Sunday, April 27, 2008

New Listing in East Lakeview: Modern Junior One Bedroom

Check out the Internet ad below for my new listing at 519 W Melrose #301 in East Lakeview. This is a very sharp junior one bedroom almost on the lake. Everything you need and a location you want for under $200,000.

Property information with virtual tour link for 519 W Melrose #301

Super Secret Off-Market Real Estate: Town House in Uptown Chicago

New Photos Just In

Check out the V-TOUR

True dining area and an eat in kitchen.

I have a three level, three bedroom plus family room town house hitting the market by the weekend. It is a really good looking home, well appointed and decorated. I met with the owners ready to give them the "business" about all the improvements they will need to do before listing... but the place looked terrific! I almost doubted myself that there was little if anything that needed to be done.

Just for the record... three bedroom plus family room, two and one-half-bath town house at 860 W Lakeside. Very close to Lake Michigan and the Sheridan Red Line stop. There is a garage spot and parking pad spot. Lakeside is a really pretty street with good looking architecture, mature trees and easy access to public transportation of all kinds.

All this for just $369,000

Sweet Family room. I love lower level family rooms (I have a duplex-down, so I'm bias).

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Fulton Market in Chicago... Top of the Loft

Fulton Market rooftop deck... this one bedroom loft condo we looked at had killer views.

You're a hop-skip-and-a-jump from downtown Chicago for $250K-$300K... including garage parking for your sweet ride. On this particular Sunday it was deadsville on this corner... but Fulton Market has an artsy vibe and some really cool things going on. Check out Explore Fulton Market

But who cares... look at the views!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Three Flat Conversion in Ravenswood Neighborhood

I've spotted another three flat apartment building being converted to condos. Looks pretty good. This is a popular way to live... less neighbors and you get a common backyard and garage parking. The three flat condo buildings in my opinion are easier to maintain for the owners as well. On the one hand, you have to be more involved as an owner because you will most likely self manage the association. I suppose you could get a manager, but the cost benefit in my mind does not make sense. But on the other hand, you have to learn a thing or two about taking care of an actual building. The costs are split between just three sets of owners.

If the major work on the conversion is done well (roof, electrical, plumbing and masonry work), the maintenance costs should be low. You can save by doing your own landscaping, shoveling and cleaning. I think the folks looking to live in a three-flat building as opposed to a larger managed building may like to do these types of things.

This particular building is on the 4900 block of North Winchester in Ravenswood...located steps from the Metra station and a few blocks from the CTA Damen Brown Line stop. The building looks like it will feature a "duplex-down" model on the first and ground floors and two simplex units above. The duplex-down would feature three bedrooms and an extra family room. The simplexes should be two bedroom units with space for dining. This looks like a standard lot building, so to squeeze three bedrooms into the simplex floorplan at the cost of a nice common living area would be a mistake.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Ashland and Fullerton

This giant ad covers up a giant ugly building at Ashland and Fullerton in "west" Lincoln Park.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Super Secret Off Market Chicago Real Estate

Peer through the blinds and squint real hard... you may find some super secret off market Chicago real estate.

I have a one bedroom, one bath condo coming on the market at 4250 N Marine Drive. You practically live in the Lake. It's an eighth floor unit with open northwest views of beautiful and historic Hutchinson Street.

Hutchinson Street house with Imperial Towers in the background

You can see the lake to the east as well if you are standing close to the window!

This condo has a really nice three year old kitchen and NEW windows. I'm personally painting the condo and having the bath and closets updated (well, my contractor Artistic Construction is). The home will look crisp and brand new. Imperial Towers features a sweet outdoor pool, NEW exercise room, 24/hr doorman, receiving room, lobby and on site management. Assesment is in the mid-$300s and includes heat and air conditioning along with the exercise room and pool. Garage parking is available for $200/month.

Call for information... asking $184,000K. Get a hold of me soon and you can customize paint and bath fixtures... hurry though. The updates will set this home apart from others in the building priced at or above this unit.

Would the Real Chicago Condo Market Please Stand Up

What's going on out there?
Here's a great post on the state of the Chicago Condo Market. Ric of takes issue with an inflamatory headline from Crain's Chicago Business.

Check out the analysis and statistics concerning the Chicago condo market in his rebuff of gloom and doom news headlines. May I suggest boycotting Nightline while were at it?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Walking on West Schubert in Lincoln Park

Here's an original beauty on the 700 block of West Schubert.

Here's a knock-off condo building design we see all over the city... but not bad. Looks good in the over-all streetscape and nice work on the building.

Then... what the hell is this?

Monday, April 07, 2008

A Night at Lill Street with Art Reach in Ravenswood

Ryne, Jillian and I had the good fortune of attending the Art Reach benefit directed by Skye Enyeart. The benefit included a silent auction. We were invited by my good friend and construction contrator Jon Hill of Artistic Construction and his wife Dannah. Jon somehow still manages to do a lot of cool things around Chicago and he saved me from my lameness for another night.

Ravenswood and Lincoln Square offer so much for kids and familys. Lill Street Art Center at Ravenswood and Montrose is one of those cool places you can only find in the city. We jumped at a chance to bid on local art for the home and get out with Ryno... he's a bit of night owl and he had a blast.

Before you know it, he'll be eating crayons with the best of them.

Two of the lovely hostesses during the evening...

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Lakeview Open House: Three Bedroom Penthouse with Rooftop Deck 669K

My associate will be hosting an open house at 920 W Barry #5 Sunday 4/6/08 from 1PM to 4PM.
You can view more details on the property HERE

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Chicago Real Estate Transfer Tax: The Results Are In

Assess THIS!

Check out the true dirt on my favorite Chicago tax from the horse's mouth. Sellers share the wealth. Hope you called or emailed your Alderman... If you didn't; let this be a lesson to you.

This is my favorite passage:

A tax is imposed upon the privilege of transferring title to, or beneficial interest in, real property located in the city, whether or not the agreement or contract providing for the transfer is entered into the city.

Thanks for the privilege to sell my own property... which I have the privilege to pay property taxes on and the privilege to pay transfer stamps on the purchase.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Chicago Condo Market Overview: Sales March 2008

Ric at sends me terrific market reports monthly. Here's a look at the latest Chicago condo sales report.

Of course, it's all about the block you live on and your condo unit itself, but reports like this cut through the media sound bites and give actual data yu can reference. Thanks Ric!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Going Mod Single Family in Lakeview

I pulled over while driving from an appointment and took a shot of this new construction house a while back (no, that's not snow on April 1st). It's on School Street in West Lakeview about a block or so east of Ashland.

I prefer this type of design for my homes and condos. My dream is to do something like this on a much smaller scale and utilize the lot for more outdoor space. Dwell Magazine and others cover this type of design. I'd like to know more about this home's materials and construction.

Be Mod with Concrete Countertops

My general contractor Jon Hill of Artistic Construction in Chicago loves concrete counter tops. Check out his post on this consideration when remodeling. View some more pictures at the link.

Jon has done remodel work for my personal homes in Albany Park and Ravenswood and for many of my clients living in Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Avondale, South Loop etc... He offers suggestions and honest opinions on material choices and design.