Monday, March 31, 2014

We didn't know we needed that! Roof top fireplace and view

We saw this roof top deck fireplace on a Lakeview single family house in Roscoe Village last weekend.

The house priced at just over $1.2 million was the only one out of many viewed with a roof deck AND fireplace in the general price-point and beyond.

The view is great too.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

New For Sale: Big Lakeview town house with FANTASTIC outdoor space $499,900

Not yet on MLS!  1251 W Fletcher Unit I asking $499,900.  The best outdoor space in the Sweeterville town house development in a terrific Lakeview location.  Call Eric Rojas, Kale Realty for a showing 773-510-1597 or email  Mortgage pre-approval preferred.  773-510

Watch the video!

This town house has some of the best outdoor space you will find at the price.  A large 300 sq/ ft deck right off the main living space and a private patio and garden off the main floor family room.

Huge deck off the living/ dining area and close to the kitchen
Very spacious and wide open exposure. 
Private patio and garden off the main floor living space.

New master bath renovation

Loft for office, playroom or third bedroom features large storage closet.
1251 W Fletcher Unit I, $499,900
Two Bedrooms
Two Full, One Half-Bath 
New Master Bath
Attached Garage
Huge Deck
Private Patio and Garden
Security System

 Close to CTA RED Line, BROWN Line and PURPLE Line at Belmont. Walk to restaurants, bars, grocery stores and Southport Corridor.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hellas Gyros in Bryn Mawr Historic District

Hellas Gyros is still good! I use to stop here as a kid while staying with my grandparents. 

After some business in Edgewater's Bryn Mawr Historic District last week I stopped in at Hellas Gyros to reward myself for a productive day.  It's hard to pass up all the old school great places to eat while working around the city.

North Center new construction home activity

Real Estate writer Dennis Rodkin of Crain's had a nice story  a couple weeks back about fervent demand for new construction houses in Chicago Several of our clients seek new homes in North Center up to $1.5 million and they can concur with the story. New construction activity seems endless, yet competitive, in North Center while prices easily exceed the $1.5 million dollar mark. 

All photos Bob DePalma, Broker, Kale Realty
While showing another house on West Fletcher in the "near" Roscoe Village neighborhood of North Center when we came across the two impressive new construction homes.  1905 W Fletcher to the left is listed by At Properties for $1,799,000.  1909 W Fletcher to the left is listed as under contract with an asking price of $1,799,000.

1928 W Fletcher shown above and below is listed by Jendra Realty at $1,525,000. Tax records show the property last sold for $500,000 in late 2013.  The original small frame house was torn down.

North Center new construction for sale and sold

Currently, there are 5 new construction homes marketed for sale on the MLS for North Center with asking prices from $1.4M to $1.8M

8 new construction homes are listed on the MLS as under contract with prices ranging from $1.3 million to $1.8 million.

6 new construction homes listed in the MLS have closed this year in North Center with prices ranging from $1.2 million to $1.6 million.

In just the first 3 months of the year (at the time of this writing, 19 new construction houses are either just sold, under contract or available in North Center alone.  That's a lot of new houses for a community area.
All sales statistcs derived from our member MLS

Read more of our North Center posts HERE

Home buying tips: Common high-rise building fees

We have several clients a year that want to purchase in a high-rise building. Our clients main reasons for wanting a high-rise condo typically are 1) Location, 2) Security, 3) Amenities and 4) Budget.

Streeterville is a popular destination for our relocating clients looking for a high rise unit (Photo Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)

Budgeting for high-rise living can be a puzzle for some clients.  They have to factor in relatively high monthly assessments and yearly fees. Often times the building amenities such as pools, fitness area, bike room and private parks are not included in the monthly assessment.

Here are fees from a MLS listing I sent to our client:
"Fee for Bike Room, Fee for Pool, Move-in Fee, Move-in Mon-Fri, Move-in Saturday, Refundable Damage Deposit"

However, a high-rise building with higher amenities and fees can reduce or swap costs in your current budget.  Your condo unit assessment and fees may be less than your current utility, health club and transportation costs to get to the gym.  High rise living can save you time too... and time is money!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Stan's Donuts Wicker Park

We drove by Stan's Donuts and Coffee of Wicker Park last week.  Couldn't stop on this day but we'll be back.

The recently opened Stan's Donut's.  Photo Bob DePalma, Broker, Kale Realty
The whole cupcake craze is kind of ridiculous. Give me donuts.

Ted Brunson weighs in!

Under Contract! Buyer clients secure "Best Places to Live" Hinsdale house

Bob personally dropped off an earnest money check in historic downtown Hinsdale before heading to our client's home inspection.
We recently represented clients in the purchase offer of 429 N Glendale in Hinsdale.  The asking price for the four bedrooms, two and one-half baths house is $699,000. Hinsdale has been a popular and desirable place to live for ages but also received recent buzz from Chicago Magazine's Best Places to Live feature.

The four bedroom traditional home is tucked in a wooded sub-division, has a great family room and finished basement.  It also has four great sized bedrooms on the second floor including the master suite. Photo, Bob DePalma, Broker with Kale Realty
Very nice patio and backyard surrounded by trees
Our clients are selling their Chicago house and making the move to the suburbs.  The decision is made a little easier when you see the nice big backyards.

Backyard at 423 Glendale
The contract is in attorney review and inspection period. We look forward to putting together a smooth transaction for our clients.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Eric Rojas in Chicago Tribune on Chicago sales numbers

The Chicago Tribune interviewed me this week on Chicago sales numbers and prices.

I also mentioned that on the North Side we see new construction house prices up over last year. Similar homes built on standard lots on the same blocks have seen an increase in selling price.

Keep an eye out for another column that discusses what sellers are doing in this market.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Under Contract! Sleek Edgewater concrete loft gets snapped up

One of our latest  listings at 1122 W Catalpa #712 is under contract after a few days on the market.  The asking price is $209,900 

Watch the video tour! 

The contract is now in attorney review.  If you are interested in buying or selling in the building, please contact us today.

Photo! Andersonville water tower removal stops traffic on busy North Clark Street

Bob got off the bus to take this shot of the the Andersonville water tower removal this afternoon near Clark and Foster (Photo Bob DePalma, Kale Realty)
Read more on the water tower story HERE

Damaged Andersonville water tower comes down today

The Andersonville water tower a top the Swedish American Museum (Photo, Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)
The water tower is coming down today.  Reports are the Swedish American Museum and the Alderman are looking into restoring or replacing the icon but it's too soon to tell what the options will be.

 Jillian and I have lived fairly close to the Andersonville North Clark Street "downtown" and water tower for the better part of the last 12 years.  We realize these recognizable structures are important to the identity and quality of life our neighborhoods and hope a campaign for a restored tower becomes reality.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Eric Rojas, Lincoln Square featured in this month's Chicago Magazine

Chicago Magazine interviewed me on Lincoln Square and featured one of my photos in their April edition featuring Chicago's Best Places to Live.

Budlong Woods of Lincoln Square beautiful Georgian style house. Photo Eric Rojas, Broker with Kale Realty

Buyer wants NEW in Gold Coast and Old Town

We have a long time client who currently lives in Old Town who has started to look for "move-up" properties.  The homes must be new construction or fully renovated with higher-end finish level.

A cool renovation inside a classic vintage building at 150 W Burton basically on the Gold Coast, Old Town boarder.  Photo Bob DePalma, Kale Realty

We viewed this really cool renovated penthouse duplex in a vintage building pictured above over the weekend.  150 W Burton Place 2-3 is listed by Coldwell Banker at $1,099,000.  The home in a terrific Old Town, Gold Coast location is spacious.  In this case, a little more house than our guy needs.  It has two outdoor parking spaces but no garage.  Any parking is a plus down here(!) but we've concluded a garage is a must have despite this property being priced right.

When looking for your house, no detail too small!

Ah HA! A refrigerator!
Our buyer clients can count on us to do the research, due diligence and lend our home owner experience when searching for their house. No stone unturned!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Chicago parking

Photo Bob DePalma, Kale Realty
We came across these beauties today.  A parking spot in this Edgewater high-rise heated garage will cost you $10K each.  The cars?  Well...

Friday, March 14, 2014

Photos! Ravenswood Station update, Mariano's almost open

Scott Bloom, neighbor and  President of Winnemac Park Advisory Council (and friend to many) updates us on Ravenswood Station.  The large scale and high profile retail and residential development is about open for business at LA Fitness and Mariano's Fresh and tenants soon (at Ravenswood Terrace apartments).  The new Sears Auto Center is open for business.

All photos, Scott Bloom, Architect
The development has made a striking change to the West Lawrence street scape at North Ravenswood Ave near the renovated Metra station
Rare springlike temperatures gave me a chance to check out the progress of the new commercial development at Ravenswood Station.

The Sears Auto Center is open. Although I have yet to see any new Yelp reviews.
 I bet right now it is the cleanest auto service center in all of Chicago.

There is a surface parking lot in the rear of the lot. The Ravenswood Terrace 
apartment complex under construction can be seen at the far end of the surface lot.

 The  main entrance to the fitness center is oriented to the surface lot.
Notice the permeable pavers used at the parking spots. Nice touch.

There is pedestrian access  at the far north edge of the lot. 
Pedestrians can walk down the alley and head out to Ainsle St. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Logan Square foreclosure house on the Boulevard under contract asking $814,900

Photo Eric Rojas, Real Estate Broker, Kale Realty

I passed this attractive home yesterday on 2649 West Logan Boulevard.  I noticed the house back in 2009 when it had an astronomical asking price of $1.6 million and knew something must be up.  Turns out the house was surely headed for a foreclosure. It went under contract quickly in February of this year with an asking price of $814,900.  It's possible it may sell over asking price in the current market.

The judicial sale (official foreclosure is done) was recorded in September of last year.  In many cases it takes a little while for a foreclosed property owned by the lender (REO, bank owned) to be listed for sale.  Banks enlist brokers like myself to handle the sale of the property.  If banks are smart, they will take the advice of a good broker and market the property in it's best showing condition possible to achieve top dollar.

Photo Eric Rojas, Real Estate Broker, Kale Realty
This particular home took about five months to be listed for sale.  The home seemed to be presented in tip-top shape.

From Lincoln Square to Logan Square to Old Town despite another winter storm

North Oakley near Ainslie in Lincoln Square yesterday morning.
I started the day in my home neighborhood Lincoln Square, Ravenswood by dropping my son off at St. Matthias School.  We usually walk these pretty streets but drove the icy roads today as I was heading directly out to Logan Square. (Photos of North Oakley in Lincoln Square)
Next stop was Logan Square to finalize the rental turn-over of one of our client units.  We rented a three bedroom, two baths newer construction unit with parking for $2,350.  The new tenants receive keys this week.

House on West Logan Boulevard yesterday morning.  The deep setbacks and trees are great along the Boulevard.

My last stop in the evening was Old Town to meet with a long time client.  We went over the market value of his home and talked about his move- up next purchase in the city.  The deck was both pretty AND depressing at the same time. In past years in March we might have been out there talking!
A house on North Cleveland in Old Town. The frozen snow on trees and wrought iron made for many pretty scenes around the city.  We are working with several clients now looking to buy Old Town, Gold Coast condos in high-rise buildings and single family houses close to the area.

Photo! Ravenswood "Red X" house now a gut renovation

This house on the 2200 W Block of Winnemac once donned the Red X signifying to first responders that it was not structurally sound.  All photos Eric Rojas, Real Estate Broker
Rumor has it a former Red X house on West Winnemac in Ravenswood had been left to neighbors by the previous owner.  The home is now under renovations.  I'm sure many neighbors appreciate the property's general shape is being preserved and the house renovated rather than torn down.

If you are the owner of the house and would like to discuss the project with me privately, please feel free to email  It's a great addition to the neighborhood and the block!