ChicagoSouth Side

From Yo’s archives – free plasma TVs and agents drinking their own Kool-Aid

by Joe Zekas on 2/17/12

Remember plasma TVs as sales incentives? Remember buying a Bronzeville condo for its appreciation potential?

Five years ago today we were writing about “free” plasma TVs and most real estate agents were still seeing limited downside in the market. In some neighborhoods they were still talking about appreciation.

When I visited Sutherland Pearsall‘s Jerry Houlihan at Drexel Parc Lofts, 4537 S Drexel Blvd in North Kenwood he showed me around a 3-bedroom, 2-bath penthouse unit priced in the $340s, and we chatted a bit about why he’d bought in the building.

Jerry bought his 2-bedroom, 2-bath 6th-floor unit at Drexel Parc Lofts, for $219,000 in December of 2005 after renting in Wicker Park for 6 years. He’d looked on the North Side, but felt he was getting twice as much space, plus parking, in his South Side neighborhood. At the time, Jerry saw little risk of downside in his purchase. He resold his unit for $145,000 in July of last year.

A penthouse similar to the one we viewed is now for sale as the developer’s final close-out unit, priced at $179,900. Unit 109, which was purchased for $208,000 in March of 2006 resold for $103,000 in September of 2010 following a foreclosure.

Many real estate agents eagerly bought into the deals they were selling in the middle of the last decade. Jerry at least escaped the fate of the agents whose names I recognize while scanning foreclosure filings.

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