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Old 10-18-2008, 02:21 PM
 
10 posts, read 16,005 times
Reputation: 21
Default Where do I want to buy a weekend place in Chicago?

We currently live in Wisconsin where we are working in our retirement jobs. We spent 30 years in downtown DC, including a number of years one bloc off the H St. riot corridor, and in the Virginia suburbs. We are looking for a two bedroom, two (or 1.5) bath condo in Chicago, costing between $250,000 to $350,000. We live about three hours by car from the city. We plan to come into down at least twice a month weather permitting. We have determined that we prefer to own and not rent. We realize that it will be necessary to compromise on the list below.

So here is what we are looking for.

1. Views, either city or Lake Michigan. We want to feel like we're in a big city. Some of the Edgewater high rises have spectacular views and are well priced but have high monthly fees with amenities like pools that we are not interested in.
2. It needs to be relatively safe. We have been city people before, but now we are older and don't need hostility or danger.
3. Dog-friendly neighborhoods. (We clean up after him.)
4. A place where there is some action; where we can walk to stores and restaurants, there are people on the street, and has convenient public transportation. For example, when we come to Chicago we stay in the Miracle Mile area and especially enjoy this part of town.
5. Recently rehabbed or new.
6. The likelihood that we will able to recoup our costs in five years or so.
7. Iím guessing that we will need a larger complex for security reasons since the unit will often not always be occupied, and in a renovated row house or townhouse that would be very obvious.

So what did you all suggest? All advice is welcomed.
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Old 10-18-2008, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Oak Park, IL
5,233 posts, read 8,020,324 times
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Lots of new construction high rise and mid-rise buildings in west loop and south loop in your price range. You'd be close to the Loop, transit, and the lake. If you're in the west loop you might even be able to take Amtrak to Union station and walk to your condo.

As for recouping your costs in five years, who knows, but prices are down quite a bit from the peak, so you're probably not going to lose money when you sell.
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Old 10-18-2008, 02:53 PM
 
933 posts, read 1,298,012 times
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350K is still the low end for 'real' two bedrooms two baths just about anywhere in south loop or west loop . for your range in this area, you're looking at a 1 bedroom 'w/den' , which can be a smaller room functionally useable as a bedroom ..These also typically have 1.5 baths ..assessments will be 250-400 per month.. That being said, there are quite a few bargains in both these areas .. Typically the assessments will be lower in midrise units . Happy Hunting !!
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Old 10-18-2008, 03:36 PM
 
10 posts, read 16,005 times
Reputation: 21
Thanks. Is the South Loop overbuilt? I think that we are going to wait until December or January and then low ball and see what happens.

Alas Amtrak doesn't run to Madison yet, but there is some discussion about building a line through Milwaukee.
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Old 10-18-2008, 06:33 PM
 
Location: Oak Park, IL
5,233 posts, read 8,020,324 times
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Yeah, the South Loop is overbuilt. The number of sales has plummeted compared to last year.
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Old 10-20-2008, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Evanston
272 posts, read 660,240 times
Reputation: 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevewi6 View Post
Some of the Edgewater high rises have spectacular views and are well priced but have high monthly fees with amenities like pools that we are not interested in.
When you say "Edgewater", do you mean "lakefront"? Edgewater is a lakefront neighborhood on the far north side of the City, and probably not what you're looking for if you want to be close to the downtown action. I'd hate to see you looking for "Edgewater" listings and getting your hopes up on price...

That said, I'd recommend focusing your search on the Gold Coast, Streeterville, the Loop (particularly along Michigan Avenue), and South Loop (particularly Central Station close to Roosevelt). Yes, the South Loop is overbuilt, but it will hold up better toward the north end where view amenities are better (city, lake, and Grant Park views) and where transportation is better (Roosevelt Green/Orange/Red line, Michigan/Roosevelt/Indiana bus routes).
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Old 10-20-2008, 09:32 AM
 
1,323 posts, read 2,327,206 times
Reputation: 477
I would suggest that you take a strong look at East Lakeview. I am very familiar with a great highrise complex at 3550 N Lake Shore Drive. You can get a east facing 2 bedroom exactly in your price range. Two express buses at your front door will take you to Michigan Ave/Mag Mile in 10 minutes maximum and they depart every 10 minutes or so. Your criteria of seeing people on the street/action will be met in Lakeview. Walk 2 short blocks to Broadway and people watch/stroll south to Borders/Barnes Noble and tons of restaurants/shops. You can walk to Whole Foods, Jewel, and Treasure Island. Very safe area for the most part. And, most importantly, your desire to recoup your investment in 5 years should be more of a reality in this harsh economic environment than would it in some of the newer overbuilt areas.
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Old 10-20-2008, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Lincoln Park
838 posts, read 2,004,938 times
Reputation: 163
The Hudson in river north, brand new construction, two bedrooms start at 299k. 1400 sf.



Quote:
Originally Posted by dsimicata View Post
I would suggest that you take a strong look at East Lakeview. I am very familiar with a great highrise complex at 3550 N Lake Shore Drive. You can get a east facing 2 bedroom exactly in your price range. Two express buses at your front door will take you to Michigan Ave/Mag Mile in 10 minutes maximum and they depart every 10 minutes or so. Your criteria of seeing people on the street/action will be met in Lakeview. Walk 2 short blocks to Broadway and people watch/stroll south to Borders/Barnes Noble and tons of restaurants/shops. You can walk to Whole Foods, Jewel, and Treasure Island. Very safe area for the most part. And, most importantly, your desire to recoup your investment in 5 years should be more of a reality in this harsh economic environment than would it in some of the newer overbuilt areas.
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Old 10-20-2008, 03:58 PM
 
10 posts, read 16,005 times
Reputation: 21
Thanks all. The advice is much appreciated.

I was considering the high rises aloke the lake in Edgewood. But they have high monthly fees, many needed to be renovated, and they seem to be isolated. The views are great though.
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Old 10-20-2008, 06:37 PM
 
668 posts, read 1,441,654 times
Reputation: 215
Old Town, it's right next to downtown.
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