Thursday, July 30, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
As you know, oh dedicated reader, I tend to stay away from generalizing the market. Rather, I focus on the individual needs of my clients. I let other sites handle the heavy lifting of city-wide real estate information. So, what the heck is going on... is this good news or what?
Please visit these links from YoChicago.com below for a concise look at our two Chicagos in terms of real estate data:
All signs point down in first half 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Here's a spectacular roof-top garden tucked away along West Grand Avenue in East Village. This is mostly a concrete jungle with old grungy building facades.... which makes this more fascinating.
We were looking at a 3rd floor new construction two bedroom, two bathroom condo with garage parking at the 1800 W block of Grand. The condo was actually really spacious, modern and well finished at $399K. We peeked at the neighbors garden from the back deck.
East Village and Ukrainian Village real estate markets have been hit as hard as most "third ring" neighborhoods just outside downtown and the longer gentrified and core neighborhoods. But it offers an opportunity to create your own spaces or to purchase some very cool contemporary properties a short commute away from your elusive high paying gig in the Loop. The neighborhoods have a quiet, sometimes understated industrial feel that appeals to hipsters, artists and those looking for a custom home for half the price or more than Lincoln Park. And look at those roof-top gardens!
My associate Jason Hartong at Rubloff was featured in a pretty interesting Chicago Tribune article on the North Shore upper bracket market.
Jason also writes Chicago North Shore Home & Beyond which features some terrific original photography. Wish we would contribute more.
Thanks Active Transportation Alliance for placing the Ravenswood Area Open House Bicycle Open House Tour on the events calendar.
Come out to bike the North Damen and North Ravenswood corridors and check out over 10 single family homes for sale. It's your chance to peek at homes and get to know the neighborhood. Visit the parks, houses and businesses all day!
Saturday, July 25, 2009
I love this place. You will too.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Here's a look at the east side of the street... not one car parked. There are at least 24 open parking spots available. Prior to the parking meter deal, there would be at least a dozen cars parked at this time of the morning.
I really don't know what to make of this or if it's hurting the coffee shop and other businesses. Of course, I'm a little annoyed by going to the box, getting the ticket, going back to my car etc... on my regular coffee run. But, I always get a prime spot. This location has always been a little tough due to parking permits on Leland and meters related to the Damen Brown Line stop in the evening hours.
How has parking changed for you in Ravenswood?
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
When: Sunday August 2nd, 12 Noon to 4PM
Where: Registration and map pick-up 12 Noon to 1PM
at The Perfect Cup (coffee house) 4700 N Damen Ave.
*All in-person registrants are eligible to win a 3 month Wine.com club!*
Open Houses 1PM to 4PM and open to the public.
Ride with me, Eric Rojas Rubloff Residential Properties
and get to know the neighborhood. Or... ride/walk at your own pace.
Rain or shine!
Informal post ride drinks at The Rail, 4709 N Damen Ave.
Sponsored by Eric Rojas, Realtor with Rubloff Residential Properties
773-510-1597 or firstname.lastname@example.org
RSVP appreciated by 7/31/09 (but not required)
Visit these 10 great homes Sunday August 2nd from 1PM to 4PM
Friday, July 17, 2009
This is a like-new two bedroom, one large bath corner unit in a terrific location. Huge storage. Get help from Uncle Sam in the form of an $8,000 tax credit... it expires December 1st. Mortgage rates are low too. Do I have to ask? Okay, please show up. Thank you.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I'll have to be satisfied with his stories over drinks at one of the many establishments outside his door...sigh.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
In between buying my property listings, you may want to stop by the Northcenter Chamber of Commerce 3rd Annual Sidewalk Sale. Saturday July 18th from 10A to 4P. Support my neighbors to the south and check out all the great restaurants along North Lincoln Avenue.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
This train was not a part of the walk... but I could not resist the discovery...
Our favorite stop pictured below. This is a backyard of a long time town-home development. Its one of my best-buy picks for the North Side in terms of quality of life, size, flexibility and price. Yes, a town-home with a backyard.
Don't forget to pick up a "green friendly" Bowmanville Community Organization shopping bag to reuse for local grocery and retail shopping. Say no to plastic!
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
As a Realtor, I make lots of stops and park all over the city showing property and entertaining clients. I had no issue with the meter price increase. But here's three things that remind me of the parking meter deal almost every day of my life:
#1. I park the truck, get the boy out of the truck, walk/carry boy to the box, stand in line at the box, get credit card out, (usually drop something) wait for receipt, walk/carry boy back to truck, open door, put in receipt (usually drop something), shut door (all one armed with boy in other arm). Can't wait for the second kid.
#2. There once was a day in Chicago where you'd pull up to a meter, discover it 10 minutes left on it, run in and buy your coffee (and pay your gazillion percent sales tax), run back out and be on your way. Now, see #1 (kid-less, but same process).
#3. Meters gave you some perspective where to park... now it's chaos on the curb.
Oh, and #3a. Buried alive in little paper parking receipts
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Open House Sunday 7/19/09 from 1PM to 3PM
Top floor Wrigleyville condo in Lakeview with south views of downtown from your roof top deck.
This is an extra wide lay-out with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a dramatic entrance staircase with foyer and wide hallway. The effect of the openness entering the home is aesthetically pleasing. Attached garage too!
Keep that gluteus maximus in shape! It's a walk up.
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
Monday, July 06, 2009
Stepping out of 405 N Wabash, surrounded by iconic architecture everyday like Trump Tower and the Wrigley Building. 405 N Wabash is a solid building right next to Trump Tower with nice pool, fitness area and terrific entrance plaza. A one bedroom condo can be had for under $200,000.
I've been in Gold Coast and River North neighborhoods quite a bit lately with clients looking to take advantage of the currents market. There was a glut of condos sold to investors over the past several years... and of course that party is over. Many of those units are selling off short-sale and the buildings themselves pose a risk and reward. Sure you can get a good deal, but what will become of the condo association when everything shakes out? I think this opportunity is fit for the second home buyer or someone with reserve cash that can weather any issues in the coming 5 years.
For my first time buyers who covet these neighborhoods with their amenities and their views, we tend to look at established buildings that also offer good buys now. My clients have found out quickly that once you put all the puzzle pieces together- location, view, good building, nice unit, parking options, building amenities- the choices shrink fast.
A couple of my favorite buildings going north for deals and views include 10 E Ontario (great amenities, sharp looking building and you can score PARKING with a unit for the $240s!) and 88 W Schiller (The Lowell House) for great lake views and location near Lincoln Park as well.
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Here's a better story from Inman News on the expanded Home Affordable program for those of you looking to refinance your home. Please consult a mortgage banker to see if you will qualify.
Brian Cumpton, a mortgage banker with Wells Fargo ( see www.ChicagoLender.com )
sent me this link explaining new refinancing rules that can help YOU
For people that did not have quite enough equity to refinance into today's lower rates, this will be huge.