Saturday, January 30, 2021

(UPDATE SOLD FOR $515K): Gorgeous Albany Park two-flat, move in ready, asking $499,900

4517 N Sawyer, Chicago IL 60625 asking $499,900. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty and
Check out this great opportunity to own a truly move-in ready two unit building just steps from the CTA Kedzie Brown Line stop! Immaculate two-flat in Albany Park 

4517 N Sawyer Avenue, Chicago IL 60625 asking $499,900 

Take a walk through 3D TOUR

View more photos and MLS information HERE

Wonderful move-in ready building! Inviting 1ST FLOOR unit features TWO BEDROOMS, one bath, entry foyer, separate living room and dining room. Warm, contemporary feel with great character! Fantastic kitchen with dishwasher, huge pantry and bathroom both renovated about five years old. Sunroom/ breakfast room off the kitchen leads to back covered stairway. 

Bright and light 2ND FLOOR unit leased until 3/31/22 for $1,700 (without parking). Features entry foyer with large coat closet, THREE BEDROOMS, one bath, separate living room and dining room. Fully updated kitchen with dishwasher and large pantry. 

Second floor unit is fresh, bright and nicely updated! 

The 30'x 126' lot provides spacious yard and patio for entertaining. 

TWO CAR garage w/ "party door" and ONE exterior parking pad for extra income (3 car parking total).  SEPARATE BOILERS, gas and electric utilities for each unit. Clean basement, apprx 6' 11" to 7ft ceilings with shared laundry room and tons of semi- finished space (once used as in-law living space). Property falls in the new Chicago Accessory Dwelling Unit ordinance pilot area for garden apartments and coach houses. Please refer to the ordinance for due diligence. Well maintained building, various electrical, window and lighting updates over five years with roof approximately 8yrs old. 

Walk the river trail just several blocks from the building.

A+ location just steps from CTA Brown Line, grocery options, amazing restaurants and your corner Starbucks. Minutes to River Park (and awesome river trail), Ravenswood Manor Park, Edison Regional Gifted Elementary (CPS), North Park University, Northeastern Illinois University (with community pool and gym!), Swedish Hospital and Galter Life Center fitness club. This is a beautiful building to call home!

Starbuck's on the corner!

Two blocks to the CTA Brown Line stop
Amazing local food and grocery options!


Exclusively listed by:
Eric Rojas, Broker. Kale Realty
2447 N Ashland, Chicago IL 60614

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Three big Lincoln Square things going on now


Several large housing and infrastructure developments at the center of Lincoln Square are being discussed, debated and even facing opposition. Check out three big things affecting the neighborhood now:

Western Avenue Corridor Study 

You may join a meeting to discuss the possibilities for the portion of North Western Avenue that passes through Lincoln Square (basically Montrose to Bryn Mawr). The meeting is led by Department of Planning and Development (DPD) and the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT)

From the web site: The study will examine the land uses, development patterns, and circulation along this heavily traveled and diverse corridor. The study seeks to analyze the potential to:

  • Increase density
  • Promote a greater mix of land uses
  • Improve how development relates to the surrounding, lower-scaled residential areas
  • Enhance pedestrian safety through a forward-thinking design and planning process.

City owned parking lot at North Western and West Leland

Lot 70 at Leland and Western  image 47th Ward Facebook site.

The 47th Ward has offered a survey and presentation discussing possibilities for the city-owned parking lot at West Leland and North Western Avenue adjacent Lincoln Avenue retail. Local business owners and some neighbors were up in arms about an earlier proposal to build 100% affordable housing on the site ("save the parking lot!" 😂 ). 
The lot currently services local business (across from another lot) and is used during the many Lincoln Square fests. 

New Grocery Store at Western and Lawrence

A developer plans to bring a large national grocery retailer to the Fifth Third Bank building at 4800 North Western Ave without the need for community input. 

I wrote about the proposal to bring a grocery store to Western and Lincoln a few weeks ago. The developer may redevelop the property "as of right" without triggering the zoning process. The plan is drawing opposition due to the developer's lack of transparency and lack of community input. Local businesses fear a "Whole Foods" would muscle them out. The 40th and 47th Ward are hosting a "visioning session" January 28th.


Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Looking up! Avondale condo median price up 32% from 2015

Avondale views from a balcony on North Kimball near the Belmont CTA Blue Line. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty

Our client recently secured a purchase contract on a newer construction condo in the Avondale neighborhood. The contract is currently in attorney review and inspection. Avondale has been a popular alternative to the red hot Logan Square neighborhood to the south. Development has benefitted from access to the CTA Blue Line and highways... while the area remains relatively affordable to artists, musicians, creatives and the working class who've long immigrated northwest to the neighborhood.

It's a good time to take a look at recent attached units (condo, townhouse) sales in Avondale.

Our client jumped on a new listing featuring a full, private roof top deck. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty 

167 condos were sold in the Avondale neighborhood in 2020. The median price of a sold condo over that period is $365,000.  That's up 32% since 2015. The highest priced sold attached unit is 3113 N Karlov Unit 3-4, Chicago IL 60641 for $646,721. The new construction townhouse has size and private backyard outdoor space. The lowest priced sale is 4009 West Nelson Unit 9C for $92,000. The one bedroom, one bath unit is located in the far western border of Avondale a bit far from the Blue Line.

2019, 172 condos sold with a median price of $370,000
2018, 190 condos sold with a median price of $345,000
2017, 176 condos sold with a median price of $312,000
2016, 158 condos sold with a median price of $279,000
2015, 167 condos sold with a median price of about $276,000


Sunday, January 17, 2021

For Sale! South Loop townhouse $479,900

20 West 15th Street, Unit E, Chicago IL 60605 asking $479,900.
 Bright living room with wood burning fireplace looks out onto private courtyard. Willis Tower views outside your door. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty and

We love this townhouse value in South Loop! 20 West 15th Street - Unit E is located in the popular Dearborn Park II development between 14th and 15th streets. It's a true walk-to-everything location. Cottontail Park is just steps away. Endless restaurants, bars and services outside your door. Four blocks from CTA Red Line, one mile from world class Museum Campus, Soldier Field, historic Prairie District, Grant Park and the amazing lakefront.  

Wide open floor-plan with true dining area.

Details include:

Two bedrooms plus large den/office (converted from 3rd bedroom).
Parking space in private courtyard
Wood burning fireplace
New bathroom vanities and lighting
Fresh paint and new carpet throughout
New rubber roof coating with warranty
Private fenced in patio
In-unit washer and dryer
Fee-simple ownership with low monthly assessment for Homeowners Association

Enormous 3rd floor main bedroom with sitting area, en suite bathroom and Willis Tower views to the north. Fresh paint and brand new carpet. 

Attractive brand new vanity and lighting. 

Kitchen completely renovated and opened up about four years ago. Awesome counter space, storage and walk-out patio. 

The South Loop neighborhood is full of great views, restaurants, shopping and parks. 

Miles of lakefront parks, beaches, concert venues and public facilities to get outside!

South Loop is  great neighborhood to bike around... easy to the lakefront paths.

World class art and museums outside your door.

Easy shopping with Trader Joe's, Jewel, Whole Foods, Target and small markets in every direction.

Chicago is known for its great restaurants and South Loop is no different! Eleven City Diner has been one of my favorite spots.

Pre-volleyball meal at the The Weather Mark Tavern last fall.

Lincoln Square new developments small and large


2308 W Winnemac, Chicago IL 60625 was a small frame two-flat sold in fall of 2020 for $325,000. The building was torn down and will be replaced by a new construction single family home. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty unless otherwise noted.

It will be another year of active development around Lincoln Square. Late last year I wrote about several larger condo/ apartment developments on the way HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE. We also wrote about a handful of three to six unit developments.  A quick walk around the neighborhood and you'll see plenty of new single family construction too. 

5119 N Claremont, Chicago IL 60625 sold for $509,500. The frame two-flat sits on a wide 34' x 133' lot.  A demolition permit was issued December 9th, 2020. The wide lot will allow for a larger than average single family home.

The original property at 2130 West Leland, Chicago IL 60625 shown above (center blue house).  The property was sold for $680,000. Google Maps image.

2610 West Winona, Chicago IL 60625 property was sold for $935,000 in late 2020. A house sits on a rare 90' wide by 150' long lot. Three new houses have been permitted for construction.

2610 West Winona in Lincoln Square.  The very unique three city lot property was sold and will be developed into three new single family homes.

If you are looking to buy of sell a home or condo in Chicago or the Chicagoland suburbs please contact us!  More Lincoln Square posts HERE

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Evanston single family home sales up 25% year over year


No denying that Evanston brings the charm... for a price. The median sales price of a house in 2020 was $585,000. Home sales were bonkers. All photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty

2020 was the gift that kept giving 😀 Despite real social, political and economic challenges the local real estate markets exploded. Many reports have pointed out how Chicago's near and further out suburbs single family home sales were hot, hot, hot. Let's take a look at one of the nearest of "suburbs"... the City of Evanston.

Evanston single family home sales

536 Single family homes sold from January 1st 2020 to December 21st 2020 (sold homes recorded in our MLS). That's up about 25% year over year. The median price of a sold house for 2020 was $585,000, up about 14% over 2019.

In 2020, 63 closed homes (on the MLS) sold for over $1 million. of those four were over $2 million and two were over $3 million. There were undoubtedly several more high-end private or off-MLS sales. 

Looking back at 2019 (a normal year) 431 single family homes closed.  The median price for a sold house was about $510,000.  42 of those homes sold over $1 million. Five of those reached the $2 million mark. No homes recorded in the MLS broke $2 million.

  • 2018, 422 home closed with a median price of $550,000
  • 2017, 465 homes closed with a median price of $532,000
  • 2016, 488 homes closed with a median price of $518,000
  • 2015, 492 homes closed with a median price of $502,000

2020 may have been the first year in Evanston to close over 500 single family homes! I looked back to 2007 (still in the ramp up before the mortgage crash) and no year broke 500 with 2007 itself only closing 368 houses. 2020 sold smashed the mark with 536!

The lakefront parks and beaches remain the biggest draw to Evanston personally speaking. Followed closely by the robust commerce, jobs and architecture.

I was in Evanston a couple days last week looking at single family homes with a client. They will make the move from a city condo. Evanston has always been tops on my list if we were to move from the city. Mainly I enjoy access to the lakefront parks, recreation and beaches. Second to that is the robust business community, great schools and park district. Third... the architecture! I wouldn't miss a beat from my current city life  The only barrier is price. We bought our current house many years ago and it serves are family well. Moving to a comparable situation in Evanston would be expensive!

However there is a diverse range of housing and budget options in Evanston. Pockets in the south and west of Evanston provide more affordability while  homes within a mile or two of the lakefront can be well over the median price. No matter where you live in Evanston the benefits remain similar. Schools, commerce, park districts, the lakefront and architecture! 

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Senior Citizens may defer Cook County real estate taxes

Homes in Belmont-Cragin (Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)

Our Senior Citizens having trouble paying their property taxes may qualify for relief. The Cook County Treasurer offers the Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Deferral program. If qualified seniors may defer up to $5,000 in a tax year.  The cost is 6% simple interest on the deferred amount. Any amount owed is payable from proceeds upon sale of the home. 

Check out eligibility and program details HERE

Monday, January 11, 2021

Viewing and buying "off-market", private and Pre-MLS properties: What does that mean?


Homes in Lincoln Square early this month (all photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty)

I've shown my clients "off-market" or Pre-MLS properties for sale over the past few weeks. We provide our clients with access to "off-market" listings: Pocket, private and Pre-MLS home listing options to view and buy. What does that mean? 

A Pre-MLS listing is a property offered for sale by a licensed broker that is scheduled to be listed on the MLS at a later date. Some folks like to try out the listing price, retain some privacy and/ or wait until after the holidays to place in the MLS for the entire world to see.

A "pocket listing" is generally a property that is not scheduled to be listed on the MLS. However the seller has either entered into a listing agreement with a broker or made it known to one or many brokers they are willing to sell if a willing and able buyer is produced.

A Private Listing is a property listed for sale in our MLS Private Listing Network. Member brokers of the MLS can access this in a special category but it is not viewable by the general public on third party sites.

A bungalow was offered PRE-MLS before the holidays.

Sellers often hire licensed Real Estate Brokers to make their properties available for sale PRIOR to listing on a local Multiple Listing Service. Once on the MLS the property is available to all paid member brokers in the MLS and to public third party web sites (Trulia, Zillow etc...). This process is fairly intrusive to the seller as you can imagine. There are any number of reasons a seller may choose to offer their property for sale the "off market" route. Privacy and feeling out the listing price are the two major reasons.

Typically a listing contract is signed between the listing brokerage and seller allowing the broker to actively seek buyers (brokers are regulated by state and federal advertising and fair housing law). Brokers list the property on their company sites, personal real estate sites, social media and broker list-serves following the rules and regulations.  However the property is not listed on a member's local MLS to be fed on all reciprocal websites. 

As a full time Licensed Real Estate Broker I invest time and money to provide access to "off market" properties. I scan my various resources every day, network and stay on top of the market areas my clients want to purchase in. Contact us to search for your next property!