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Old 01-12-2014, 02:12 PM
 
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I'm currently a grad student here in Chicago with an offer for a position in town upon graduating. I have a year and a half of school left and am currently renting in Lincoln Park.

Rather than continue to pay rent for the remainder of school, my family and I have been considering the possibility of buying a property downtown where I can live for the next few years, with an eye to eventually selling (at a profit would be nice!).

I'm in my mid-twenties, single, and generally social. I really don't know much about the Chicago real estate market outside of renting, and was wondering what neighborhoods people might recommend for such a purchase. Our potential budget is about $200k, so my current neighborhood and surroundings probably won't work. My job will be in River North. Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:58 PM
 
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I don't know *all* that much about realty, but I would say that in most instances that isn't going to get you much of a condo "downtown."

That would probably not really get you much of a condo in any halfway decent neighborhood.

There are exceptions. I have a friend who bought in Sandberg Terrace, for instance. It is close to downtown, safe and might have been under that when they purchased 7 years ago... BUT now they cannot sell it, and have not been able to sell it for years.

My impression on most people I know who have bought in that price range is that they cannot unload it.

My two cents.
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Old 01-12-2014, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
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With the costs involved with purchasing and selling a property, you will most likely lose money if you plan on selling it after.2 years. This isn't the early to mid-2000's.
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Old 01-12-2014, 05:39 PM
 
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Check out River City at 800 S Wells. Many condos under 100k.
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Old 01-12-2014, 06:01 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnynonos View Post
I don't know *all* that much about realty, but I would say that in most instances that isn't going to get you much of a condo "downtown."

That would probably not really get you much of a condo in any halfway decent neighborhood.

There are exceptions. I have a friend who bought in Sandberg Terrace, for instance. It is close to downtown, safe and might have been under that when they purchased 7 years ago... BUT now they cannot sell it, and have not been able to sell it for years.

My impression on most people I know who have bought in that price range is that they cannot unload it.

My two cents.
You would be surprised..you won't find tons of them, but you can find condos downtown for under $200K. I actually have a friend who bought a 2 bedroom in River North last year for like $225K or $250K (forget which one). I have another friend who is renting out an apartment in Streeterville/Gold Coast (I never know what to call the area) and the sale price is under $200K for a 1 bedroom. In all honesty if you went up to $225K or $250K, you'd see more for sale.

A few examples:
* 535 N Michigan Ave APT 509, Chicago, IL 60611 is For Sale - Zillow
* http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/88...13175802_zpid/
* 222 E Pearson St APT 1707, Chicago, IL 60611 is For Sale - Zillow


Some examples if you up your budget another $25K-$50K downtown:
* 2 E Oak St APT 3109, Chicago, IL 60611 is For Sale - Zillow
* 21 W Chestnut St APT 907, Chicago, IL 60610 is For Sale - Zillow
* 545 N Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60654 is For Sale - Zillow

As far as investment goes, there's other neighborhoods that might be better but I'm not sure.
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Old 01-12-2014, 06:20 PM
 
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Yes, that is why I said there are exceptions. And said it wouldn't get you "much" of a condo, not that it wouldn't get you a condo.

I just don't think that between moving costs, dues and property taxes, one is likely to make much, if any, of a profit on a s**ty condo downtown in a few years these days.

As in the case of my pal who owns at Sandburg Terrace, the likelihood of being stuck with it indefinitely is much greater, from the people I've talked to.

The first three condos that you listed, for example, are apparently not selling at all, as two of them have been marked down more than 10K in 30 days, and the other one 1.5K.
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Old 01-12-2014, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
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You can get a 1 bedroom condo for under $200K even downtown, and there are a lot more available for $250K as I have shown a few. These aren't the only ones. Yes, you make a good point about the price but I was just showing what's available. Plus, these are long term investments, not like buy it and make a ton of money in a year. There might be better areas for investments, but I don't think prices are going to go down versus 5 years from now or anything. You never know though..
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Old 01-12-2014, 06:41 PM
 
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You can, but his question is "investment condo."

Look at the Zillow data for 222 E. Pearson for example.

It was last sold in 2011 for 190K; the current owner is trying to sell it for $195K, or, after three years, a whopping $5K profit--which means he likely will lose a great deal of money owning it with the assorted fees, dues, taxes, realtor fees, moving costs, mortgage costs, etc.--and it isn't even sold yet.

There are a bunch of crappy condos downtown and apartments...I found a 2BR in Streeterville for like $1,500 a month. Sounds too good to be true... and it was. I started reading reviews of the building and it was a hellhole.

I'm not saying there isn't a diamond in the rough here or there but generally you're going to get what you pay for, particularly downtown where most sellers are pretty real-estate savvy, and in this housing market I would not expect such undesirable properties to qualify as "investments" in any way, shape or form. In fact in most instances you are potentially going to lose a great deal of money.
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Old 01-12-2014, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
15,322 posts, read 21,465,466 times
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I don't understand why you are bringing up the recent past during the recession. You could easily find condos in tons of areas of town and most cities that weren't selling condos or homes. It's nothing unique to downtown or even Chicago.

None of the examples I posted are bad in the least on the surface. We were just in the middle of a recession and again, these are investment properties, not something you buy and flip in the matter of a year. Anybody who thinks that they can make a quick flip in this economy almost anywhere is a moron. These are long term investments, and yes there's better areas of town for investments. There's no way that some condos stay this low downtown, but some prices are pretty low now in general and in an area like downtown, they will only eventually increase especially because downtown is growing.

And $1500/month in Streeterville? Of course it's going to not be that good. Anything under about $1900 or $2000/month for a 2 bedroom downtown is guaranteed to not be that great.
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Old 01-12-2014, 06:54 PM
 
2,990 posts, read 4,714,795 times
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The recession was over in 2009.

The 222 E. Pearson unit sold in 2011. It is now selling for 5K more.

Of course that is just one unit.

The ones below in the 250K price range looked more promising. However, I think it's a tough call as to whether properties like that are still decent 5 year investments.

Nearly *all* of the advice on this forum is just general, rule-of-thumb advice.

My advice to this particular person is that his plan does not, IMO, sound particularly promising.

But, there are certainly better authorities than me.
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