL 60622 for $3,125,000. The lowest priced home sold in greater West Town is 2550 West Thomas, Chicago IL 60622 for $270,000.  The original brick single family home on a short city lot was sold for re-development. The house is conveniently located between The Empty Bottle and Humboldt Park.



Friday, October 05, 2018

The Original Pancake House survives in Gold Coast

We took this photo on the weird hot Wednesday morning this week.  Patio season in October!
Most native Chicagoans pine for old places they have gone to all their life.  It's so great to have something that never changes and plants you firmly in your city.  The Original Pancake House at tony 22 East Bellevue survives among swanky updates to the neighborhood since 1976. There are still lifer "real people" in Gold Coast and you can find them here! As we get older we make sure to stop in favorites around the city while doing business in great neighborhoods.

Talk about good real estate... About 36 condos have sold on East Bellevue over the last two years within a block of The Original Pancake House.  The median price for a condo is about $524,000 and the highest priced condo sold over 24 months is $2,850,000.   Three single family homes have sold within a block over the same time period from $1.8M to $7.5M.  

60 East Scott in Gold Coast has a boutique building feel near the lake. We loved listing and selling a unit here. 
We've sold many Gold Coast and Near North condos.  Contact us and we'll meet you at The Original Pancake House before showings!

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Quick look! North Center real estate sales 2018

Anecdotally speaking there were far less new homes actively under construction along my walk than in the past few seasons. Usually there are crews in the streets and torn up sidewalks on every North Center block.  Fewer construction sites, but activity was not totally absent! All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty.
I was in North Center last week to evaluate a couple properties owned by a landlord we work with. Here's a look at some of the real estate sales numbers for the North Center community area this year.

193 single family homes have sold from January 1st to September 30th this year.  The median price of a closed single family home is about $1,045,000.  The highest priced sold home is 3530 North Seeley in Roscoe Village for $2,650,000.   The double lot luxury custom home was built in 2011.  The lowest priced single family home to sell is 2458 West Berenice for $300,000 cash.  The original bungalow was torn down to build a new house (not sure if it is completed yet or if it will hit the open market). 

Last year over the same period 214 single family homes sold with a median price of $1,095,000.  In 2016, 180 homes sold with a median price of $1,050,000.  Going back five years to 2013, 209 single family homes sold with a median price about $880,000.  Sales and prices have leveled off the last three years after a large spike from around 2012 where median price was about $800,000. 



A rare row of intact multi-unit apartment buildings in North Center.
North Center is also infamous for the number of small multi-units (usually two-flats) that are bought and either converted to single family homes or torn down to build a new house.

57 small multi-unit buildings (two-four units) have sold  thus far in 2018 with a median price about $620,000.  Five years ago in 2013, 70 buildings sold with a median price of $575,000.

This year, 38 of those buildings are two flats with a median sales price of $560,000.
15 of the sale were three-flats with a median price of about $615,000.
4 sales were four unit buildings sold from $675,000 to $1,173,500.

There is a healthy stock of older original frame homes in the neighborhood.  Most will be re-developed when sold.  It rare in the neighborhood from someone to just buy an old home and live in it.  The market numbers just don't favor that type of purchase.
One of the first major, larger new construction condo developments in the early 2000s condo boom at the intersection of Lincoln and Damen Avenues.

318 condo units have sold from January 1st to September 30th this year.  The median price of a condo is about $430,000.  The highest sold condo unit this year is 3844 North Damen Unit 1 for $960,000.  The tricked out new construction duplex down is located in Bell school district.  In 2013, 314 condo units sold over the same period with a median price about $349,000.

Please contact us if you are looking to buy or sell North Center condos, houses or multi-units.