Thursday, July 31, 2014

Realtor at work: Final walk-through in Ravenswood Gardens

 I filled in for the final walk-through of a house in Ravenswood Gardens for a terrific Kale Realty associate.  She represented the seller and the closing had been moved up to an earlier date.  Great brokers will have professional partners and associates that can help cover important appointments and keep the transaction moving ahead.

Waiting for the buyers and their agent at 2528 W Wilson in Ravenswood Gardens neighborhood of Chicago
One of the many appointments we personally attend in a home transaction is the "final walk-through" of a property before closing.  The buyer literally walks through the home they are purchasing just prior to the closing to visually inspect several things such as:  The sellers/ tenants have moved out completely, the home is in the same condition as when they made the offer and any agreed to repairs have been made. Any documented issues are handled through the closing attorneys.

2528 W Wilson sold for $516,000 ($6K over asking price).  Charming house on a leafy block directly across from popular Waters Elementary School
The listing agent attends the walk-through on behalf of the seller.  We personally document any issues and make sure everything is as expected.  Once the walk-through is complete we make sure all necessary keys and garage openers etc... are available for the buyers at closing.  Prior to the walk-through there are many, many little details we cover that will help towards a smooth closing!

Sold! Repeat client closes Lincoln Park condo sale $575,000

Take a video tour of our latest sold listing in Lincoln Park

We closed the sale of a three beds, two baths luxury condo at popular Wrightwood Crossing early this week.  1307 W Wrightwood #106 sold for $575,000.  Our investor client who owned in the original development relied on us to make recommendations on preparing the home for market and pricing.  We managed all aspects of the condo renovation and sale process from start to end.  This included managing contractors and working with the Condo Association on key issues.

The entrance to Wrightwood Crossing, 1307 W Wrightwood, Chicago 60614
We thank our client for his continued trust and business.  Congratulations to the buyer who was also wonderful to work with.  Enjoy your new home in a terrific Lincoln Park location.

The median price for a three bedrooms, two baths condo with garage parking in Lincoln Park this year is about $586,000.  Sales stats gathered from

Call or email us to discuss your next real estate purchase or sale.  We handle all aspects of the transaction.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Seen downtown: Here comes the sun

Photo Bob DePalma, Broker, Kale Realty
We caught these office sunbathers in Chase Tower Plaza downtown early this week. Bravo for making the most of their escape. 

Lincoln Park vintage row house sales active in 2014

A wonderful row house on Webster Avenue, Lincoln Park gets some professional care on Monday (photo Bob DePalma, Broker, Kale Realty).
One of our favorite homes we've sold was a historic row house in Lincoln Park's Old Town Triangle.  No other properties seem to say Lincoln Park, Chicago to us than vintage row houses.

Here's a look at Lincoln Park vintage row house sales so far in 2014

Seven (7) vintage row house sales have been recorded in the MLS since January 1st of this year.  The median price for the closed row house sales is about $1,055,000.  

The lowest vintage row house sale is a three bedroom home (2 beds upstairs, on bedroom in the lower level) at 2702 N Dayton Street for $622,000.  The row house did not include designated parking on the property.

Watch our video walk-through of a vintage Lincoln Park row house!

The highest vintage row house sale this year in Lincoln Park is 2537 N Burling for $2,310,000.  The 6 bedrooms, 4 full and 2 half-baths home is located on one my favorite blocks in Lincoln Park.

For sale and under contract

Currently, eleven (11) vintage row houses are listed for sale on the MLS priced from $769,000 to $2,250,000.

Twelve (12) vintage row houses are under contract and pending closing with asking prices of $779,000 to $1,925,000.

We help clients buy, sell and rent property in Lincoln Park.  All sales statistics gathered and analyzed from by Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Photos! Lincoln Park's Etno Village Grill expanding

Photo Bob DePalma, Broker, Kale Realty

Bob and I love a good value.  We especially love a tasty value! I'm not saying we're cheap, but if the food ain't free it better be good (and cheap).

We've really enjoyed the food at Etno Village Grill at 2850 N Lincoln Avenue in Lincoln Park since they opened.  Great flavor and good value.  Bob took a couple shots of the expansion construction after a walk-through of our listing at 1307 W Wrightwood down the street.  We work and cross through Lincoln Park near Etno often and look forward to the re-opening.

Hurry back!

Indignity at a title company closing

 Bob attended a closing on behalf of our clients yesterday at a downtown title company where he suffered the bathroom key spatula.  Oh, the shame.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Crain's: Poor families use CHA "super-vouchers" to live in luxury buildings

A Crain's article on controversial use of CHA housing "super-vouchers" (formerly known as Section 8 subsidized housing vouchers) has gained a lot of attention today.

Tax dollars to subsidize this view? (Photo Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)
Bob and I have not worked with clients looking for housing while possessing a voucher.  However we have worked with landlords considering making their apartments eligible for CHA vouchers. Additionally, Kale Realty has a wealth of expert brokers dealing with people looking for quality housing... being it low income clients or those with vouchers.  One thing we have learned over the years is housing for voucher holders in low crime and high income neighborhoods is scarce.  Housing for voucher holders is pretty much scarce in general.

Set aside the classicism and racism in the comments to judge if this is a good CHA and HUD policy, a well intentioned but flawed policy or if the practice should be investigated for corruption.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Photos! Once a school, new Illinois Masonic building in Lakeview almost complete

Advocate's Illinois Masonic Hospital is located in the heart of Lakeview.  The new Center for Advanced Care at Illinois Masonic Medical Center, 836 W. Wellington Ave. (Photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)
The 900 block of West Barry in the Lakeview neighborhood use to feature an elementary school and then a vacant lot.  When showing our listings on the block we would get questions about the closed school and then the vacant lot after the school was demolished.

Buyers were nervous that a large, tall structure would go up right across from them blocking views.  Not to mention buyers may face years of construction while in their new home.  It was definitely a key objection and affected sales prices on the block.  The hospital employees and visiting families add to the bustling scene and support local business.

Condos, apartments and a single family house line the 900 block of West Barry directly across from the new construction hospital building.
 The mystery is over.  The new hospital building is three stories tall and remains set back a fair amount from West Barry and the residential homes. The block is steps from tons of popular retail and restaurant options. 

Looking west at the new Adovcate Illinois Masonic building
We congratulate and appreciate Advocate's investment in the neighborhood.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Photos! Meeting a client on East 53rd Street, Hyde Park

The Hyde Park Bank building remains a bold, classic statement on a great residential and retail strip of Hyde Park on Chicago's South Side. Interesting architecture and entertainment options line East 53rd Street.
 I was in Hyde Park on a beautiful Sunday morning a week ago to meet a client at a new listing.  The condo is located at 1229 East 53rd Street just steps from just about anything you need.  From the practical like CVS Pharmacy across the street to excellent dining options like A10.

Here's a handful of photos I took on East 53rd Street on a quiet Sunday morning early this month.

Vintage buildings at 1229 East 53rd Street are steps from local retail, dining and close to the lakefront.

An anticipated 267 unit new construction apartment building at 1330 E. 53rd Street is slated for completion next fall.  The Mobile gas station was demolished early this year.

Take a stroll through Nichols Park

Students sit, chat and play ukulele early Sunday at a plaza in Nichols Park

The park and school campus have many attractive landscaping elements.

Dinner and entertainment at Chant on East 53rd Street

The Mellow Yellow needs no introduction

Flashes of modern retail space have been built closer to the lake

People just starting to mill about along East 53rd Street

Cyclists eat at Valois Cafeteria

Great looking patio and restaurant at A10

Five Guys (!) in a vintage building. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Parking in Evanston

I'm in southeast Evanston today prepping a new listing for sale.  You can park for two hours on Chicago Avenue for $1.50 and  you don't need to put the little ticket in the window.  They even retrofitted the old meters to take credit cards along with Internet and phone(!) options to pay. 

The Trump sign is not that bad

I snapped this photo of the river and Trump International Hotel and Tower last Thursday around dusk (after muscling a couple tourists out of the way). Is the sign that bad? Or is it people don't want to look like New York or Vegas?  This has always been one of my favorite views in the city and I didn't feel the Trump sign has affected that. 

Will the people of River North and downtown survive?  Read more... 

Sold! Buyer clients close luxury Graceland West home in Blaine School district

We had buyers looking to balance a luxury home purchase with their child's school considerations.  Initially focusing on southern and eastern Lakeview neighborhoods another nearby opportunity popped up.

We were the buyers' agents on the recent sale of 1453 W Cuyler in Graceland West neighborhood of greater Lakeview Community Area. All photos, Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty

1453 W Cuyler, (recently closed for $1,350,000), is located in a small sliver of the desirable Graceland West neighborhood that resides in the highly ranked and popular neighborhood school James G. Blaine district. The newer construction 4 bedrooms home at 1453 W Cuyler had recently reduced the price to $1,369,000. Our clients quickly secured the home in a multiple offer situation.  The adjacent house at 1451 W Cuyler immediate listed on the market at $1,369,000 shortly after our client's home and was quickly under contract as well.

Only a small couple blocks of Graceland West reside within the far northern attendance boundary of Blaine school

The tree-lined "bedroom community" of Graceland West neighborhood is located just between the uber-popular Southport Corridor and fast growing local retail of the Ravenswood neighborhood.  The signature custom and high-end homes line the quiet, yet close to all the action streets. The CTA Irving Park Brown Line train stop is close by.

Graceland West is a friendly, tight knit community of high-end and custom properties.
Most Graceland West homes feature great character and full, mature landscaping.
Congrats to our clients and we hope they enjoy their new hood!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Welles Park Baseball: Coach pitch!

I have taken great pride in "coach pitching" to our Junior White Sox team at Welles Park Baseball (WPPA).  I've only beaned three of our players all year (okay, four players and one kid twice... sorry Izzy).

One of the great joys this spring and summer has been my son's Welles Park baseball team.  The Welles Park Parent Association is a well run baseball league in Lincoln Square/ North Center with a wealth of experience, resources and opportunities for young baseball players.  I've really enjoyed the many parents I've met as well.  The league is popular so visit their web site linked above for registration information.

These kids love playing catcher!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Seen in Lincoln Park: "High 5"

There's a lot going on in this graffiti at the residential corner of  Racine and Wrightwood in Lincoln Park.  I noticed this while working at the Starbucks across the street (one of my most frequent mobile offices).

The vintage building is undergoing some sort of renovation.

Realtor at work! Meeting contractors at a vacant Egewater high-rise unit

Our clients count on us to advise them on how to best prepare their home for sale.  Everyone's home condition, moving situation and budget are different.  Our experience dealing with many home buyers and sellers allows us to confidently outline a plan that meets our clients' goals within their means.

We suggested painting the entire loft home one off-white color.  One color is most economical and shows best.

We initially met our clients at 1122 W Catalpa #707 for an evaluation of condition and pricing of their condo.  The busy, growing family decided it was best that we paint the entire home and do repairs to the unit immediately after they move out.  Speed would be important.

We were able to refer a contractor and meet him at the condo on behalf of our clients.  He provided a great quote and started the job the day after they moved out.  We met and started the contractors in the building (high-rise renovations and access can be tricky sometimes).  In just four days the condo was completely refurbished, photos were taken and we listed on the MLS within a week of the seller's moving out.

Our plan worked as they received a great offer on the home in the first few days of showings and it's now under contract pending attorney review.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Seen in Lincoln Square: What ad was this?

This old advertisement is painted on the side of a building on Lincoln Avenue. A newer construction building sits adjacent and cuts off half the painted picture. What is the subject of the advertisement?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Lincoln Park three bedroom condo sales: Units down, prices UP

We are under contract and in attorney review on a three bedroom condo listing in Lincoln Park.  Let's take a look at how three bedroom condo sales are doing this over-all this year.

The entrance at 1307 W Wrightwood, Wrightwood Crossing in Lincoln Park (Photo Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)
Three bedroom condo sales in Lincoln Park January 1st to June 30th, 2014

165 attached homes (condos, town houses) listed as three bedrooms have closed from January 1st to June 30th this year. The median price is about $625,000.   In 2013, 186 condo units sold at a median price of $564,000.  2014 is another year of tight inventory and rising prices for the most desirable neighborhoods.

The highest sold condo listed in the MLS was tat the newest luxury building in Lincoln Park. 2550 N Lakeview Avenue Unit C8-13 closed for $3,999,000. The home was listed as 3965 interior sq ft + 758 sq ft terrace.

The lowest recorded sale in the MLS over the same period is 825 W Diversey #2 sold quickly for $286,000 ($1,000 over list price).  The vintage 3 bedroom vintage condo did not include dedicated parking. The busy but great walkable location offers terrific shopping and transportation.

All sales statistics gathered from and analyzed by Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty.  The stats are meant as a guide and are as accurate as possible.

Finally! Construction begins on long time vacant lot in Ravenswood, 27 apartment units on their way

 All Photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty

The long vacant northeast corner of North Ravenswood and West Wilson is in development.  The  According to the 47th Ward Alderman's office the building will feature 27 apartments and ground floor commercial. North Ravenswood corridor area features a cool mix of business and residential properties.
I get a brand new apartment and get to live across from O'Shaughnessy?  Sign me up.
The new apartment building is located across the street from popular O'Shaughnessy Public House and adjacent to many local eateries, artists and shops along North Ravenswood Aveune.  Hint, hint! I'm available to market these apartments!

These converted loft offices are next door to the north. Many shops, restaurants, artists, techies and businesses cluster in this unique city corridor.
Over 200 brand new apartment units will come on-line this year in the greater Ravenswood neighborhood within a few blocks of the CTA trains and the Ravenswood Metra stop.

The Ravenswood area north and east of the Lincoln Square retail center continues to attract residents, business and infrastructure improvements while maintaining a "green" and pedestrian feeling. It's a great place to call home.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Wow! New for sale: Huge vintage penthouse on full floor in East Lakeview $589,000

416 W Briar #3 asking $589,000.  An entire top floor 2300 sq/ft unit with 2 car deeded parking, in-unit washer/dryer, central heat/AC and terrific front terrace.

Live large on one of the best blocks in East Lakeview. Sophisticated top floor home among the tree-tops.  No shared walls.  The condo occupies the entire top floor.

Watch the video!

3 bedrooms, 2 full baths
2 car parking pad (deeded)
Approximately 2300 sq/feet
Central heat and air conditioning
Extra storage locker in basement
Large front terrace
 Family room
Sun room
Master bath
In unit washer/dryer
Assessment apprx $467.00 (includes 2 car parking)
Taxes (including parking, 3 total PINS) apprx $10,000
FLOOR PLAN available soon
Building has 3 guest parking spots
Boutique 4 unit building
Fantastic near lakefront location
Nettelhorst School 

The home needs updating but maybe the only full floor penthouse units of this size available in a long time!

The property features a double lot allowing for a spacious, airy feeling and entry courtyard.

Extra wide south facing living and dining adjacent to the front terrace.

Living room feature coffer ceilings and wood burning fireplace

Family room

Family room

Gallery hallway with built in storage

Guest bath

Eat-in kitchen

Kitchen has two entry/ exits for good flow in the home

Large island with sink and great pantry cabinets

Kitchen has east light and all modern necessities including disposal and dishwasher

Spacious master suite can fit a California King and furniture

Lots of light in the large master bedroom

The master bath needs renovation but provides large space for a dream spa-like bath.
Second bedroom with east light

All seasons sun room has great space for playroom, office, nursery or craft room

The third bedroom is large and bright
Gorgeous home with vintage detail and rare space!

 Pre-approved buyers only please.  Contact us to buy, sell or rent properties in Lakeview and most north side city neighborhoods.