ChicagoNorthwest Side

FSBO follies in Logan Square?

by Joe Zekas on 11/22/11

In the early years of the millennium a patch of Logan Square along Armitage was a hotbed of development activity, playing host to a number of loft conversions and newly-built condos.

YoChicago focused on a number of those developments, including the once graffiti-laden , the hyper-pretentious ArmitEDGE, which invited buyers to find themselves “edging closer to perfection,” and . Earlier this year we took a look at Metropolis Lofts, a building whose reserves had been defrauded out of $375K by its management company, Regent Realty.

Armitage also saw commercial development during the past decade. Relative newcomers such as the highly-rated Bonsoirée and the more-recent Brand BBQ (video, above) joined TasteeFreez and other neighborhood standbys.

Development and conversion of new condos in the area came to a virtual halt during the past few years, and resales have suffered from plunging prices.

Loft owners at 1935 N Fairfield, for example, have been subject to a special assessment and seen half a dozen units in the building go through foreclosure and sell for a third or more below their original purchase price. Unit 101, a 2-bedroom, 2-bath which is touted as the largest floor plan in the building, sold for $265K in 2004 and $297K in 2007. It came back on the market in February, listed at $259K, and went into foreclosure several months ago. The price was repeatedly reduced to $165K and it’s currently under contract. Unit 401, also a 2-bedroom, 2-bath, just came on the market for $285,000.

Unit 402, a 2-bedroom, 1-bath, has been on the market for more than 3 years and is for sale by owner, priced at $348,000. It was purchased for $249,500 in April of 2001.

Meanwhile, over at the ArmitEDGE, Unit 208, a 2-bedroom, 1-bath that sold for $175K in 2007 has been on the market for nearly 6 months and is currently offered at $155K. Unit 204, a 2-bedroom, 2-bath purchased for $300K in 2007 is currently being offered by the owner at $300K.

Are the owner units fairly priced or FSBO follies?

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

B. November 23, 2011 at 8:00 AM

Joe,

We traded a couple of e-mails, but here’s a comment for the masses.

I would content that this strip on Armitage—while not hot—is still cooking.

Those locations in the photos now have great new condo developments. Bonsoiree is so hot, they no longer have a sign! They don’t need one, they’re so popular.

90 Miles Cuban restaurant is doing absolute gangbusters. I recall talking to the owner recently where he relayed they’ve had their best weeks ever at their Armitage location.

The FoodSmart grocery/convenience store is set to double their space, with produce, groceries, craft beer and wine, etc. There are numerous new restaurants, Katakana, Mitad Del Mundo, Las Brasas, Dante’s Pizzeria and Chilapan to name a few. And that’s not to mention the boom going on just a few blocks to the north on Milwaukee Ave. with Revolution Brewing, etc.

Numerous high-end apartment buildings have been constructed recently. And they seem to be filling quickly.
While the condo boom has slowed with the economy across the city, it’s an excellent time to buy with some great bargains.

I do think some owners list crazy FSBO prices and just wait for years, hoping some rare bird will come along to pay their asking price. Usually, that doesn’t happen. But it doesn’t stop people from being delusional.

I think this area on Armitage shows great promise and warrants consideration when investing in a condo. If a friend’s recent search is an indication, the bargains go fast around here.

Thanks,
B.

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