Irving Park Single Family HomeIRVING PARK MARKET REPORT as of April, 2016

The market is shifting in Irving Park. According to Midwest Real Estate Data, the average sales price of 4 bedroom, 4 bath homes in Irving Park is $610,000. There are many more rehabbed homes coming on the market this year, including two new or rehabbed homes just put on the market in the mid to upper $500K ranges.

The overall observations and feedback from recent showings and open houses in the neighborhood.

Competition: Very recently buyers are seeing more new or newly rehabbed homes for sale, and we are seeing price reductions on those homes. While these homes may be slightly smaller or on smaller lots, they do offer the most current features and finishes. This goes beyond paint color, into cabinetry, amenities such a master baths with dual sinks and separate whirlpool tubs in addition to showers. Buyers viewing these homes begin to develop a taste and preference, and it may become their new standard. Here is a recent home for sale in the neighborhood.

A recent article in Illinois Association of Realtors quotes a 2017 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study, stating that Millenials prefer modern or farmhouse styles, while boomers prefer traditional. Both groups prefer white cabinets, grey walls and stainless appliances.

Closed Properties: In studying those homes most recently under contract or closed, the trend is for buyers to choose homes that although slightly smaller than the subject property, rehabbed with new front elevations/porches, and current amenities and features, as well as finishes and color schemes in white, grey and blue. Common elements are expanded master baths as well as stainless appliance kitchens with glass tile or subway tile back splashes, some with high end appliances, and white cabinetry as the new norms.


2015 02 04 FountainheadOne of the many reasons I left Evansville, IN to buy real estate in Chicago was so I could see my sister and brother-in-law more. Emilie and Sean are expecting a baby in early February, and soon I will be an aunt. It will be my parents’ first grandchild. We are all very excited.

Since my move here in mid-December, Emilie and Sean and I have been planning once-per-week meals, either at our respective homes (their condo in West Lakeview, my condo in Lincoln Square) or at a restaurant to catch up on our weeks and on each other.

Tonight, we headed to The Fountainhead at the corner of Damen and Montrose avenues in the heart of Ravenswood, Lincoln Square and North Center neighborhoods. Emilie arrived first and had plenty of time to peruse the detailed beer menu. When Sean and I arrived, it took some time to make our selections. He and I both, independently, decided to try the La Trappe Dubbel from Tilburg in the Netherlands. This beer had 7 percent alcohol and was $9. It had a rich, malty flavor with a touch of sweetness. It was smooth and had body yet was still very flavorful. I’d definitely get it again.

As an appetizer, we all three shared the mushroom quinoa risotto with Parmesan and roasted butternut squash with kale and cranberries dishes. Both were unique and very flavorful. These two dishes were from the special menu.

For our entrees, we each went our separate ways. Emilie tried the tasty veggie burger, while Sean had the short ribs. I decided to try the turkey meatloaf with Gruyere mashed potatoes and creamed kale. They were all tasty.

Even on a Thursday night in the dead of winter, The Fountainhead had an excellent ambiance. It was busy, yet the service was steady and responsive, and our booth near the door gave us a view of the expansive bar selections. I’m planning on telling some of my suburban friends who love to brew beer about this place, and Sean and Emilie were impressed by the menu and beer selections, too. We all three plan to return. For more information, visit

Victoria Grabner

Victoria Grabner


Victoria Marty has written for newspapers and magazines for more than 15 years and recently moved to the Lincoln Square, Chicago area. A frequent runner who loves learning and exploring new places, she has perfected the art of getting lost while simultaneously finding unique landmarks, boutiques and out-of-the-way nooks worth writing about. Her blogs are geared toward the newly transplanted who want to learn as much about Chicago as they can, as quickly as possible.


Families and kids of all ages have the opportunity to skate into the New Year at one of the city of Chicago’s ice rinks.   The Chicago Park District boasts 10 outdoor ice rinks open now thru February 27, 2011, weather permitting.   For North Center, Lincoln Square, Ravenswood, and other north side residents, the closest Chicago Park District ice rinks are as follows:

Start your skating crawl at The Rink at Wrigley outside beautiful Wrigley Field at Clark and Waveland thru February 28th.   Free parking is available at Clark and Waveland.   Admission runs from $3-$6 for children and $5-$10 for adults.   Skate rentals run $3-$5 for children and $5-$10 for adults.   Hours of operation are Monday – Thursday from 2-9pm; Friday from 2-11pm; Saturday from 10am-11pm, and Sunday from 10-8pm.

Next, head west to McFetridge Sports Center at California Park located at 3843 N. California.   It offers $3 skate rental, $4 admission for children 12 and younger, $5 for 13 years and older, and $2 for seniors aged 60 plus.   Open skates are available to adults on Wednesdays from 9:15pm-10:30pm, Teens and Adults on Fridays from 9:15pm-10:45pm, and All ages on Wednesdays and Fridays from 3:30pm-5pm and Saturday and Sundays from 4:30pm-6pm.

Finally, go north to Warren Park located at 6601 N. Western Avenue where there is free admission and $6 skate rentals.   It is open Wednesday – Sunday from 12:30pm-7:30pm.   Please call 773-761-8663 for more information.

Ann Marie Walker, ABR, Move with Maggie Chicago Real Estate Team


For all of you Foodies out there on the north side of Chicago, visit your neighborhood Northcenter restaurants all on one night for the price of a single meal!   The Northcenter Chamber of Commerce and 47th ward Alderman Gene Schulter are sponsoring the RestaurantTour on Wednesday, October 20, 2010 from 5-10pm which is touted as a culinary exploration of the Northcenter neighborhood.

For the reasonable price of $30.00/person in advance or $35.00 the day of the event, you can visit a favorite Northcenter neighborhood restaurant or try new ones all in one night.   The price includes a sampling at each participating restaurant.   As an added bonus, help your favorite local school by purchasing tickets online in advance and entering the school’s name before completing the order at checkout.   The pre-sale ticket sale ends on Tuesday, October 19, 2010 for school credit.   Simply enter the school name in the comment box when purchasing tickets on-line.   Otherwise, your favorite school will not get credit for the sale.   The designated school of choice will receive a $5.00 donation for every $30.00 pre-sale ticket sold on-line.  Local schools that are participating include Coonley Elementary School and St. Benedict Preparatory Schools.

Participating restaurants include:   Brownstone, Browntrout, Chicago Joe’s, Corner 31 Bar and Grill, Crepes a Latte the Café, Drew’s Eatery, Horsehoe Barbeque, Jury’s, Mio Bento, Mrs. Murphy and Sons Irish Bistro, O’Donovan’s, sola, and Tiny Lounge.

A sampling passport and restaurant map guide can be picked up at Coonley Elementary School beginning at 4:45pm the night of the event.   Bon appétit!

Ann Marie Walker, ABR, Move with Maggie Team


With the month of October comes Oktoberfest celebrations in Chicago especially in the North Center and Lincoln Square neighborhoods which have history deeply rooted in the German culture.   St. Benedict parish is located in the heart of North Center on a whole city block bounded by Irving Park Road, Byron, Leavitt and Bell. St. Benedict’s Oktoberfest has been celebrating its German roots and traditions since 1966.

This year, St. Benedict’s Oktoberfest will be held on Saturday, October 2nd from 3-11pm and Sunday, October 3rd from 1-9pm.   Family fun can be had by all age groups.   Admission is free.   Festivities include authentic German food and beer including imports and specialties, the Bengal Zone (a sports TV viewing area) Club Ben for teens and tweens, Kinder Korner (kids’ games), a raffle, and other games.

Entertainment will be provided by The McGowans on Saturday, Oct. 2nd from 7-11pm and on Sunday by Paloma from 4-8pm.   The KinderFest Family Time will be on Sunday from 1-4pm which will include face painting, musical chairs, hula hoops and limbo contests.

Ann Marie Walker, ABR, Move with Maggie Team


There will be food, fun, and crime prevention information available at Paul Revere Park in Chicago’s north side North Center neighborhood on Tuesday, August 3, 2010 beginning at 6pm.   Music and food will be provided.   Kids and pets are welcome.

This anti-crime rally and youth forum is sponsored by the 19th District Advisory committee and will bring together members of the Chicago Police Department, the CAPS program, and the public.   Attendees will be able to meet with 19th District police officers.

For more information, please contact Lt. John Willner, District 019, 2452 W. Belmont Avenue, Chicago, IL   60618 at office phone number 312-744-5574 or

Ann Marie Walker, ABR, Move with Maggie Team


Get ready to have fun at the 25th annual North Center neighborhood outdoor festival BenFest on the campus of St. Benedict Parish and Preparatory Schools.  Festivities will be held Friday, July 9th and Saturday, July 10th in the St. Benedict campus courtyard located at 2215 W. Irving Park Road.

There are activities for all ages and interests.   The Main Stage will host performances with start times from 5pm-8pm including the Jesse White Tumblers at 6pm and bands following.   Saturday, July 10th Main Stage events will begin at 3pm with the last act beginning at 9:15pm.

The Kids Block is located on Byron between Leavitt and Bell and will include kid friendly entertainment both days beginning at 4pm.   Activities in the Kids area include a petting zoo, a waterslide, a bounce house, sports arena, arts and crafts, face painting, a tot area, glamour photo shots, and much more.

There will be a Tween area with entertainment provided at 6:45pm and 8:15pm on Friday, July 9th and a 7pm performance of School of Rock on Saturday, July 10th.

Plenty of food and drinks will be provided for all ages.   Celebrate this 25 year neighborhood tradition Chicago style with food, family, and outdoor fun!   BenFest benefits the parish and three Preparatory Schools of St. Benedict which include a pre-school, elementary school, and high school.

Ann Marie Walker, ABR, Move with Maggie Team


The North Center Neighborhood Garden Walk will be held on Sunday, June 27, from 12-6pm in the North Center Neighborhood of Chicago which encompasses the area bounded by Ravenswood to the Chicago River and Addison to Montrose Avenue.   The North Center Neighborhood Garden Walk will benefit The Common Pantry which is a food pantry located at 3744 N. Damen Avenue.

The Garden Walk is organized by the North Center Neighborhood Garden Club began in 2007 with the goal to share their love of gardening and create community in the North Center neighborhood.   The Garden Club also meets bi-monthly to share in their love of gardening with speakers and various activities.

Take in the beautiful sights and smells in Chicago’s North Center neighborhood during its 4th annual garden walk and enjoy the architecture of its hosts along the way.

Ann Marie Walker, ABR, Move with Maggie Team


One of Chicago’s annual summer outdoor festivals will be taking place this weekend end in North Center.   Ribfest Chicago welcomes visitors of all ages to experience its namesake ribs and other delicious food items from local restaurants, live music, kids’ activities, vendors, and much more.

Ribfest Chicago is located on Lincoln Avenue just north of the three corner intersection of Lincoln Avenue, Irving Park Road, and Damen Avenue.   The dates/times for Ribfest Chicago are:

Friday, June 11th from 5pm-10pm
Saturday, June 12th from 12pm-10pm
Sunday, June 13th from 12pm-10pm

New this year will be Rib-Mania!   This is the Midwest’s first professional rib-eating contest.   The contest is Friday at 6pm and will be featuring the “Cross Town Chow Down” pitting the north side against the south side. Head to the North Stage to view this eating extravaganza.

Kids Square is in the public square adjacent to the CVS parking lot in the cul-de-sac on Belle Plaine between Lincoln and Damen.   There will be  inflatables, games, and live entertainment tailored to your children.   Families with strollers and small children are encouraged to enter through the CVS parking lot.

The suggested $5.00 donation to enter funds community activities, area greening efforts and local outreach programs such as the innovative School Grant Program.

There are two stages, the North Stage at 4126 N. Lincoln and the South Stage at 4000 N. Lincoln.   Twenty bands are now slated to play including The Whigs on Sunday and Bottle Rockets on Saturday.

Start your summer weekend at Ribfest Chicago and enjoy good food, music, and family fun!

Ann Marie Walker, ABR, Move with Maggie Team


As Spring brings warmer weather, it is time to be reminded of all the wonderful family friendly restaurants and coffee shops that offer outdoor dining in North Center.   One of the great benefits of living in Chicago’s North Center neighborhood is that a restaurant seems to always be around the corner or at least within a short walking distance.

Who can pass up a homemade ice cream delight from Margie’s Candies just east of the Montrose brown line el stop at Montrose/Honore?   Take home some homemade candy for later.

Glenn’s Diner on Montrose just west of the Montrose brown line el stop offers daily fresh seafood specials and a diner atmosphere.

Starbucks Coffee at the northwest corner of Montrose and Wolcott offers a few tables outside to relax and enjoy a cup of coffee.

Chicago’s Pizza and Pasta offers pizza and Italian food that can be enjoyed down the street at Montrose just west of Wolcott.

A popular intersection for outdoor dining is Lincoln/Leavitt/Montrose.   There one can eat at Bowman’s Bar and Grill (southwest corner) for traditional American fare or Julius Meinl (southeast corner) for a more European flair.

Jury’s Restaurant down the street at Lincoln/Pensacola offers highly reviewed burgers, sandwiches, salads, high-end entrees, and more.

The Red Eyes Coffee shop at Lincoln/Berteau provides early morning outdoor seating.

O’Donovan’s Pub and Restaurant at the corner of Irving Park/Hoyne offers better than average bar food, sandwiches, salads, appetizers, and great weekly specials such as $2.00 burgers on Mondays, $6. 95 half slab of ribs on Thursdays, $9.95 strip steak dinner on Saturdays, and a prime rib dinner for $9.95 on Sundays.   The steak dinner is a particular favorite in my household.

There is always something on the menu for everyone. It is very family friendly and accommodates group celebrations from local North Center schools such as the Schools of St. Benedict, Coonley Elementary, and Bell Elementary School.   An added family draw on week-end evenings is the personalized table magic performed by a roaming magician which is a tradition carried on from its original roots when it operated as Schulien’s.

Chicago Joe’s at the northeast corner of Irving Park /Oakley is another fine eating establishment in North Center that offers good American fare with outdoor seating.

These are just a few of the North Center eating establishments where you can enjoy the warm weather and dine “al fresco” Chicago style.   Bon appetit!

Ann Marie Walker, Move with Maggie Team