Monday, December 18, 2006

Prices and quality up west of Western Avenue, north of Irving Park Road

Recently, I have had several clients looking for two bed, two bathroom units with parking, outdoor space, storage and a large master bedroom. Oh, and over 1200 sq/ft. Oh, and near the "L"! Duh, right. In unit washer and dryer... a must! Sounds like a lot of the young professional buyers that come to Chicago for careers in hordes. My wife, new baby on the way, and I, thank you- young professional hordes.

In any event, the magic number for many of these clients is $400,000. That is, they want to stay under it "we can go over, but it would be great to stay under...". Under it shall be. However, most of these buyers currently live east of North Ashland Avenue, let alone east of North Western Avenue. They want to stay in Lakeview if possible. What does $400,000 get you in a condo in the hood they know?

If you want a small building, updated, new construction or new conversion unit... not much. A typical updated first or middle floor unit in a 3 to 8 flat between Diversey and Irving north to south and the Lakefront to Ashland matching the criteria above will run you $400,000 minimum. And these places will have some kind of issue... I guarantee it. Small bedrooms and baths is usually the largest objection to these bottom priced units.

When these buyers, the ones that do not wish to compromise on the actual unit features and size, hit the Great Wall of Ashland, I take them to a land they have never known... (well first west of Ashland, but when that doesn't work)... the Land of Lincoln Square west of Western. Yes, it's still in Chicago.

In fact, it's kick ass Chicago. There is a new breed of high quality conversion unit, 1500 sq/ft to 1800 sq/ft, popping up north of Irving and West of Western in the old 3 to 6 flats. As you continue northwest in this direction following the Brown Line, several three and four flat conversion buildings have come on the market, offering a better class of housing option to go along with the ten year "nuts-o" growth of Lincoln Square, Ravenswood Manor and even Albany Park (especially the new construction , albeit larger buildings, headed west down Lawrence Avenue).

But back to the subject at hand... I am quick to expand the buyers target area when I hear their desires, if only for their education, by taking them to this UN-hidden gem of an area. Many buyers are taking to it, really enjoying the value and space.

So... my favorite pick for the $400,000 club that wants it all... well, you just read about it.

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