Friday, July 31, 2015

Photo day! Prepping a new Lincoln Square listing

We'll be listing a single family home in the Winnemac Park area of Lincoln Square.  The desirable location has exploded with new infrastructure and retail development over the past few years to become one of Chicago's hottest neighborhoods. Houses are in huge demand. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
I spent the morning in Lincoln Square taking floor-plan measurements, photos and video of a new Lincoln Square listing.  The three bedrooms,  two and one half-baths single family house will hit the market next week. Photo/ video day is always an exciting time for the clients and myself.

The blocks around Winnemac Park are lined with trees and classic inviting front porches.

Winnemac Park offers prairie trails, play-lot, tennis, baseball diamonds, soccer/ football fields and a stadium track. The park hosts many leagues such as kickball, lacrosse, baseball, softball and more.
Winnemac Park is more popular than ever with increased sports, recreational and entertainment activities combined with a large natural prairie preserve.

Currently there are 29 homes actively listed for sale in Lincoln Square with a median asking price of about $700,000. Take a look at my recent Lincoln Square home sales stats!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Buy a condo and fresh produce in Andersonville

We swung by the Wednesday Farmers Market in Andersonville last evening after showings.
Andersonville Condo Sales January 1st to July 28th, 2015
126 condo attached units (condos, town houses) have sold in the greater Andersonville neighborhood area this year.  The median price of an attached unit is a reasonable $265,000.  Over same period of 2014, 126 attached units sold as well with a median price of $287,500.  It's rare this year to see a popular geographic area in the city have a lower median price than the previous year.  However, new construction town house sales (along with some new Clark Street condos) propped up prices last year.

The highest sale this year is 1740 West Catalpa, Chicago IL, 60640 Unit 1W for $625,000.  Unit 1E also sold for $625,000. The four bedrooms "duplex-down" condo represents fairly rare new construction on a residential side street. Most new condo units are built long commercial/ arterial streets in the area.

The lower end of sales (even under $100,000) tend to be one and two bedrooms condo units in larger vintage converted buildings in the far north of the sales area.  It's an affordable way to live in a walkable neighborhood close to transportation.

I use the above sales area for year to year comparisons. The Andersonville neighborhood is a huge draw for a diverse population looking for terrific urban living on leafy streets.

For sale and under contract
There are about 52 attached units are listed for sale in the great Andersonville sales area with a median asking price of $262,000.  60 attached units are currently under contract with a median asking price of $325,000.  It looks like buyers are dishing out for the higher priced, nicer units rather than than the lower-end of the market.

All sales stats from gathered from and interpreted by Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Boom! Bowmanville single family home unit sales increase first half of 2015, huge price gains since 2012

Green wind screens are a familiar site in the Bowmanville neighborhood of Lincoln Square.  Tear down and gut rehab construction continues it's good run in 2015 fueling pricier real estate.  Photo Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty

Bowmanville home sale activity and prices are way up over the past several years. The over-all median price of a Bowmanville house in 2012 was $359,000. In 2015 thus far median price is $780,000.

15 Bowmanville single family homes have been recorded as sold in the MLS from January 1st to June 30th of 2015.  The median price of a home has jumped to an astounding $745,000 over the first half. The highest priced closing in first half 2015 is a new construction house at 1830 West Farragut for $1,137,500.  The lowest sale is a small brick cottage 2212 West Foster, Chicago IL 60625 for $265,000.  The home was purchased by an LLC and $50,000 in permits have been recorded on the property since April.

Only 5 homes sold same period in 2014 with a median price of $460,000. The highest first half sale of 2014 was $750,000.  In 2013 we have a larger sample of 11 homes sold over same period and median price of about $485,000. The highest sale first half of 2013 was $1,000,000. In 2012, 8 homes sold for a median price of about $410,000. The highest sale first half 2012 was $520,000.

The Bowmanville neighborhood sales area.
Sales trending way up
In all of 2014, 17 Bowmanville single family homes closed with a median price of about $470,000.
In all of 2013, 28 houses closed with a median price of $505,000.
In all of 2012, 20 homes closed with a median price of $359,000!

Bowmanville has 16 closed homes this year through July 28th with a median price of $780,000.

All stats gathered from and interpreted by Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty.

Photos! 13 condo units under construction in Lincoln Square, Bowmanville at Foster and Oakley intersection

The one story commercial/ retail building has been demolished to make way for a new 8 unit condo building at West Foster Avenue and North Oakley Street (5202 N Oakley, Chicago IL 60625). ALL photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
The Bowmanville neighborhood in northern Lincoln Square has experienced an eruption of new construction houses and condos over the last year.  This mimics the frenzy of activity in greater Lincoln Square area north of Lawrence where we're in the third year of many "tear downs" and re-developments (including gut renovations). We are seeing more condo units added as of late.

Demolition almost complete at 5202 North Oakley.

The long vacant property with dilapidated back patio area was an eyesore on a corner with several eyesores at the intersection.  But that is changing quickly.  I noted in an earlier post that the corner across the street (northeast corner) will likely be developed as one building was purchased by a broker/ developer and the other vacant and in distress.

Two more new construction condo buildings on south side of Foster near completion.  A two unit building on the 2200 block of West Foster fills a long vacant lot (above) and a new three unit building towers over cottages on the 2300 block of West Foster (below). This brings 13 new residential units in the half block.

New construction of any kind tends to come with controversy. Issues include affordability, zoning, green-space, size of homes, design, noise and rental units vs ownership.  The 8 unit building at 5202 N Oakley faced a few issues.  First, some folks were upset that the development would get a variance to build garden residential units and eliminate the commercial use of the property.  The extra residential component seems to have plenty of local support due to plenty of vacant ground floor retail in the area.

Secondly, residents have pushed for more green space on the property.  I agree with this principle in general as large new construction eliminates run-off and open space.  The developer and neighbors are reported to be working on green roof components to help with rain water for this particular property.  Personally, I'm for reducing the footprint of new construction homes on the interior residential streets to require more green space and to make it easier to build larger developments on artery streets like West Foster.

Some complained more condo units will increase traffic.  I think this is a negligible factor due to already busy Foster.  The area has great walkable amenities such as dry cleaners, large grocery stores, bars, restaurants... those businesses in turn need people. More people help more walkable businesses thrive in northern Lincoln Square.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Attention soccer fans! Live in a new (or newer) pad near The Globe, North Center

A new condo building goes up next door to The Globe Pub (1934 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60613) in North Center.  The property sold in 2014 for $385,000 for development.
Irving Park Road offers condo living options near pubs, restaurants and public transportation.  Many of the units are newer construction.  The four blocks of Irving Park Road from North Ashland to North Damen (1600 west to 2000 west) has 19 closed condo units on the MLS for a median price of about $370,000 over the last 12 months. 

There are no listings yet on the MLS for the new units pictured above.

Condo sales numbers from earlier this year along the ever developing strip of Irving Park Road.

New construction building progress on Irving Park Road near the CTA Brown Line earlier this year.

Sky's the limit for Lincoln Park three bedroom condo unit sales, up 22% (buildings under 50 units)

I took this photo of another new construction condo building in residential Lincoln Park at North Wayne and West Schubert on Friday.
Our most recent Lincoln Park three bedroom condo is under contract for more than the sellers paid back in 2008.  We've seen some big prices for new construction and re-sale three bedroom condo units around Lincoln Park.  Let's take a look at unit sales and prices for the first half of 2015.

Lincoln Park Three Bedrooms Attached Home Sales (condos, town houses) January 1st- June 30th, 2015 (Buildings under 50 units)

171 condo units have sold from January 1st to June 30th in Lincoln Park this year (buildings under 50 units).  That's up 22% same period 2014.  The median price is about $612,000.  The lowest priced three bedroom condo sale is 2733 N Hamden Court, Unit 3B for $300,000.  The vintage unit in a Victorian Brownstone with updated kitchen did not have parking included. The highest sold unit is 2128 N Halsted #2 for $1,800,000.  The penthouse unit is in a converted police station building originally built in 1887.

*Add buildings over 50 units and a total 208 units closed for the first half of this year. 2550 N Lakeview #C6-25 (a luxury high-rise building) closed for $2,660,000.*

Typical newer construction building with three bedroom units in Lincoln Park
Over the same period in 2014, 140 units closed on the MLS with a median price of $609,000.  The highest prices closing was 2355 N Commonwealth #2 for $2.5 million.

In 2013, 152 units closed on the MLS with a median price of $550,000. The highest sale in first half 2013 was 2145 N Clark Unit E for $1.2 million. Same period 2012, 119 units sold for a median price of $525,000.

For Rent: Ukrainian Village SINGLE FAMILY HOME near Smith Park $3,300 per month

The house for rent in UK Village near Smith Park
A client needs to sub let their single family home rental in Ukrainian Village near Smith Park at the intersection of West Superior and North Campbell. Home is available September 1st, 2015! Non-broker listing.

Please see the craigslist ad HERE. 

Contact Kim at (not me).


Steps to Metra, Smith Park, Great Restaurants and Nightlife in Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Town, Logan Square, Humbolt Park.


Year Built: 2004
Sq Footage: 3000 sqft.
Bedrooms: 3 Beds
Bathrooms: 2.5 Baths
Parking: 2 Garage
Lease Duration: 1 Year (See Details Below)
Deposit: $3,300
Pets Policy: Cats & Dogs OK
Laundry: In Unit
Property Type: Single Family House

• Living room
•Dining room
• Master Suite
• His/Hers Walk-in Closets
•Master bath
• Steam Shower
•Storage space
• Range / Oven
• Microwave
•Garbage disposal
•Side-by-Side Washer/Dryer
•Balcony, Deck
• Heat: forced air
•Central A/C
•Cable & Satellite Ready
• Hardwood floor
•Granite counter top

1 year Lease. Tenant responsible for gas, water and electric.


Living/ Dining

Master bath

Master bedroom

Great yard

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Lincoln Park two bedroom condo units sales up 13% first half 2015 (non high-rise), prices inch up

Taste of Lincoln Avenue today before opening.  Many condos line Lincoln Avenue in Lincoln Park.

We'll be listing another two bedroom condo near North Halsted Street and West Diversey Parkway in August.  This Lincoln Park intersection offers dozens of restaurants and bars near the lake.  The CTA Brown Line at Diversey is a couple blocks walk.  Let's take a look at over-all Lincoln Park two bedroom condo sales (no high-rise, under 50 units).

Lincoln Park two bedroom condo sales (no high-rise, under 50 units) January 1st-June 30th, 2015

212 two bedroom condo units closed on the MLS from Jan 1st to June 30th in Lincoln Park. Unit sales are up thirteen percent (13%) over the same period in 2014. The median price of a two bedroom condo (under 50 units total) is about $415,000.  186 units were sold over the same period last year with a median price of $409,500.

In 2013, 173 two bedroom condo units sold in the first half with a median price of $400,000. 

Vintage two bedroom condos on Clark Street.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Need a proper pub? Red Lion Lincoln Square

The best English pub experience on the North Side is The Red Lion in Lincoln Square.

A few of us Alumni always stop by after meetings at Northeastern Illinois University.

Dark oak, leather chairs and perfect seating arrangements for conversations. And lest we forget the red telephone booth and movies on the tele.
posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Lawrence Avenue "Global Garden" an oasis in Albany Park, Ravenswood Manor

GLOBAL GARDEN (from Peterson Garden Project)
Lawrence/Sacramento Location
Albany Park – 33rd Ward
North River Commission, Global Gardens Urban Refugee Training Farm, Slow Food Chicago, Seed Savers Exchange
Produce will be given to Lincoln Square Friendship Center and First Slice
The Global Garden at West Lawrence Avenue and North Sacramento in Albany Park has been up and running for a few years now.  The site cleaned up the "blight" that was a busted condo development adjacent to Ronan Park and the river.  As the saying goes things happen for a reason and this garden trumps a condo development at this particular location for sure. Read about the development of this site at this everyblock thread. 
I stopped by the Global Garden at 2900 W Lawrence, Chicago IL 60625 in the Albany Park / Ravenswood Manor neighborhood earlier this month. Developed by the Peterson Garden Project the large urban garden offers a striking contrast to the Lawrence commercial corridor that's a jumble of independent business success and failure.  However, this strip of Lawrence from North Western Avenue to North Kedzie Avenue is becoming more lively. The garden, to me, acts as an organic anchor promoting the vibrancy of the surrounding community.

The garden was buzzing with activity this late morning in July. The site operates as a food and training resource for refugee families and offers garden plots to neighbors for a $65.00 (or so) fee.

Global Garden community plots. Several neighbors from the green minded Ravenswood Manor community to the south walk over to tend to their little farms. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
Living near the garden
Condos with West Lawrence Avenue addresses near the garden site vary form vintage condo conversions around $200K to newer construction condo units over $400,000.  Town houses sit adjacent to the west and look unobstructed over the garden.

Single family homes within a couple blocks of the Global Garden have sold prices ranging from $230,000 for a small foreclosure house at 4836 N Albany, Chicago IL 60625 to $899,000 for 4905 N California; an expanded luxury gut renovation east of the garden.

Birdhouse apartments at Montrose Beach

Even the birds know good real estate.  Montrose Beach harbor at dusk 4400 N Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, 60640 (photo Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty).

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Lincoln Square's very own premiers the film "Unexpected" this Friday!

One of Lincoln Square's very own (and my neighbor) hosts the theater debut of her latest film "Unexpected" this week at the Music Box Theater, 3733 N Southport Ave in Lakeview.  Kris Swanberg's Sundance festival acclaimed film will be shown this Friday July 24th, 2015 at 7:00PM.  VIP reception at 6:00pm and Q&A with directer Kris Swanberg after the film!

Great reviews and great buzz surrounding the film. Check out the interview on WGN!

Wowie wow wow! 10 terrific Lincoln Park homes near completion on West Deming Place

10 new single family homes complete the street-scape on the 400 block of West Deming in Lincoln Park.  The high end Lincoln Park 2550 development looms in the background.  The lots on West Deming Place and West St. James (part of the original Lincoln Park 2520 development meant for town homes) were sold off to home builders.
No MLS listings are posted. At least 3 have been sold already to my knowledge (2 completed and one being built). I'm sure others are spoken for as well. Two lucky winners have closed homes and moved in among the 8 still under construction.  The contemporary (to the right, complete with giant Apple monitor in the window) and a traditional brick and limestone rub shoulders.

More traditional stately architecture of surrounding east Lincoln Park
It's an amazing transformation in a very desirable Chicago location. It's so pleasing to see residential homes so close to the lake and parks rather than the hospital parking lot previously built on the block.  But I'll let Christopher Walken describe it.

For perspective on home prices for the block a gut renovated home with vintage facade across the street at 458 West Deming Place, Chicago IL 60614 is under contract with an asking price of $3,350,000.  The home sits on a 26'x151' lot...over-sized for the area.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Bob would never let this happen!

I took our buyer and his parents (in town) for a contractor visit this morning to his pending new home under contract. Everything was scheduled by my partner Bob. He runs all our transactions. And if you have met him, you know he means business.

Despite an email confirmation in bold writing from the listing agent the current tenants were not told about our visit. Confusion (on their part) ensued.

Then later today, our seller client's attorney confirmed the wrong closing title company downtown for our sale. The seller attorney chooses the closing location! Everyone showed up to the wrong place, buyers, sellers, attorneys and Bob.

When working with all our associate team members Bob would never let this happen!

posted from Bloggeroid

West Loop one bedroom condo sales (parking included) up 86%, median price up 28% in first half since 2011

One bedroom condos in West Loop are a popular way to enjoy city life and live near your downtown job (or West Loop job for that matter). First half unit sales of West Loop one bedroom condos in 2015 (with parking included) are up 86% since 2011. Let's take a look at first half sales in 2015.

Views down West Jackson in West Loop.  Photo Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty.
West Loop one bedroom condo sales (including parking) January 1st to June 30th, 2015
157 one bedroom condo units listed with parking sold from January 1st to June 30th, 2015. Ten more units changed hands than in 2014.  The least expensive condo to sell is 2322 W Roosevelt Road #3N, Chicago IL 60608 for $65,000 cash.  The small unit was a foreclosure needed some renovation.

The highest sale for a one bedroom with parking is 333 N Canal Street #2905, Chicago IL 60606 for $445,000.  The luxury top floor unit at River Bend includes amenities like fitness room and 24hr doorman.  Heat and AC included in the $717 assessment for this unit.

Median price of a West Loop one bedroom condo unit with parking included is about $270,000. That's up 28% over the first half of 2011.
Just another day in West Loop (Photo Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)
Past first half one bedroom condo sales
In 2014, 147 one bedroom condo units with parking sold with a median price $256,000
2013, 155 units sold at median of $242,000
2012, 113 units sold at median of $200,000
2011, 84 units sold at median $210,000

All stats gathered and interpreted from

Thursday, July 16, 2015

I just signed up for the Chuck Kane Memorial Golf Outing supporting Northeastern Illinois University

For several years I've sponsored a foursome at the NEIU Chuck Kane Memorial Golf Outing.  There is still time to sign up for a great day of golf on Monday August 17th at Chevy Chase Golf Club in Wheeling.  This year's dinner speaker is Northeastern Illinois University Alum Tom Corfman of Crain's Chicago Business.  I'm excited to hear him talk especially in these times of school budget cuts.

Beer money

Vendors check out at Wrigley Field after Friday's Crosstown Series game.   My beer guy is in the green shoes to the right.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

New listing, sales at 420 S Clinton in West Loop

Gotham Lofts at 420 S Clinton Chicago IL 60607 in The West Loop. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
We met with a client this week for a new listing at 420 S Clinton.  Gotham Lofts is a popular and extremely well run loft building in a West Loop location known for great public transportation options and highway access. The building includes a fitness room, bike room and great roof deck with skyline views.

Units are one and two bedroom lofts.  Sales prices for one bedroom layouts in the past 12 months range from $220,000 to $235,000 with parking included.  Two bedroom units have sold from about $250,000 to $330,000. We will list a high floor one bedroom timber loft with parking space (not all units are timber ceiling ) for around $239,000.

The Clinton CTA Blue Line stop is a block away in addition to Olilvie Transportation Center a short walk north.
The most important step when meeting with clients for a home sale listing is setting expectations for the selling process (selling price, showings, potential issues, timing) and advising on all needed improvements prior to listing.  We help carry out each step!

Old market

You can see a lot of Chicago's bones cutting through the neighborhoods.  I snapped this shot of old industry at Ogden and Ada driving through now trendy Fulton Market area.

Lincoln Square median home price up 45% from 2012 to 2015

New construction single family home at 4930 N Oakley. The original property on an over-sized lot was sold for $465,000 last summer. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
The Lincoln Square area is probably a "Top 3 buzz neighborhood" in Chicago due to the rapid addition of foodie destinations, infrastructure improvements, popular fests and luxury home construction.  Let's take a look at single family home sales in this desirable city location. Median single family home price is first half of 2012 was about $440,000.  At the half of 2015 it stands at about $639,000... a 45% increase over 3 years.

Home sales January 1st to June 30th, 2015

62 single family homes have been recorded as sold on our local MLS from January 1st to June 30th, 2015.  The median price of a house stands about $639,000. The highest home sale is 2030 West Leland, Chicago IL 60625 for $1,565,000.  The newly built home completed in 2013 after a long foreclosure and consequent redevelopment finally has a owner on the prominent Lincoln Square block.
A long vacant and dilapidated property on North Oakley was finally sold to a developer.  The new home nears completion this year.
The lowest single family home sale in the Lincoln Square community area is 2317 W Foster, Chicago IL 60625 for $225,000.  The small brick cottage on busy Foster was bought by an LLC.  Several new three unit construction buildings are going up on this strip and re-development could be a possibility for this property.

In the first half of 2014, 40 homes sold with a median price of $565,000.
In 2013, 53 houses sold with a median of $540,000.
In 2012, 50 houses sold with a median of $440,000.

Lincoln Square has many desirable qualities urban dwellers look for:  A long established retail and entertainment "downtown" in addition too many commercial hubs spread throughout the neighborhoods, great public transportation options (several CTA train stops, Metra and buses), access to large public parks (Welles, River and Winnemac) and diverse housing options.   

Square Roots Fest!
 It's worth noting many of the lower end homes have been sold and developed by private owners in recent years.  The next time these houses sell it will be for over triple the last transaction. With median price of a house at $1,000,000 to the southeast border in North Center (a very comparable neighborhood) I expect the trend of higher priced homes in Lincoln Square to continue over the next ten years.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Indiscreetly modern: Five new houses make splash in west Lincoln Park

Five new modern design houses are being built on the 1400 block of West Altgeld in the northwestern portion of Lincoln Park.  RD Precision is the builder, marketed by Sergio and Banks. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
I took a few pictures of this modern single family home development in western Lincoln Park a week or so back.  It's typical to have a modern home mixed into a block here or there in the western part of Lincoln Park. It's very rare to see five modern homes built together... or even to see any five new single homes built contiguously on any traditional residential block on the North Side.

One of the homes, 1448 W Altgeld Chicago, IL 60614 is under contract with an asking price of $1,799,900 according to the MLS.  Another house in the development 1452 W Altgeld is listed for just under $2 million. 

The hit parade continues for new construction houses in Lincoln Park with seemly endless buyer demand. Additionally, other re-sale homes on the same 1400 block of Altgeld are under contract with asking prices from $1,098,000 to $1.5 million. 4 pending sales on the block with more to come. That's a lot of change for the block club!

This stately brick house on the 1400 block of West Altgeld is more typical for this area of Lincoln Park.
Lincoln Park houses sales over-all to date

A quick look at MLS numbers shows about 88 single family home closings from January 1st to July 1st of 2015.  The median price for a house is just over $1.6 million.