Sunday, February 05, 2006

Reflections on Hyde Park

I spent Saturday previewing condos in Hyde Park. The south side neighborhood is roughly located between 51st Street through 61st Street north to south and is bordered by Lake Michigan at the east and Washington Park on the west. Recently, several clients had expressed interest in the area due to the attractive prices and proximity to the University of Chicago main campus. So, a field trip was in order to make sure I was on top of things in this historic neighborhood. I was pleased with my re-acquaintance.

If you are unfamiliar with the area you are best served by surfing existing, excellent descriptions of Hyde Park- so I won't spend much time here discussing its history and evolution. My favorite site for a concise description and useful links is at Wikipedia:,_Chicago
Or go to the Hyde Park Herald for news and local events updates at
And of course there are many great and relevant student articles to be found

There are many varieties of living spaces in Hyde Park. Condo stock is good and competitive, making this a place to be aggressive in negotiation in order to find a bargain purchase.

First and foremost, there is an abundance of large, vintage condos on the market. For instance, I inspected a 1400 sq/Ft, 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo listed at $259, 000 with parking. This came out to only $185 per sq/Ft! It was steps from the U. of C. campus on one of the most beautiful streets I have seen in the city. This unit definitely needed some work, but for the price and location, it could be modernized and still be a bargain. There are many of these opportunities for vintage units-many in move in condition.

I also found newer construction, modern living spaces for very low prices. One particular loft building had great layouts and prices under $230K for 2 bed, 1 bath units at about 1050 sq/Ft. The assessments can look high, but with garage parking, gleaming wood floors, modern kitchens, elevators, gorgeous foyer, exercise room, and concrete construction for terrific insulation-your monthly payment is a bargain. Again, you located only blocks from U. of C. and 20 minutes to downtown.

There is also the full amenity "highrise on the lake" option if this suits your tastes.

Hyde park is dominated by a long standing local population and the University of Chicago. These are both pleasant aspects. The architecture and homes are breathtaking. It also has it's own quaint main drag, full of bookstores, restaurants, shopping and conveniences. It is truly a desirable place to walk and ride a bike rather than drive.

I'll be in Hyde Park quite a bit in the near future. It has become one of my favorite neighborhoods to recommend for first time buyers and current home owners looking for a change. Hyde Park definitely has a unique vibe while offering sophisticated college town living. Situated on the lake, offering affordable living, and boasting an established and refined attitude, Hyde Park is no longer a "secret" option for condo living in Chicago.

For questions about this, or any Chicago neighborhood, feel free to call me anytime at 773-975-2123 or email

The Realtor Deal with Eric Rojas

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