Thursday, September 17, 2020

Openlands non-profit plants trees in Lincoln Square

Openlands plants a parkway tree on the 2400 block of West Winona. The last tree had been removed well over ten years ago.

 Openlands was spotted planting new parkway trees in Lincoln Square this morning. The non-profit has several programs including TreePlanters Grants. In this instance a long time neighbor organized the TreePlanters Grant project just west of Winnemac Park. We're very grateful he did as our area, like many, lost trees in the last serious storm.

Take the first step in organizing your tree planting day by visiting Openlands.

Monday, September 14, 2020

NEWS: Downtown condo supply up, "party house" crack down

Looking for a downtown condo?

Crain's Chicago Business reported at the end of August a 15 month supply of condos in the Lakeshore East area of #downtown and over 11 month supply of condos in popular #Streeterville. Meanwhile many North Side neighborhoods outside of downtown have less than a 3 month supply. A healthy balanced market is considered 4 to 5 month supply.

Many reasons are cited for high downtown supply... including large high-end new construction buildings delivering units, less necessity to live near offices, investor sell-off and real and perceived unrest. The question is how far and how long the dip will last. Story HERE

The party is over!

Chicago has a new Short Term Rental ordinance that cracks down on "party houses" and lowers fees for smaller host businesses. Two new rules include banning single night rentals and preventing listing the short-term rentals online prior to city approval.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Lincoln Square area multi-unit sales (2-4 unit buildings)

All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty

Small multi-unit buildings (2-4 units) have been the lifeblood of many North Side neighborhoods. In the early 1900s many multi-generational family members lived in the separate flats. The small multi-units then became popular vehicles for owner-operators (live in one and rent out the other units to the open leasing market).  Small multi-units evolved into a popular cottage industry for investors and landlords. 

Despite all the conversion activity to single family homes and tear downs small multi-units still remain an important housing stock in our communities. We'll be bringing a Lincoln Square three-flat to market this fall. Let's take a look at recent sales.

Lincoln Square Multi-Unit Sales (2-4 unit buildings)

From January 1st to September 9th 24 multi-unit buildings have closed in Lincoln Square Community Area. The median price of a closed multi-unit is about $630,000.  

-16 of the closings were 2-flats with a median closing price of $585,000

-6 were 3-flats with a median closed price of $710,000

-2 were 4-flats that sold for $582,000 and $630,000 (even with more units the buildings or locations were not as desirable thus the relatively lower median price). 

Over-all multi-unit sales are down by 13 units year to year. In 2019, 37 units closed over the same period with a median price of $670,000.  The pandemic most certainly affected multi-units particularly as it was more difficult to gain access and show properties with tenants. Coronavirus risks in the spring made many apprehensive to buy, list and allow showings in a property.  

Typical Lincoln Square multi-units

Lincoln Square, North Center and Uptown Multi-unit Sales

In the three popular North Side neighboring markets of Lincoln Square, North Center and Uptown 78 multi-units sold from January 1st to September 9th, 2020. The median price of a sold building for these three areas is $630,000. Sales are down 32 units in these combine neighborhoods. In 2019, 110 multi-units sold with a median price of $652,000. 

Tuesday, September 01, 2020

National sales numbers rebound, Chicago matches July 2019


Unit sales rebounded nationally and in Chicago to either equal levels or up over 2019. (All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)

In February of this year some clients and real estate experts were sounding the alarm about the coronavirus.  I was having conversations about potential impact when selling in the spring market. "If I buy a house will I be able to sell my existing condo?".  Then we went full pandemic in March with shelter in place orders. Something most of us never saw coming or even fathomed. Yet, clients and brokers still had to make decisions. Some bought and sold, some sat out. Here's how some of the sales numbers have panned out.  

The National Association of Realtors reports sales numbers have been resilient despite the pandemic and civil unrest. NAR's Chief Economist suggests "homes sales will be down only 2% - 4% at years end". Some year over year stats:

-National home sales are currently up about 10% year to year 

-Inventory is down about 20%

-Current mortgage applications are up 27% year to year suggesting we may be stable the rest of the year.

June and July were very active for our personal business. Chicago prices held strong through the worst pandemic months and July sales matched 2019.

Meanwhile in the Chicago metro area unit "sales in the nine-county metropolitan area were up 12 percent in July from the same month a year ago" according to Crain's Chicago Business analysis of sales numbers by The Illinois Association of Realtors.

In Chicago, "2,725 homes sold in July, up 0.6 percent from July 2019, or essentially flat. The previous three months’ sales declines were sharper than in the metro area: 20.8 percent in April, 42.6 percent in May and 27.6 percent in June." Ouch.  However, Chicago sales median price is up about 7.5% over July 2019.

It appears the Chicago suburbs did see a spike of activity from those seeking more space for their new "work-at-home, school-at-home" life. 

Monday, August 31, 2020

Sold! Buyer clients trade the city for Hinsdale (sales are up)

609 Grant, Hinsdale IL 60521 on the morning walk-through before closing. 

Our long time clients recently closed on a classic Hinsdale single family home. After eight years owning in the South Loop it was their time to enjoy a little more space, a yard and home maintenance 😂 609 Grant was listed for $649,900 and our clients closed for $635,000 with additional closing cost considerations. The $635,000 range is a value for the neighborhood while our clients got everything on their wish list; ensuite bathroom in main bedroom, big yard and deck, two car garage, finished basement and main floor guest bedroom for their growing family! 

Hinsdale home sales in 2020

Hinsdale homes sale units and median price are up a bit over 2019. So far this year 213 homes have been recorded as sold from January 1st to August 28th.  The median price of a closed house is $930,000.  Over the same period in 2019 about 200 homes sold with a median price of $900,000. The pandemic boost some are writing about may be in play.   

We hate to see some of our clients leave the city but we are always excited to help them find their suburban homes. We bring the same resources and care to the suburban house as we do in the city!

Friday, August 28, 2020

Under contract! South Loop condo sells fast with multiple offers (and peek at South Loop sales)


I look forward to high-rise life when I'm an empty nester! South Loop is a popular destination for those that want to experience Chicago's cultural amenities and lakefront. (All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty and

Our latest listing at 1101 South State is under contract after multiple offers. The building features amenities including 24/hr door staff, outdoor pool, garage parking, event room and sun deck. The location is on the doorstep of Chicago's Museum Campus

Check out the quick walk-through, photos and more info of Unit 2102 HERE.

The views from our latest listing at 1101 S State Street, Unit 2102, Chicago IL 60605 

South Loop condo sales January 1st and August 27th, 2020

South Loop is dominated by high-rise buildings.  Considering the nature of the coronavirus pandemic it is interesting to see how attractive the high-rise condo market has been this year. 405 condo (attached units and attached town houses) have sold thus far in 2020. The median price of a sold condo is about $380,000. Unit sales are down year to year by 18% while median price was about even. In 2019 over the same period 495 condo units sold with a median price of about $372,500. I think many would have predicted a worse outcome when the shelter in place order went into effect.  

Fun Fact: 1201 S Prairie Unit 5301 is the highest priced sold condo at $1,620,000. The lowest priced sold condo is 345 East Eastgate Place Unit 305 for $125,000.

Pool life! 1101 S State along with several other South Loop buildings offer the amenity lifestyle in a central location. 

After a spring pause the Chicago market had a hot June and July despite the pandemic. Early this year I was predicting a relatively slow fall due the upcoming national election. I think the recent civil unrest, lingering pandemic and the election will ultimately hamper over-all unit transactions for the remainder of the year.   

Monday, August 17, 2020

Video! South Loop condo near Museum Campus, great views $309,900, garage parking $25K

Willis Tower and lake views from your South Loop condo (all photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty and

Take a real, down to earth walk-through of 1101 South State - Unit 2102 to get a feel of the condo and surrounding area.  I like to take these casual videos to help buyers view a unit before the live showing. This South Loop high-rise building offers a terrific lifestyle no matter your needs. Close to work? Check! Empty nester? Check! Need to entertain the kids? Check! Parking?? We got it! Enjoy the cultural center of Chicago outside your door.

 Click HERE for the video walk through

Check out the views! Centrally located South Loop two bedrooms, two baths condo steps from the lake front listed at $309,900. Deeded garage parking $25K! Enjoy the city life surrounded by Chicago's cultural HQ. With new appliances, newer floors and freshly painted this unit is well kept and move-in ready. Willis Tower and lake views from the private walk-out balcony. Spacious main bedroom with en-suite bathroom and organized walk-in closet. Bright 2nd bedroom and guest bath right across the hall. In-unit full size washer and dryer! Storage cage included. 

Amenity building features gorgeous outdoor pool and sun deck, 24/hr door staff, party room, guest suite and dog run (woof!). Formula Fitness Club on site! Assessment includes Heat, Air Conditioning, Water, Gas, Common Insurance, Doorman, TV/Cable, Pool, Exterior Maintenance, Lawn Care, Scavenger, Snow Removal, Wi-Fi, Internet Access. Steps to the world class museum campus, Soldier Field, Grant Park festivities, endless shopping and dining (Trader Joe's, Jewel, Starbucks a few minutes walk) and the Loop business district. Two blocks from CTA Red Line and Michigan Ave! Walk outside to stunning architecture, lakefront parks and 24/7 entertainment and services outside your door!

Amazing amenities, restaurants and parks steps from your door. 

1101 South State, Unit 2101, Chicago IL 60605 asking $309,900 plus $25,000 for deeded parking.

Exclusively listed by Eric Rojas, Kale Realty, 2447 N Ashland, Chicago IL 606014 - - 312-939-5253

Friday, August 14, 2020

Near North Chicago condo sales

Gold Coast and Streeterville high-rise condos fuel Near North Side sales. Being close to the lake front, dining and shopping is the name of the game. (All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty) 
We're back in the Near North Side Community Area with new listings and buyer clients. Near North is home to famous neighborhoods such as Gold Coast, Old Town and Streeterville. It's a fantastic area to enjoy the high-rise life. Near North is also home to many mid-rise and smaller walk-up vintage buildings.  A spattering of expensive single family homes grace Old Town and Gold Coast. But make no mistake: condos dominate Near North.

Near North Condo Sales 2020 (Jan 1st - Aug 7th)

About 1149 condos have sold in the Near North Community Area from January 1st to August 7th. The median price of a sold condo is about $410,000. 

High Rise Units (50+ units in a building) accounted for 959 of the sales with a median price of about $355,000. Condo buildings with 2-49 units accounted for 190 sales with a median price of about $567,000. Large condos in smaller buildings sell for a premium in Near North. 

Thursday, August 13, 2020

New For Sale! Gold Coast condo with gorgeous views $339,900

1360 N Sandburg Unit 2401 is all about the views! All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty and
Check out our new listing in the Gold Coast at iconic Sandburg Village. Spacious and bright 1360 N Sandburg Terrace Unit 2401 features two beds, two baths and large balcony.  There is no shortage of sun and views from this inviting home! Check on the 3D virtual tour!

Take a quick video walk-through HERE!

Chic, airy apartment that feels like a real home. Features include:

Sophisticated Old Town two bedrooms, two bathrooms corner condo with mesmerizing lake views. The 24th floor home features truly spacious rooms and large balcony with 180 degree views of the lake and city. Updated and artful this apartment sings city living! 

True entry foyer with space for your everyday essentials. Original refinished parquet floors grace the bright airy living room. Massive built-in bookshelf for your collections. Smart layout allows for various furniture arrangements and a true dining area. Updated and refreshed kitchen is fully equipped with dishwasher and stainless appliances. Two large bedrooms are split to opposite sides of the apartment with updated bathrooms located outside each door. Views from every room! 


Cummings House in Sandburg Village enjoys DirectTV, WiFi, water, heat, professional door staff, elevators and management on site included in the assessment. Exclusive members only two huge pools, tennis court and Fitness Formula Club steps from your door for reduced resident fees. Laundry in building with refillable rate card, package receiving room, bike room, storage cage, garage parking ($165/mth), common roof deck and dry cleaner. Pet friendly! Attentive condo building management and well cared for common areas. 

World class location in the middle of all that Gold Coast and Old Town have to offer. Minutes to downtown via three bus lines, Division Red Line two blocks away or easy access to Lake Shore Drive. Steps to two grocery stores, Oak Street and North Avenue Beaches and lakefront paths. Float above the city in this classy, quiet and convenient home.

1360 N Sandburg Terrace Unit 2401, Chicago IL 60610 asking $339,900

Exclusively listed by Eric Rojas, Kale Realty 2447 N Ashland, Chicago IL 60614 

PH: 312-939-5253 -

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Supporting Northeastern Illinois University students through scholarships

My group had another great time playing and sponsoring NEIU Chuck Kane Scholarship Golf Event yesterday (quickly distancing after the photo!). Special thanks to Steve Dunnett, Blueleaf Lending and Nick Patterson, Owner, Kale Realty for joining me as Welcome Kit Sponsors.

It's been a long five months! Despite some challenges Northeastern Illinois University was able to pull off their 48th Annual Chuck Kane Scholarship Golf Event. There was little gathering together at the sold out event but we all enjoyed seeing a few familiar faces as we made our way to the course. The university staff and Wilmette Golf Club were terrific hosts making for a very welcomed round!

Not the best approach position of the day but we pulled it out!

Thank you  Steve Dunnett, Blueleaf Lending and Nick Patterson, Owner, Kale Realty  for once again joining me as Welcome Kit Sponsor. Additional thanks to Dr. Peter Schulz, North Michigan Avenue Chiropractic , the official chiropractor of Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty for joining us this year!

The event was successful in raising funds for the Chuck Kane Scholarship and many other much needed scholarships providing opportunities for hard working Northeastern Illinois students. NEIU is a fantastic university value right here on the North Side of the city.  Please support their efforts by donating to the general scholarship fund here! You may also designate your donation to the Alumni Travel Study Scholarship established by me and two alumni awarded to current students wishing to participate in study abroad programs. Thank you!