The North Side: For Chicagoans, the term conjures visions of a sprawling, verdant park hugging harbors and bordered with beaches, or memories of a beloved, bespectacled sportscaster leading a field of lovable losers in song. It was home to immigrants and celery farmers before the birth of Chicago itself, and for more than 170 years has been one of the city’s most vibrant and dynamic residential areas.
Even today, with so much focus placed on the Loop’s soaring high-rises and the downtown’s luxurious lifestyle options, homebuyers covet few things more than a home with a North Side address.
According to Midwest Real Estate Data, the North Side – the area bounded by Lake Michigan, North and Western avenues and Irving Park Road – had slightly fewer listings between Jan. 1 and June 30 than the Loop/downtown area or the South Side, but it boasted the highest average sale price of any area in Chicago during that time: $521,257. Nevertheless, more than half of the North Side homes listed in the first two quarters of 2008 were priced below $500,000, suggesting the area is still accessible to a buyer on a budget.
The NewHomeNotebook.com database lists more than 130 active new-construction and gut-rehab projects on the North Side, and almost all of those developments are located in one of the area’s four major neighborhoods: Lincoln Park, Lake View, Bucktown and Wicker Park.