Thursday, December 18, 2014

Quirky Edgewater drinking hole on Ravenswood now new condos

Remember the Ravenswood Pub? In leaner and looser years I could be found there with some friends playing pool, throwing darts and eating free Sloppy Joes during Sunday football in the VFW style bar.
The old Ravenswood Pub located at 5455 N Ravenswood Avenue Chicago, IL 60640 in Edgewater closed in 2012. Condos rise on the property.  There goes the neighborhood!
I took this photo above for the many mates who have sat around the circle bar at Ravenswood Pub in the late 90s and early 2000s.  The old one story frame structure was torn down making way for the ubiquitous red brick six unit condo building currently being built.  I don't see a listing for the homes on or off the MLS as of yet.  However, the "West Andersonville" location is very popular and new condos here will be in demand.

The Ravenswood Pub, image from Google Maps

The property adjacent to the south looks poised to be "Phase II" of the development.  About 9 attached units have sold from 5200 North Ravenswood to 5600 North Ravenswood over the last two years with a median price of only $250,000. However, all the units were smaller, older re-sale units.  The new construction two beds/ two baths should sell over the $400,000 range.

New construction condos make big street impact on North Damen in Ravenswood

Newly completed condo buildings on the 4800 block of North Damen complete a contiguous street wall. Photo Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
Although I pass this stretch of Damen several times a week I finally stopped and really took a good look at the street impact of the nearly completed new construction.  The 4800 block of North Damen was once home to sprawling dilapidated one story strip retail and then 6 vacant over-sized City lots.  A series of larger condo construction started along the block around the early 2000s including the CVS/ condo building at Lawrence and Damen completed in 2005

4835-4845 N Damen condos shown above are the most recent large development completed on the block. The condos filled in a major vacant eye sore in what's been a booming location for property values and construction.

The six lots sat vacant for roughly 7 years in the otherwise established neighborhood.

Directly across the street two new construction three unit condo buildings (4834 - 4836 North Damen) have also been built.  The first sold out pre-construction.  Unit 2 (three bedrooms, two baths) at 4836 North Damen, Chicago IL 60625 is listed for sale at $499,900 on the MLS.  The identical Unit 2 at 4834 North Damen Chicago IL 606025 was sold in July at $500,763.

4834 - 4836 N Damen development (photo Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty).

Monday, December 15, 2014

First time buyer: Meeting HUD consultant for FHA 203k loans

Our clients are interested in purchasing a house that needs renovations.  They'd like to use an FHA 203k renovation loan and sought the services of a 203k consultant.

Sorry, this has got to go!
 Last week we met at the prospective house with Dominic Valenti an FHA HUD Consultant & 203k certified contractor.  The consultant felt the scope of the renovation needed and the construction budget the buyers could borrow using the FHA 203k loan were compatible. He helps the client manage the process of working with a certified contractor and the FHA lender (preparing the required documentation to each party and process involved).

 My role was to basically gauge what renovations would make sense for this particular market considering their budget.  The first time home buyers have a very realistic view of what would be in store should they move ahead with a purchasing the home using a 203k renovation loan.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Under Contract! Huge Ravenswood three bedrooms duplex

Our latest listing has gone under contract in less than a week.  1949 W Foster #1, Chicago IL 60640 is a short-sale that had been on the market for some time.  Two buyers backed out previously for reasons no fault of the sellers or lender.  However, the unit needed work to secure a solid motivated buyer who would close this deal.

Professionally painted! Bright living and dining spaces on the main floor.
 The home was in over-all good condition but needed a paint job to really show well. The condo had multiple colors that were painted many years ago.  There were some minor repair patches and dings left behind.  We chose a modern off-white color to be painted throughout the entire home.  The one contiguous color brightened the home and makes it seem even more spacious.  It looks new and fresh rather than tired and distressed.

A huge family room offers very flexible living space.
The kitchen had a dark color previously that made it look more separated from the living areas.  We used the same light color to open up the space and get better flow to the living room.
We this was a solid market price purchase offer with a buyer able to close the deal.  The home purchase offer was executed by the sellers and is now with the seller's lender.  The seller's attorney and the lender now have to negotiate the final terms if a sale will happen.

If you may need to short sell your house or looking to buy a home please contact us.  We can evaluate the situation and help you move forward with a plan.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Nothing to see in West Loop with skimpy holiday inventory

Photo in the West Loop, Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
We have a first time buyer client who wants to jump on a great place in the heart of West Loop  priced up to $500,000. Outdoor space is key.  A couple sharp units came on and sold quickly over the past couple months that had extraordinary terraces. For example, 1260 W Washington #701, Chicago IL 60607 just went under contract. We need something like that!

Our client wants to stay in the hot, hot area of Lake Street to 290 (furthest south) and 90/94 to North Ashland on the west. Map generated by Eric Rojas, Kale Realty using
 These quick sales lit a fire under our client.  However there is ridiculously low inventory for two-three bedrooms condos with parking from $400,000 to $525,000 at the moment.  Only four units are for sale that fit this pretty broad criteria! Non have outdoor space greater than a fairly standard 5x12 balcony. Eight units are currently under contract in these boundaries. 

Even though inventory is low a good place can hit the market at any time. After a little market education our client is now better prepared to move quickly.

Seen in Edgebrook: You've got mail!

Sustainable mailbox. Reuse as shopping tote.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Forest Glen single home sales: Steady rise of median price since 2010

Homes in the Edgebrook neighborhood of greater Forest Glen (All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty).
Despite the December holiday season in full swing real estate activity forges ahead.  We have been working with another client in the greater Forest Glen community area.  They'd like to buy a house in the Edgebrook or Sauganash neighborhoods of Forest Glen.

The Edgebrook and Sauganash neighborhoods are serviced by two desirable name sake elementary schools; Edgebrook Elementary and Sauganash Elementary. Wildwood Elementary is another well rated and popular school that services the southwest area of Forest Glen.

 Forest Glen single family home sales January 1st to December 10th, 2014

203 homes have sold in Forest Glen by December 10th in 2014. Median price for a house is about $407,500. Unit sales for houses area are off last year's 248 units sold same period 2013.  However, median price ticked up slightly.  This mirrors many Chicago neighborhoods that showed tighter inventory and steady or increased median prices.

The lowest sold house is 5034 W Carmen, Chicago 60630 for $156,100 cash in a foreclosure sale. The small frame home may be a tear down or complete gut rehab.  The house is located in a small pocket of Forest Glen near West Foster and North Cicero close to the Jefferson Park area.

The highest sale this  year is 6141 N Lemont, Chicago 60646 for $915,000 in the Sauganash neighborhood. The large ranch home on a huge 125'x124' lot was purchased by Misericordia Home.

Homes in the Sauganash neighborhood of greater Forest Glen
Same period single family home sales 2009-2014
2014   203 homes sold with a median price $407,500
2013   248 homes sold with a median price $403,000
2012   177 homes sold with a median price $385,000
2011   137 homes sold with a median price $350,000
2010   131 homes sold with a median price $377,000 (Federal First Time Buyer stimulus package helped higher unit sales and higher median prices)
2009   128 homes sold with a median price $397,000

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

What's up with the Smart Home at Museum of Science and Industry?

I snapped this photo of the former Smart Home exhibit last week at the Museum of Science and Industry 5700 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60637 (all photos Eric Rojas, Broker at Kale Realty)
The Smart Home exhibit (pictured above) at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago was a popular attraction from roughly May 2008 to January 2013.  It has been closed since. After taking this photo I wondered if the exhibit will open again and what might happen to the house otherwise.

I received an email response from the Museum stating there are "no current plans to reactivate the Smart Home exhibit".  We'll wait and see the fate of the Smart Home.  In the meantime here's an interesting story on the Smart Home written in 2012 from Lake Shore Magazine.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Under contract! Buyer client nabs Sauganash split-level asking $365,000

Cute as a button split level at 5846 N Kingsdale offers large kitchen, three bedrooms up and a finished lower level family room with walk-out to the yard.
Happy Holidays indeed!

I wrote a couple weeks ago on searching for homes in Sauganash and recent sales numbers.  Our client made a quick move on a nice maintained split level at 5846 N Kingsdale, Chicago IL 60646 in the Sauganash neighborhood of greater Forest Glen. The home was clean, well decorated and showed great.  The property seller had just lowered the price to the very reasonable $365,000. This was an attractive price range for a move-in quality three bedroom home on a picturesque Sauganash block.

Sauganash neighborhood map generated by
The winding wooded streets offer great aesthetic in the long popular neighborhood. The Sauganash lifestyle is relaxed.  The neighbors ban together with the Sauganash Community Association and enjoys nature at parks and the Sauganash Trail.  A Whole Foods Market serves the neighborhood at 6020 N Cicero, Chicago IL 60646.
Parents enjoy a desirable, well rated neighborhood school Sauganash Elementary.
Great block!
The home purchase is out of physical inspection and attorney review.  We await closing in the New Year.  Congrats to our buyer client for a great find!  If you are looking or selling a home on the North and Northwest sides call us!

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Video! Huge Ravenswood, Lincoln Square duplex condo offered as short-sale $299,900

Take our video walk-through of our new listing at 1949 W Foster #1 in Ravenswood. The large three bedrooms, two baths home has just been painted and shows great. Parking, interior storage, laundry room, central air/ heat, flexible floor plan and nice deck. The home is priced low for a short-sale at $299,900.

Bright living and dining combo with good sized deck off the living space.
Kitchen with eat-in or island area.  Breakfast bar opens to living room.  Additional outdoor space is off the kitchen.
Modern kitchen
Fantastic lower level with bedroom, family room, laundry room, office or play area and interior storage room.
Lower bedroom with organized closet.
Bright bedrooms

Nice front deck off the living area.
The condo is located in the booming Ravenswood neighborhood of Lincoln Square.  It's a short four block walk to the heart of awesome Andersonville dining and shopping.  The home sits between two major grocery stores including the uber-popular new Mariano's and LA Fitness development.

Easy walk to the hottest Andersonville dining like Hop Leaf
My wife and I (and now our family) have now lived in this location for 10 years.  Housing here is a great value. There is a ridiculous amount of things to do for all ages. Shopping, dining, parking, groceries, public transportation, great parks and schools are all convenient.  

1949 W Foster #1 is huge finished space in this neighborhood for the money.  The seller has lender approval for short sale. Response times are good for solid offers.

Storage and laundry rooms!