Small homes not a sacrifice for new buyers

Unit #717 at Lake Point Tower, 505 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago

From MSNBC’s “The big thinking in condos now is to get small”:

“For Gen Y, the home is a place to live out of, not to live in. They don’t think of this as a sacrifice. It’s just their lifestyle.”

– John McIlwain, senior fellow for housing at the Urban Land Institute.

“I’m a little concerned about the size. I think it’s easy to grow out of this sort of space. But I wanted to live in the city while I was still young.”

– 26-year-old Alexandra Gorbokon, who just bought a 600 square-foot condo in downtown Chicago.

In the area bounded by Division Street, Halsted Street, Roosevelt Road, and Lake Michigan you can find approximately 230 homes for sale that have 750 square feet or less. Roughly half of those homes are studios, and many of the remainder are “convertibles” lacking fully enclosed bedrooms. Even some new buildings are catering to this market — 235 Van Buren, for example, has at least three one-bedroom floor plans featuring less than 700 square feet.

Two of the newest listings among these sub-750 square-foot units are the ones you see below: a 683 square-foot convertible at Plaza 440, 440 N Wabash Ave in River North (at left), and a 706 square-foot “executive suite” at Lake Point Tower, 505 N Lake Shore Dr in Streeterville (above and below right).

Plaza 440 unit appears to be an REO, judging from the “no survey nor disclosures” caveat included in its listing. Assessments weigh in at $450 a month, covering heat, air conditioning, water, common insurance, door staff, exercise facilities, pool, scavenger.

The listing for the Lake Point Tower unit is scant on details, but you can tell from the image above that its owner opted for a mirrored wall on one side to create the illusion of more space. Monthly assessments are $331, covering water, common insurance, security, door staff, cable TV, exercise facilities, pool, exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger, and snow removal.

Tier 07 at Plaza 440, 440 N Wabash Ave, Chicago Tier 17 at Lake Point Tower, 505 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago

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