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Old 08-25-2009, 01:41 PM
1 posts, read 2,118 times
Reputation: 12


I've been looking at condos and think I have settled on Rogers Park. I have found this forum very helpful throughout my search. I know a lot has been posted on Rogers Park previously, and through that I've gotten a good feel for the area in general. I know there are rougher areas and those that are nice. I also know that while there are risks just about anywhere in the city, common sense goes a long way. Also, especially in Rogers Park, I feel that there is a growing difference between people's past memories and the reality now. With all that in mind, I was hoping to hear from anyone that knows the two specific areas I'm looking at right now fairly well. There are several units right near Paulina and Greenleaf, as well as a few within a block or two of Jarvis Square. I'm leaning towards the Paulina and Greenleaf area as the proximity to the train would make my commute a breeze. I'm just hoping for some specifics on the areas I'll be so I have some things to keep in mind next time I take a look. Thanks!
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Old 08-25-2009, 03:58 PM
80 posts, read 268,421 times
Reputation: 52
I recently closed on a condo near Touhy and Paulina. It will be used as a rental. Before buying it I spent some time hanging around and surveying the neighborhood. My conclusion is that it isn't that rough but that there are a fair number of buildings which are not well maintained. There are also some obvious losers out and about, particularly at night. Some people would be uncomfortable in the area, others would not and some are so unaware of their surroundings that they would not know the difference no matter where they were. It is a personal choice as to whether you feel good about the neighborhood.

It is my opinion that in a real estate boom the price differential between areas which are more desirable and those which are less desirable tends to contract. Rogers Park saw a lot of condo conversion projects and some of these were poorly done and still sold out for prices which would have been unheard of several years before.

Now we are in the midst of a real estate train wreck. Lots of foreclosures, unsold condo projects, and tightened credit availability have come together to cause a dramatic break in prices, high levels of inventory, and potential buyers who are scared to make a move. Prices in Rogers Park have fallen a lot from their peak and sales are very slow.

My methodology has always been to buy low and sell high. imho, this crisis has led to a buying opportunity. Could things get worse? Yes, they could. But I'll place my bet that we have probably seen the bottom or at least we are close to it. If the area stabilizes the price differential between Rogers Park and areas further south will again come closer together.

Rogers Park has a great location on the lake and close to good transportation downtown. There are a lot of nice single family homes in the area.

The downside is the number of crappy buildings, the mess north of Howard, and the high number of older midrise buildings full of little studio apartments which are not in demand.

Best of luck to you in your search.

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Old 08-25-2009, 05:06 PM
50 posts, read 224,991 times
Reputation: 94
is 7700 north sheridan considered a "good area"?

I noticed there are new duplex condos across from Juneway Terrace Park; I'm wondering if that is a nice/safer area, as it seems like a nice location close to the lake.
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Old 08-27-2009, 05:21 PM
80 posts, read 268,421 times
Reputation: 52
Default Other things to consider

Here are a few suggestions for things to check out in your condo search:

Find out about the financial health of the condo association. In buildings where the developer has an ongoing presence because the building has not sold out, the ability of the developer to complete the project is very important. In building which were converted during the boom, many owners have negative equity in their units. When they walk they quit paying assessments. Since it takes over one year for a foreclosure to make its way through the courts the association ends up with a real problem making ends meet. Special assessments can be very high to cover the shortfall.

Think about how much per square foot you are paying as a starting point in comparing values. Calculate the square footage on your own for the various units you want to compare. Developers are quite liberal in their calculations at times. Use the results, adjusted for both positive and negative factors affecting value, to guide you in your comparisons.

Look at recent sales. With condos which have been sold in the past few years use those prior sales to get an idea what the unit was able to fetch when the market was hot. Adjust accordingly.

Consider looking at foreclosures. Lenders are stuffed to the gills with REOs. They want to move them. Fast. And they are incredibly incompetent at doing so. Loans that were sold into pools are handled by servicers whose motivation to get the most from a sale might be suspect. Use their incompetence to your advantage.

These are just a few ideas. Hope they are helpful to you.
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Old 08-27-2009, 05:29 PM
Location: Chicago- Lawrence and Kedzie/Maywood
2,242 posts, read 6,238,787 times
Reputation: 741
Condos suck.
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