This is a few days late, but an interesting reflection on an area not as well know to many first time buyers in Chicago... North Center.
The commercial space at 4020 N Damen, a popular and well built condo building, was sold for $4.2M. I think a large commercial sale is a good reflection on the strength of the retail in this area.
The shopping and restaurant choices along this stretch of Lincoln has continued to grow over the last five years since the condo building was completed. It's truly a strip were you can walk to, and get, just about anything you want.
You have your staples such as the Irving Brown Line (CTA), Jewel grocery store, Trader Joes, coffee shops, eye doctor, dry cleaners, video store, higher-end restaurants, casual bars and music venues, furniture stores, music store etc... all within a few blocks.
Prices for condos here are much more accessible than most Lakeview areas... and you're just a little northwest. The average updated two bedroom, two bathroom condo with parking is around $400K And that can get you an elevator building with garage parking. Sweet.
In the four block radius of the Lincoln/Damen/Irving intersection there are about eighteen two and three bedroom condos for sale and five units currently under contract. There are a good variety of styles, so the stock here can suit most needs.
There are eight single family homes for sale in this same radius ranging from $550K for a tear down to almost a million for a large frame re-sale. Homes can go for well over a million in this area. The important number to watch is really what it takes to get into a "move in" conditon home in the area... you're pretty much looking at $650K.
Desirable retail and a variety of housing stock in North Center.