Thursday, January 31, 2008

Modern Lakeview Condo Coming on the Market

We'll be listing this home with full details by the weekend. Its a large one bedroom in East Lakeview with many custom updates. New high end and efficient kitchen... every inch is used. New bath. Lighting and trim updates. Some new electrical.


Yeah baby, I get randy just looking at this kitchen...rowrrrrr.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Kopi for Lunch in Andersonville Chicago

Let us not forget the Kopi Travelers Cafe for lunch in Andersonville. This is a bit of a "hippy eco-friendly" place (stole that quote from a reviewer) with a variety of food choices.

I think it's a fine place to stop for a light lunch with my banker friend Adam...

You see, I find myself in and around Andersonville and Edgewater checking out (and occasionally selling) properties. And Adam's bank is in Edgewater. So, we try to get together. There are lot of great places to eat on the Clark Street strip, but many offer heavy dishes. Kopi is a good alternative for vegetarian food and baked goods.

Last time in I had a latte and a blueberry muffin. The server warmed it up for me.

I couldn't believe it.

There are many choices from one bedroom condos to single family homes close to Kopi if you were wondering.

The Local is Back! More Chicago Real Estate Fun

... and why is he taking pictures in a bathroom?

I think some of the code I had in for large photo "streams" in the blog put the alignment way out of whack... Fixed for now!! Yeaaaaa!

Back to local real estate mumbo jumbo...

A few notes about The Chicago Real Estate Local

I still cannot fix the landing page viewing problem on this blog. Obviously, the side bar has switched to the bottom. I will try a few more things.

On another note, I have launched
It is a work in progress for sure but will become a very nice blog with some new contributers.

On yet another note, I have been getting first page google results for key search terms for my client's listings... be it property type or open houses. I'll keep this effort going. Their properties come up in a variety of ways... sometimes my ads, sometimes my blog... but they are getting found!

I really hope I clear this up and get back to normal. Very, very upsetting to my routine.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Blog/Web Site Problems!

My blog is suddenly not viewing correctly. I've just spent two hours trying to figure this out... my right hand side bar has shifted to the middle column under my posts.

This is very upsetting...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Old Irving Condos by the Metra Line

If you're looking for three bedroom condos that are large enough to stay in for awhile, check out Old Irving. What most people forget is this is a pretty little neighborhood filled with attractive single family homes and gorgeous brick multi-unit buildings. The main attraction is the Blue Line and the Metra Station at approximately Irving Park Rd and Kedvale. Buying near public transportation is key in Chicago real estate.

The variety is here.... new construction and gut rehab one, two and three bedroom condos... single family homes...two flats, three flats and larger multi-units... your style of home or investment is here.

I like to say the area is good for those looking to start, or already have, a family and want a home they can fit into for under $400K. There are few neighborhoods that are as attractive and affordable this far east in Chicago and on the Metra AND Blue Line. Super fast to downtown.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Part of Montrose Ave. Collapses in Ravenswood

I usually do not post on breaking news stories, but this one hit close to home. A water main break caused the collapse of a portion of Montrose Ave. near the new Montrose Brown Line CTA station. Really extraordinary.

I wanted to get over there for a photo today but did not have time... busy, busy, busy. However, the Tribune story has photos here. There will probably be some shots on flickr in the next day or so from local photographers.

Modern Chicago Condo to come on the Market in East Lakeview

I just went over to a new client's home tonight to check out their place. It's a one bedroom condo with a formal dining room, washer/dryer combo, new kitchen, newer windows, new door and window trim, awesome original re-finished oak floors...etc, etc...

However, this place is architect owned and the kitchen is totally custom. It's awesome, right out of dwell magazine. The updates in this place are modern and kick-ass. I love it. Just fantastic detail.

We should be bringing this to market in about a month. We went over some of the things that will be finished... there will be a total bath rehab done before listing too.

Don't even call me if you won't appreciate a mod style rehab of a vintage unit. Pretty street by the lake in East Lakeview and a prettier unit.

The condo is located on the 500 block of West Roscoe. Price will be around $289,000. Assessment is about $300 and includes heat, basic cable water and building maintenance. Great reserve fund too for a 20 unit building.

Some initial photos are on the way. I can't wait to market something really cool like this. As always, call me for a showing before it hits market. We will not put it on the MLS until the bath is done, but It will totally be worth seeing (and selling) before it's done. If you are looking for a condo from $200,000-$300,000 in Lakeview, you have to see this place.

Photo by eversion

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Buy the Best Sandwich in Lakeview 60657, then Buy a Condo

It's cold. When I lived at Seminary and Wellington in Lakeview and it was this cold out Panes Bread Café was waiting around the corner. Although I eat here year round, it’s at its best in the winter for the warm bread and soup.

Panes is located in a terrific southern Lakeview spot among many housing and entertainment options. This stretch of North Sheffield between West Belmont and West Diversey has any number of coffee, dining, drinking and transportation options.

The typical new or recent construction two bed, two bath condo with garage parking and a terrace along North Sheffield will run about $450,000. Of course, there are many varieties of housing and a comfortable home in this location can be had for less.

Recently, rather large three bedroom, three bathroom new construction duplex downs have sold for $750,000. Besides the Panes Bread Café, you are walking distance to the CTA Belmont Red Line stop, the Wellington Brown Line stop, Vaughn’s Pub, Soprano’s Italian Restaurant, the new Kirkwood sports bar and restaurant, Fixx and Starbucks coffee shops and several higher quality salons and spas. This and more in a four block stretch.

In the immediate two blocks to the west of the busier Sheffield stretch a well appointed single family home will start near $850,000 and up. This is one of the more pleasant and fun residential areas to live in Chicago.

Go to Panes for a warm sandwich and soup and then buy a condo or house within walking distance to everything. It's cold and you'll thank me.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Chicago Open House: Lake View Three Bedroom, Penthouse

Killer Penthouse with a private rooftop deck at 920 W Barry #5, Chicago 60657

Open House Saturday 1/19/08 from 12 Noon to 2PM.

Call me for details or check it out

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Why You Should Buy the First Chicago Condo You See

If I know what you're really looking for... and you know what you're really looking for... and you "like like" it (not just like it)... make an offer please.
That's the reason we went to look at the place right? It's what you wanted and I only show the good stuff.

I have had two clients in this early 2008 find condos in Lakeview and Ravenswood that sold out from under them. One in three days on the market. They were the first places we looked at together. "There must be better places out there... right?" Not always.

Of course it doesn't always happen this way. But I really believe love at first site with a condo will turn out better than love at first site with a relationship.

photo by this guy

Are you a fan of the Office? Maybe this downtown Chicago Condo is for you

Get to know all your favorite characters right in your downtown Chicago Loop condo at 120 S Canal... Michael, Stanley, Jim, Pam and Dwight.

We saw this place at about 6:30PM in the evening and these guys weren't going anywhere. No sir... gotta get that report done for the boss.

Actually, this building is pretty cool, modern and has a fantastic doorman. Excellent Loop living.

Modern, open layouts, low assessments and one bedrooms with parking for around $250K

Monday, January 14, 2008

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Lincoln Park Open House, Sunday 1/25/09 1PM to 4PM

I could do Tai Chi in this yard.

I'll host an open house this weekend on a terrific Lincoln Park block.

2326 N Janssen in Lincoln Park, Chicago 60614 Sunday 1/25/09 from 1PM to 4PM.

Asking $899,000
3 bedroom plus loft, 2 and 1/2 bath, 2 car garage.

It's all about the mix of vintage detail, new luxuries and unique renovation. This home is for those who love to incorporate the outdoor space in a tranquil traditional setting. Details include high lofted ceiling in the living room, a lofted reading area and wonderful views of your private oasis from the great room. The major renovation were done over the past 5 years.

View Virtual Tour HERE

I'll host an Open House at 1916 N Maud Sunday January 13th from 1PM to 4PM. It is a three bedroom townhome in Lincoln Park. Garage parking, two and one half baths, renovated kitchen... great outdoor space.

It's the most amazing place you have ever seen. Really. Why would I lie?

Give me a call or email for more details. See you there.

Three Off Market Listings in Chicago's Old Irving, Ravenswood and Rogers Park

Where is this place and how do I get it?

I have several super secret listings that will hit the market in the next few weeks. Please call me for more information for the following in they sound interesting.

-The first one in the Ravenswood (Lincoln Square) neighborhood is a three bedroom, two bathroom condo with garage parking. Open floor plan, designated area for true dining, tons of windows and huge master suite and bath. It is a three year old new construction building located two blocks from the Damen Brown Line CTA and the Ravenswood Metra Line. You also have the Damen bus witch is great for going south to Roscoe Village and Bucktown. Asking price will be about $419,000.

-The next home is located in Old Irving near Irving and Keeler. It is a huge three bedroom, two bathroom unit with one garage space and one outdoor parking space included. Rare, wide lot three flat building. Beautiful looking property inside and outside. I really liked this place when my clients decided to buy it and it is large enough and in a great neighood to start a family. Steps to the CTA Blue Line and Union Pacific District Northwest Metra line. This is a one year old gut rehab This will list at about $399,000.

-The third place is located in Rogers Park at Fargo and the Lake. Two bedroom, two bathroom with parking. This unit has been updated and is in an elevator building. Live right on the lakefront and close to Loyola University, transportation and Evanston too. This will list at about $240,000!

I should be able to arrange showings for these before they hit the open market.

Friday, January 11, 2008

New Ravenswood Bar/Restaurant Making Progress

This isn't exactly a new scoop, but there is a entirely new bar opening at the corner of Wilson and Ravenswood in the Ravenswood neighborhood. It’s in the old Zephyr location. A lot of people got very teary eyed about the closing of Zephyr…. Eh.

Any who, this new Irish Pub going in is a major work. The space was gutted to build the new favorite hangout for yours truly. Hopefully it will have some killer outdoor space… easier with “The Goobs” (a.k.a. our kid).

The Ravenswood industrial corridor from Irving Park Road all the way north to Peterson is always good for a find. Be it retail or restaurants, North Ravenswood and the surrounding streets are becoming a destination. You could easily spend the better part of a day walking the neighborhoods of North Center to West Andersonville from south to north and have plenty to eat drink and shop.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I Can't Believe It's Not...

Buying condos in West Loop

Here's a couple shots right outside 843 W Adams, a concrete loft building in Chicago's West Loop. As a life long North Side guy, I still get excited spending time in and around the Loop.

West Loop in this particular location just west of Halsted Street keeps that foggy, gritty metropolis feeling. But, it's really a livable neighborhood with Greek Town, grocery stores, fine dining, coffee shops, small retail etc... close by. The main draw is it's close to your work downtown.

Looking east down West Adams towards downtown. I just feel cooler here than in my hood.

A one bedroom, one bathroom concrete loft unit with a large terrace will run you $250K to start plus about $25K for garage parking. I particularly like the 843 W Adams building... well run and larger units. Great location.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Low Inventory of Ravenswood two-flats

Ravenswood two-flat buildings under 700K are in short supply. Only ONE listed building met the criteria of my clients today: two move in quality units, garage parking, walking distance to the Ravenswood Metra station, under $700K. There are a spattering of buildings at $550K or less, but they are in bad shape.

The typical "move-in" two flat building in the Ravenswood neighborhood under $700K will consist of:
-A 30X125 lot
-Two finished and separate living units
-Two small bedrooms, one bathroom
-An unfinished basement (7 foot ceiling)
-Small yard and two car garage

$600,000 to $650,000 will get you a move-in condition two flat building that will need a low amount maintenance. The higher end of the price range (645K-700K) may get you an extra half bath in each unit, a larger lot or a better finished “owners unit”.

The typical two-flat in this price range will remind you of the many rentals you lived in.

However, there are three main reasons to buy a two flat like this:

First and foremost, it is a great way to live in a neighborhood in which you cannot afford a single family home. A two flat allows you a yard, basement and garage (things you may not get in a condo) while receiving rental income from a tenant (in which you control who your neighbor is).

In Ravenswood, you can buy a decent two flat for $625,000 and just live in the place without a renter. This may sound strange, but a safe, move-in quality single family home in Ravenswood will cost you at least $700K… and that’s under the Brown Line! The two flat can get you a better positioned home for less money than a house. You will just have to be creative how you live.

Secondly, you can convert a two-flat to a single family home. This can be an arduous process (read: NIGHTMARE) but can still be a value. For instance, you can buy a brick two flat for about $550K in Ravenswood in decent structural shape, but in need of new everything… mechanicals, electrical, roof, windows, blah, blah, blah. $250K later, you’ll have a nice single family home. An $800K total investment is justified especially if you will live in the house for awhile.

Third, you can buy a two flat to rent and hold as a retirement investment. If you already have a real estate portfolio and like the prospects of Ravenswood, this is still viable. However, you’ll have to tie up some money for awhile. This is a good idea on commercial and mixed use zoned streets (like Damen) where developers may be interested in buying several lots for a major project.

Back in the Saddle: Chicago Open House in Lakeview

I'll be at an open house tomorrow Sunday 1/6/08 at 1440 W Roscoe. Two bed, one and a half-bath duplex up. Top floor means no footsteps dancing on your head. Better yet, you're in Lakeview's Southport Corridor neighborhood.

Hours are 1PM to 4PM. Email me for more details or click the link below. All yours for $369,000K


I may even look up from my laptop to greet you...

Friday, January 04, 2008

A Chicagoan's Anxiety at Jewel

Photo from Bill

I was at my local North Center Jewel tonight picking up bread, milk, bananas… (you know) when I suddenly realized I began to get anxious as I approached the check-out. And then it hit me… I don’t want to answer those two questions.

“Do you have a Jewel card today?”

“Are you interested in our Xtreme Value buy?”

I haven’t had a Jewel card since my wallet was stolen over four years ago from the YMCA on Lincoln and Belmont. Every time I’m asked this question I feel like a second class citizen for not having one. Then I feel like a charity case when they put their number in for me.

And maybe if they had an Xtreme Value that wasn’t “Triple Stuffed Oreos with Caffeine Added!”, I might buy it.

Hey Jewel, drop the riot act already. In fact, I went through it twice today (earlier at the Jewel on Southport while buying stamps).

Then I found THIS story.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Chicago's North Side: Neighborhood Views

Here's a little view of a typical North Side home on a typical North Side Chicago winter morning.
The view is from a duplex-down in in a six-flat building. This particular unit was originally an apartment building that has been converted to condos. We're looking out through the former sun room. It is now an atrium like staircase and landing, leading down to the lower level family room and master bedroom.

This particular area of Ravenswood has many six-flat and eight-flat center entrance buildings. But here we see several six-flats that have a set back front entrance. Three units are situated in the front with the prominent sunrooms. Three units are set back (rear units). This "Z" configuration of units allows the living spaces to share very little common walls. A huge plus.

Looking north down Winchester. The neighborhood is know for it's mature trees.

I really love the organge brick building with the tile roof across the street. The landscaping in the summer looks great as well.

Here's the front of the building from the first picture above. The sunroom here now serves as the staircase and landing. Notice the little touch of detail in the brick. Theses buildings built between 1920 and 1945 are so much more pleasant to look at than the majority block and brick new construction we see today in Chicago.