Sue Fox, @Properties. Direct 773.816.1788
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Every year, I have a sizable number of buyers who want to live in Lakeview. They may already rent an apartment there, or perhaps in Lincoln Park, and they draw the line at Addison (or sometimes Irving Park Rd.) and refuse to go any further north, where housing prices drop considerably. And now, they don’t have to.
Like other hot neighborhoods in Chicago, Lakeview has become increasingly affordable. A nice 2-bedroom/2-bath condo, often including parking, is now within reach of many first-time buyers. There are now 53 such condos for sale at prices under $250,000, and 45 of them come with parking.
At the low end (under $200,000), many of the units are shorts sales, which will require some time and patience on the part of buyers to close the deal. These tend to be in high-rise buildings with vintage features, and some updating of kitchens, bathrooms, and outdated carpets is often needed.
In the $200K to $250K price range, the majority of these condos are also in high-rise buildings, but they are often larger and more updated, sometimes with lake views. Occasionally I’ll come across a Lakeview condo in a small building, but these are few and far between in Lakeview, and are typically snatched up quickly — if they are priced right.
Take a look at 634 W Roscoe St. #2N, a recent rehab in a 22-unit courtyard building in a prime east Lakeview location. It was initially (over)priced at $275,000 and has now lingered on the market for almost a year. But in that time, the seller slashed the asking price to $225,000. The unit is on the small side, with bedrooms that measure 14×10 and 10×9, but it is updated and includes a rental parking spot across the street for $185/month. It’s also in the coveted Nettlehorst elementary school district.
There are several other short sales in small buildings that are already under contract. Whether they will actually close is anyone’s guess. But if you want a sure thing, check out 1645 W School St. #401 in the popular 60657 Lofts building, right beside Whole Foods, Caribou coffee, and the Wishbone restaurant. It’s a loft with 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, nearly new kitchen appliances, a fireplace and a balcony for $249,900. This one, too, has been on the market awhile (since February) because it was initially priced $75,000 higher. The owner is asking an additional $25,000 for parking. But in this market, everything is negotiable.
There will certainly be more condos hitting the market as soon as the new year begins. So if Lakeview is your preferred neighborhood, 2012 should bring plenty of affordable condos to choose from — a rare opportunity in one of Chicago’s most desirable areas.
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