Wednesday, June 30, 2010

House of the Week: Ravenswood 60640 charmer on gorgeous corner lot

We love the detail on the west facing side of the home.

Pride of owership at its best. This former farm house with cedar siding at the 1700 block of West Carmen in Ravenswood could not be more quaint. The landscaped lot is stunning scenery as you head down the mixed-used corridor of North Ravenswood Avenue just north of West Winnemac Ave. We're all about "the lot" here at the Local and you're hard-pressed to find prettier land in Ravenswood.

Click the tag "House of the Week" below and view our series of eye catchers from our neighborhoods!

Frist time buyer tax credit up? For whom the bell tolls...

If you're driving downtown today, steer clear from real estate title companies!

If I were you, I would not get near a title company today. Many people are scrambling to close so they may meet the closing deadline to redeem their first time buyers' tax credit.

My partner Bob and I have a couple closings today...but we are the listing side. So, he gets to go downtown and have all the fun. Although our clients want to close their home sales ASAP, there is less pressure and anxiety on today's date as they are not affected by the credit.

The closing deadline for the first time buyer tax credit may get extended just yet... read more at this CNN story.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Statistics: 2010 Lincoln Park single family home sales double in second quarter over 2009

2010 Lincoln Park single family home sales in second quarter will double the 2009 second quarter unit sales.


With one day left in the 2010 second quarter (April 1st to June 30th) there have been 49 closed single family homes recorded on our MLS ( In 2009 Q2, only 25 homes closed. We should also see more closings tomorrow, the last day of the month. Currently, there are 28 homes contingent or pending so a handful of those will close tomorrow.

Other interesting Lincoln Park single family home stats:

The highest closed home thus far in second quarter was $4,300,000 at 544 W Dickens (a 2006 12 room, 5 bedrooms, 4.5 baths home on a 31 foot wide lot). There is an 18 room $8,500,000 home pending at 1866 Howe which may or may not close in this quarter.

The lowest closed (free standing) single family home in second quarter was $675,000 at 1729 W Altgeld (not what we think of as "Lincoln Park", but it counts.).

Of the 49 closed listings, none are indicated as "short sales" or foreclosures.

Chicks dig the Paddleball!

We love Chicago. Especially on a sunny weekend at the lakefront. North Avenue Beach is the place to play. The beach also has several map for more information.

Rain Interrupted at North Avenue Beach

Bob took a stroll along the lake at North Avenue Beach last weekend after writing an offer for one of our clients in Lincoln Park. It was a rare June day without rain.

Beach volleyball players wasted no time!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

No water in the basement? Hmmmm...

Odd place for a squeegee.

When looking at home, we suggest due diligence in inspecting the basement, roof, windows and mechanicals among other factors surrounding the home. We help find tell-tale squeegees in the basement.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

House of the Week: 820 W Altgeld in Lincoln Park 60614

This week's "pride of ownership" single family home at 820 W Altgeld puts on a bold face... all business with clean light stone and dark contrasting windows. Both stately and modern it's just darn attractive. Yet, the home shows it's cheeky side with pergola prominent over the roof top deck. We love the simple landscaping and choice of paint on the columns and gable.

Mint condition after an entire four years after construction! Originally built in 2006 and first closed in 2007 for $2,674,000 this customized home is back on the market for $2,849,900. Custom furniture and art works made for the home are optional according to the listing.

This block of Altgeld is a unique and quiet dead-end street in the middle of business, transportation and nightlife action.

Every week on Wednesday, Bob and I post a house photo that caught our eye while walking in our neighborhoods.

Eric Rojas, Chicago House Hunters videos!

We've entered the 21st Century here at The Chicago Real Estate Local and will be using more video to display our listings and their surrounding neighborhoods. Check out one of my HGTV House Hunters videos above. I will be uploading the entire episode to our YouTube channel at

FIFA World Cup 2010: USA versus Algeria Wednesday 9:00AM Central Time

Watch the USA advance to the final 16 today with a win (or with some help if thy draw). I expect some offense after that wake-up call game last week.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Statistics: Lincoln Park condo sales increase for 2010 second quarter

Lincoln Park 2010 second quarter attached home sales will see an increase compared to 2009... but may not be as dramatic as one might venture. 220 attached homes have already closed with eight days left in the quarter. There are 167 attached homes under contract. When all the closings are in by the original June 30th deadline (with many delayed due to lenders backlogs) we may see a 25% gain in unit sales over the 236 closed in 2009.

Lincoln Park sellers were less motivated to sell than surrounding neighborhoods

Other Lincoln Park notes:
The lowest sale was a foreclosure for $100,100 at 200 N Lincoln Park West (a studio condo).

The highest sale was $2,600,000.00 at 2120 N Lincoln Park West #8 (a three beds three-and-one half bath with family room, office large terraces etc...).

The second highest sale was for $1,955,000 at 2340 N Lincoln Park West #501(Four bedrooms, family room, four plus baths).

12 Lincoln Park closings (5%) were distressed properties (foreclosure or short-sale). Most of those were priced well under $125,000.

Statistics: Lake View 2010 second quater condo sales to smash 2009

Buyers snatched up Lake View condos like 3231 N Clifton below, now offered at $439,000.

2010 second quarter Lake View closed condo sales are on pace to crush 2009 unit sales with only 8 days left in June. In Q2 2009, 354 attached homes were closed. Already, we have 452 closed units in 2010 second quarter. What's more, 213 attached homes are under contract with many of those slated to close prior to the original June 30th closing deadline to qualify for the $8,000 first time buyers' credit. The numbers will approach the 2008 pre-bank crash closings of 596. The most closed units for second quarter in the last 20 years was 899 sold in 2005.

Other Lake View notes:
The lowest sale was $73,000 at 611 W Patterson #213 (a studio condo).

The highest sale was $2,300,000.00 at 3030 N Lake Shore Drive PH 401 (a four bed with den, study, huge terraces, lake views yadda, yadda).

The second highest sale was a bargain for $935,000 at 635 W Briar 4PH (a three bed duplex penthouse with den, family room yadda, yadda).

The top 70 priced condos were conventional sales. The first short sale appears at the 71st priced home at $477,000.

28 Lake View closings (6%) were distressed properties (foreclosure or short-sale). Most of those were priced well under $200,000.

Monday, June 21, 2010

When it comes to local Chicago real estate...We're no dummies!

Before you choose a Chicago Realtor call and ask how we add value to your sale or purchase.

Singing the multi-unit blues in Lincoln Park

This set of Lincoln Park Georgian multi-units on West Webster caught my eye. I think I'll paint my next house blue.

Multi-unit buildings became one of the most over-heated markets during the bubble city wide. "Investors" thought they could convert all of them to single family homes for bigger bucks. Many people were able to buy two and three flat buildings due to loose lending based on the inflated incomes stated by the rentals. In the heated market the purchase numbers barely made sense for owner-operators and the multi-units were a good mark for mortgage fraud for "investors".

Today however with ownership versus renting parity improving, there are good deals in multi-units for owner operators again. Buying a two or three flat rather than a condo may afford you a yard, garage, basement and the tax incentives of owning while your tenants help pay the mortgage.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Open House: Ravenswood, Lincoln Square Three bedroom duplex condo just in time for Father's Day!

Buy a condo for dad!

5006 N Winchester #1E asking $359,000
Open House Saturday, June 19th from 1PM to 4PM

Three bedrooms, Two baths, Parking, Deck, Surround sound, Security system, Large closets, Good sized rooms, Open floor plan, Flood control system, Drain tile, Sump pump, Three years old! Walk to Ravenswood Metra, CTA Brown Line at Damen and Winnemac Park.

Email or call me for a floor plan.

Click the photo link below for more information:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

FIFA World Cup: U.S.A. versus Slovenia Friday morning June 17th at 9:00AM

Get to the pub early to watch a huge match for the U.S. World Cup team at 9AM Friday. In case you missed the epic draw versus England last week,watch the video below for highlights.

See you at The Globe in Northcenter!

More time to close: Tax credit closing deadline likely to be extended

We want our $8,000!

If your a first time buyer holding a contract accepted prior to April 30th, 2010, this extension may help you. There was a rush on mortgages at the first time buyer tax credit deadline and the log-jam has put some closing dates prior to June 30th in jeopardy. Congress to the rescue!

From the AP and news:
"The Senate on Wednesday approved a plan to give home buyers an extra three months to finish qualifying for federal tax incentives that boosted home sales this spring.

The move by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would give buyers until Sept. 30 to complete their purchases and qualify for tax credits of up to $8,000. Under the current terms, buyers had until April 30 to get a signed sales contract and until June 30 to complete the sale."

Read more HERE

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

House of the week: 2148 W Giddings, Lincoln Square 60625

Currently under contract at $1,459,000.

We watched this two-flat transform into the masterpiece single family home it is today. With four en suite bedrooms and four and one half baths, there's no wanting for comfort. The period finish work and detail are unmatched in today's market under $2M.

It's now under contract only a short time after the owners completed the conversion. Originally on the market for $1.7M in early 2009, the sale of this home will still go down as one of the top 5 most expensive closings in Lincoln Square over the past five years.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Selling your home: Deferred maintenance is a killer!

Don't let this happen to you! This Chicago single family home needs a little work pior to listing.

Before listing your home you should know the many trouble spots that will affect the price and the closing. We walk the home and provide the best advice we can when it comes to fixing problems before listing. We work with buyers everyday and understand their expectations when it comes to the condition of your home at a certain price.

Drywall tape cracks, broken window locks, slow drains, old HVAC units, roof trouble spots, brick tuck-pointing... these are all areas buyers are looking at when viewing the home.

Get advice on the many areas you should maintain in your home while living in it. Stick to it. When it comes time to sell, the process will be less daunting.

New for sale in Lakeview 60657: Top Floor condos

Top floor condos in Lakeview offer quiet tree-top views.

We have many clients who prefer top floor condos only. There is certainly more light and no one walking around above you... especially in vintage units. Although many top floors come at a premium, we have two new condo listings for sale priced well with many comparable lower floor listings in Lakeview.

3231 N Clifton #3N for sale at $439,000

This top floor Lakeview unit was built in 2002 and looks like brand new construction. The look, decor and condition speak for themselves. We love the location too... quiet one way street, yet close to Southport Corridor and Wrigleyville action. Check out the list of details below:

864 W Barry #3A asking $229,000.

This top floor Lakeview condo offers location, location, location for one of the lowest comparable prices in the neighborhood. Fresh and clean, this vintage unit has two true bedrooms, a true dining room and awesome southern exposure. Located at West Barry and North Clark Street, you're steps from Wrigley Field, retail, grocery and unlimited dining options. Click the photo below for details:

Monday, June 14, 2010

Town home hunting in Lincoln Park: A marathon, not a sprint!

Our marathoner home buyers check out "The Pointe" in Lincoln Park... steps from the Lakefront.

My partner Bob was out this weekend showing Lincoln Park town homes with our clients. They are avid runners and just zipped over from the North Shore Half Marathon on Sunday morning. Somehow, Bob and I missed that one!

We enjoy working with our clients in diverse ways to provide a fun and informative house hunting experience. We ask clients their preference, be it walking to showings, cycling, or of course, picking them up and driving to our scheduled appointments. Each provides a great opportunity to talk shop and get to know the neighborhoods.

Lincoln Park provides more than it's fair share of real estate eye candy while walking from property to property. The multi-million dollar mansions, turn of the century architecture, the Lincoln Park Zoo, Lake Michigan, shops and restaurants... you name it! If you think walking or riding to showing appointments is your style of home shopping, give us a call. Remember though, we like our cars too.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

"Flagging" down a condo sale in East Lakeview!

I caught this shot of the sun hitting a familiar flag along North Broadway in East Lakeview with my Blackberry before my open house at 522 W Oakdale #2W. We received two offers last week for the two bedroom, two bath condo with parking and accepted one. The contract is now contingent on attorney review and financing.

We've long felt East Lakeview offers one of the more unique and vibrant lifestyles in the city. The population is diverse and the lakefront helps too!

The median sales price for two bedroom, two bath homes with an outdoor parking space in East Lakeview over the past six months is about $369,000. (Excluding high-rise buildings)

Friday, June 11, 2010

FIFA World Cup! USA v England Saturday 1:30PM Central

60 years later...

U.S.A Soccer

Ravenswood Open House: Three bedroom duplex down condo with family room, parking

5006 N Winchester #1E, Chicago 60640
Open House: Saturday 6/12/10 from 2PM to 4PM


Three large bedrooms, two baths, large family room, big closets, deck and parking. Surround sound, designer ceiling fans, security system, Dish Network and Comcast ready, no shared walls, tons of windows and three years new! Spacious with great layout!

Located in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Ravenswood across from popular Winnemac Park. Walk to Ravenswood Metra, CTA Brown Line, Damen or Foster buses. NEW grocery store and fitness center voted in for Ravenswood and Lawrence intersection only three blocks away! Lawrence streetscape improvements from Ashland to Western. Easy walk to the heart of Andersonville and Lincoln Square dining and retail.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lincoln Park ain't Kansas! New construction at Oz Park

Dorothy and Toto at Oz Park look on to their modern new construction home in Lincoln Park.

Upper bracket homes that are two million plus seem to being built and or sold at at better pace this year in greater Lincoln Park. This custom home at West Webster and North Orchard has a front seat view of Oz Park. Just steps northwest of the play lot, it's a nanny's dream!

This custom build above doesn't tease us with an offer price as it's not for speculation. On the south side of the park on North Howe Street we see another new construction home being completed (below). I don't see an asking price, but a similar new construction home next door sold for $3,300,000 last year.

A look at our multiple listing service closings shows 38 Lincoln Park single family homes sold for over two million dollars in 2009. The highest pricedBold closing being $5,600,000.

So far in 2010 , there are 27 single family homes closed or under contract. The highest priced home under contract is currently at $8,500,000. At this pace, 2010 should surpass 2009 handily in the upper bracket market.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

House of the Week: 1317 W Wrightwood, Lincoln Park 60614

Each Wednesday we'll feature a single family home that catches our eyes. It's all about curb appeal!

1317 W Wrightwood, Chicago IL 60614 in Lincoln Park exudes "pride of ownership". The "Federal style" home has gorgeous detail in fantastic condition in what looks like a classy renovation.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

(Double) Parking in Lincoln Park

Our clients viewed a two bedroom, two bath condo with garage parking at 2230 N Lincoln Avenue, a Belgravia built elevator building, last Saturday. This is one of the very few buildings I've seen in which owners utilize hydraulic lifts to create an extra parking spot. I think the cost/benefit analysis of purchasing a lift system for your second car is best done during a snow storm in January.

Ravenswood, Lincoln Square duplex condo for-sale: Three bedrooms, two baths, family room, parking, deck, new gut renovation.

5006 N Winchester #1E, Chicago IL 60640
Click the link for virtual tour!

$359,000, $252 Assessment. Taxes $5800. Three bedrooms, two bathrooms, plus large family room. Parking space, laundry room and deck. Original refinished hardwood floors on main level.

Surround sound wiring and speakers, security system. Drain tile, sump pump and flood control for lower level! Designer ceiling fans and custom window shades. Eat-in kitchen with travertine tile, granite, stainless steel, range hood, and modern maple cabinets. Wired for Dish Network in living room, family room and kitchen.

Asking $385,000. Three year new conversion. Walk to Ravenswood Metra and Damen Brown Line. Call, email me for a showing. Agent owned, first time available to the open market. Live amongst Andersonville, Lincoln Square, Ravenswood, Winnemac Park and $800K plus homes!

Spacious open floor-plan, tons of closet space. Deck off the kitchen. No shared walls!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Sunday morning at Jonquil Park in Lincoln Park

Chicago by the park or lake; Where do you want to live?

My partner Bob could not help but "take in the views" at Jonquil Park late Sunday morning after showing properties to a client.

Living around a large park in a top tier neighborhood in Chicago is priceless (or, we'll put a price on it!).

Locations near major parks, play-lots or the lake are just a few of your clients' must-haves as we locate and negotiate the best homes for them. We'll be taking a look at some of the green spaces available in our neighborhoods.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Open House: 522 W Oakdale #2W, Sunday June 6th from 1PM to 3PM

East Lakeview Open House at 522 W Oakdale #2W asking $365,000. Parking, storage, deck, like new!

Sunday, June 6th from 1PM to 3PM.

Lakeview condo for sale: 3231 N Clifton #3N, model quality with gorgeous decor

Top floor!

We will list 3231 N Clifton #3N for sale this weekend for $439,000. It's a two bedrooms, two baths condo with garage parking, great closet space, fireplace, tree top views, deck and gorgeous custom built-in entertainment center. Roof rights included with the home. If you are looking for immaculate, move-in quality in Lakeview, this is it. The contemporary decor will inspire you.

Fantastic location on North Clifton Street in Lakeview. Walk to the CTA Red Line at Sheffield, popular Southport Corridor shopping and dining, and Wrigley Field. Street/ Belmont shopping and dining. Clifton is a quiet one way street going north... no Belmont traffic! A Walk Score of 94.

Call or email us for a showing from the contact information to the right in the side bar.