Do winter pains equal buyer gains in Uptown?

4913 N Ashland Ave, ChicagoThe forecast for unit #1 at 4913 N Ashland Ave in Uptown was bleak, even before we entered the deep freeze of winter.

The 3,500 square-foot, five-bedroom / three-bath duplex sold in 2004 for $433,500, says Blockshopper, but came back on the market in early November 2010 at just $357,000. That price fell like the mercury through the holiday season, settling at just under $320,000 just after Christmas. Then today it crashed down by almost $95,000 to $225,000, or $64 a square foot. What’s the deal?

Blame it on a “bank winterization error,” says the listing by agent-owner Frederick Kidd. “Water damage from frozen pipe gets you a great opportunity.” Whoops!

Kidd’s photos appear to predate this disaster, and show off a spacious unit with hardwood floors on the main level, a living area with fireplace, an island kitchen with dark countertops and white appliances, and a carpeted lower-level family room with a fireplace and access to an outdoor terrace.

The sale price includes the cost of two outdoor parking spaces. 2009 taxes are $7,779, and monthly assessments are $161, covering common insurance, scavenger, and snow removal.

If no one opts to buy the home as a short sale by March 1, the property will go back to the bank as a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.

One question — if the bank doesn’t own this property yet, how was it to blame for the unit’s winterization (or lack thereof)? That should still be the owner’s responsibility, no?

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