Saturday, November 22, 2014

Realtor at work: It's electric!

We are on a property inspection today in Sauganash for our buyer client.  We knew the original fuse box in this 1950s single family home would need updating at some point.  Although these panels can work properly and safely it may limit installing additional appliances.  One should also check with their home owners insurance to make sure the fuse box is properly covered.

North Center's new drive-through Starbucks

You now have a local option to never leave your car...just in time for winter.
I took a spin through the new North Center Starbuck's drive-through at 3636 N Western Avenue, Chicago IL 60618 early Sunday morning a couple weeks back.  The new retail development also featuring a Potbelly Sandwich shop opened about a month ago.  There are a few remaining retail stores available. It's a nice addition for the North Center homeowners just west of Western Avenue.

I was through the drive quickly (about 8:00am on my way to Oak Park for some house showings).  I would usually hit the Dunkin Donuts at Irving and Western traveling southbound on North Western Avenue. We'll see how this personal coffee conflict plays out.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

New Walgreens rise in tony Lincoln Park locations

Construction at the new Walgreens drugstore at 843 W Armitage, Chicago IL 60614 (Photos Eric Rojas, Bob DePalma, Brokers, Kale Realty)
Walgreens may not be sexy but they sure can secure sexy locations.  I've been working in the Sheffield and Armitage area of Lincoln Park over the past few weeks and snapped a photo of the new Walgreens construction at West Armitage and North Dayton.

We posted about the sale of the property- formerly a Baptist church.

The empty lot at Armitage and Dayton in January of this year.
We also noted another well located Walgreens opened earlier this year at 2500 North Clark Street, Chicago 60614.  The store moved into the vacated space left by the Lincoln Park Market.

Walgreens at 2500 N Clark Street, Lincoln Park, Chicago 60614
We often here these types of stores in the neighborhood are the "suburbanization" of the city.  However, we grew up with a Walgreens "down the street" in Chicago I think there is a more balanced affect on the higher priced neighborhoods. The store chain meets demand and has some street cred too.

Sauganash Chicago single family home sales: Unit sales lower, prices UP 12.5% in the 60646

We negotiated a single family home purchase in the Sauganash neighborhood this week. The re-locating client who works in Streeterville was tempted by the burbs but quickly discovered that commute is no bueno! She was interested in the Forest Glen community area.  The Forest Glen area and the Sauganash neighborhood are favorite places to research and represent home buyers. The area offers diverse homes and  price points in attractive neighborhoods.

The Sauganash neighborhood is filled with unique, character filled homes.  The winding and angled streets set the neighborhood apart from typical city grids.  The aesthetic is very pleasing.
Need or want to stay in the city? Lincoln Square and North Center single family homes have priced you out? Need a well rated public elementary school? No problem.  It's time to look in the Sauganash neighborhood.

Sauganash boundaries as mapped by Sauganash is bounded by Bryn Mawr Ave (5600 N) and C&NW tracks north to Devon Ave (6400 N), Pulaski Rd (4000 W) and C&NW tracks west to Cicero Ave (4800 W)
 Sauganash Single Family Home Sales January 1st to November 14th, 2013

63 single family homes closed in Sauganash so far this year with a median price of 12.5% at $480,000.  78 homes closed over the same period last year with a median price of $427,000.  Once again we see a case of lower unit sales in the tight inventory market of 2014 but higher median prices.

The lowest priced house sold this year is 6105 N Lowell, Chicago IL 60646 closed at $205,000. This small two bedroom bungalow was pretty original from the late 1950s but looked like you could just paint and actually move in.  A nice location in a very good school district for $205K!

The highest priced home sold thus far is 6141 N Lemont, Chicago IL 60646.  The sprawling executive ranch on a 124'x124' lot (!) sold for $915,000 in May. Interestingly the property was purchased by revered institution Misericordia Home.

For sale, under contract

22 homes are currently listed for sale in the Sauganash neighborhood. Listing prices range from $365,000 to about two million (the "lower end" priced homes are move in quality which makes this a good value neighborhood). 9 homes are priced under $500,000.

Eight homes are currently under contract.  Prices range from $249,000 to about $700,000.  The lower end homes in this range can also be moved in quality (not tear downs). 

The lowest home under contract is a short sale at 6330 N Kedvale, Chicago IL 60646 for $249,000.  The basic three bedrooms, two baths small brick bungalow is in good shape on a double wide lot (55"). I expect it will sell over the $250,000 asking price.  It appears to be a tangled up short sale process taking a long time to get sale approval from the lenders (this depresses the price).

Call us to stay in Chicago and widen your home search!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Oak Park single family home sales (south of I-290). Units down, median price up 12%

We've been in Oak Park showing houses the past couple weekends.  One client is looking for a "move up" house.  We represented them in the purchase of a house just over three years ago.  Two kids later - and with more purchasing power - they'd like to trade up.  A second group is looking for their first house and will move out of Chicago.

The quiet car-free streets of Oak Park on a weekend morning.  Oak Park has a "no overnight" parking ordinance.

Our client's current house is located in the Oak Park area south of I-290 (Eisenhower expressway).  Most of the houses we are looking at for a purchase reside in the southern area too. 

Oak Park sales south of I-290 between Austin and Harlem
Oak Park single family home sales January 1st to November 14th  (south of I-290)

85 single family homes traded hands so far this year. The median price is about $326,000 (up 12%  from last year). 110 units sold in 2013 over the same period. But median price was only $290,000. Oak Park is like many areas of the Chicago and the suburbs this year with low inventory (sometimes meaning lower unit sales) and higher prices.  

The highest sale price in 2014 is $685,672 for 1036 S Clinton Avenue, Oak Park IL 60304.  The fully gut renovated home on a double lot (50' wide) was originally sold as a foreclosure is 2013 for $252,000.

The lowest priced sale this year was $130,000 at 1173 S Ridgeland, Oak Park IL 60304.  The small stucco bungalow needs a complete renovation.

2014   85 homes sold with a median price of $326,000
2013   110 homes sold with a median price of $290,000
2012   72 homes closed with a median price of $289,000
2011   49 homes closed with a median price of $290,000
2010   54 homes closed with a median price of $300,000 (Federal First Time Home Buyers tax credit in effect)
2009   72 homes closed with a median price of $310,000 (Federal First Time Buyer credit in effect)

I always find myself in Oak Park in early and late winter months as clients plan their moves.  Photo Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
See you in Oak Park!

Photo: Icon, former Chicago Mayor Jane Byrne shuts down Michigan Avenue

A line of Chicago's finest stretches down North Michigan Avenue as far as the eye can see. One of those moments when you remember where you grew up and that you're part of something unique here in Chicago. Photos Bob DePalma, Broker, Kale Realty

Just now.  Headed to Streeterville to write a purchase offer with a client when we stopped to view former Chicago Mayor Jane Byrne's funeral procession down North Michigan Avenue.  The Chicago icon lived near East Chestnut and North Michigan

Only fitting we see a "Blues Brothers" like scene today.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Progress in Albany Park's development with "P-Streets"

StreetsBlog Chicago wrote a good piece about P-Streets and development in the 33rd Ward's portion of the Albany Park Community Area.

 Our client bought a twat o-flat 4517 N Sawyer Chicago, 60625 earlier this year for $375,000 in a multiple offer situation.  The property is in excellent condition and located just around the corner from the bustling Wilson and Kedzie Starbucks, the Kedzie CTA Brown Line stop, popular Noon-a-Kabob, Andy's Fruit Ranch and more.  The home is located just west of Ravenswood Manor and the river in Albany Park.

I've lived in Albany Park in the past and have written about buyers, listings and the market there from time to time. The eastern part of Albany Park around North Kedzie between West Montrose and West Lawrence had always, to me, a lot of development potential.  Start with the fact there are two CTA Brown Line stops at Kedzie and Kimball.  There is a lot of density with multi-units and the potential for many more housing units along Kedzie.

A long time Starbucks anchors the corner of Wilson and Kezie

Here is a list of five reasons to live in northeast Albany Park I wrote some time ago.  These and many other reasons remain the same.  With developments and designations such as P-Streets, long time business owners investing and the continual push in Chicago north and west for land to develop... this busy and diverse commercial area could see it's next bump in real estate values.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Video! Lincoln Park's landmark "Wrigley Mansion" is for sale again

The "Theurer-Wrigley House" at 2466 North Lakeview Avenue, Chicago 60614 in Lincoln Park, a designated Chicago landmark, is for sale again asking $8,695,000 (listed by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff). 

 Joe Zekas of takes a very interesting video tour of the the property back in 2011 that included an occupant of the house.  

At that time, the home was listed for sale for $9,500,000 from 2011 to 2012 A Lis Pending Foreclosure was recorded in 2011. The market has certainly improved since 2011 with Lincoln Park land and properties selling at record per square foot amounts according to some local builders. We wish a happy sale for a true Chicago treasure.

Home buying tips: Can you buy a Fannie Mae HomePath property?

The housing and financial crash of 2008 created difficult situations (hoops) for property owners, buyers, investors, sellers, lenders and real estate professionals (moi).  HomePath by the quasi-governmental agency Fannie Mae is basically a government program to help stabilize the housing crisis by quickly selling vacated homes (attained by foreclosure, deed in lieu of foreclosure or forfeiture).   Long story short on HomePath: The government owns the homes and enlists brokers to sell them.
Bottom line: HomePath has a national inventory of properties and you may buy them. The purchase process does not proceed like a "conventional" property sale. One of the best features is that home buyers looking for their primary residence get "First Look".  This allows you the opportunity to purchase a home you want to live in without the competition of investors looking to "flip" the house or rent it out.

As Real Estate Brokers Bob and I are experienced in consulting our clients on a strong, effective offers for HomePath properties.  We complete the cumbersome offer package quickly so your offer is considered. We immediately handle responses from the listing brokerage. Responses can go back and forth for some time.  Quick experienced actions will give you the edge in foreclosure purchases.

This long time deserted home in the Ravenswood neighborhood could end up on the roles of Fannie Mae and in the HomePath inventory one day.  It will sit until a bank or entity gets control of the home and lists it for sale.

HomePath properties are listed with real estate brokers on the local MLS just as all other listed properties.  There is no secret stash that you can buy.   I would send you these listings in the same manner as most homes.  However, you may also use the HomePath site to search their specific inventory.  This is helpful if you are interested in properties in other states or like to specifically deal with vacant homes and the "First Look" advantage.

We handle many different types of purchase scenarios.  Just ask!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Next stop... Gotham River

A friend just sent this photo at the Lawrence CTA Red Line stop at 1117 W. Lawrence Avenue, Chicago, IL 60640 in the Uptown neighborhood.

Check out more Batman v Superman photos at Curbed Chicago