Eric Rojas, Chicago Real Estate Broker

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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The Chicago Real Estate Local in Redeye: Would You Live on the "L" Track?

Thanks to redeye and Tracy Swartz for quoting me in today's "Going Public" column in their print edition and online. Tracy wanted to ask a Realtor about peoples' attitudes when considering buying close to the CTA elevated train tracks.

Her quote was a little confusing in regard to location. The basic point I make is selling a place that backs up to the "L" in some way or another is tough in general as the majority of buyers will not consider it. Prices can easily be 20 percent less than comparable units that are at least one block from the tracks. She also pointed out my comments that, in my experience, people who do buy on the tracks are either pretty long time Chicagoans use to the noise or people who want to stretch their dollar in the very best neighborhood they can get.

One example is two-flats that line the south side of Leland between North Damen Ave. to North Lincoln Ave. in Lincoln Square. Buildings are very expensive in this family friendly location, but backing up to the elevated tracks could be your only affordable option for a large enough home. Would you do it, all other things equal, if a dream home was in your budget solely because it backed up to the tracks?
See some more comments here


Unknown said...

Does anyone know how well soundproof windows would work? Would you still be able to hear the train when inside?

Colin said...

I have non-soundproof windows in my apartment, which backs up to the Brown Line in Lincoln Park, right where the Red Line goes underground, which seems to make it louder. What I do have, however, is an enclosed back porch, or sunroom, which is a great buffer for the rest of the apartment, especially if there are furniture and other padded surfaces in it.

I hardly notice the El and regularly have people over to my backyard for grill-outs; they've never complained. It's kinda fun, really, and helps me sleep.

Eric Rojas said...

Hi Matt,

Triple pane windows would help a lot. But, I'm a windows open guy... so you'd have to weigh that. Some people like the windows closed all the time for the peace and quiet in general.

Thanks Colin, its a really subjective situation.

Cityproof Windows said...

Well, this company doesn't service Chicago, but you can learn quite a bit about one of the market-leading soundproof window systems. Basically these companies apply a second interior window within a few inches of your existing window. The air gap it creates significantly reduces noise and the second window also saves you on heating and cooling. Expect to pay about $400-$500 per window.
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