Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Skokie single family home prices rise with the tide

Skokie is diverse suburb home to a gazillion brick homes of various styles that fit almost any budget.
We popped out to Skokie this weekend for house showings.  The Village of Skokie is a logical option many of our city dwellers looking for nearby affordable houses and well rated schools (our clients are looking under $500K for a four bedrooms house). The drive from our client's current location in Lincoln Square is 20 minutes and Skokie is easy to highways.  The village has seen an uptick in sales prices over the past five years mirroring many popular Chicago neighborhoods.

Skokie boasts a true downtown with eateries, services, shops and civic events.
473 single family homes closed in Skokie over 2017 with a median price of $327,500. The highest priced home sale was at 4200 Grove St, Skokie, IL 60076 for $1,100,000.  Two homes sold over $1M and only 41 homes sold over $500,000.  In 2016, 526 homes sold with a median price about $315,000 (that got you a nice conditioned four bedrooms, 2 baths split level in high-rated schools).   

Back in 2012 the median of a Skokie single family home was only $225,000 with a highest priced home sale of $748,000. So far in 2018, 31 homes have closed with median price about $360,000. 98 homes are currently for sale in Skokie at the time of this writing.

Skokie offers home buyers a downtown area, plenty of eateries, great Park District, decent public transportation options (Skokie Swift video HERE) highway access and good schools in a wide range of budgets. Robust theater/ arts are a staple in Skokie and it's home to the very important Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.  Enjoy all of beautiful North Shore for less in Skokie... and it is close to Chicago whenever you'd like to come back 😃

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Ravenswood Gardens and Ravenswood Manor staggering home sale prices

Many charming brick homes line West Wilson Avenue in Ravenswood Gardens and Ravenswood Manor. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, kale Realty.
We have several clients aggressively looking for a house in the Lincoln Square area.  This includes Ravenswood Gardens and Ravenswood Manor (the Manor is technically in Albany Park but it is associated with Lincoln Square as well). A few houses have come on and sold really quickly in these neighborhoods this February.

Ravenswood Gradens is a popular Lincoln Square neighborhood west of Western Avenue and East of the river.
Single family home sales in Ravenswood Gardens
13 single family homes closed over 2017 in the Ravenswood Garden neighbor with a bonkers median sales price of $1,050,000.   11 homes sold over 2016 with a median price of $655,000.  Even in high flying 2007 before the financial crash six homes had closed for a median price of $700,000.  Seven homes sold for over one million dollars.  The highest prices sale was a full gut renovation at 2451 W Eastwood Ave, Chicago, IL 60625 for $1,115,000.

Six Ravenswood Gardens homes are currently under contract with three of those selling within a week from listing. 

Ravenswood Manor neighborhood of Albany Park
Ravenswood Manor single family home sales
20 single family homes sold over 2017 with a median price of about $650,000.  The Manor price appears much lower than their near neighbors to the east.  But one story charming brick homes can catch up to $875,000.  That's right... no second story.  In 2016, 28 homes sold with a median price of $575,000.  In 2007 before the crash 22 houses closed with a median price of $547,000.

There are pockets of older frame houses that are a little cheaper near the fringes of North Kedzie, West Montrose and West Lawrence that keep the median price down. One controversy brewing in the neighborhood is proliferation of new construction homes in this designated Historic District.  



Seen in Ravenswood Gardens

I was looking at houses in Ravenswood Gardens over the weekend.  One of the neighbors has made some interesting decor choices. 99% sure the dolls DO NOT come alive at night.




Saturday, February 17, 2018

Sad,empty Crate and Barrel will become Starbucks mothership

646 North Michigan Avenue was custom built in 1990 for the Crate and Barrel flagship store. Photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
I walked by the the recently closed Crate and Barrel store yesterday at 646 North Michigan Avenue. It is the first time I have been by since it has been vacant.  The world's largest Starbucks coffee store will move in. The world doesn't need another Starbucks but it will probably be pretty cool and I'll patronize. Sigh.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Sold! The Heritage at 130 N Garland... client nabs unit before it hit market!

130 N Garland, The Heritage is a luxury building across from Millennium Park
We attended the walk through and closing today for our client's purchase of 130 N Garland Unit #3502... The Heritage!  We worked with many great agents, our buyer and private unit owners of a few specific buildings to find a unit that met our client's specific criteria.  After seven months looking and researching we worked out a deal on a pre-market listing (before it hit MLS)!

Views from Unit 3502
Vacant, clean and no damage!
We made sure the unit was vacant and in good condition. Then we headed to the closing to support our client and to produce any needed documentation during settlement.  And... for free title company SNACKS! Alas, no cookies today.

Whoa, real mugs!
Congrats to our repeat clients who went from Lakeview town house owners to downtown renters to downtown owners in a couple years! 130 N Garland Ct Unit 3502, Chicago, IL 60602 sold for $800,000.  If you are thinking of buying or selling in the downtown area or North Side of Chicago please contact us.


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Diversey Parkway closings, Yak-Zies closed... everything closed!

This is a great area to live but large construction projects are going to be the norm as the East Lincoln Park location redevelops. All photos Eric Rojas, Kale Realty
We were working down in East Lincoln Park yesterday and took a peek at some construction projects. The 508 W Diversey construction is causing requisite chaos along the ever changing landscape of West Diversey Parkway east of Clark Street in Lincoln Park / Lakeview.  The large structure also blocks the view of the attractive greystone building to it's immediate east. That greystone of course was home of the recently closed Yak-Zies bar. I don't know if the new construction projects influenced the closing of the long time tavern.

Building up Chicago has some real cool pics of the crane rig at the 508 W Diversey construction site. 


The Hampdens condo project across the street (the cleared site shown above) is boasting 60% pre-sold on their advertising billboards.

Friday, February 02, 2018

Sold! Clients buy vintage co-op at Edgewater Beach Apartments

You've seen it!  You love it! Edgewater Beach Apartments (EBA) building at 5555 N Sheridan Road, Chicago IL 60640 (all photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty unless otherwise noted).
Congrats to our buyer clients on their purchase of 5555 N Sheridan Road Unit #1608 in iconic Edgewater Beach Apartments  co-op on Thursday The large two bedrooms, one bath vintage unit was a steal at $125,000.  Our out-of-state buyers intend to use the home as an "in town".  This bright home will shine after floors are refinished and a good paint job. The assessment is $949/ month which includes everything (Heat, Water, Gas, Property Tax, Common Insurance, Security, Doorman, TV/Cable, Exercise Facilities, Pool). The lakeside grounds, on-site maintenance, retail offerings and building amenities have you covered!

The bright living room and dining rooms need some love. The huge apartment has formal rooms and many original details.  Photo Eldorrado Chicago Real Estate
The co-op purchase is much different than buying a condo in many ways. Namely you are buying shares of the cooperative. Applications must be submitted and co-op board may interview and reject potential purchasers.  Prospective purchaser's finances are greatly scrutinized and minimum down payments (or cash deals) can be required.  Here's a basic comparison of condo vs co-op.

Great west views from the unit (lake views will cost you more!)
The Bryn Mawr Historic District and surrounding blocks offer dozens of shops, cafes and restaurants like Starbucks, Francesca's Bryn Mawr outside your door. Mariano's grocery store is a few blocks down on North Sheridan and the building is adjacent to lakefront paths and the beach. The CTA Red Line stop at Bryn Mawr is a couple blocks from the Edgewater Beach Apartments. The buyers will "car-less" when visiting their city home!

EBA's huge swimming pool and room built for a Wes Anderson movie! The pool restrooms, shower and locker room area have been renovated not too long ago.
Client Mark with real estate attorney Kent Novit.
18 apartments have sold in the last 12 months at Edgewater Beach Apartments. Prices range from $82,500 for a studio apartment to $425,000 for an updated 2000 sq/ft three beds, two and one-half baths home. The design of the building, views and various updates make each apartment home truly unique!

Lakeview Clark and Belmont Starbucks closed for renovation, BUT, don't worry eight more Starbucks are nearby

Keep walking for your Frappuccino 
The very busy Starbucks at Clark and Belmont in Lakeview (3184 N Clark Street) is getting the renovation treatment like so many of their stores. 

Totally gutted

They've directed me to nearby stores. Okay the Lincoln and Damen location is a stretch.  That giant Starbucks at Sheffield and Addison is really weird too.  I can't see that lasting too much longer as a regular store concept.

Old Town's former Noble Horse Theater property now luxury condo development

Two new construction condo buildings are under development at Orleans and Schiller in the Old Town neighborhood. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty.
The lot has been cleared at 1400 N Orleans at West Schiller
We were in the Old Town neighborhood of Chicago's Near North side last week showing condos.  One new and interesting development is on the former Noble Horse Theater and Stables property at 1400 block of North Orleans. The Equis development  (the website has a cool video driving down North Wells on a summer night) offers a more accessible condo building with smaller units starting in the $290s. A second tower offers luxury full floor units starting in the $800s. Curbed Chicago has a run down here of late last year.

I took photos of the closed down Noble Horse Theater and Stables in 2014 when there was little hope of saving the property.

Carriages for downtown rides were still stored on the property.

The Old Town towers will afford unobstructed downtown views from many of the units.


2017 Old Town condo sales
204 condos (attached units and town houses) closed in the Old Town footprint (North to Division and LaSalle to Larrabee ) with a median price of about $455,000.  If you exclude high-rise buildings (buildings over 50 units) the median price is $525,000.

The highest attached condo unit sale in 2017 was 1418 N LaSalle Street Unit B, Chicago IL 60610 sold for $1,330,000.  

Back in 2012 as things started to get cooking again 168 units closed for a median price of $315,000. 82 non-high-rise units closed for a median sales price of $390,000.