Thursday, December 07, 2017

Slight pause in skyrocketing Andersonville unit sales, median prices

A rare modern residential condo development at 1470 W Winona  nabs a big $650,000 sale in Andersonville (all photos Eric Rojas, Kale Realty).
A client of mine is thinking about selling her Andersonville condo in the spring market. Median price for a sold condo has increased 43% since she bought her large vintage unit in 2012. Great restaurants, bars and retailers continue to open. Uptown, Lincoln Square and Edgewater (areas within and surrounding Andersonville) are all pushing for their highest per sq/ft new construction prices. It has been a strong five years of growth for area real estate.

The Andersonville sales area roughly North Ashland to North Broadway and West Lawrence to West Bryn Mawr.
2017 Andersonville condo sales Jan 1st-Dec 1st

Unit sales and median price recoiled slightly this year. 99 condo units (attached homes, town houses) sold in the Andersonville sales area shown above.  The median price of a condo this year is about $345,000. Both unit sales and median price are down from 2016. The highest sale so far this year is $670,000 for a new construction condo at 4806 N Clark Unit 203.  Five unit sales have topped $600,000 so far this year.

142 units sold over the same Jan 1st- Dec 1st period in 2016 with a median price a hefty $375,000. At the top end 10 units sold for over $600,000.  From my analysis more higher-end new constructions units hit the market in 2016 than 2017 helping raise the median price. I also think we plateaued with re-sale prices by spring 2017. High asking prices slowed unit sales the rest of this year.

Things have changed quite a bit over the past 5 years. In 2012 about 64 condos sold in the highlighted sales area with a median price of $247,000.  The highest condo sale was $485,000 with only five condo units selling over $400,000.  The same period of  2011 saw 61 condo units sold with a median price of about $205,000.  11 months of 2016 unit sales (144) beat out 22 months over 2011-2012 combined (124).

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

We miss DNAinfo Chicago

Me with DNAinfo reporter/producer Patty Wetli and editors Andrew Hermann and Shamus Toomy
I was able to host a thank you party for our local DNAinfo Chicago reporter and producer Patty Wetli and associates a couple weeks ago. The hyper-local journal was suddenly shut down in November by its owner. We gathered at Empirical Brewery 1801 W Foster in Lincoln Square with friends who appreciated Patty's DNAinfo reporting. I personally owe a huge debt particularly to their real estate related reporting around the city.

Follow the former DNA journalists, editors and producers for their next chapter. These are just a handful of of folks who brought us the news we could use every day.

Our neighbor to the north: Evanston home sales

A classic Evanston home near the lake on Dempster.
We spent a couple days last week viewing homes in southeastern Evanston just east of Chicago Avenue and near Burnham Shores Park. The area of interest is in Nichols Middle School.  This is a relatively expensive area for single family homes with reason.  It's close to Metra, CTA, Lake Michigan beaches and parks, shops, dining, grocery stores, services and Northwestern University to boot!  

Let's take a look at overall Evanston single family home sales.

Views of the Northwestern campus from Burnham Shores Park.

Beautiful home on Hinman just east of Chicago Avenue shops, services and dining.
2017 Single Family Home Sales January 1st to November 30th
431 Evanston single family homes have closed thus far in 2017.  The median price of a closed house is a hefty $538,000.  The location and condition of a median priced house varies but you can expect "vintage farmhouse" in general. Closer to the lake you can bet on very vintage and expensive!

The highest closed price in Evanston this year is $2,800,000 for 1048 Forest Ave, Evanston IL 60202.  I happened to pass by the "10,000 sq/ft" Colonial style estate yesterday. It sits on a 2/3 acre lot in southeast Evanston two blocks from Burnham Shores Park. 

Over the same period in 2016, 458 single family homes closed with a median price of $515,500. Looking back to 2012 when the local housing market began to recover rapidly 403 single family houses closed with a median price of about $440,000.

We walked by the Evanston History Center on the way to a showing.
Currently 53 homes are under contract with a median asking price of $440,000.  That will bring the median price down a little by years end.  It is also a sign of buyers investing in lower end homes in traditionally lower priced pockets to renovate.  

116 Evanston homes are actively for sale on our MLS (

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Closing time! 706 Cynthia in Glendale Heights

Sold! 706 Cynthia Lane, Glendale Heights IL 60139
Congrats to our repeat clients who asked us to represent the sale of their mother's home in Glendale Heights We appreciate the sensitive nature of each client's situation and thankful to have their trust! After multiple offers and inspections a ready willing and able buyer came through.

Glamorous Realtor perks!
I attended the closing yesterday on behalf of the sellers in Arlington Heights.  We manage the process in person from the home evaluation to the closing. Plus, some title companies have great coffee and snacks!

2626 North Lakeview condo sales in Lincoln Park (median price $250,000)

2626 N Lakeview, Chicago IL 60614 is one our favorite resale buildings for location, price and amenity. It has a rooftop pool! Doorman! Fitness room! The area has a tony feel with elaborate architecture, high-end properties and pleasant walking paths along the park. Lake views can be had in most east facing units.

We've spent a good amount of time working with condo buyers in East Lincoln Park lately (Lincoln Park east of Halsted). The neighborhood is as popular than ever, there is development everywhere and prices have trended up for five years. In my opinion East Lincoln Park features several existing mid-rise and high-rise buildings offering more value than Gold Coast or Lakeview comparable homes. If you like expansive parks, tons of restaurant / bar options, nearby cultural events, services and the lake (!) at your doorstep East Lincoln Park is for you. 
2626 N Lakeview is just south of the West Diversey Parkway strip of bars, restaurants and services while overlooking leafy lakefront parks. It is also in the heart of North Clark Street shopping and dining a couple blocks west.
Sixteen units have closed in the building over the last twelve months. The median price of a closed unit is about $250,000.  Sold prices range from $150,000 for a studio to $545,000 for a three bedrooms, two and one-half baths unit (with fantastic views!).

Only one unit is currently under contract.  A studio unit #3010 is under contract as a rare short sale asking $159,900. Five units are currently under contract and five units are listed on MLS as rentals.

Live relatively cheap in East Lincoln Park steps from Diversey Harbor and any number of urban delights! Please contact us to purchase or sell your next Lincoln Park property.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

No real estate transfer stamps... no sale!

Our single family home listing at 706 Cynthia, Glendale Heights IL 60139 is closing next week.
Real estate transfer stamp programs can vary from city to city, village to village. The application process, cost and time line to get transfer stamps on a real estate sale are important details few sellers and buyers consider. However these small details can become costly and hold up a sale! We recommend hiring a local real estate attorney familiar with the various village requirements early on in the sale process.

We recently sold a house in Glendale Heights where all homes must pass a city inspection before the transfer stamp may be applied. An escrow amount in lieu of transfer stamps is held by the city until; 1) the seller cures the inspection violations or, 2) the buyer signs a disclosure (and pays the escrow) acknowledging they will cure the issues. This is a much different process in Chicago where no physical city inspection takes place as part of the real estate transfer.  

In Glendale Heights, a seller pays $3.00 per $1,000 of the sale price as a real estate transfer tax while Chicagoans also pays $3.00  per $1,000 (buyers pay $7.50 per $1,000!).

The more you know!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Re-sold for $3 million early this year, former Threshold's row house now Titanic renovation

A huge "stop and notice" row house on North Lakeview gets a gut renovation.  The impressive property will maintain it's vintage panache! (All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)
The Lincoln Park corner row house at 2700 N Lakeview at West Wrightwood most recently operated as a social services facility by Thresholds was re-sold for $3 million early this year.  2700 N Lakeview is the largest of four row homes built circa 1917 and designed by David Adler among others.  It is now an extensive gut renovation by a developer. Dennis Rodkin reported in 2015 the home was originally built for a survivor of the Titanic. In May, Ted Cox reported the new owner Foster Design Build planned either three large condos priced from $3.5M to $4.5M or one single residence priced up to $10M.

Two other row houses in the group have recent re-sales.  2704 N Lakeview was sold in 2016 for $1.8 million and is now under gut renovation by a private owner. 2708 N Lakeview had sold in 2013 for $2.65 million.

2704 N Lakeview , sold in 2016 for $1.8 million, looks over Lincoln Park.
The entrance to 2704 N Lakeview row house now under renovation by a private owner. It was listed at 8,800 sq/ft according to the listing on

2708 N Lakeview sold for $2.65 million in 2013
The row homes are located in a beautiful stretch of northeast Lincoln Park (across from the parks adjacent to the lakefront) near another iconic building.  The Elks National Memorial sits just north of the 2700 N Lakeview development.

Elks National Memorial 2750 N Lakeview, Chicago IL 60614
The four row homes are wonderful in their own right but much of the value is built into the location. Need a cocktail? Walk into the actual Lincoln Park and take a seat at the classy North Pond front bar. The life!

North Pond at 2610 N Cannon Drive, Chicago IL 60614 in the park.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Chicago Tree Project in Lincoln Park

Sculptures in the Chicago Tree Project located in Lincoln Park open field north of North Avenue (just before the snow!)
We've had a bit of a "bummer fall" season with the early first snow on November 10th (a birthday present to me!).  It feels like the heavy leaves just dropped early with little time to view the changing colors.

One of our favorite things about Lincoln Park is all the opportunity to stop and look at interesting things; architecture, new business and public art.  The Chicago Tree Project helps pick up the slack for the early bare trees, dying trees and those decimated by Emerald Ash Bore beetle. Supported in part by the Chicago Sculpture International these damaged trees remain in the landscape as sculpture.

We are continually impressed by the partnerships forged by the Chicago Park District in so many areas of sports, art and recreation.

Here is a great run down of many public art sites

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Making the goods at Lill Street Art Center, Ravenswood

Lill Street Art Center 4401 N Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, IL 60640
We've been all sports, sports, sports with our kids but my daughter's penchant for artistic endeavors could no longer be denied.  We enrolled our plucky eight year old in a pottery class at Lill Street Art Center in the Ravenswood area of Uptown. What a great experience it has been!

Hopefully she is making me a coffee cup! We can't wait to see her creations and enroll in more painting and pottery classes (after the winter basketball season of course).  Thanks to the Lill Street instructors for providing a terrific environment for our kids.

Lincoln Park single family home sales 2017, 83% sold over one million

Many million dollar homes have been built in the Wrightwood/ Lakewood area (old industrial train route) over the last five years as all of Lincoln Park, east and west, has filled in. Photo Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty.
A recent report cites Lincoln Park leading Chicago in million dollar property sales in the 3rd quarter of 2017. The rate of both residential and commercial tear downs in Lincoln Park may seem shocking. But the redevelopment payoff is big. Let's take a look at over-all Lincoln Park single family home sales as we near the end of 2017.

Single family home sales January 1st to November 10th
176 single family homes have been recorded closed from January 1st to November 10th according to MREDLLC.  The median price of a sold home is $1,565,000. Over the same period in 2012 (as the market was taking off) 164 single family homes closed with a median price around $1.2 million.

146 of those Lincoln Park single family home closings this year were $1 million dollars and over.  That edges out North Center which sold 140 single family homes $1 million dollars and over.

The highest Lincoln Park sale was 542 West Grant Place, Chicago IL 60614 for $7,200,000. 

With many impressive properties new and old it is not hard to imagine Lincoln Park leading the city in million dollar sales.