Lincoln Park Was the Hot Chicago Neighborhood for Luxury Home Sales in April

With the summer season nearly underway, the real estate market is looking promising for the warmer months ahead. Sales in April 2018 were strong for luxury single-family homes (those priced at $1 million or higher), with total sales topping $110 million and 14 homes sold above the $2 million mark.

New construction properties are no stranger to our top sales report, and April’s most expensive home to sell was on the renowned Howe Street in Lincoln Park, closing at $6.8 million. This home was on an oversized lot, as were four out of the top five sales for the month. These larger lot sizes are hard to come by in Chicago luxury real estate, and are highly coveted by buyers for the larger rooms and expansive outdoor space that often comes with it.

In addition to a large lot, what gets buyers to pay big-ticket prices for their new homes? Of course, the needs and wants vary from buyer to buyer, but it’s almost a sure thing that an ultra-luxe features will reel in buyers: a large, heated garage, an elevator for easy access between floors and exquisite details in things like finishes, mill work and appliances.
There are plenty of special details and features among April’s top home sales. Here’s a look at what stood out among the five most expensive sales:

1825 N Howe St1825 N Howe St
Original list price: $6.899 million
Sold price: $6,788,628
This new construction home on the highly prestigious Howe Street sits on an oversized (33 x 124 square foot) lot. The generous lot size allows for a whopping 8,761 square feet of living space across 7 bedrooms and 7.1 baths. This sophisticated home has a number of luxury features, including a kitchen with massive island, butler’s pantry and built-in banquette seating; a great room with wall of doors leading to two outdoor decks; and a huge 3rd floor family room that opens out onto a covered terrace with an outdoor fireplace. There is also a 3-stop elevator that provides access to a massive penthouse skydeck with panoramic city views.

2204 N Cleveland Ave2204 N Cleveland Ave
Original list price: $4.5 million
Sold price: $4.35 million
Another extra-large lot allows for an extra-large home, this one in East Lincoln Park. With 5,370 square feet on a 37 x 125 square foot lot, this 5 bedroom single-family home has been redesigned and renovated to perfection. Its sunny interior is full of spectacular finishes and details like wide-plank walnut flooring with radiant heat. The impressive De Giulio kitchen boasts ample storage, Wolf and Subzero appliances, custom-polished stainless hood and a large, white quartzite island. The second level has four of the five bedrooms, including a luxe master suite with dual walk-in closets and spa bath.

2615 N Lakewood Ave2615 N Lakewood Ave
Original list price: $3.25 million
Sold price: $3 million
An amazing property on a double lot, this Lincoln Park home offers remarkable living spaces indoors and out. With 5 bedrooms, 4.2 baths and nearly 8,000 square feet, this isn’t like a typical city home. It boasts an open, sun-filled floor plan with clean, modern finishes and high-end details. Interior spaces include a large foyer, a spacious dining room, sun-soaked living room, extra-wide kitchen and huge yard and sport court. Four bedrooms reside on the second level, including a huge master with a crisp marble bath. A separate office adjacent to the master suite offers access to outdoor space. And the finished lower level includes an enormous rec room, bedroom and full bath.

1358 N State Parkway1358 N State Parkway
Original list price: $3.05 million
Sold price: $2.875 million
Everything is fresh and new in this fully renovated Gold Coast Greystone. Spanning 4,950 square feet with 5 ensuite bedrooms and 5.1 baths, this home has beautifully proportioned rooms with 11-foot ceilings, rift sawn oak floors, two fireplaces, zoned HVAC, new windows with plantation shutters and more. The lower level has been configured into a one-bedroom apartment with full kitchen and laundry, and the home has been designed to accommodate a 4-stop passenger elevator as well. Not only is the location in the coveted Gold Coast, it is in the Ogden Elementary School District and close to the private Latin School of Chicago.

2738 N Magnolia Ave2738 N Magnolia Ave
Original list price: $2.495 million
Sold price: $2.35 million
This new construction home in Lincoln Park has 6 bedrooms and more than 5,000 square feet across and extra-wide lot. The first thing you’ll notice is the beautiful detail on the limestone exterior. Inside, the eat-in chef’s kitchen features dual SubZero refrigerators, a Wolf range, two dishwashers, a large center island with quartz countertops, Amish custom cabinetry and a full butler’s pantry with wine cooler. A great room boasts a custom fireplace with built-in surround. The generous master suite has massive double walk-in closets, a luxurious bath with heated floors, freestanding Victoria-Albert tub, grand shower and steam. Outdoors, a raised, exterior pavered deck includes a stone wood-burning fireplace, a roof deck off of the third level, and snow melt on the front steps and walkway to garage.

For more information on the luxury single-family homes that sold in April, or to see what’s on the market now, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Chicago Luxury Home Sales in September: 9 Sales Over $2 Million

Not unlike September’s Chicago luxury condo sales, luxury single-family homes saw similar sales numbers last month. Nine of the properties sold went for more than $2 million, with the most expensive sale topping out at $4.1 million.

The market may be skewed in favor of sellers, but—as I always tell my clients—starting in late October, the pendulum often shifts to benefit home buyers. Owners don’t want to be stuck with a home on the market over a cold, stormy Chicago winter and are motivated to get their homes moved before the holidays.

1828-n-cleveland-chicago-il-60614-01828 N Cleveland Ave
Original list price: $4.5 million
Sold price: $4.13 million
A 5 bedroom, 4.1 bath home on one of East Lincoln Park’s finest blocks, this Chicago home is on a rare, double lot, allowing for plenty of living space inside. A complete renovation spared no expense to create a one-of-a-kind home, with unbelievable attention to detail, like exquisite millwork, paneling, hardware, and tilework throughout. There’s even a gorgeous conservatory that opens up to a lush private yard complete with basketball court. It’s also worth noting that the buyer of this home purchased it at $370,000 less than the list price, which is an incredible deal for the buyer.

2011-n-howe2011 N Howe St
Original list price: $2.85 million
Sold price: $2.75 million
This east Lincoln Park is over 5,600 square feet of amazing details, located just steps from Oz Park. The five-bedroom home boasts ultra-high ceilings on the main floor, gracious living and dining rooms made for entertaining, a custom kitchen and an adjacent greatroom that steps out onto a raised patio space. The second and third levels house five ensuite bedrooms, including a master suite with a custom closet and spa-quality marble bath. The top floor includes an open loft/play space with a roof deck that looks out to beautiful city views. The property includes a lower level, two-bedroom in-law apartment, which can be used as part of the home or as a rental.

3310-n-leavitt-st3310 N Leavitt St
Original list price: $2.995 million
Sold price: $2,550,750
This 8,820-square foot home is an architectural masterpiece in Roscoe Village. Designed by Osterhaus McCarthy, the 6 bedroom, 6.1 is full of bold, exquisite materials that have been sourced from around the globe. Some of those details include right and quartered oak floor/doors, Italian blue slate, porcelain and marble, custom cabinetry and windows, sophisticated ironwork on a three-level stairwell, radiant heated floors and three rooftop Trex decks. The dining area opens up to a private terrace and formal Zen garden filled with Japanese maple trees. The master suite is the highlight of the second level, with an ensuite custom bath. The third level boasts an open, lofty feel with skylights and access to two rooftop decks.

41-e-elm-st41 E Elm St
Original list price: $2.725 million
Sold price: $2.5 million
Elm Street is just steps from Michigan Avenue, Rush Street and shore of Lake Michigan—yet this stretch of the block is like a neighborhood in and of itself, tucked away from the action and hidden among mature trees like a residential neighborhood. This vintage home (originally built in 1886!) had been renovated down to the studs to create a warm, transitional interior with a number of luxury features. Those include a custom eat-in kitchen, four ensuite bedrooms, a back deck, lower-level family room with wet bar, wine cellar and full bath, among much more. Details include elegantly detailed baths, custom millwork and closets and wide-planked distressed hardwood flooring.

1930-n-kenmore-ave1930 N Kenmore Ave
Original list price: $2,799,999
Sold price: $2.5 million
This Lincoln Park home is the latest new construction masterpiece from Ronan Builders. The 5,600+ square foot, 4 to 6 bedroom boasts state-of-the-art design and finishes through four levels, all the way up to a magnificent rooftop deck with a 360-degree view of the Chicago skyline. The location of this Chicago can’t be beat, as it’s just steps to Armitage Avenue, where you’ll find restaurants, shops and easy public transportation access.

Sheldon Salnick, Chicago Luxury Real Estate Specialist, Joins Dreamtown Realty

I’m excited to announce that I’ve recently made the move to a new Chicago real estate firm, Dream Town.

Dream Town is focused on not just successfully navigating how the market works today, but how it will work tomorrow. From rethinking the role of the real estate agent, to evaluating and implementing better ways to communicate with buyers and sellers, Dream Town takes a fresh approach to the real estate market that is both invigorating and necessary.

Here are a few ways Dream Town is making this industry better for each and every one of its clients:

An online focus: Dream Town employs internet-wide marketing strategies and cutting-edge tools including a front-page presence on Chicago’s most powerful search engines and strategic partnerships with other top websites. After all, this is where today’s buyers are, and it’s a key place to be able to communicate with buyers and sellers alike. Dream Town was the first real estate firm in Chicago to realize the importance of the web, and their diligence toward making this the best experience for clients has given them a very competitive edge.

Going social: Dream Town’s social media presence isn’t one to ignore. The company has earned itself more than 50,000 followers on Facebook, making it the most popular brokerage page in Chicago and among the top across the nation. You’ll even find a first-of-its-kind MLS app that allows visitors to search for Chicago homes for sale directly from Facebook.

Database marketing: The exhaustive database employed by Dream Town quickly and accurately matches buyers to the homes that fit in with even the narrowest criteria. The firm has more than 500,000 registered users on its website and the most powerful real estate search engine in Chicago real estate.

This comprehensive strategy has yielded great results for Dream Town clients. Buyers can find a finely tuned selection of prospective homes to find what you’re looking for. For sellers, it earns thousands of qualified buyers will see your home daily across the web. And nothing makes me more excited to be a part of this team than to read the many, many testimonials from happy clients—you can find over 1,000 of them at dreamtown.com/testimonials.

And because Dream Town is independently run, agents like myself are able to engage in closely monitored planning to sell your property or work diligently to find the perfect match if you’re looking to buy a home. My past real estate sales include:

Single-family home at 1845 Orchard: $5 million
Single-family home at 1755 N Mohawk: $3 million
4 bedroom/3 bath condo at 2550 Lakeview: $2.75 million
Condo at Trump Tower: $2.7 million
Condo at 65 E Monroe: $1.125 million

…and many others.

I am really looking forward to this new partnership and seeing the results for my clients, new and current. If you’re looking for a Chicago real estate broker, contact me to discuss the difference that comes with working with Dream Town. Give me a call at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

New Construction in NYC Takes Cue from Chicago Architecture

This time of year, there’s a little thing that could easily put a, damper on the luxury experience that comes with upscale living: curbside slush deeper than your ankles.

But there’s one architectural feature among condo buildings that makes this seasonal struggle much more tolerable: the motor court.

A recent article in the Wall St. Journal highlighted the old-world motor court as making a “comeback” among new construction buildings in New York City. But this architectural perk can be found in several Chicago condo buildings, which makes me wonder if Chicago has provided a bit of inspiration for the big apple’s new construction properties.

Dating back to the early 1900s, the motor court is a driveway that leads to an open area near the entrance of a building, allowing for passenger unloading and pick up. The extra space means residences can unload things like groceries, luggage, etc. away from the street.

New York Luxury Right Here in Chicago

Maybe it’s our especially fierce winters, but Chicago has been onto this for awhile, and I’m wondering if a few well-recognized buildings here perhaps influenced the upcoming trend in Manhattan.

Here are a few luxury condo buildings in Chicago that feature a motor court:

Lake Point Tower: This lakeside beauty was built in 1969 with this exact feature that is popping up in New York. The motor court at Lake Point Tower is one of distinction; it’s the largest pull-in, circular driveway in the city and sits under a two-story rotunda with an open skylight that illuminates the garden at the building’s entrance. Another highlight is Skyline Park, a 2.5-acre outdoor garden designed by renowned Chicago landscape architect Alfred Caldwell that sits three floors above the street.

Waldorf Astoria (formerly known as The Elysian): Famed Chicago architect Lucien Lagrange drew inspiration from French style to design this richly detailed motor court. The result is a European elegance that offers both visual interest and convenience for residents here.

1000 S. Clark: While still in development, the motor court planned for the new luxury building at 1000 S. Clark has been described as “dominating” the entrance. This one is a more modern rendition, large and cleanly landscaped in line with the building’s sleek design.

One of the most distinctive features of luxury real estate in Chicago is the architectural significance of many of the buildings here, from well-designed motor courts and beyond. Perhaps the big apple is catching on, but the beauty of Chicago is that real estate here is a fraction of the price you would find in NYC.

NYC Features for a Chicago Price

The best comparison to real estate in New York and in Chicago is the price point. Luxury real estate that easily compares to some of the finest buildings in Manhattan cost a fraction of the price. Chicago brings all of the benefits of living in a major urban area (major businesses, architectural significance and plenty to see and do) without sacrificing space, budget or quality of life.

Myths of Obtaining a Jumbo Loan for a Chicago Luxury Real Estate Purchase

If you’re a luxury buyer looking to purchase a Chicago home, your strategy for doing so might be obvious—pay cash outright and avoid the “hassle” of a loan.

Buyers who can afford to purchase a home in cash are often turned off by the idea of a mortgage—the burden of an interest rate, paying for private mortgage insurance (PMI) and spending much of your cash on a down payment that you might as well pay cash for the whole thing.

But the answer to many of these objections might lie in a jumbo loan. A jumbo loan (for amounts over $417,000 in Chicago) is more enticing than ever to the wealthy buyer, with lower rates and favorable terms that don’t mean spending your savings in one fell swoop.

I’d like to dispel 3 important myths that Chicago luxury real estate buyers might have heard about obtaining a jumbo loan for their home purchase:

You’ll need a large down payment. Traditionally, banks want at least 20% of the purchase price as a down payment. But luxury buyers who are borrowing a jumbo loan could have a bit of leeway here. For one, a down payment on a jumbo loan is still a good chunk of money. For a $1.5 million home, a 15% down payment is still a significant amount of cash that “invests” the buyer into the purchase and makes them unlikely to walk away.

And while some might see a low down payment resulting in a higher loan-to-value ratio, many buyers see this as a money management strategy that affords them extra liquidity in their funds to keep in the stock market or other investments.

Strict mortgage lending standards also keep high loan-to-value loans from reaching the point of risk that they did several years ago. Borrowers still must have a strong credit score, reserve funds and a debt-to-income ratio under 35% to qualify.

You’ll pay a higher interest rate. Right now, rates are historically low to begin with. And many lenders are offering their jumbo loans with a lower rate to entice borrowing instead of paying for cash. So even if you put down less than 20% of the purchase price, you’ll still be well-positioned for a low interest rate.

You’ll need private mortgage insurance. A jumbo loan is not a conventional loan, which means it’s not a government-backed loan like many mortgages. That makes them privately held, so banks/lenders can decide individually if they want to charge borrowers private mortgage insurance—and most of them do not.

I would be happy to put you in contact with a lending expert who can give you more information on purchasing a Chicago home with a mortgage versus paying cash. With today’s loan market, it might be worth considering for a luxury real estate purchase especially. To learn more about jumbo loans or to see what’s on the Chicago real estate market, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Luxury Chicago Condo Sales Continue in Cold Weather

November was another unexpected month for Chicago real estate, with the condo market continuing to deliver strong sales despite the winter chill that’s moved in.

Last month saw 35 sales of luxury condos (those priced a $1 million or higher) for a total of $57 million—right on par with the sales volume from the month prior to that. And that wasn’t the only trend hanging on—square footage was abundant in last month’s sales, as it has been for most of the year when it comes to Chicago condos.

The top sales each month continue to prove that buyers are looking for plenty of space (3,000 square feet and up), and that city living doesn’t mean sacrificing it. This has been the case with many of my clients transitioning from the suburbs into the city who still want a large home. Many clients are often surprised to learn that the move doesn’t have to be synonymous with downsizing. In fact, moving to the city opens up a whole new world of everything downtown has to offer, from shopping and dining to a shorter commute.

Packed with panache and square footage, here’s a detailed look at the top 5 most expensive sales last month, in descending order:

The-Legacy-Condos_exterior460 E Monroe St, Unit 3301
Original list price: $4.4 million
Sold price: $3.9 million
The Legacy is a showstopper among luxury condos in downtown Chicago, and this one is no exception. With 5,200 square feet of professional designed space, this combination unit spans the entire east face of the building, offering unobstructed views Lake Michigan and Millennium Park. Entertaining here is easy with a chef’s kitchen that adjoins a stunning great room, wet bar and balcony; not to mention a formal living and dining room with marble fireplace, a fabulous master suite with spa baths and walk ins, plus details like custom lighting, fixtures, AV and built-ins.

11 E Walton St11 E Walton St. Unit 3002
Original list price: $3.5 million
Sold price: $3.45 million
This 3-bedroom condo is another example of a lifestyle that comes with certain Chicago addresses. This one is located in the Waldorf Astoria, where residents can take advantage of 5-star amenities and services from the neighboring hotel. Its 3,436 square feet starts with a spacious foyer upon entering the unit, which then opens up to a large living room, a separate dining room and a spacious gourmet kitchen with a great room. All 3 bedrooms include private baths, and the unit includes two private terraces and wonderful views throughout. z

1340 N State Pkwy, Unit 1S1340 N State Pkwy, Unit 1N
Original list price: $2.995 million
Sold price: $2.781 million
This Chicago condo building is certainly one of a kind—it was formerly the Playboy mansion, converted now into 7 luxury units. This 3,250 square foot condo offers 3 bedrooms, 2.1 baths, plus a library, family room and expansive living and dining space. The thoughtful floorplan leaves plenty of room for entertaining in the front of the home while sleeping areas are toward the back. Details include high-end finishes and hardwood floors throughout, a butler’s pantry, custome Grabill cabinetry in the kitchen and a large private patio off of the kitchen and family room.

20090518_Trump_International_Hotel_and_Tower,_Chicago401 N Wabash Ave, Unit 38A
Original list price: $3 million
Sold price: $2.766 million
This River North beauty offers all of the exclusivity and panache that comes with living in Trump Tower. Perched on the 38th floor, the unit’s floor plan follows the dramatic eastern curve of the building, showcasing a panorama of Lake Michigan and the Chicago river through floor-to-ceiling windows. Its 3,400 square feet includes a spacious master suite with his-and-her baths and walk-in closets. Residents here can take advantage of all of the amenities and services that come with the Trump lifestyle, ranging from valet parking to in-room catering to the building’s state-of-the-art health center and spa.

Search Luxury Condos for Sale in Trump Tower

21202120 N Lincoln Park West, Unit 7
Original list price: $2.495 million
Sold price: $2.45 million
With just over 3,000 square feet, this full-floor Lincoln Park condo offers fabulous views of the park, lake, skyline and the zoo in Lincoln Park. It’s located in an intimate boutique building that is full of character, featuring an upgraded kitchen, master suite and plenty of storage space. Other details include wood floors, cove lighting and built-in speakers throughout the home.

You too may be surprised to learn what kind of properties are available in downtown Chicago if you’re considering a move from the suburbs, and I invite you to give me a call to discuss. Contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Chicago Real Estate In A Class By Itself

Trump Tower Chicago

Trump Tower in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. Photo by Flickr/John Pickens Photography

Many of my clients shopping for luxury real estate are looking for anything but a run-of-the-mill property. They want something that stands apart from everything else on the market, whether that includes special features or amenities, a prime location or an iconic name that’s synonymous with luxury living.

The first building I always introduce my clients to is Trump Tower. This is one of my favorite buildings in the entire city of Chicago. And I’m not alone—a 14,000 square foot raw penthouse just sold in the building, marking the most expensive residential sale ever in Chicago real estate.

I think what appeals the most to my clients (and myself!) about Trump Tower is the endless list of amenities and the impeccable design that stands out in the Chicago skyline. I am originally from New York, and this building reminds me so much of Manhattan, with all of the panache but a considerably lower cost of living. Having sold two units in the building—one for $1.2 million and one for $2.7 million—I think buyers interested in Trump Tower are interested in the pampering that comes along with it. Take a look at some of the amenities and services offered here:

  • A 23,000 square foot health club and spa
  • In-building dining and nightlife at Rebar, Sixteen or the Terrace at Trump
  • Around-the-clock service from a top-notch staff, who provide everything from valet parking to in-room dining
  • A riverwalk made up of 1.2 acres of outdoor space, with retail shops, public relaxation areas, pristine landscaping and unparalleled views of the city.
Trump1

Photos from the raw interior of Trump Tower’s 14,000 square foot penthouse, which just sold for $17 million.

Trump2

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 3.39.54 PM

View Luxury condos for Sale in Trump Tower

Trump Tower Sale Breaks Chicago Record for Priciest Sale

With 14,000 square feet of un-designed space, the 89th-floor penthouse is a blank canvas for the new buyer, who paid all cash for the unit. This Chicago condos boasts 360-degree views of the city below, including a sprawling Lake Michigan, the Chicago river and the architectural skyline.

As far as getting it move-in ready, the buyer told the Chicago Tribune that he plans to work with the floor plan to customize it for entertaining and guests as well as a second home for his family. He also said Trump Tower in Chicago is unlike anything else in the city, saying “There are other high rises, but nothing quite as exotic as this.”

I must say, I couldn’t agree more. If you’d like to experience Trump Tower Chicago in person or see what’s on the market now, contact me for a personal tour at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Trend is Developing with Unusual Chicago Luxury Home Sales in October

The winter air isn’t the only thing moving through Chicago–luxury homes in October sold just as briskly, which is quite an unusual trend for late in the year and on the brink of winter weather.

Luxury real estate in Chicago (homes priced at $1 million and higher) sold in staggering numbers last month, and a good portion of those sales were on the upper end (over $2 million). With 15 homes closed during the month, sales totaled a whopping $72 million.

There were a few noticeable trends among luxury real estate that sold last month. Cash continues to be king, with 3 out of the 5 most expensive sales being sold as cash transactions. And lot size continues to be a noteworthy trend, with many homes on an extra-wide or extra-deep lot. Four of the 5 most expensive sales were on lots larger than the standard 25 ft. x 125 ft., which allows for larger rooms and more outdoor space for enjoying the warm weather when it returns for the summer.

Here’s a closer look at the details that helped these homes sell in October:

18631863 N Howe St
Original list price: $4.55 million
Sold price: $5,866,704
The highest priced sale in October has just about everything that luxury buyers look for: Space (5 bedrooms and 5,500 square feet); New construction (this brand-new beauty was waiting to be designed by its buyer); and location (on one of the most prestigious blocks in Lincoln Park).

20362036 N Kenmore Ave
Original list price: $4.499 million
Sold price: $4.499 million
On an extra wide, 37.5-foot lot, this brick and limestone home is a stunner on the outside with 9,500 square feet on the inside. Ultra-luxury features include walnut floors, 12-foot ceilings, a gourmet chef’s kitchen, an elevator an indoor sports court and a grand, curved staircase that is flooded from natural light from the penthouse level.

21122112 N Sedgwick Ave
Original list price: $3.695 million
Sold price: $3.45 million
Double-lot properties are a favorite among Chicago luxury real estate buyers, and this one is built from lot line to lot line to allow for 7,000 square feet of living space. This East Lincoln Park home was designed with the utmost elegance, including 11 1/2-foot tall ceilings, tall windows and a unique floor plan that gives the buyers the opportunity to put 5 of the 6 bedrooms on one level. There is also a chef’s kitchen, sunroom and a huge private yard, all which make the home idea for entertaining.

12351235 W Belden Ave
Original list price: $2.749 million
Sold price: $2.8 million
A luxury corner property in Lincoln Park, this 5-bedroom home was professionally designed to be an ideal home for entertaining. Features like a fabulous kitchen, a great room, wine cellar, an outdoor kitchen and spacious room sizes make all 6,000 square feet worth every inch.

22152215 N Orchard St
Original list price: $3.39 million
Sold price: $2.8 million
This home was called a “work of art,” thanks to its bright, natural light, 12-foot ceilings and grand living and dining spaces. Also included among it’s 6,000+ square feet is a massive eat-in kitchen, professional-grade appliances, a rooftop deck with a sunroom, hot tub and unobstructed city views, 2 large recreation rooms on the lower level and an attached heated 2-car garage.

As we near the end of the year, it’s good for potential buyers to take a look at what’s been selling in Chicago real estate. The seasonal slowdown is a great time to buy thanks to less competition among buyers and sellers who don’t want to see their homes on the market through all of winter. Keeping an eye on recent sales can give you an idea as to where the market is heading this time of year and what you can expect to buy for your own budget.

If you’re interested in more details on the homes that sold in October or to see what’s on the market now, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

The West Loop is a Happening Place for Chicago Luxury Real Estate

Photo from flickr/ajdoudt

Mary Bartelme Park in Chicago’s West Loop Neighborhood. Photo from flickr/ajdoudt

Lake View, Lincoln Park, the Gold Coast—these are neighborhoods we know and love when it comes to Chicago real estate in a can’t-beat-it location. But there’s a new neighborhood on the tip of buyer’s tongues: the West Loop.

Historically a factory and warehouse district, the West Loop today is filled with things to do, from dining at a new restaurant to perusing an art gallery. Just west of Chicago’s business district, the West Loop is a calming escape from downtown without leaving the city behind, making it a new destination for young working adults and families alike. The neighborhood was even recently highlighted by the Wall St. Journal as a hot area for working and living in the city.

And real estate buyers aren’t the only ones flocking to the near west side. New restaurants, retailers and businesses (Google, Twitter and Uber to name a few) have all made recent moves or plans to the West Loop, which has in turn spurred the development of luxury condos nearby.

Here are a few things that have folks headed west:

Restaurant Row: This foodie-friendly area is just that. An edible enclave with sushi, bakeries, breweries, butcher shops and more all within a few blocks of each other, including Girl and the Goat, Vivo and many others.

Industrial edge: The warehouse style of the West Loop isn’t gone, nor forgotten. But when it comes to real estate, that urban aesthetic can be found in upscale lofts and other charming converted buildings.

Creative confines: Art galleries, design stores and culture spots in Greektown are just a handful of ways to keep busy in the west loop

Schools: West Loop is home to Mary T. Skinner West Elementary school, which is ranked among Chicago’s top public schools.

Luxury real estate: Smaller communities within the West Loop like the Fulton Market Center and the Randolph Street Corridor have become ideal locations for developing high-end condos that allow for a quick commute to work and plenty to do for play.

Luxury Real Estate in Chicago’s West Loop
There are a number of Chicago condos to choose from in the West Loop. High-end real estate here offer generous square footage, and you get much more for your money in the West Loop than you might along the lake, which can cost as much as $1,200 per square foot. Without a lot of inventory, properties here move quickly–but, here are a few examples of what you might find in the West Loop:

canal st333 N Canal St, Unit 3301
List price: $1,500,000
Square footage: 2,855
Price per square foot: $525
This 3-bedroom condo is currently on the market, offering forever views of Chicago’s iconic architecture. The home is classically appointed with sophisticated finishes and a great floor plan that includes 11-foot ceilings, a 350-square foot gallery/foyer, private master suite and stone flooring throughout. Three deeded parking spaces are also included.

jackson728 W Jackson Blvd, Unit 1001-02
Sold price: $1,547,500
Square footage: 5,619
Price per square foot: $275
This stunning corner unit was sold for an incredible price for the space it offers. The open layout includes a formal dining space, chef’s kitchen with granite, Sub-Zero and Wolfe appliances, custom built-ins throughout and a huge master suite. It also includes 3 heated garage parking spaces.

canal st333 N Canal St, Unit 3702
Sold price: $1,589,000
Square footage: 4,163
Price per square foot: $381
This barely-lived-in penthouse is located in the Riverbend building, with 12-foot floor-to-ceiling windows, 360-degree views of the lake and river and two enormous, private terraces. The floor plan allows for open living spaces and 3 large bedrooms.

aberdeen122 S Aberdeen Ave, Unit 6N
Sold price: $1,601,844
Square footage: 4,286
Price per square foot: $373
A combined top-floor unit just built in 2012, with an elegant interior that features 11-foot ceilings, stone counters, contemporary Italian cabinetry, private elevator access and much more.

canal st333 N Canal St, Unit 3701
Sold price: $1,799,000
Square footage: 4,100
Price per square foot: $438
Another Riverbend unit, this penthouse was completely renovated to include more than $750,000 in upgrades like a chef’s kitchen, Poggenpohl cabinetry and top-of-the-line appliances. You’ll also find breathtaking views of the city and lake, large terraces made for entertaining, walnut floors throughout, a huge master suite with oversized bedroom. Riverbend is also a full amenity building within walking distance to downtown.

To see what’s on the market in the West Loop or take a stroll through this up-and-coming neighborhood, contact me. I’d be happy to show you what everyone is loving about the West Loop. Contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Light Is A Major Factor When Purchasing A Chicago Luxury Home

If natural light is limited, there are a number of ways to brighten things up that could improve the value of your home. Photo via Houzz/Traditional Dining Room by Chicago Interior Designers & Decorators Michael Abrams Limited.

There are a number of no-brainers to consider if you’re buying a Chicago home or evaluating the resale value of your own home. Location, size, special features, and…lighting?

It’s true: lighting is an important factor in a home, both in terms of the natural light that is let in and the lighting configurations from room to room. Buyers typically love a home that is bathed in sunshine during the day; bright natural light makes a space feel open and airy, even when winter weather is right outside.

But good lighting is also associated with healthy living. Scientists have found that this seemingly simple functionality can greatly affect our moods, sleep cycles and even our quality of life, as was recently covered by the Wall St. Journal.

So if a home is low on natural light, it is especially important to address the issue with a lighting expert to ensure the lighting inside helps make up for that deficit. LED lighting is at the forefront of home lighting technology, and is credited with providing a finer adjustment of brightness, color and intensity and even mimicking the changes to natural daylight throughout a day’s time.

While the right lighting will depend on the room, what it’s used for, and of course, the lifestyle of those who live there, there are a number of things you can do to ensure you aren’t “in the dark” when it comes to proper lighting. If you’re building a Chicago new construction home, these are important tips you’ll want to consider in the design of your home, not only for your own comfort, but to increase resale value down the line. Here’s a basic room-by-room guide to lighting your Chicago home:

Living room: Brighter, white light is ideal for group gatherings for things like playing games or watching a movie. But having the ability to dim is equally important, so the lighting temperature can be turned down in the hours before bedtime.

Kitchen: Lighting with a high color-rendering index is key in the kitchen, helping colors and details stand out to make food look better.

Bath lighting: Color rendering is also important in the powder room, especially in vanity lighting that illuminates personal grooming activities like shaving and applying make-up. Dimmable lighting is also ideal allow adjustment between different ages and preferences for those using the room.

Bedroom: Dimmable warm light in an adult’s bedroom is ideal for preparing the body for sleep. In a child’s room, bright white light will help wake them up in the morning or tackle tasks like homework, but a warmable, dimmer light is also important for bedtime hours.

Hallways: The guide for hallways and stairs is to provide enough light to navigate, but not so bright that it’s jarring and might cause someone to stumble or bump into something.

Lighting an Art Collection in Your Chicago Home

Achieving ideal lighting in every room is only part of the story. If you display any type of art in your home or even have a vase collection, it’s important to provide the proper lighting for each piece. Lighting plays a huge role in any art collection (big or small) and can make a huge difference in how your home looks. If you’re working with art in your home, I am happy to recommend an amazing lighting expert who has provided lighting for countless luxury homes, including the home of a major contemporary artist who has work in museums all over the world.

If you’re interested in learning more about building the perfect lighting around an art collection or in your Chicago luxury home, contact me and I will be happy to talk to you more about it. Call me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.