ChicagoNorth Side

Maud Street and Adams Park, 30 years later

by Joe Zekas on 8/3/12

Back in the early 1980s I bought two lots in the 1800 block of Maud St, not far from Adams Parkin the Ranch Triangle area of Lincoln Park. At the time, the park was largely deserted and had only sparse playground equipment.

I bought my lots for $10,000 apiece from a guy who’d acquired them for unpaid taxes of about $300 a lot. I offered 3-bedroom, 2 ½ bath homes on the lots in the mid-$100s and met a storm of disdain for the location from the brokerage community. I sold the lots for $20K apiece.

Maud Street developed as I knew it would, into the pleasant enclave you’ll see in the above video. The lots now host homes that sold for $840K and $900K more than a decade ago.

Adams Park was swarming with young children when I visited several days ago. It was a great sight, and a vivid reminder of things that don’t change. Very few Chicago real estate brokers, now as then, understand the dynamics of emerging neighborhoods.

Real estate agents are very adept at convincing buyers that they’re knowledgeable about many areas. Don’t believe it. If you’re buying, and willing to take a chance on a neighborhood immediately contiguous to an established one, look for a real estate broker who has a deep familiarity with what’s happening in the area.

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