Friday, February 05, 2016

That was fast: New Lincoln Square house construction on Carmen

New construction single family home at 2242 West Carmen (photo Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)
I noted the old frame house at 2242 West Carmen, Chicago 60625 was sold recently for $385,000 and quickly torn down on December 15th.  The mild winter has been a boon for new house construction and this project has moved really quickly.

There are a good five homes in construction process near Winnemac Park but not listed in the MLS. A couple on North Oakley are definitely speculation homes for sale at $950,000 for a gut rehab and $1.2M for a new construction house (according to broker off market advertising).  A couple could be private builds.

Looks to be a nice addition to the street.
We could see as many as 15 new construction houses deliver within a couple blocks of Winnemac Park this year.

FHA loans cheaper... you buying?

North Center Chicago (Photo Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)

We have personally seen less FHA loans used by our buyers and those buying our listings over the last few years.  Tighter credit restrictions and cheaper conventional loans made FHA less attractive.  We also had a larger average transaction price over the past few years.  Bloomberg is reporting first time buyers and those with past credit issues (short sales) are being helped by FHA loans again in increasing numbers. 

Renters Buying Again as U.S. Starter-Home Financing Gets Cheaper

In 2010 we chose an FHA loan to hold on to more cash for immediate home renovations.  We have since refinanced into a conventional. I have worked on all my loans with Steve Dunnet of Blueleaf Lending SDUNNETT@BLUELEAFLENDING.COM

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Fire, intrigue and FBI oh my! Noble Horse Theater update in Old Town

The Noble Horse Theater building 1410 N Orleans Street 60610 back in 2014 (Photo Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty). has an update today on the former Noble Horse property in Old Town.  The desirable location has had developer purchase offers and development plans for some time.  However, an arson investigation continues with the FBI offering a $10,000 reward for information.  It's a lucrative location for mixed use development that, until the fire, still had two small horse carriage companies leasing the property.
Google map image of the property at North Orleans Street and West Schiller Street (Google Maps)
Here are a few more photos and info about the property from September 2014.

Old Town Sales
11 single family homes have sold in Old Town in the last twelve months with a median price of $1,350,000. 137 attached units (condo, town house) sold in the last twelve months with a median price about $440,000 (excluding LaSalle high-rise units). Stats culled and reported from

Speedline Auto Repair in Bowmanville: Oil change and tamales!

I love giving a shout out to Speedline Auto Repair at 5250 N. Damen, Chicago, IL 60625 in the Bowmanville neighborhood. The best. Yesterday, I dropped off the Routan van (not to be confused with Wu-Tang Clan) for an oil change and check of the breaks.  Ron brought me back for some tamales.  

I had a chicken and a jalapeno.
That's the #ChicagoWay

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

For Sale! Vacant lot in North Center, Coonley school district $299,000

Watch the video

1801 W Cuyler Vacant Land For Sale $299,000
Approximately 17.5' wide by 124' long
 Exclusively listed by Eric Rojas, Kale Realty
542 W Roosevelt Road Chicago, IL 60607
1801 West Cuyler, Chicago IL 60613 looking south (Photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty) satellite image
  • North Center neighborhood
  • Current zoning RT3.5 
  • Survey and house plans available 
  • Coonley elementary school district
  • Unique urban area steps from CTA Irving Park Brown Line train, tons of businesses and adjacent to many new construction single family homes
  • Begyle brewery across the street... very convenient
  • Corner lot with full east and south exposure, great sunlight for gardening
Great opportunity to build a home out of the pages of Dwell magazine

Looking south
Nice view of the Deagan building clock tower

Monday, February 01, 2016

Video! Tour 3633 N Damen #3 in North Center, Roscoe Village for sale at affordable $219,000

For Sale 3633 N Damen Avenue #3
Chicago IL 60618 offered at $219,000

Check out the video tour of our listing at 3633 N Damen #3 in North Center near Roscoe Village and the Addison Brown Line.  Great location for fun, services and downtown work commute at a very affordable price.

North Center, Roscoe Village top floor corner condo. Great value for two bedrooms, one bathroom unit near all the action. Bright, freshly painted home, entry foyer with huge closet. Updated maple and granite kitchen with pantry! Second bedroom with French door currently used as dining area (closet removed). Small deck off kitchen for grilling, newer back stairs to common backyard. 

Radiant heat included in assessment. Updated wall built-in Air Conditioners. Unit includes basement storage room, common yard, exercise room, bike storage and FREE LAUNDRY IN BUILDING. Walk to Trader Joe's, Roscoe Village restaurants, CTA Brown Line, Wrigley Field (for a World Series?!). Super hot North Center in desirable Audubon Elementary School district. Assessment also includes cable, snow removal, common insurance and regular building maintenance.

Exclusively listed by Eric Rojas, Kale Realty
542 W Roosevelt Road Chicago, IL 60607
Call Eric only. PH:773-510-1597
Pre-approved buyers please.

Land grab! Former Lincoln Square produce market at Western and Winona under contract

5131 N Western Avenue in Lincoln Square.  The former produce market property has been in flux for many years. Most recently a small retail building was under renovation and ultimately had to be torn down. (All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty).
5131 N Western Ave , Chicago, Illinois 60625 is shown under contract in the MLS ( with an asking price of $475,000.  The approximately 60' x 102 lot has been an eyesore to the desirable residential area just to the east.  This 5100 block of North Western  Avenue near West Foster Avenue has seen less development than many blocks just a bit south. I'd like to see a condo or rental apartment development to increase housing options and continue the areas positive growth. Rentals are probably unlikely due to the smaller number of units that could be built.

Median price of a single family home within four blocks radius of this property is about $680,000.  Median condo price is about $260,000 and median rent price for an attached unit is roughly $1,400 per month. Sales and rent numbers approximates from data.

Corner of North Western and West Winona (Winona is one way west feeding onto North Western Avenue).
 The property allows for many uses.  It could conceivably be offices, a car lot, auto repair shop, small strip mall etc... Considering Western has many commercial buildings (including said auto related businesses) I feel we can use more residential units built upward. I could see mixed use (condos and retail on the ground floor).  Maybe some sort of town house or row house configuration could work facing Winona with a garage on the east side of the lot.

It remains to be seen if the property will close and what it will become.  However thoughtful mixed use or strictly residential would be a big improvement. There are very few residential vacancies in this location.  Home, condo and apartment units are at relatively low inventory.

Friday, January 29, 2016

$4-$9 million dollar Lincoln Park high-end homes replace former DePaul theater building

The corner house at 2135 N Kenmore is listed in the MLS for $8.9 million.
I was in the Lincoln Park/ DePaul neighborhood for showings early this week and took a few photos of this significant development.  The six lot parcel of high-end single family homes on the 2100 block of North Kenmore in Lincoln Park takes the place of the old DePaul theater building.  The houses are listed on the MLS from $4.4 million to $8.9 million (at 2135 N Kenmore Ave, Chicago, 60614). A long time Lincoln Park luxury developer Environs is building the homes. street view of old DePaul University theater building in 2014.
Original buildings adjacent to the south of the development on the 2100 block of North Kenmore.
The DePaul neighborhood is a mix of these new homes and stretches of original buildings with great architecture. Not pictured here, but the 2000-2200 blocks of North Clinton are particularly vintage.  Over the last two years on the 2100 Block of North Kenmore 3 condos have sold from $250,000 to $450,000.  Two attractive vintage 3-flat buildings have sold for $1.2 and 1.43 million, a standard vacant lot of 25'x124' sold for $1.25 million and one resale single family home built in 2004 sold for $2.85 million cash.

New batch of high-end "speculation" homes in DePaul / Sheffield Neighbors area of Lincoln Park.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Chicago's Jefferson Township Property Tax Appeal Deadline Feb 2nd

40th Ward | Alderman Patrick O'Connor
Dear Neighbor,

Commissioner Bridget Gainer’s staff will be on hand at our office on Thursday, January 28, between 9 - 11 am  to assist residents with their Jefferson Township property tax appeal. Owners have until February 2, 2016, to appeal their assessment with the Cook County Board of Review either online or in person.

Our service office is located at 5850 N. Lincoln Ave. Please feel free to call us with any questions you may have at 773-769-1140.


Ald. Pat O'Connor

LINK to Cook County Board of Review


Copyright © 2016 The Daily Gazet | The 40th Ward, All rights reserved.

Mural at 925 W Diversey in Lincoln Park

View of the mural at Holy Covenant Methodist Church at 925 West Diversey (at North Wilton side of building) from the Diversey Brown line platform. I've looked at this painting for many many years and it's the first time I took a picture.  Public art and murals are part of the diverse city aesthetic but also can be economically beneficial.