Thursday, May 30, 2013

Big new house in Southport Corridor

New construction on the 3542 North Greenview... directly behind our latest listing at 3543 N Bosworth Unit C.  The original property here was sold in 2011 for $775,000. Size matters!

New construction houses are in high demand in popular neighborhoods like Lakeview's Southport Corridor.  If an existing property is torn down then almost exclusively a large, luxury house will be built.  It's fascinating that we never see a smaller home built keeping more of the lot for a yard.  Economically, the numbers would not work for a builder/ developer as demand is for more square footage.

Gut rehabs and renovations remain the option for keeping more modest houses around.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Sales! Lincoln Square condo sales looking up, inventory down

Suddenly the condo market inventory in Lincoln Square is tight with many units under contract at the moment.  There are a handful of new construction projects popping up.  Let's look at the sales numbers for 2013 thus far:

Farmers Market at Leland and Lincoln (Photo, Eric Rojas)

Lincoln Square Condo Sales Jan 1st through May 28th, 2013

105 condos (attached units, town houses) sold and closed thus far. This is up a little from the 93 units sold same time last year.  The median price of a condo is about $225,000 for the greater Lincoln Square community area this year.  Median price is up from the $212,000 about this time last year. The prices are generally higher in the southern locations and lower in the northwestern portions of the large community area.

The lowest sale is $25,000 for 2401 W Balmoral... a studio apartment in a former defunct condo conversion project.

The highest sale this year for an attached unit is 2002 W Sunnyside for $615,000. The four bedrooms row house/ town house offered newer construction with a single family feel.

Under Contract

It feels like all Lincoln Square condos are under contract.  There are 95 condos under contract at the moment with only 64 units actively for sale.  Asking prices for units under contract range from $45,000 to $575,000.  The median asking price of a condo under contract is $250,000.

264 condos closed in Lincoln Square in all of 2012.  I think we will surpass that number in 2013.  At the moment, about 199 condos are closed or under contract with 6 months to go in the year.

Dining in Giddings Plaza, Lincoln Square (Photo, Eric Rojas)

We've represented many condo buyer's and sellers in Lincoln Square. It is a relatively sleepy condo market.  There are much fewer units in general than a Lakeview or Lincoln Park while new construction and gut rehab projects have been virtually non-existent since the 2008 financial crash.

Prior to that, you would mostly see new construction built on the major streets of Lincoln, Western, Damen and Lawrence from 2000-2008. The residential streets have almost exclusively vintage gut-rehabs with 2 bedroom,  1 bath condos.  Very few three to six unit new construction buildings can be found in all of Lincoln Square despite the abundance of these buildings in Lakeview and Lincoln Square.

It pays to be prepared for the small number of excellent condo homes that do hit the market.

Friday, May 24, 2013

New for sale! Three bedrooms town house in Lakeview's Southport Corridor $449,000

Take our video walk-through of 3543 N Bosworth Unit C!  The updated Southport Corridor town house has a huge rooftop deck!

This three bedrooms, two baths town house has a large family room, garage parking, great closets and a terrific private rooftop deck.  Fantastic location near the CTA Brown Line, grocery, boutique shops and dining all within a few blocks.

The home lists on the market today for $449,000.

Here's a video I shot a few years ago just a couple blocks from this town house along Southport Corridor.

 The home is presented by Eric Rojas and Bob DePalma, Kale Realty

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Northeastern Illinois University Campus Recreation

This way to the gym! (Photo, Eric Rojas)
The Northeastern Illinois University recreation complex offers affordable memberships to community members.  For discounted memberships as an alum contact the NEIU Alumni Association.   Contact the Campus Recreation at 773-442-4135 or stop in at 5500 N St. Louis Avenue in Chicago for program brochures and a facility tour.

The campus recreation center has tons of sports equipment to borrow for basketball, racquetball, soccer and specialized sports.  The gyms, indoor track and swimming pool facility are great and the fitness room well equipped.  The campus also host kid's summer camps and other third party programs on the NEIU grounds. 

NEIU also sponsors 5K runs, hosts various sports leagues and special events for adults throughout the year.

My love/ hate relationship with Chicago birds

I caught this scene of momma feeding her babies outside my bathroom window (photo Eric Rojas)
I mostly hate birds.  They make nests everywhere and in everything.  They zig and zag across my yard "doing their business" on my sidewalk, patio and furniture.  Every spring I wonder why it seems we have so many entitled birds in our yard... then I look across at the 100 bird houses in my neighbor's tree.

I don't trust the birds.  Any conspicuously close swoop can be deemed intentional.  But, how can you not love this little vignette above?  I opened the bathroom window just long enough to take this shot.  I figured if I took any longer that bird would be in the bathroom with me.


New contemporary house on traditional Lincoln Square block

We first mentioned this new construction on West Eastwood earlier this year.  The vast majority of new construction in the Lincoln Square neighborhood is very "American traditional" in exterior style and transitional in the interior.  This custom new build looks to be striking out on its own...which I think is great.

New contemporary construction on the 2100 block of West Eastwood

It may be following in the footsteps of double-lot contemporary home nearing completion of North Seeley Avenue pictured below.  I'd love to see the Eastwood house lean toward minimalist modern.

I spoke to some neighbors on this West Eastwood block last week.  Most seem to be happy with the way housing prices have been this year rather than concerned about the style of this house.  In any event, we wish the owners luck with their new dream house in a great location.  New construction houses in this area have sold from $1.3M to $1.8M in the last couple years.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Curious construction BOOM on West Farragut in Bowmanville

This standard lot home is being built at the corner of West Farragut and North Leavitt. The previous property sold for $250,000 cash and was quickly torn down (photo Eric Rojas)
2221 W Farragut was purchased this year for $250,000 cash and quickly torn down as well for a single family home development (photo Eric Rojas).
Two blocks of West Farragut Avenue in usually measured Bowmanville have gone willy-nilly with new construction.  The 2200 to 2400 blocks of Farragut have seen quite of action including re-sales and developments in the last year.

This exciting double-lot home above is a custom build by a current Bowmanville resident (photo, Eric Rojas).  The two separate lots sold for a total of $385,000.

This vacant lot at 2230 W Farragut was sold by the owners of the adjacent house for $190,000 last year.

It is rare to see so many new house being built at one time on a two block stretch. Bowmanville is very established and is not prone to quick turnover.  However, West Farragut has had far more sales and development than any other street in the neighborhood in the past year or so.  The sales are reflective of the current market demand for new construction homes and quality re-sale houses on the North Side.
There are a few gut rehabs in progress on adjacent blocks as well.  It's a big year for Bowmanville.
 Click the label link below for more of our posts on Bowmanville.  Check out our last single family homes sales on 2209 West Farragut and 4321 N Bell North Bell.


Under Contract! Buyers secure top floor unit in prime Lakeview location

The views from 2850 N Burling #4.  Our buyer clients are under contract on the home (asking price of the condo was $685,000).  The location on the border of Lakeview and Lincoln Park is outstanding!  Fantastic shopping and dining just around the corner...not to mention a Trader Joe's at the end of the street.
Tree-top views from North Burling in Lakeview...the trees in bloom are outstanding! (photo, Eric Rojas)

These large 3 bedrooms full-floor units on the 2800 block of North Burling in Lakeview are well sought after.  This in the second unit of this build and style we've sold as the buyer's agent within a year...both were very intense multiple offer situations.  Last year another one of our client's bought 2842 N Burling #2.  It was an almost identical layout to 2850 N Burling #4 with a few interior modifications and no front terrace.
We had mentioned these buildings and layouts to our client's months ago.  Finally, a top floor unit in with great upgrades came on the market in early spring.  Our buyer clients were very prepared with excellent knowledge of the local market. We secured one of the first showings and had an offer in within a couple hours.  The home is pending closing and we are excited for our clients.
 The peaceful location is a half-block from the Diversey/ Clark and Broadway shopping and dining district.  The location is about 5-6 blocks from the lakefront parks.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Epic Blocks! Sold on West Bradley Place in North Center, Chicago

There are primo blocks in every Chicago Community Area.  They reach legendary proportions for any number of reasons... great school district, amazing landscaping, beautiful homes and real estate agent hyperbole (!).

We show and sell a lot of properties in North Center.  The 2000 and 2100 blocks of West Bradley Place in North Center (between North Damen Avenue and North Leavitt Avenue) has reached epic proportions for their reputations.  They are highly sought after blocks for all the reasons mentioned above a more. Homes priced anywhere within reason of the marketplace sell immediately.

We showed two single family houses on the 2000 and 2100 blocks last Saturday...both new for-sale listings just before the weekend.  2129 W Bradley was listed at $619,000.  The house is totally cool "as is" in my opinion.  A "smaller" two bedrooms house with nice main floor, partially dug-down finished basement area and really great family room addition. It's not big... but the asking price reflects that.  Our clients would add on to the house.

It's truly a move-in ready house with great curb appeal and attractive yard.  It's under contract and my guess is it will sell for closer to $650,000...well over list price.  I'd love to see someone just get it "as-is" and be able to live on a great block.  My guess is that even at $650,000, a developer may have made the best offer and will tear-down or rehab the house.  Expect a re-sell price of  $1.2M to $1.7M depending on new or rehabbed.

 The other home is a gorgeous fully renovated house at 2153 W Bradley Place.  The house was listed at $1,059,000 and quickly under contract after multiple offers. The home will most likely sell for over the list price.  Our clients were very interested in both options to get on the blocks.  But the reality is single family homes on these these blocks - and North Center in general - are very desirable and tough to get.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I went to McKinley Deisgn for custom metal and wood

I took a quick trip to the Near West Side last weekend to visit McKinley Design.  Our general contractor Artistic Construction referred Mick's shop for our custom staircase rails.  We wanted metal and wood...they do metal and wood fabrication.

We sent some photos ahead the appointment.  The guys had some ideas in mind and walked me through the materials they could use.  We quickly got on the same page and they provided a proposal to my GC.

The shop at 2535 W Maypole

Mick and Mark
I look forward to posting the final product in a couple weeks or so. Thanks guys!

Closed! Our Lincoln Square three bedrooms condo listing sells for over list price

One of our latest listings sold for just over list price.  4709 N Artesian #2, located just off the Lincoln Square main retail and entertainment plaza, quickly received multiple offers and closed for $380,000 last week.
Images from Photo Light Chicago, owned by Eric Rojas, Broker

The three beds, two baths home has a huge kitchen awesome for gatherings.  The main living space is open, spacious and bright.

Check out the video walk-through!

We represent the sale and purchase of many Lincoln Square condos and houses.  If you are selling or buying a property in the area please consider consulting with us. See you in the neighborhood!

A few photos from Kids in the Square last week

Kid's in the Square 2013 last weekend.  Good times despite the gloomy weather.  Balloon sword and tiger!

Check out this and many other events Sponsored by the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Home sales in Audubon School District up 133%, median price over $1 million

Many of our clients only search for homes in a handful of school districts.  One of the top 5 schools of choice for our clientele is Audubon School in North Center's Roscoe Village neighborhood (we know this from the very unscientific study we've conducted of our clients).  Here's a look at home sales in this popular area and school district this year.
Our client's bought new construction in Audubon school district this year (photo Eric Rojas)

Single family home sales in Audubon Elementary School district (Jan 1st to May 13th 2013)

21 single family homes have closed (sold) in Audubon Elementary School attendance boundaries this year.  The median price is about $1,040,000. Sold homes are up 133% over same period last year when 9 homes closed at this point.

The highest sale thus far is 3330 N Oakley for $1,751,309 (and fifty cents).  The luxury 5 bedrooms new construction house sits on a desirable 35' foot wide lot.  Every foot counts!

Under Contract
13 homes in Audubon School District are currently under contract with a median asking price of about $915,000.
This Roscoe Village foreclosure in Audubon School district was snapped up (photo Eric Rojas)

Click HERE for Audubon and other neighborhood school boundary maps

All data gathered from and analyzed by Eric Rojas, Real Estate Broker.  Sold home numbers in the district are deemed fairly accurate but should be used as a guide to unit sales and prices in a given area.

Bowmanville's green space

The Bowmanville Neighborhood community green space...lookin' good (photos, Eric Rojas)
The Bowmanville Community Organization has kept neighbors connected and fostered a "green lifestyle" in their little burg for decades now.  Their greatest triumph of late may be their acquisition and development of land bordering North Bowmanville Avenue.  

Here's a handful of photos along Bowmanville Avenue taken on my (cloudy) walk with Stanley last week.

If you live in Bowmanville become a member of BCO and consider a donation to the Green Space project.  If you are looking for a nice house in a great North Side community from $400,000 to $1M consider Bowmanville.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

New for Sale! Luxury duplex condo in Audubon School district

 2049 W Addison #1 asking $614,900
High-end kitchen opens to true great room.
Nice move in houses in Audubon Elementary school district of North Center have an average price of over $800,000.  Many easily sell for over one million and most houses sell in multiple offers.  We've just listed for sale a great alternative that offers luxury finish, a great yard, deck and garage spot to give you the extra space you need.

Large great room with fireplace, surround sound, eating area, half-bath and walk-in pantry.
Large deck and real yard off the great room!
The duplex condo has three bedrooms on the same level, two and one-half baths, formal living room and dining room, open great room, two fireplaces, large deck and garage spot.  The lower level has radiant heated wood floors, sump-pump system, laundry room and great storage.

Master bedroom with two walk-in closets

Formal living room
Formal living and dining on one half of the home... great room casual living on the other!
Live steps from great Roscoe Village dining and shopping, the Brown Line train, close to Southport Corridor, Wrigley Field and around the corner from Audubon School.

Friday, May 10, 2013

We work with PHOTO LIGHT Chicago for our real estate photos

Bob and I meet many, many service vendors in our brokerage career.  We choose to work with and refer high quality people with great service prices.  These are folks we've had excellent professional experiences with.
Owner Jola Jablonska of Photo Light Chicago sizes up an exterior shot for us in Wicker Park

Photo Light Chicago has been our GO TO real estate photographer for several years now.  We love the work, prices and the people!

Contact Photo Light Chicago and tell them Eric and Bob sent you!

Closed! Clients nest in gorgeous double-lot Oak Park home near downtown

Space. The final frontier!  Our clients are the new owners of this classic Victorian on the 200 block of South Kenilworth in Oak Park (the asking price was $682,000).  The property is on a corner double-lot with full side yard.  Plenty of elbow room for the kids to run and the gardener to... garden.

You are HERE!

We thank and congratulate our clients.  The home has wonderful curb appeal in a terrific community!

Video! Three tips when selling your renter occupied home

We are dealing with renter occupied homes for sale more than ever.  We are helping our buyer and seller clients negotiate the issues that go along with renter occupied sales. spoke to me last week about selling a unit with renters still in a lease.  Check out the video!

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Early spring fun at Winnemac Park in Ravenswood

I've been meaning to post these Winnemac Park Easter Egg Hunt photos from April...better late than never!  Community Christian Church that meets at Chappell school sponsored the Egg Hunt.    The coffee and goodies were great on the chilly morning. The Winnemac Park area community comes out and enjoys holidays and special events together....always something to do!

Photo! Newest Gold Coast perch at Starbucks on Rush

Bob about town eyes a favorite spot on a FINALLY warm spring day. See and be seen at the new Starbucks concept on Rush Street in Gold at 4:00PM!

We noticed another tear-down next door to the north details at Chicago Architecture blog

Under Contract in 3 days! Wicker Park duplex with great location and space

Maybe it was the great closets. Our newest listing in Wicker Park went under contract is just a few days asking $349,000.  We look forward to a smooth transaction in the days ahead.  Watch the video walk through or view more photos HERE

 Watch the video!

Monday, May 06, 2013

Sold and closed! Client sells huge East Lakeview renovation opportunity for $447,500

Our client just closed his sale of one our most unique listings in some time:  416 W Briar #1 for $447,500.  The 3,800 sq/ft plus duplex condo offers fantastic location and up-side to renovate in this gorgeous boutique building.  This is a dream home opportunity in East Lakeview.  We congratulate the new owners were a pleasure to work with as well!

Watch the video of the spacious, unique home just off Lake Michigan

Image: Photolight Chicago

Bob and I work with terrific service partners (attorneys, lenders, contractors) that can make selling or buying a home much easier.  We also work well together with the parties on the other side of a transaction to keep deals together and keep the drama out.

Call us when considering listing or buying on the North Side of Chicago.

Spring, Victorians and cottages in Wicker Park

If the nightlife doesn't bring you to Wicker Park, the architecture should.  Enjoy a handful of shots around the historic neighborhood from last week.

The entrance at Wicker Park last week...the minute spring hit! (Photo Bob DePalma)

There are many original fantastic Victorians, painted ladies and cottages in Wicker Park.  Some have additions like this property on the rear/left of the photo.