Thursday, March 27, 2008

Brunch in North Park at the Tre Kroner

Our "Goobs" at the ">Tre Kroner in the North Park neighborhood. We went back to the old hood for a brunch a couple weeks ago with my visting Aunt. It was her favorite place when we lived at Spaulding and Ainslie. When Jill and I lived in Albany Park, about two blocks away from this brunch spot, my favorite thing to do at 10AM was to walk through the North Park University campus with its lush landscaping, and get the Ander's Hash and Eggs at Tre Kroner. A lovely place for breakfast, lunch or dinner, it's owned by a husband and wife team with a big family... and they are very involved in the area.

Tre Kroner is located on West Foster Avenue directly across from North Park University where my wife received her masters degree. This is also the campus where Mike Holgrem's (of Green Bay Packer and Seattle Seahawks fame) wife and daughters went to college. They named the recently renovated stadium after him. It is also around the corner from Northeastern Illinois University... my alma mater. The retail strip here also features a Starbucks, a Subway and a Schlegl's Bakery.

You can purchase a classic Chicago Bungalow
in this area around $500K and have the amenity of two universities, some nice little local places restaurants and River Park (with a running/bike path that stretches from Lawrence Ave to Peterson Ave). There was also a condo boom in Albany Park that keeps growing, especially around the Lawrence and Kedzie commercial district and south of there. I know alot about the real estate in this area from my time living there.

Chicago Loves Outdoor Space

This has been one of the more miserable winters in recent memories. All the more reason to enjoy your "outdoor space" in Chicago this "spring" and "summer". Why all the quotes?

Well, when did the term "outdoor space" enter the Chicago real estate lexicon? Every good Realtor knows what this means... and the real estate consumer has made "outdoor space" a requirement.

We all know why I put "spring" and summer" in quotes... like we have those.

The brand new deck above belongs to one of my lovely clients who purchased in East Lakeview. She agrees with me. I'd rather have a killer deck than a second bath... even in a winter like this.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Recent condo sales in Chicago keeping me busy

I have not posted in an embarassingly long time. However, with good reason. My partner Julie Varones and I have most of our listed properties under contract.

Here's a little run down of our recent condo sales in the last couple weeks:

2700 N Halsted #408 in Lincoln Park. This one bedroom, one bath in a luxury midrise building has just gone under contract after 23 days. My list price was $360K including the garage parking.

543 W Roscoe #2N in East Lakeview: Another one bedroom, one bath in a classic courtyard conversion building. This was a special custom renovation by the owners. I just loved this place... Kitchen and bath... dining room... totally my style. We listed at $279K and sold in 53 days.

1916 N Maud in Lincoln Park. This is a three level town home with a terrific fenced in yard and garage parking. It has one of the biggest, baddest master bedroom walk-in closets I've seen in awhile. Julie listed this property at $749K

4814 N Damen #314 in Ravenswood/Lincoln Square. The newer concrete construction elevator building set this 1500 plus square foot unit apart from others in the neighborhood. Two bedroom plus den with garage parking and modern luxury bath... listed at $400K and sold in 51 days.

4850 N Central Park #3 in Albany Park. I sold this two bedroom, one bath before it went to print! Great top floor in an intimate 3 flat building. Very rare to find a three flat conversion condo in Albany Park listed at $265K. Two car parking and a great street.

2000 N Lincoln Park West... should I say more? Classic location for the Lincoln Park lifestyle. Well know address for those looking to truly enjoy Chicago. This property was listed at $349K.

I have also represented a client of mine in the purchase of a two bedroom, one bath unit with parking and an awesome deck. It's in East Lakeview and the asking price was $360K... ask me for more details on any of these after they close.

I'm turning my attention this week to my buyer clients in Uptown, Bucktown and Lincoln Park.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

East Lakeview with Parking... Jump on IT

I've been researching and shopping East Lakeview two bedroom condos with parking and decks with my clients over the past two months. This has been the fastest moving market I've come across this year. Two bed, one bath, parking, deck, washer/dryer in unit, decent shape, east of Halsted under $375K....GONE! Get it for $350K and you're a pro.

My clients and I found one at Aldine and Broadway and scooped it up. They saw several properties they liked go under contract. They nabbed this one after only two weeks on the market.

I can't go into details on this property until we head to the closing table, but if you want East Lakeview with the big 5... Parking, in unit washer/dryer\, deck, central air and of course location... be prepared to know your stuff and act on it.

My Lakeview Condo Listing Featured in Apartment Therapy!

Read the post at

They did a write up of my listing at 543 W Roscoe in East Lakeview. Check out the comments... laugh, cry, cringe.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Lakeview Chicago Open Houses this Saturday and Sunday

I have a couple open houses this weekend in Lakeview. They could possible be the best places to live ever.*

920 W Barry #5 Open Saturday 3/15/08 from 1PM to 4PM $679,000: Three bedroom two bath top floor condo with private rooftop deck. Extra wide layout and high end finishes. Please see the links below and email/call me for a floorplan and brochure.


543 W Roscoe Open Sunday 3/16/08 from 1PM to 4PM $274,900: Modern, Renovated one bedroom, one bath condo with a full dining room. New, new, new stuff, and super cool custom selections.
Check out the links here for more details:


Please call me or email with any questions or for floor plans and brochures.

*I've put a lot of thought into this and , yes, they may be the two best places to live ever for someone.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Meet My New Client

We always request clients leave the home during showings and open houses. Sometimes, you actually have to walk them.

Here we are outside 2700 N Halsted, #408 in Lincoln Park. The buyers are with their agent checking out the condo. The owners think this is going above and beyond... I'm like it's 50 plus degrees finally and I get to walk around Lincoln Park and say I'm doing my job.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Fight the Cook County Sales Tax Increase

We are getting killed on taxes this year... first the Transfer Tax increase and now a Cook County Sales Tax increase.

I've received more emails about this subject from my sphere of influence than on any other!

Here's a way you can FIGHT THE MAN. Take that Stroger.

Even if you don't live in Cook County, you probably shop and eat in the city. So please vote against this proposal and ask anybody that you know to do so as well. It only takes seconds. I just did it.

Subject: Sales Tax Increase

I just did it, it took a few seconds.

COOK COUNTY is planing to raise the sales tax to 10.25% in November.
This will have a negative effect on the lives of consumers in Illinois and
obviously, on retail businesses as this will make ours the HIGHEST sales
tax rate in the country.

Please take a second to call Todd Stroger's office and petition the increase on the tax!!!!

Please do this now...what do have to lose (other than your money)? I did it and it only took a minute and it is FULLY AUTOMATED!!!! AND EASY.

This takes literally seconds. It only took about 15 SECONDS to punch in my vote.

CALL 1-312 -603-6400.

Press option 1, then option 2, and then VOTE AGAINST INCREASE (OPTION 2)

Friday, March 07, 2008

A Ravenswood Chicago House: Modern Love

This house is located Ashland and Winona in Ravenswood. When I se something like this my only thought is... finally. Finally something cool over here. I think they did a great job of looking Mod, while fitting into the block quite nicely.

My buddy lives a couple doors down from this home, so we had a front row seat watching it grow.


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Paying Parking Tickets in Chicago

Here's a shot I took at dusk yesterday from my office parking deck in Lincoln Park. I like parking here because I always have a spot and the view is great. The little glimpse of sun inspired me as I headed out to appointments. Life is good.

Life is not so good when you come back to your car with and discover a parking ticket. As a Realtor in Chicagoland, I'm no stranger to parking tickets. But one thing Chicago does well is give parking tickets and then make it easy for you to pay them. Check out the link for the City of Chicago where you can pay The Man or dispute your ticket (beat The Man).
I just paid my last ticket. I was ticketed for parking in front of a school during restricted hours... while I was voting at the polling place in the school!! Thanks Chicago.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Brett Favre Retires, Packer Fans Mourn

The rumors have been put to rest. Favre has informed the Packers that he will retire from the National Football League. As a native Chicagoan and Packer fan, I've taken my lumps... but then there was Brett Favre.

He wasn't always there. I remember as a kid suffering through many lousy seasons in the 1980s. But that would change by the early 1990s and we have never looked back. But now we must look forward to the Aaron Rodgers era. See you at Will's North Woods Tavern.

Photo from wikipedia

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Edgewater Chicago... Views you can buy

Here's just one of the views we saw this weekend on the east side of North Sheridan Rd. We were on the top floor (39th) of the Malibu at 6007 N Sheridan Rd. It's stunning.

The Malibu is a full amenity building with a good vibe. Parking guys and doorman really make the experience feel upscale.

This particular condo was highly upgaded with modern kitchen, surround sound, great wood floors etc... The view says it all. The sellers are asking $350K for this nice sized two bedroom, two bathroom condo. Assessment runs about $533.00, which is not bad for the price point, size and position of the condo.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Super Secret Off Market Real Estate: 2700 N Halsted #408

This is off-market, not yet listed and for sale now... check out the one bed, one bath in Lincoln Park before the world does. Located at 2700 N Halsted, this is complete condo with great features; in-unit washer and dryer, surround sound, security system, walk-in closet, concrete construction, garage parking, outdoor space... the works.

Asking $339,000 with $25K for parking.