Thursday, January 30, 2020

Looking for Edgewater single family homes (and a peek at sales)

Homes along West Edgewater Avenue last weekend. Several homes are listed for sale on the block.

I was out last weekend with our buyers looking at newer construction homes in southwestern Edgewater. We're creeping through a slow January for home new listings. I tell my motivated clients to hang in there! However a couple of the open houses we went to had tons of foot traffic despite being on the market for awhile.  I've also shown my clients Pre-MLS listings and private listings that will go on the MLS (or not) next month.

Let's take a quick look at Edgewater home sales.

2019 Edgewater single family home sales 

The Edgewater Community Area recorded 64 single family home sales over 2019.  The median price of a home sale was about $700K. The highest sale was an amazing custom renovation at 1341 W Balmoral for $2,155,000.  The least expensive home sold was 6069 N Ridge for $246,000. The small three beds, one bath home on a busy traffic stretch has a long 138' lot.

Five homes closed in the month of January of 2019.  With one more day in January 2020 (a Friday), four homes have closed. Ten homes are currently under contract and I estimate maybe two will close by tomorrow before the end of the month.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Under Contract! West Ridge condo near great parks and shopping gets multiple offers

Our latest North Side Chicago listing in the West Ridge neighborhood (just northwest of Lincoln Square) went under contract over the weekend with multiple offers.  The two bedrooms, two baths newer construction home at 6015 N Mozart Unit 102, Chicago IL 60659 listed at $199,900 showed great. Buyers jumped at the value in this challenging price-point! We enjoyed preparing the condo for sale and showing the unit. The contract is now in attorney review period. More details HERE

Take a quick walk-through of the unit!

Large kitchen island overlooks the living room with gas fireplace.
 The unit had been rented for many years and needed a refresh. We brought in our contractors for painting, new carpets, buffing the floors, new appliances and changing out a few fixtures. The home looks like brand new construction!

Master bedroom with double closets and large en suite bathroom

Double vanity, jet tub and separate shower.
The walk-out terrace is off both the kitchen and master bedroom

The building is just northwest of the pricey Lincoln Square and Andersonville neighborhoods and west of Edgewater. The location is easy to many great amenities and institutions such as Northeastern Illinois University, North Park University, Swedish Covenant Hospital, Legion and River Parks, Mather High School, North Park Nature Center, Indian Boundary Park, Green Briar Park, Warren Park, Target and Wolfy's!  I94 and the North Shore communities are easily reached.

This condo unit attracted a ton of showings and multiple offers. There is a demand for value just outside of the hottest North Side neighborhood centers. Give us a call or email to buy and sell in Chicago and the near suburbs.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Save money on your property taxes now! Easy steps!

Property taxes in Chicago are a hot topic and can cost a pretty penny.  Photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty

Real estate attorney Patrick Loftus offers tips to make sure you are receiving your property tax exemptions. Read his guest post below! Reach out to Patrick anytime with real estate tax and legal questions.

I often come across people who are entitled to a homeowner or senior exemption on their tax bills, but they aren't getting one for some reason. So, I put together some instructions for them to check.

1. First, click here.
2. Next enter your address or PIN. If you get stuck at this stage, click here to send me an email, and I'll help you out, no charge.
3. Check to see if your property comes up. If that is your property, scroll down to the center of the page and look under the "exemptions" heading to see how many were applied last year.
4. If it is 0, and you live at the property, your bill should be lower. If it is 1, and you are 65+, then your bill should be lower.

It's as simple as that. If you are not getting all your exemptions, the solution is fairly simple. Click here to get the application for your homeowner exemption. If you are 65+, here is the link for the senior exemption. Fill out the proper form(s), sign it/them, and send it/them in with your supporting documentation.

If you have prior years where you should have received more exemptions than you did, you can submit something called a "Certificate of Error" and receive a refund. Click here to email me for more details on that.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Lincoln Square bungalow property sold for $1,090,000, demolished to build two new houses

A Chicago bungalow was demolished in Lincoln Square just before the holiday at 4834 N Leavitt. I took this photo when only the sun room portion was left standing. The bungalow and vacant side lot measuring a total 60'x124' were sold for $1,090,000 to develop two new houses. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
Early last year a desirable double lot property at 4832-34 North Leavitt Chicago IL 606025 in Lincoln Square sold for $1,090,000 (according to public records). According to the MLS listing each lot measured about 30' wide and 124' long. That's $124.00 a square foot for the land... $545,000 per lot! 

Photos of the original house I took in 2013.
I did a quick post about the property back in 2013 due to its large side yard and sprawling gardens. There are very few vacant residential lots hanging around Lincoln Square. Several properties with side lots have recently sold for development ( 2438 West Carmen for example ) and one triple lot is currently for sale ( 2610 West Winona ). Occasionally a high-end home owner will acquire a home next door and tear it down for a side yard.  

Sales around Winnemac Park

Sales around Winnemac Park and 4832-4834 N Leavitt
The property is a short walk to Lincoln Square restaurants, CTA Brown Line and Winnemac Park. The median price of a single family home in the neighborhood surrounding Winnemac Park over 2019 was about $750,000. 
I've walked and/or driven by the property over a hundred times. The garden was often my first site of spring. 

The vacant side lot existed as a large garden for decades. Vacant side lots don't last forever in bustling areas like Lincoln Square.
The lowest priced single family home to sell was 4807 N Seeley for $405,000. The property lot measured 25'x122' and the small house was torn down to build a new house. The highest sold home in the immediate area around Winnemac Park was 4918 N Seeley for $1,340,000.  The new construction home was built on a 26'x122' lot.  

Contact us to buy and sell homes in Lincoln Square, the North Side and near suburbs.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Uptown's Truc Lam Buddhist Temple demolition, new early education school coming

The Truc Lam building at the corner of West Wilson and North Ashland in Uptown. Photo taken early in 2019. The property was listed for sale in 2017. All Photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty

The fences and backhoe early this month signaled the Truc Lam building demolition in Uptown is imminent.  
The Truc Lam Buddhist Temple property in Uptown sold last year after listing in 2017. I scanned public records for the purchase price but it has not yet been recorded.  The demo permit was issued on January 9th and the back hoe showed up some time around then. A company called Viking Development purchased the property and will develop a two story building. The Gardner School will be the long term tenant.

Check out my post on the property and some photos from early last year.

Block Club Chicago has some background their November 2019 story.  

The corner of Wilson and Ashland will see a little more action once the school building is completed.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Old Town Triangle home sales, renovations not for the weak stomach

I stopped by a friend and business associate's single family home renovation in Old Town Triangle last week. We had a good talk about some ins-and-outs of the project and available options. The facade must be maintained and alterations made to Landmark Commission standards. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty.
Old Town Triangle is a desirable and landmark district neighborhood in Lincoln Park's southeast edge. It's also a relatively expensive place to buy property in Chicago. Further, any renovations and alterations to the exterior of properties face intense scrutiny of the neighborhood association Historic District Planning and Zoning Committee and the Commission on Chicago Landmarks. Check out the guidelines for renovating historic properties HERE

Last week I visited a friend and business associate who has embarked on a renovation in Old Town Triangle. He's a former resident of the neighborhood and professional in real estate brokerage and development. A great working knowledge of the landmark renovation process for this particular historic district and good standing relationships is key to success! The gut renovation and expansion pictured above may justifiably look overwhelming!

While some renovations work through the Landmark Commission process with little fanfare other projects in this tiny burg can bring out the worst in people.  Here's a story from Block Club and a filed Fair Housing discrimination lawsuit associated with another Old Town Triangle alteration.

Earth is dug out to extend the size of an Old Town Triangle home. It's no small task to dig out basements and pour new foundations!

"Extended" Old Town Triangle sales area.
Sixteen detached properties (single family homes) sold over 2019 in Old Town Triangle.  The median price of a sold detached property was about $1.6 million. 

The highest price sold house was 1824 North Cleveland, Chicago IL 60614 for $3,860,000

The lowest priced detached property sold at 1639 North North Park, Chicago IL 60614 for $662,500. That's about $200.00 per square foot for the opportunity to gut rehab an historic home 😃

Currently there are sixteen homes for sale in Old Town Triangle with a median asking price of $1.8 million. As always... contact us if you are buying or selling in Chicago and would like our resources on your side.

Blast from the past!

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Greater Budlong Woods, Chicago house sales: Median price up 31% from 2015

A custom Budlong Woods home after last night's snowfall. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty unless otherwise noted.
A pair of our current clients have to push out a little from the Western Brown Line Station to find a single family home. The Budlong Woods neighborhood offers relatively affordable single family homes in the far northwest corner of the Lincoln Square Community Area.  Budlong Woods "proper" is a fairly  small section of Lincoln Square. For educational purposes I look at sales in a slightly expanded region around Budlong to show the housing prices and options just out of the center of Lincoln Square.

Greater Budlong Woods neighborhood located northwest of the Lincoln Square center. The leafy neighborhood is close to a large park system, Swedish Covenant Hospital, North Park University, Northeastern Illinois University, Jamieson Public Elementary, Northside College Prep, Mather High School and a spattering of local owned businesses.

Sixteen homes were recorded sold on our membership MLS over 2019 (there may be a handful of off MLS private sales). The median price of a sold single family house over 2019 was about $500,000. The least expensive home sold was 2733 West Gregory, Chicago IL 60625 for $312,000.  The dated yet solid Georgian style home has three bedrooms, one and one-half baths and sold for over the list price.

Typical Georgian style brick home in Budlong Woods area.
The most expensive home sold in our sales area closed for $740,000 at 5306 North Virginia, Chicago IL 60625. This is completely gut rehabbed four bedrooms, three and one-half baths home. Currently there are only two homes listed for sale in the Budlong Woods sales area shown in the map above. Both are in the $400s.

Budlong Woods is one of the few North Side neighborhood locations with a handful of really cool custom mid-century modern homes built in the 1950s.
In 2017, twenty-one homes sold with a median price of about $435,000.  In 2015, eighteen homes sold with a median price of about $380,000. Median prices for a single family home are up about 31% from 2015 through 2019 in the Budlong Woods area of Lincoln Square. 

If you are looking to buy or sell a home on the North Side of Chicago and the near suburbs please contact us.

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Starting the year in Streeterville (and a look at condo sales)

A very nice plaza view looking from The Children's Museum at Navy Pier. The nearly completed Vista Tower sits just across the river from Streeterville in the Lakeshore East development.  
We've had a busy December and start to the New Year. I'm going to try and post a LOT more (like the old days) about our daily business adventures a observations while working around town.

I've really enjoyed the Streeterville neighborhood over the years. My wife works at Lurie Children's Hospital (formerly in Lincoln Park) and we've taken advantage of the dining and entertainment and cultural events in and around the area. It's also a favorite place for Bob and me to show condos! Bob is a former resident of several Streetrville buildings.

556 condo units sold over 2019 with a median price of about $325,000.  That relatively affordable number for the primo location does not take into account high monthly building assessments. They can easily reach $800 to $1,000 a month on a two bedroom unit. The vast majority of condos at or under the median price are one bedroom units.
The real Streeterville... this view from Lurie Children's Hospital. Mix of old and oldish high-rise buildings in the heart of the neighborhood.

Our current first-time buyer has a budget in the median price range (max $330,000 depending on taxes and assessment). Streeterville is their near work.  The "must haves" are two bedrooms and in-unit laundry. Not the easiest thing in the world to find in the neighborhood on a budget! Our client will have to look in buildings most likely built in the 60s and 70s.

One unit that meets our criteria is 222 East Pearson Unit 609, Chicago IL 60611 closed at $292,500. The two beds, one bath unit has in-unit laundry, in building parking, gym, 24 hr doorman and great location.  The assessment in this example is relatively high at $733.00 a month but the sale price range would make it work in the budget.

Currently there are only two Streeterville condo units listed active for sale that have at least two bedrooms, in unit washer and dryer and priced under $350,000! If you are looking for a home this season downtown, Streeterville, North Side or even the near suburbs contact us.

Thursday, January 02, 2020

Sold! North Center three bedrooms condo in Coonley school district

4104 N Western Avenue, Unit 3S, Chicago IL 60618. We listed and sold the property in multiple offers within one week.  All photos Eric Rojas, Kale Realty and

We were happy to represent the sale of 4104 N Western #3S ($395,000) just before the New Year holiday. The warm three bedroom condo unit with the best gas fireplace we've used (amazing flames!) sold quickly after listing. The buyers liked the size, various outdoor spaces, rare attached garage and location in Coonley Elementary School district.

Our client worked hand and hand with us to prepare the unit. We all can imagine this can be a difficult process after calling a place home for twelve years. The work paid off as we received multiple offers!

MORE photos and info HERE
The upgraded unit has tasteful mill work and a great fireplace.

Open living floor-plan and large windows let the eastern light in.

The back terrace is accessible from two bedrooms. 

A common rooftop deck provides skyline views. 

161 three bedrooms condo units sold in North Center over 2019. The median price of a sold condo was about $523,000 for the year. Call/ email us today to talk about selling or buying your home in Chicago or near suburbs.