Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Edgewater two-flat sales 2015, median sales price up 30% since 2013

Edgewater is a neighborhood full of two, three and four-flat buildings on tree-lined streets. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
We visited a client's two-flat over the Christmas weekend.  He's living out of state and needed evaluation on market price and potential renovations for his building.  Here's a look at over-all two-flat sales in the Edgewater Community Area this year.

Edgewater Two-Flat Sales January 1st to December 28th, 2015
30 buildings listed as legal two-flats sold thus far in 2015.  The median price is a robust $550,000 driven by the long desirable and historic Lakewood-Balmoral neighborhood and super hip hot Andersonville retail and entertainment district. That's a 30% increase in median price for two-flats over just two years ago.

27 two-flat units were recorded as sold over the same period in 2014 with a median price of about $512,000. In 2013, 33 two-flat units were sold with a median price of about $420,000.

The highest priced two-flat sold in 2015 is 1447 W Berwyn Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60640 for $727,000.  The greystone two-flat in the center of Andersonville sits on a wide 33'x126' lot. The lowest priced two-flat sold is 1534 W Highland Ave , Chicago, Illinois 60660 for 290,000. The frame two-flat is being converted to a single family home.

A good number of the two flat sales were purchased for single family home conversions in the greater Lakewood/ Balmoral and Andersonville neighborhoods of Edgewater.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Winter break baseball at DePaul College Prep

Ryne and buddies at winter break Baseball Camp at DePaul College Prep.
We're always looking for fun and cheap stuff for our kids to do over school breaks.  The city offers so many nearby resources through various institutions. Our son and several Welles Park Baseball teammates are participating this week in a DePaul College Prep youth baseball camp featuring the high school coaches and players. Look for these camps and other resources through Welles Park Parents Association web site.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

East Lincoln Park condo sales 2015... smooth skating

Barnyard skating at Lincoln Park Zoo... one of the many, many convenient things to do living in eastern Lincoln Park.
Getting the rink ready today!
I visited a potential client this morning on North Clark Street by the zoo. They will be selling their home early next year.  This is a good time to look back at overall condo sales in East Lincoln Park... roughly the portion of the neighborhood east of North Halsted Street.

"East" Lincoln Park, Halsted to the lake.

East Lincoln Park condo sales Jan 1st to Dec 18th, 2015
One Beds:  211 one bedroom condos sold thus far in 2015 with a median price about $220,000.  The priciest one bedroom condo sold was at (no surprise) 2550 N Lakeview Ave Unit A5-10, Chicago, Illinois 60614 for $905,000.  158 one bedrooms units sold in 2014 with a median price about $218,000.

Two Beds:   246 two bedrooms condos sold over this time.  The median price is about $389,000. The priciest sale was again at 2550 N Lakeview Ave Unit B1-19, Chicago, Illinois 60614 for $1,069,000 for 1300 sq/ft.  Last year, 246 two bedrooms condo units also sold over the same period with a median of $380,000.

Classic East Lincoln Park living on North Clark Street.
Three Beds:  152 three bedrooms condos sold thus far in 2015.  The median price is about $720,000 (a huge jump over two bedrooms units).  2550 N Lakeview Ave Unit S32-02, Chicago, Illinois 60614 at $3,100,000 took the crown for most expensive three bedroom condo sale.  The most expensive three bedrooms sale outside of the Lakeview 2550 luxury building is 2128 N Halsted St Unit 2, Chicago, Illinois 60614 for $1,800,000.   147 three bedrooms units sold over the same period last year with a median price of about $730,000.

Only 20 four+ bedroom condo units sold from Jan 1st to Dec 18th, 2015 with a median price about $938,000. 

 The South Pond and Nature Boardwalk still great on a gloomy but mild winter morning.

I bought a hat at Uncle Dan's, The Great Outdoor Store in Lincoln Square

The new Uncle Dan's store, 4724 N Lincoln Avenue in "da Square".
Stopped by the new Uncle Dan's last week and bought a winter hat.  I've shopped at the Southport Corridor store in the past and it's great to have one a few blocks from my house.  The Lincoln Avenue store is a good size with great product.  It's not cheap (the hats were reasonable when NOT Patagonia) but a good spot when looking for a quality piece delivered with great customer service and product knowledge. 

Welcome guys!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Mott Street mural, Noble Square

The Mott Street fence mural by Loc Hong in the Noble Square neighborhood is a hint to their eclectic menu.  Check out this spot and Noble Square condo prices if looking to buy in West Town.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Daily Bar and Grill tree lot: Best camo camper

There's many tree lots in Lincoln Square (our St. Matthias School lot being the first choice).  However, best camper in an urban location goes to the Daily Bar and Grill patio.  Lookout for buckshot.

Hey Steve! What will FED rate increase mean for mortgage rates?

I asked "Mortgage lender to the Stars" Steve Dunnett, Blueleaf Lending what the recent Federal Reserve rate hike means for the average home loan.

Here's his quick response to me:

As expected the Federal Reserve raised the federal funds rate by 25 basis points, or .25%. I have already received many emails asking about how this will impact mortgage rates. Honestly I wish I knew but my crystal ball is a bit cloudy. Consumer loans (auto, helocs, student loans) will go up but the initial reaction for mortgage rates today was very minor. In fact, many of our lenders ended the day with better rates than where they were prior to the announcement. Mortgage rates will rise when inflation starts to rise because the investors that buy mortgages will require higher rates of return as inflation rises. In my opinion if you want to know what rates will do we need to keep an eye on inflation.  

Contact Steve anytime! Great knowledge, service and explains everything clearly until you "get it".

Steve Dunnett
Senior Mortgage Consultant

312-725-2068 (DIRECT)
708-289-3408 (CELL)
312-379-8844 (E-FAX)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Today! Latest Lincoln Square tear down house on West Carmen near Winnemac Park

2242 West Carmen torn down today. View from alley, all photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
New house construction is the norm in popular Lincoln Square near Winnemac Park.  The old frame house on a 25' x 132' at 2242 West Carmen was sold recently for $385,000. 

The weathered home did not stand a chance at the $399K list price and was swept up quickly for development. The 132' lot is longer than standard allowing a bigger house while maintaining room for a small yard and deck.
The block has seen two brick bungalow tear downs in the last two years. 2236 West Carmen was mostly demolished (to the foundation). The new house was sold for $935,000 in 2014.  A new construction house (formerly a brick bungalow 90% torn down as well) is under contract at 2224 West Carmen with a $999,900 asking price.  A renovated bungalow with extended dormer recently sold for $735,000 on the block as well.

The pretty 2200 Block of West Carmen leads into Winnemac Park and is popular for new and re-sale single family home buyers.
Read past posts HERE and HERE about new construction on this block of Carmen. The median price of a single family home in the immediate area around Winnemac Park is about $715,000.

Move over CTA Holiday Train for the... Stabucks train?

Less festive but more important.  The "Starbucks car" on the CTA Brown Line promoting their mobile ordering system.

I would consider "the morning" an emergency! We really need a coffee train.

Irving Park neighborhood two-flat sold for $200,000 cash, torn down

3514 N Lowell gets the tear down treatment on Friday
A rare tear down on the 3500 block of North Lowell was in progress Friday.  Bob took the photos on the way to the property inspection on another two-flat we have under contract on the next block. The block is mostly two-flats with no new construction homes (mostly 50-100 year old buildings and houses).

3514 N Lowell shown above sits on a standard lot 25'x125' and sold for $200,000 cash.  I checked permit records on Chicago Cityscape and there is no new construction building permit yet for the property. Will this be the first new construction house on the block? The location has great access to highways, retail and popular Kilbourn Park.

Two-flat sales 
Eight two-flat sales in the immediate Kilbourn Park area between Cicero to Pulaski, Belmont to Addison have been recorded in the MLS over the past 12 months. The median price is about $295,000.  Prices go up north of Addison in the Independence Park area.
Kilbourn Park sales area in the Irving Park Community of Chicago


Saturday, December 12, 2015

Buyers looking in Noble Square (West Town), condo sales up and up in 2015

Noble Square neighborhood is part of West Town Community Area. Image Google Maps and YoChicago.com
We're with buyers today in Noble Square neighborhood of West Town looking at larger duplex condos.  They want to maximize space and be close to Wicker Park / Bucktown and have an easy commute downtown for one and highway access for the other.  Noble Square fits the bill and the budget.
 Noble Square condo sales Jan 1st to Dec 11th
161 condos (attached units, town house) have sold from January 1st to December 11th, 2015.  The median price over this period is $435,000.   161 unit sales beats all of 2014 in which 139 units sold and median price is up about $40K.
Total unit sale in Noble Square by year
139 units sold with a median price of $395,000 in 2014
104 units sold with a median price of $385,000 in 2013
112 units sold with a median price of $346,000 in 2012
62  units sold with a median price of $326,000 in 2011
81  units sold with a median price of $352,000 in 2010
85  units sold with a median price of $355,000 in 2009

Friday, December 11, 2015

Holiday traditions, views at Millennium Park and a look at New East Side condo sales in 2015

I never get tired of this scene skating at Millennium Park (all photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)
We make a specific day trip downtown every December to Christkindlmarket, skating at Millennium Park and then dinner (as long as my son and I have screens to watch some football).   Here's a few pictures... I look forward to many, many more years of this tradition.

Bavarian Pretzel and hot cider... check!
Amalia is our best skater
Looking north on the rink with some iconic buildings in the background.
A new twist this year was hitting Maggie Daley Park before dinner.  Watching your kids shoot out of those slides is as priceless as the views. Photo Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
Lots of new walking paths were added to Millennium Park over the last couple years.
Dinner at Jake Melnick's. Au Pair Charmaine looking after Stanley.
The whole crew at Santa's house at Millennium Park. Left to right; Ryne (8), Stanley (3), Charlie (6 months) and Amalia (6).
New East Side condo sales January 1st to December 4th, 2015

  • 208 units have sold in the neighborhood adjacent to Millennium Park on the north.  The median price for a condo in the "New East Side" is about $445,000 (both one and two bedrooms units can be found at the median price range). 
  • 203 units sold same period 2014 with a $450,000 median price.  216 units had sold same period in 2013 with a median price of about $430,000. That's really consistent sales over a three year period.
The New East Side neighborhood downtown Chicago from Michigan Avenue to the lake, East Randolph to the river.

How crazy is that? You can live on practically the same block for $5,000,000 or $145,000 and walk across to a world class park.

River views on the north from New East Side

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Family wants "in-town" at Mies 330 West Diversey Parkway in Lakeview

330 and 340 W Diversey, Chicago IL 60657 designed by Mies van der Rohe and known as Commonwealth Plaza. Several tiers offer amazing south views over the parks and east to the lake.
Long time East Lakeview clients of ours now have two kids.  Their out of state family plans on long visits with the grandchildren so they've decided to invest in a second home.  They really liked the Mies designed building at 330 W Diversey Parkway in East Lakeview near the north end of Lincoln Park.

Commonwealth Plaza 330 W Diversey unit sales
Six of the 226 units have been recorded as sold in the MLS over the last 12 months.  There may have been a few "off-market" sales as well.  All six unit sales in the last 12 months have been two bedrooms, two bath units with a median price of about $328,500.  The assessments for these units average about $850.00/ month and include heat, AC, water, Internet, cable, maintenance and common building insurance.

The building consists of 226 units that are mostly two bedrooms and two bathrooms. There are a handful of studio apartments, three bedrooms and even combined four bedrooms units (made from combined units). The Mies designed building feature elevators, fitness room, outdoor pool, door person, valet garage parking ($200/ month).

The buildings sits on sprawling fantastic Lincoln Park and steps to the lakefront.
Five units are currently offered for sale at 330 W Diversey.  All the units are two bedrooms units priced from $259,000 for a 6th floor unit in need of renovations to $399,000 for a renovated 5th floor unit with pretty amazing south views over the parks.

Only one unit is pending sale. Unit 2605 is currently under contract asking $485,000.  The corner two beds, two baths home is fully renovated with outstanding views from very room.

Check out an old post from 2011 when we were looking at the building then.

Lincoln Square single family home and multi-unit sales 2015

Walk over from your house and get your holiday on at "Giddings Plaza".
We're nearing year's end.  Let's take a look Lincoln Square single family home and multi-unit sales.  Hint: Houses have gotten expensive.

Lincoln Square Single Family Home Sales January 1st to December 4th, 2015

Large, new construction is a common site in Lincoln Square, particularly between West Montrose and West Foster, east of Western.
118 single family homes have sold thus far in 2015 with a median price of about $700,000.  The most expensive sale recorded in the MLS is 2026 W Wilson Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60625 for $2,922,000.  The new construction property spans three Chicago lots.  

The least expensive single family home sale is 2317 W Foster Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60625 for $225,000.  The foreclosure sale is located on busy West Foster Avenue.  Lincoln Square Community Area Single family home unit sales are up about 45% over 2014.

Million dollar single family home sales have almost doubled this year.  27 of the homes sales have been for over $1,000,000 from Jan 1st to Dec 4th 2015.  During the same period last season 14 home sales were $1,000,000 or over.

One of many attractive multi-unit buildings throughout Lincoln Square.
Multi-Unit Sales (two-four units)
77 multi-units have sold Jan 1st to Dec 4th, 2015.  49 two-flats sold with a median price of about $565,000.  About 50 sold over the same period last year with a median price of $560,000. Several of these had finished "in-law" units which, when done well, add value to the building.

21 legal three-flats sold this year with a median price of about $530,000 and only 6 four-flats sold with a median price at $540,000. 4851 N Winchester, Chicago IL 60625 was the highest multi-unit sale at $890,000. The stately gray stone building has four units and sits on an over-sized lot.

Stats gathered from MREDLLC.com (our member MLS) and glued together by Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty. Enjoy.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Rare new construction house to be built on busy West Foster Avenue, Lincoln Square

A small frame single family home at 2234 W Foster was torn down last week to make way for new development.
You know the real estate market is good when you see a new single family home being built on busy West Foster Avenue. 2234 W Foster was a single family home bought as a foreclosure for $190,000 cash in 2013 by a capital group based in Michigan.  A construction permit was issued to build the new house with an estimated project cost of $165,000 ($165,000 seems pretty low).

Three flat condo buildings built next to a converted single family home and an original single family house across.
The property is currently zoned RS-3 for single family homes and two-flats. It is more common to see an application and a variance granted for a multi-unit along this area of West Foster Avenue.  Single family homes are in high demand in Lincoln Square, however, and I don't think there will be any problem selling a house for great profit at this location considering the low $190,000 acquisition price. There has been a huge price jump for Bowmanville houses over the past 3 years.

We've discussed the steady construction activity along this stretch of Foster Ave near the Lincoln Square and Andersonville retail and entertainment districts.    The block is also a few steps from Winnemac Park and plenty of every day services (grocery, cleaners, buses etc...).  The last large, fully gutted single family home to sell on West Foster between 1800 West to 2400 West is 1912 W Foster Ave , Chicago, Illinois 60640 for $640,000 in 2012 (comparable to new construction). A well finished home at 2234 W Foster should catch up to $800,000 or more in today's market. It would cost more than $165,000.

PHOTOS: A Lincoln Square winter block party

Neighbors worked together to get the block party permit to close off the block and donations on the 2200 Block of West Winona at Oakley.  The kids started the party off with holiday crafts and running wild on the street!
I'd like to share a little slice of Chicago life thanks to fantastic Lincoln Square neighbors near Winnemac Park. Amazing December weather made for a spirited winter block party with neighbors and friends on Saturday.   

Music and caroling of course!

The corner neighbors hosted and we set up tents, food, specialty drinks  and cookie exchange.

We had a few fire pits going between the houses
A visit from Santa!

Neighbors arranged a "cherry picker" truck to string lights on the three story tall evergreen.
A special thanks for donations from Home Depot on McCormick for craft kits, Begyle Brewing, Half Acre Beer Company, and the Lincoln/ Western McDonald's for the hot chocolate.

Friday, December 04, 2015

Historic 25 East Erie courtyard gets facelift, new construction and other Streeterville views

The historic Driehaus Capital building at 25 East Erie is a must see if you're shopping the Mag Mile or otherwise hanging out in Streeterville.  We stopped for a quick look this week on the way to appointments. I say it all the time... I never tire of the diversity of buildings, business and hustle bustle of our downtown.

Curious passersby take a peek at the courtyard renovation. 
The rear structure at 25 East Erie.
A look at Streeterville from rather peaceful North Lake Shore Drive at Chicago Avenue.

Newer construction and icons.
That empty lot yonder is the future home of Northwestern's biomedical research center
The current, and soon to be former, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
The new Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (pictured below and just south of the current building) nears completion.

Old standby 680 N Lake Shore Drive condo residences and shops