LUXURY HOMES IN LAKEVIEW AND NORTH CENTER

3315 N. Claremont

I recently visited three homes for sale in Chicago’s Lakeview and Lincoln Square neighborhoods, and the hands-down winner as a true luxury home, in both amenities and finishes, is 3315 N. Claremont in Lakeview.  The home sits on a lot and a half, with sunlight streaming in along the home’s entire southern exposure. The living room, dining room, kitchen, and great room all benefit from this, and the home features a well-situated deck off the kitchen and beautiful perennial gardens.  The current owners completed a gorgeous renovation of the first floor living, dining, and family rooms, as well as installing a wonderful Euro-style kitchen with chef’s stove, high-end appliances, and lovely tile and quartz countertops.  Offered at $1,149,000.

3447 N. Claremont

Also in Lakeview, 3447 N. Claremont is a 5 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath home in the Chicago Public School’s Coonley district, a highly rated North side public elementary school.  The location is excellent and the home features nice decks and backyard spaces, but due to the highly personalized multi-colored palette of paint and wallpaper, it may be more difficult for buyers to envision this property as their home.  This property may sell more quickly if the color scheme was neutralized.  Offered at $1,050,000.

The last home on the tour, in Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood, is 2540 W. Winona. This home, although featuring many green upgrades including a tankless hot water system, also has a garage located below grade and under the house, which some buyers may not care for. The big plus is that the home is on an extended lot, and is a blank slate for a new owner to install landscape plantings and hardscape to their own taste. This will definitely appeal to buyers who can picture the yard as a wonderful place to escape, once plants and trees are in place. In addition, the home’s finishes and amenities approach luxury.  Offered at $749,000.

INVESTORS BUYING FORECLOSURES AND SHORT SALES IN LINCOLN PARK, LAKEVIEW, ANDERSONVILLE, LINCOLN SQUARE & EDGEWATER

With interest rates still at historic lows and prices not yet rising, investors are finding unprecedented deals on properties in neighborhoods like Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Andersonville, Edgewater and Lincoln Square. By purchasing foreclosures and short sales- typically buildings with highly motivated sellers- investors are able to build their real estate portfolios for less cash up front.

The key to any smart real estate investment decision is location, location, location, which drives rent, rent, rent.  To quickly evaluate the desirability of a property’s location, check the walk score– properties within six blocks of an el or Metra rail station are usually most popular. Neighborhoods close to the lake, biking and running paths, or downtown are appealing to first time renters, which include north side areas like Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Andersonville, and Edgewater. In addition to a prime location, renters love features like outdoor balconies or patios, or in-unit washers and dryers.

Search here to find the best deals on foreclosures and short sales, or contact me for a free guide to investment properties!

PLANNING YOUR RELOCATION TO CHICAGO

There are many choices for buyers planning to relocate to Chicago. Working with a knowledgeable real estate agent can guide and help to focus your search, based on your lifestyle, location preferences, amenities desired, and needs for access to transportation.

The City of Chicago is on a grid system with State Street and Madison Avenue being the starting point. Streets are numbered going north from State and Madison. There are 77 official neighborhoods in Chicago, each having its own unique number. For those wanting the downtown lifestyle, there are five areas to focus on. They include Loop-Downtown, Gold Coast, Streeterville, South Loop and West Loop.

Price per square foot varies and the average square feet in a 2 bedroom varies, depending on proximity to the Loop, building amenities and features and finishes of a condo. Amenities within a building such as swimming pools, and health club will also determine price. And of course newer buildings with higher end finishes and features will be higher in price. Parking, in unit laundry and private outdoor space tend to be large determining features.

DOWNTOWN AND CLOSEST PROXIMITY

Loop: The median sales price for 2 bedroom 2 bath condos sold in last three months is $325,000. Units are relatively small. Lakefront condos, neighborhood is best known for access to major cultural museums, opera, Broadway Theater, upscale shopping. Michigan Mile includes many upscale shopping destinations, Water Tower Place. Housing stock consists of mostly condos in high rises, plus hotels. Some very high end such as Trump Tower.

Near North: Median sale price $345,000. Includes neighborhoods such as Gold Coast, Streeterville, part of Old Town: Offers upscale shopping, dining, great access to services, lakefront condos in high rises.

West Loop: Median price $310,000. Condos in general are larger. Bargains can be found here, especially west of Greektown/Halsted. 7-10 minute drive or plentiful cab or buses to downtown. Loft spaces with soaring ceilings, great light. Proximity to loop, also to University of Illinois and Rush Medial University. The 1301 W Madison building is a good value. The University Village area offers townhomes and spacious condos, under $400,000.

South Loop: Median price $299,000. Established neighborhood five minutes from the Loop. Some bargains can be found here, in the Dearborn Park area; Housing stock includes low to mid rise townhouses and condos, midrise to highrise. It’s an established neighborhood with shopping and elevated train transportation to airport nearby. Closer to the lake is mostly high rises.

NEIGHBORHOODS BEYOND DOWNTOWN

Lincoln Park: Median price $265,000. Lakefront and starts at 2400 north (Fullerton). Known for its proximity to the lakefront, bike paths, wonderful zoo, restaurants. Includes the DePaul area. Housing would be high rise.

Lakeview: Median price $324,000. Begins at Diversey (2800 north) and the lake. Located just north of Lincoln Park, starts at the lakefront. Offers mostly high rise and some mid rise buildings. Some older buildings offer more spacious units. Lakefront is mostly high rises. Elevated train stops.

Andersonville/Edgewater: Median price $230,000. Starts at 5200 north and the lake. Includes hi rises to mid rises to low rise walk ups in lovely rehabbed vintage buildings. Some newer construction units with indoor parking, decks, and garages available in the $300K range. Proximity to lakefront beaches, bike paths, shopping and dining in nearby Andersonville. Elevated train stops.

Ravenswood/Lincoln Square: Median price $252,000. Starts at 4400 North and 2000 West. It’s a walk able, historic and with lovely housing stock. Home of Lill Street Art center and Old Town School of Folk Music. There are some newer construction extra wide units with indoor parking and balconies very affordable.

Maggie Finegan, ABR, Move with Maggie Chicago Real Estate Team

LAKEVIEW EAST FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS – SEPTEMBER 11 & 12

The Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the Lakeview East Festival of the Arts on Saturday, September 11 – Sunday, September 12, 2010 on Broadway from Belmont to Roscoe.   Hours of admission are from Saturday, September 11th from 10am – 6pm and on Sunday, September 12th from 10am – 5pm.   This is a free family friendly neighborhood event but donations are appreciated.

This Lakeview East festival displays the artistic creations of over 150 artists as well as a living and fine art sculpture garden.   There are family activities, live music, local cuisine, and beverages available.   In addition to the art on sale, the Festival features live demonstrations and entertainment stages where some of Chicago’s favorite musicians play throughout the weekend.

For more information, please call 773-348-8608 or visit the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce website.

Ann Marie Walker, ABR, Move with Maggie Team