Sunday, July 29, 2007

Chicago Open Houses: Penthouse condos with full rooftop decks

Lakeview, Wrigleyville house hunting?

I'll be at 1141 W Patterson today from 1PM to 4PM. Three bedroon Penthouse units from $625K with Roof Top Decks, Garage Parking... top of the line finishes.

Virtual Tour Here:

See you there.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Jefferson Park Modern

Here's a a cool duplex down in the $360s located by Robert Square Park and Beaubien School in Jefferson Park. There is quite a bit of variety in housing here; new construction single family homes, duplex condos, townhomes and multi-units all hug the park.

The Blue Line is located at the highway just a block behing this property located on North Lockwood.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Ravenswood a destination for townhomes

In the Ravenswood neighborhood, just east of the main drag of Lincoln Square, townhomes are abundant and offer a variety of price-points. From $279K (no kidding) to almost a cool million, Ravenswood offers townhomes in every corner of this large Chicago designated neighborhood.

The townhomes shown here are at the northern end of Ravenswood... they are terrific developments near Winnemac/Ainslie and Ravenswood along the Metra line and are priced from $450K to $550K. They offer two to three bedrooms, two to three baths, family rooms, loft spaces, garage parking and decks.

If you need the extra space, townhomes here are a great option.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Two- flat conversions in Andersonville

There are a few nice two and three flat condo conversions in Andersonville. Prices range from $350K for a middle unit to over $400K for a penthouse unit. There may be a duplex-down in this two flat development pictured at Summerdale just east of Clark. Took the picture awhile ago before it was marketed, but a recent peruse of listings in area reminded me.

Nice way to live... small building on a tree lined street in Andersonville.

Giddings Single Family Home in Lincoln Square

This house on the 2100 block of West Giddings Street in Lincoln Square screams awesome. I love walking by this place and almost... almost... walked in earlier today when I noticed some workers.

Its a conversion of a former two-flat. This place is huge and looks to be a 30 or 35 foot lot... and the large double front terraces are rare for a single family home. Great brick. I gotta get in there to see what they are doing.

There are quite a few rehabs, tear-downs and two-flat conversions to single family homes on this stretch of Giddings all the way west to Giddings Square.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Sunnyside and Paulina... will they finish this place?

I've been waiting to see the finished product of this condo conversion in Ravenswood since September of last year (I think). Its a good looking building. Hope it's quality stuff. Good location. I have not seen any advertising for this.

Hot Dogs extra at Ravenswood condo conversion

Smell like hot dogs and Philly Cheese Steak every day. Now that's extra with your brand new condo conversion located on Damen Ave in Ravenswood. Budacki's is pretty good, though. I mean, I'm working on my first heart attack with those Philly Cheese Steaks.

Would you buy a place next to a food stand like this?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Four Bedroom Duplex -Up Condo in Albany Park, Irving Park

I viewed this place Monday... two year old conversion with the best size and kitchen for under $ or call to see it. It's in the Albany Park and Irving Park area.

How "Elmo game" and walks saved a Ravenswood Realtor

Geez... is it Wednesday already?

Tuesdays are daddy day with Ryne... where I suppose I can "get some work done" while spending my day at home with my son. Now, we consider ourselves lucky; Jill and I each stay home a full week-day with the boy. Makes it easy to know I just don't schedule appointments that day. My partners do my listing showings and I'm actually forced to take a day off for other purposes.

But, I'm not going to lie to ya... work goes on and I sometimes desperately attempt to move the football forward on deals and property searches.

In comes the "Elmo Game".

This kid just goes nuts for this toy... ever since he was two months old. There are little songs, moving parts and lights. I get a solid 20 minutes each time I set him down in front of it. He can either lay under it looking up or face it on his stomach for tummy time.

The other way I sneak some local work in... walks around Ravenswood, Andersonville and Lincoln Square. These are my specialty neighborhoods due to proximity. I walk, he sleeps... I snap pictures for the blog, check out the new Andersonville restaurants, Ravenswood single family homes, Lincoln Square rehabs and retail.

Thanks Elmo.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Chicago Open House Stories

I hosted an open house for my clients yesterday at 2333 W St Paul, #305 in Bucktown. It was a busy afternoon with about 6 groups coming in specifically off advertising to see the penthouse duplex condo. I have been very busy with showing requests, Internet inquiries and clients wanting to see property... so Sunday's open house confirmed that people are out, wanting to buy property after the July 4th holiday. We should have a pretty hot Chicago market in the second half... at least I'll keep busy.

One person who came in off the signs I had scattered about wants to buy a place for under $300K, close to the Blue Line (or train line easy to downtown), has two bedrooms, parking, washer/dryer and central air/heat.

This is the challenge... starting from scratch with a client and really locating a great fit. Sounds cheesey, but it's a serious endeavor, if not satisfying. It's a persoanl rush to meet a new client looking for something specific and reasonable. She stated "I just want the best place I can get with those features". The new client is from the suburbs and has an idea of some city neighborhoods, but not expertise. She is commuting downtown, so getting closer to the city is priority for her.

I suggested Bucktown would be tough to get a decent place at the price, but I knew of a great West Loop/Printer's Row condo with one bed plus den, parking included for $264,000 or so. The place is right on the Clinton Blue Line stop, in her budget and she could actually walk to work.

We will look in several different places like Avondale (near the Belmont stop), Logan Square (near the Logan stop), and maybe even Old Irving. But the this West Loop location is one she never thought of. And I think it makes the most sense.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Move over Brown Line, Blue Line needs work too

With two listings near the Blue Line, I thought I'd point out this Tribune blurb concerning Blue Line work.

If you need the Blue Line, check out 2333 W St Paul in Bucktown near the Armitage/Milwaukee stop and 550 W Harrison loft in West Loop near the Clinton station. Call or email me.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Name this location in Chicago

Name this intersection and the people in the photo... I'll buy you a drink.

Monday, July 09, 2007

I hate my bathroom vanities and sinks

We bought a duplex-down in North Ravenswood about four months ago now. The home is in a conversion of an existing building built in 1925... gut rehabbed and gone condo.

By the time I found the unit (it was unlisted) the baths had been done. The tile work is really good... maybe not my first choice, but good work. However, the vanity cabinets are cheap and the granite tops/sink bowl combo just does not function well... bad design.

Basically, you can't use the sink without constantly splashing water all over it. The sink bowl is undermount, so the flat granite tops get messy with water/soap etc... There is no pitch on the surface, so water does not flow back to the bowl, but rather to the sides, back... all over the top.

We have to constantly clean up the water and it's not easy.

I feel I negotiated a great deal on the place. It was the space and layout perfect for a longer term stay with a growing family. However, the sink and vanity thing has made itself evident... I didn't pick up on this when purchasing the home. If so, I would have insisted on changing things out for an agreed upon price.

When you own a few homes, design becomes an obsession. At least for me.

So, even though I just bought the place newly converted just months ago, do I replace the vanity and sink bowl with the real deal? The existing materials used are cheap, so I would not be taking a big step back... it's just the labor cost really. I will not be doing this myself.

I can't stand the sloppy vanity top! What would you do?

South Loop condo sells fast

I sold this South Loop condo at 1631 S Michigan in 22 days. Ask me how.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Ravenswood development

I've discussed the Ravenswood boom along Damen Avenue (and adjacent streets) from Montrose to Foster for some time. I'm a huge fan of living in this area. The next project will have to be this strip of empty storefronts and apartments just north of Lawrence Avenue. This spot is the heart of a growing Ravenswood retail district along Damen and located close to the Damen Brown Line CTA stop.

Hmmmm... someone's gotta already have this strip wrapped up and plans drawn. Guess I should call the Alderman for starters.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Million Dollar Single Family Homes in Ravenswood

Here is a little progress report pictured to the right for the homes being built at Winnemac and Ravenswood just south of Foster Ave. I'm not a fan. Would have liked to see more contemporary design for this spot with more "green" surrounding the homes.

They look like huge barns... my great uncle thought they were building apartment buildings.

Bucktown Loft in Progress

In an earlier post I discussed a timber loft I have listed at 2333 W St. Paul in Bucktown. The clients painted some custom colors. For the listing, I suggested repainting a couple of the walls a lighter color. Here is a look at the progress.
These pictures were taken at about the same time on sunny days.