Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Green monster rises on Hermitage in Ravenswood

With the weather better, I've been out in the neighborhood looking for interesting developments.

Another significant new "green" construction single family home is progressing on the 4500 block of North Hermitage in the Ravenswood neighborhood. This looks to be a double lot (50' wide) house, but it's not clear if it will be for market sale or if it's a custom build. The development is a participant in the City of Chicago Green Permit Program.

What's this look like to you? Maybe prairie style?

Burn your tax credit on this affordable two bedrooms, two bathrooms condo in Ravenswood for $259,900

4847 N Wolcott, now $259,900

April is upon us and it's tax credit crunch time... so excuse the advertisement. However, my clients just reduced the price of a two bedroom, two bath garden unit with full size windows and industrial sump pump system by top notch plumbing contractor Power Plumbing. $259,900 is a great price point to take advantage of the first time buyer's credit and low interest rates. You'll be looking at a low monthly payment in a great location.

Live steps from the Ravenswood Metra stop... the preferred way to travel downtown or to the suburbs.

Don't settle for a small condo at this price point. You will be surprised by the layout, size and comfort level of this home.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Contemporary new construction single family home in Ravenswood

New construction is rising from the dead (I mentioned at the end of last year how it seemed many new construction 6-12 unit buildings and single family homes were popping up again). I imagine this new construction single family home being built on a massive, almost triple lot (73X163) at the 4600 Block of North Hermitage is a custom build. The lot with the former home sold for $1.4M at the end of 2008.

This home will certainly push the envelope for high-end in Ravenswood. I can't wait to see the finished product.

A web site Chicagoans and home buyers must know about

What's going on around your Lincoln Park block?

One of these days, I'll have a more organized list of handy web sites that are staples for my Chicago home buying clients. One day.

For now, the top of that list is

You can look up local news, building permits, crime and real estate listings right on your street.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Looking at two-flats and single family homes in Avondale

A client and I were looking at single family homes and two flats today. She's new to the city but described her needs and wants... eclectic neighborhood, decent commute downtown for work, etc... the budget also was a constraint.

For this wish list under $400K for a two flat and $325ish for a single family home, I suggested Avondale. She asked around, and her friends in the city concur that it would be a good option.

Houses in good condition near the CTA Belmont Blue Line stop for the low $300s are scarce...if any exist at all. Two flats will probably be the better option as the renter will help subsidize the mortgage a bit. My client could also take on a room mate and have several streams of revenue coming in. However, choices for solid two -flats within four blocks of the CTA stop under $400K are tight as well.

At home with the "L" tracks

Living by the tracks is a part of life for many in Chicago. This classic four square with the attractive front porch sits just north of the CTA Brown line on North Wolcott Avenue in Ravenswood.

"Location looks a lot worse than it really is"

Exact quote from a Realtor's listing remarks for a condo listed in Uptown.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Ravenswood Open House: Two bedroom, two bathroom at 4847 N Wolcott, Sunday 12P-3P

Open House Sunday March 28th from 12PM to 3PM

Pet friendly and commuter friendly! Just steps from the Ravenswood Metra stop, four blocks to the Damen Brown Line and five minute walk to Winnemac Park.
Asking $269,900

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Deal of the week: Majestic Ravenswood three flat under contract in less than 30 days

4857 N Winchester, Chicago IL 60640 under contract with an asking price of $799,900

What a beauty! Nothing makes you stop and look at a place you've walked by a million times like a "for sale" sign going up. I've always liked this true three flat building but really noticed how gorgeous and tight the exterior condition was when it was listed for sale. Great exposure on a quite corner lot, three car off street garage(!), nice yard, over sized lot, great location.

There has to be quite a few folks crying over this one...

Wicker Park condo for sale with backyard!

I don't like to promote my homes for sale that often on these pages (cough) but check this out...a yard! If you're looking for something a little bit different, this home is only one of two units and has it's own private patio. The yard is shared with the other home-owner, but they've got decks off their top floor unit. So, the lower floor mainly uses the space.

1023 N Winchester #1, asking $359,900

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Yes, the market has picked up in Lincoln Park

To all the non-Chicago Realtors who come to my open houses in Lincoln Park each weekend and ask me if the "market has picked up around here"; yes, the market has picked up.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sellers: Pack up your house you're moving

My business partner and Realtor Bob DePalma puts the finishing touches on a home prior to photography.

We advise our clients selling their homes to pack as if they are moving. This is not always easy or even accepted advice and we are often met with apprehension. However, it's necessary to remove any unused, unneeded, furniture, clothing, nick-knacks, art and toiletries when prepping the house for selling. You need to "go all the way".

The basics:

1. Pack away all unnecessary items from every room (rent off site storage when needed)

2. Paint any necessary rooms (one neutral color throughout the house is best scenario)

2. Clean, repair, re-caulk, re-paint, refresh baths

3. Stage remaining furniture and art

This advice is nothing new, but I think a good Realtor really works hard to make it happen. We do our best to emphasize how important these steps are and have come to realize we can never be too persistent. We'll physically engage in these steps as part of our commission package and work hand in hand with clients to help stage their homes when needed.

Me, stringing up a new shower curtain (sorry, "Nemo" had to go).

Lincoln Park Open House! Three bedroom town home, Sunday 3/21/10 from 12PM to 3PM

1806 N Larrabee
Open Sunday, March 21st from 12PM to 3PM.

Great new price asking $509,900

-Three bedrooms up!
-Two and one-half baths
-Private Garage
-Huge Family Room with sink
-Storage, Storage, Storage
-Great Elementary School
-Laundry room
-Big deck and patio

Friday, March 19, 2010

Northcenter, Chicago Open House: 4055 N Wolcott #302, top floor near the Brown Line

Open House Saturday from 1PM to 4PM at 4055 N Wolcott asking $329,000

Two beds, two baths, top floor, like new with great finishes.
Please click the property below for details.

This Northcenter location offers dining, retail, grocery and transportation within steps. Stop by for a showing and I'll discuss current market conditions.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Buyers get lesson in real estate at the closing table

Real estate attorney Ron Pierog explains each and every document to home buyers Scott and Jennifer. You can gleam a lot of helpful real estate information from the closing table. Ron helps buyers understand taxes, deductions and lender required escrows.

Me? By the time we get to the closing table I'm pretty much good for coffee. Ha! But seriously, a Realtor at this point should be thorough during the walk through and have the closing file with documentation with him or her.

My partner Bob was a hero at one closing for bringing a copy of the final earnest money deposit that was required by the lender.

Ron can be reached at the following contacts:

Attorney At Law
703 N. Prospect Manor Avenue
Mount Prospect, IL 60056
(847) 870-1032
(847) 870-1039 Fax

Man buys house due to Realtor's headshot

A client of mine sent this to me and suggested I put my mug on the for-sale sign. I asked, "You want to sell the place, right?"

"But as far as I was concerned, the deal was sealed the moment I saw real estate agent Mary T. Ellington looking back at me from that Re/Max sign, her face just barely visible over the rampant weeds growing in my new front lawn."

Happy Saint Patrick's Day from Daley Plaza, Chicago

Home of the Chi-rish!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Trading Lincoln Park for Bolingbrook? Room to grow your family

Posted by Robert DePalma

Trulia stats for Lincoln Park average purchase price per square foot:


How far are you willing to go, literally, to get more space? A friend of mine has decided to list his home, and I was so impressed what you could get in the beautiful community of Bolingbrook, IL. Eric and I have made are careers largely selling within the city limits and Lincoln Park. For example, Lincoln Park can cost on average more than $500 per square foot ($527 to be exact based on Jan/Feb 2010 sales data gathered from*). Looking through these photos of a newer construction 3795 sq ft home in Bolingbrook at $549,000, with quality finishes, may be a compelling enough argument to move west!

2368 River Hills Lane, Bolingbrook, IL 60490 at $549,900 MLS# 07442795.

You are HERE:

Video tour of a Lincoln Park Town home: 1806 N Larrabee

If you're having trouble sleeping, check out my open house video tour at 1806 N. Larrabee in Lincoln Park (ha, my performance isn't too boring I hope). You can tuen me down and view this family friedly town home. It's located in Abraham Lincoln Elementary attendance boundaries. I'm super interesting! Thanks for taking the video and posting to the world.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Early thaw in spring 2010 for Lincoln Park single family home sales

Looking at the MREDLLC database (our MLS to which I'm a member), I count 26 single family homes closed for 2010 and another 20 or so under contract. With two weeks to go for closings in the first quarter, we are already up on the 19 closed single family homes for Lincoln Park in first quarter 2009.

Five of those homes topped $2,000,000 and the highest closing for a single family home in Lincoln Park this quarter was 2474 N Lakeview for $4,000,000.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Ravenswood Single Family home sales cold in January, February

I looked up closed single family home sales for the past two months in Ravenswood and found...2. This was very surprising.

However, out of 33 returned listings in Ravenswood (Montrose to Foster south to north, Clark to Leavitt east to west) 2 were closed sales and another 9 were under contract. So, 30% of the homes returned in the query for the last 30 days were sold or under contract. Not bad.

We are not to the end of first quarter 2010 yet, so we may see 5 or 6 total. I will call 12 closed homes in these same neighborhood boundaries in second quarter 2010.

Spring = Lincoln Park showings!

From NYC, Philly, and Chicago... people are looking at Lincoln Park.

I don't know how anybody else feels, but I see Lincoln Park properties for sale getting a lot of showing action. My open houses have been popular again. Some properties are new, some have been on the market for a while and have recently adjusted pricing. It will be another busy weekend. The year seems long already... it's only March.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Living along the CTA "L" tracks in Ravenswood

Or more like "living under the tracks". These folks at the 4600 block of North Wolcott have made the best of their multi-unit building that shares some dirt with the CTA Brown Line cutting through Ravenswood. Quite a lovely park like setting.

For my buyers: townhome and condo multiple offers

Two groups of my clients lost multiple offers today in the Lakeview and Ravenswood Gardens neighborhoods respectively on the north side. Not a good day.

One group is looking for a deal.... and one group really stepped up to the plate. Both properties were priced well for sale right out of the gate.

Thomas and Eric's big Rolling Meadows adventure

You are HERE:

My associate Thomas Reid and I will be heading out to the north suburb of Rolling Meadows tomorrow to evaluate and list for sale a single family home. The house at 107 Ironwood Court is in the excellent William Fremd High School attendance boundaries (I use to date a girl from Fremd years and years ago...sigh).

We'll visit some comparable homes and evaluate the condition of the subject property. Tom's fifteen years of construction and HVAC experience along with my keen eye for marketable assets (cough!) will come in handy. We need to advise the sellers on what to improve within their budget and price the home right.

The home has three bedrooms plus loft, a full, unfinished basement, two and and one-half baths, two car garage and a community clubhouse and pool. I'll have some photos upon my return. This will be a lot of house for an aggressive price in this neighborhood.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Country Chic in Gold Coast Chicago: 60 East Scott

We've given this bright Gold Coast condo a little face-lift and dropped the price to $229,900. Low assessment, low tax, classic architecture and steps from the lake? Only three residences on this floor. You will love the unobstructed west views due to your neighbor's multi-million dollar single family home. This is a very unique block.

60 E Scott #604 asking $229,900 Click the link for property details.

You are HERE!

Call or email us for details, for a showing or to have us list your Gold Coast home. You'll love our staging and marketing.

Sunday Open House 3/7/10 from 12P to 3P: Lincoln Park Town Home

1806 N LarrabeeLincoln Park + Abraham Lincoln School = Great Home!

Open Sunday, March 7th from 12PM to 3PM.

-Three bedrooms up!
-Two and one-half baths
-Private Garage
-Huge Family Room
-Storage, Storage, Storage
-Great Elementary School