Jumbo Loans Key to Chicago Luxury Home Sales

As we’ve seen in the past few months of luxury sales, there are a number of buyers who purchase luxury homes with cash. But even if you have the cash, buyers might consider keeping it on hand and getting a mortgage. For high-priced properties, jumbo loans can offer buyers a number of incentives that keep cash in their pockets.

Jumbo loans in Chicago are those in excess of $417,000. That is the dividing line between a conforming loan and a jumbo, though it is higher in locations like California. After the housing downturn, many were shying away from jumbo loans, as they were seen as risky for lenders or too stringent for buyers.

Jumbo Loans Coming Back Strong for Lenders and Buyers

But today, lenders are embracing jumbo loans, even as mortgage activity has slowed down overall. In May, the number of mortgage applications had decreased, more than likely due to rising home prices, cash-only buyers and tight credit standards. But through that, jumbo loans remained stable.

So why the influx of jumbo lending? Lenders are eager to woo low-risk, wealthy clients with strong credit and substantial assets to back up a jumbo loan. And luxury real estate buyers are taking advantage of attractive jumbo loan offers with low interest rates, flexible underwriting and credit availability.

Even for buyers with plenty of cash, there are a number of things to consider if you’re buying Chicago luxury real estate with a mortgage loan:

Lower down payments: To encourage upscale buyers to consider a mortgage loan, some lenders are relaxing the standard requirement of a 20% down payment in favor of lower amounts. That could leave buyers with more cash on hand to invest elsewhere or keep liquid.

More choices among lenders and loans: Small banks and credit unions are putting their cards into jumbo lending, offering aggressive pricing and features to compete among big-bank loans. Borrowers have plenty to choose from to find a loan that fits their needs best.

Tight borrower standards: Jumbo loan borrowers must be in excellent credit standing—these stringent standards are precisely what help jumbo loans remain viable for lenders. A good credit score, sufficient reserves and strong income are all required for jumbo lenders.

If you’re considering purchasing Chicago luxury real estate, give me a call to talk about what your options might be with a jumbo loan. Contact me at (312) 264-5853 or email me at ssalnick@koenigrubloff.com.

New on the Chicago Real Estate Market: 3-Bedroom in Jefferson Park

Chicago home for sale in Jefferson Park

One of my favorite things about real estate in Chicago is that there really is something for everyone—modern high-rises for urban aficionados; quiet, tree-lined streets for those who love the feel of the suburbs; and of course, many things in between.

Newly available is a Chicago home right with the best of both of those worlds. It has the residential feel of a suburban neighborhood—but it’s right here in the city, in Jefferson Park.

Chicago home for sale in Jefferson Park

4956 N Lockwood Avenue, Unit 2
3 bedrooms, 2.5 bath
2,500 square feet

This home is part of a gorgeous brick two-flat, similar to a townhome with a wide open floor plan. Here’s a look at what this home has to offer:

ilmlsni08616252-14

ilmlsni08616252-13
Outdoor space: A 20 x 20-foot deck is the ideal space for entertaining and taking advantage of Chicago’s summer weather. There’s also an additional terrace off of the master suite.

ilmlsni08616252-3

ilmlsni08616252-1

Chef’s kitchen: With stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and 48-inch cabinets, this kitchen is fit with everything you need for hosting parties, dinners, or a simple family breakfast.

Chicago home for sale in Jefferson Park

Convenient location: This Chicago home is close to the 90/94 freeways, Blue Line and the Metra for easy commuting to downtown or around the city.

Room for kids: This home is directly across from a wonderful park with a playground for kids and a mere two blocks from an excellent elementary school.

ilmlsni08616252-7

ilmlsni08616252-6

Plenty of space: The master suite boasts a lofted office, plus two additional generously sized bedrooms. There’s also garage space with room for two cars—something you’ll surely be grateful for once winter returns.

Details: The home is impeccable tailored, with super finishes, cherry floors and oak doors.

This Chicago home for sale would be perfect for Chicago teachers, police or firefighters who have to live in Chicago but want an environment that feels more like the ‘burbs. To learn more about this property or to check it out in person, contact me at (312) 264-5853 or email me at ssalnick@koenigrubloff.com.

Luxury Chicago Real Estate Continues to Move Briskly with May Single-Family Home Sales

With inventory still fairly low in the Chicago real estate market, luxury properties with much to offer are moving quickly. The location of May’s single-family home sales are no surprise: Lincoln Park, the Gold Coast and Lakeview all topped the list of the most expensive homes sold in May. These neighborhoods are a dream for home buyers, with plenty of trees and residential-like streets, walkability to dining and shopping and within the boundaries of great schools.

There were 33 luxury homes (those priced at $1 million and above) that sold in May, totaling $57 million in sales. Here’s a look at the top 5 most expensive, in descending order.

astor1207 N Astor St
Original list price: $5.875 million
Sold price: $5.875 million
This 7,500 square foot home sits on an extra-wide lot on storied Astor Street in the Gold Coast. It was recently renovated to include high-end finishes and fixtures, radiant heat and home electronics, but the bones of the home offer much to be desired as well. An elegant living room and dining room each have their own fireplace; the chef’s eat-in kitchen features Christopher Peacock cabinetry; the great room features a 20-foot ceiling and stone fireplace; and a sun-filled penthouse opens up to a skylight and has two terraces.

hudson2138 N Hudson Avenue
Original list price: $5.2 million
Sold price: $5.1 million
A custom home stretched on an extra-wide lot in Lincoln Park, this home features 8,000 square feet on the inside and a large yard on the outside. It’s hardly your “typical” city home, surrounded by a park-like setting that floods the home with light. Inside is a huge eat-in kitchen with great finishes, an adjacent great room with dining terrace, a formal dining room, gracious living room and a 2-story living room. The master bath on the top level is spa-like, with a separate sitting room, dual closets and 2 bedroom suites.

division43 E Division Street
Original list price: $4.5 million
Sold price: $4.15 million
This 5,500 square foot beauty in the Gold Coast was wonderfully revamped into a contemporary designed space on the inside, while retaining its 1870s Italianate exterior. This home has plenty of space, from formal rooms on the upper levels to coach house spaces and a floor plan idea for living and entertaining. This home also includes heated stone floors, heated sidewalks and a heated 2-car garage to combat Chicago’s winter chill.

magnolia2238 N Magnolia Avenue
Original list price: $2.849 million
Sold price: $3.05 million
From Platinum Homes, this 4-bedroom home was a new construction property on one of the most coveted streets in Lincoln Park. The great floor plan allows for superb natural light to showcase interior highlights like the amazing chef’s kitchen or the array of designer finishes throughout. An outdoor space includes a yard, rear patio with grilling station and fireplace, garage roofdeck, and an additional covered/open rooftop deck with great neighborhood views.

lakewood3646 N Lakewood Avenue
Original list price: $2.395 million
Sold price: $2.3 million
A new construction home near the heart of Southport Corridor in Lakeview, this single-family home is 4,800 square feet of interior with a full masonry/brick construction. With 6 bedrooms and 5.1 baths, this home also boasts details like fine cabinetry, SubZero/Wolf appliances, custom millwork and hardwood flooring. The outdoor space includes a breezeway, raised patio with fireplace, and a rooftop deck with an outdoor room. It’s location near Blaine Elementary makes this a coveted property, as buyers are eager to be in the enrollment boundaries of well-rated schools like this one.

To learn more about the these recently sold properties in Chicago real estate or to see what’s on the market now, contact me at (312) 264-5853 or email me at ssalnick@rubloff.com.

Excellent Sales for Luxury Chicago Condos in May

Luxury condo Sales in May matched the heat of the summer, with a total sales volume of $70 million. There were 43 luxury condos sold, ranging in price from $1 million to over $3 million.

One building was the star of May’s sales: Lincoln Park 2550. Of the five most expensive sales, this new construction building took the 3rd and 5th spots for the month. This was a project that was highly anticipated for a number of years, and the excitement has only gained momentum now that it is complete. It’s like no other building in the city, with a stunning, elegant lobby and a 1 ¼ acre private park right on the grounds. It’s also close to private schools and offers the same amount of space as a single-family home, making it ideal if you have a nanny or other assistants during the day to day.

I’ve said many times that the buildings that do well for resale are those that differentiate themselves from everything else on the market. Lincoln Park 2550 certainly does that to the nth degree.

While this building was certainly the showpiece of May’s luxury condos, there were a number of other noteworthy sales as well. Here’s a closer look at the top 5 most expensive condo sales, starting with the most expensive:

50-E-Chestnut-St-60611_unit-1801_Chicago_IL-114368350 E Chestnut St., Unit 1301
Original list price: $3.295 million
Sold price: $3.195 million
At the corner of Rush and Chestnut in Chicago’s Gold Coast, this is a full-floor residence spanning more than 3,800 square feet. This unit was the last of the developer’s units, featuring a private elevator foyer, floor-to-ceiling windows, two oversized terraces, highly upgraded finishers, Wolf/Subzero appliances, designer cabinets and counters, upgraded light fixtures, built-out closets and hardwood floors throughout. The home is also pre-wired for audio, video and Lutron lights throughout.

Chicago condos in Trump Tower401 N Wabash Ave., Unit 77D
Original list price: $$2.95 million
Sold price: $2,837,500
Trump Tower reigns again on our top sales list. This 3-bedroom unit sits on the 77th floor, allowing for unbelievable sweeping views of the city, lake and skyline. The 4 baths include an extra large master bath with double walk-in closets. A spacious living room opens up to the dining room, which follows the dramatic curve of the building, and a large kitchen includes Subzero, Viking, Wolf and Miele appliances with Snaidero cabinets. Residents of Trump Tower can enjoy all of the amenities of the building’s hotel, including room-service, in-room dining, valet parking, a state-of-the-art fitness center and spa and much more.

25502550 N Lakeview Ave., Unit D1-24
Original list price: $2.854 million
Sold price: $2.73 million
This unit is found in one of the finest buildings in Chicago luxury real estate: Lincoln Park 2550. With 4 bedrooms and 4.5 baths, the interior stretches more than 3,500 square feet with a 254 square foot terrace that boasts lake, park, pond and city views. The fully appointed cook’s kitchen includes a large breakfast bar, Italian cabinetry, and SubZero, Wolf and Miele appliances. The home also includes oak floors and floor-to-ceiling windows and a marble spa master bath. The building is beautiful, but full of conveniences and amenities as well, such as an indoor pool, fitness center, dog run and much more.

Residences at 900 Chicago77 E Walton St., Unit 23F
Original list price: $2.7 million
Sold price: $2.7 million
Just off of the Magnificent Mile, the Residences at 900 is one of Chicago’s best residential addresses in downtown Chicago. The building offers a private residential lobby on Walton, valet parking, huge storage and state-of-the-art technology. This 3-bedroom unit spans 3,400 square feet with floor-to-ceiling windows, fabulous views, 10-foot ceilings, 4” white oak floors throughout, a Snaidero kitchen and a lavish master bath.

25502550 N Lakeview Ave., Unit C6-30
Original list price: $2.791 million
Sold price: $2.66 million
Here it is again: Lincoln Park 2550. This unit is a 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath unit with 2,655 interior square feet and 188-square foot terrace that offers amazing lake, park and city views. The large master suite includes a walk-in closet and marble spa bath, while the kitchen boasts Italian cabinetry, luxury appliances and more. This is one of the hottest buildings in Chicago right now, in the heart of scenic Lincoln Park and with practically limitless features and amenities for its residents to enjoy.

To learn more about the Chicago condos that sold last month or to see what’s on the market now, contact me at (312) 264-5853.

Excellent Schools Bring Premium Prices for Luxury Chicago Homes

Whether you’re raising preschoolers, high schoolers, or even just thinking about building a family, there’s a good chance you’ve thought about where they’ll go to school. Being in the right district has become an incredibly important factor of Chicago real estate, with proximity to well-rated schools correlating with quick sales and higher prices.

Today in Chicago, just the mere mention that a home for sale is within a particular district sets the phones ringing off the hook from broker to clients. A good local school can be one of the biggest drivers in a community, and parents are willing to go to great lengths to to live in a neighborhood that has one. Chicago was even recently named in a list of top 10 U.S. markets where booming real estate values and good school districts had strong correlations.

There are a few schools that parents are gunning to get into as they shop for a Chicago home:

Audobon School: A neighborhood school in Roscoe Village, Audobon enrolls students from pre-kindergarten to 8th grade. It boasts state-of-the-art technology, award-winning programs in a variety of subjects and National Board-Certified teachers.

Blaine Elementary School: In Lakeview, Blaine is classified as a fine arts magnet school and was ranked one of the best schools in Chicago in Chicago Magazine. More than 90 percent of the students here meet or exceed the district average in test scores.

Alexander Graham Bell School: Another K-8 school in North Center, Bell is known for its diversity and 3 school programs within the school: a neighborhood program with standard statewide curriculum, a regional gifted program and a deaf students program all the say from Pre-K through 8th grade.

Hawthorne Scholastic Academy: This K-8 public school in Lakeview is a literature and writing magnet school known for its high ranking in the city and the state. Students are accepted here through the Chicago Public Schools magnet lottery.

John C. Coonley School: A premier school also located in North Center, Coonley serves students from preschool to 8th grade and offers gifted and talented classes and special education programs as well as standard statewide curriculum.

The Ogden International School of Chicago: This neighborhood school serves students from preschool all the way up to 12th grade. The school has an international gifted program for 6th to 8th graders as well as several baccalaureate programs.

Note that most (if not all) of these schools have an important enrollment note: they are neighborhood schools, so they enroll and teach those within the boundaries of their neighborhoods. Being in proximity in one of these schools is the way to get in. So for many parents, location is at the top of their real estate wish lists in order to enroll in the school they want for their children.

Finding a Chicago Home Near a Great School

Location near some of these schools can quickly drive up the price of Chicago real estate. But many parents are willing to pay premium dollar for a new home than the alternative for their children’s schooling: attending an extremely expensive private school. There are a number of options in terms of private schools, but the ones that are at the top are certainly very expensive—around $25,000 per year. If you consider going private all the way through high school, that can easily amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The cost of private school surely factors into wanting a location that’s near one of these well-ranked public schools. The Wall St. Journal recently covered this same topic, and offered a few great tips for getting in a neighborhood with a good school:

  • Know your definition of a “good school.” Is it solid test scores? An award-winning music program? What makes a school well-known for being a “great school,” may not be the same goals you have for your children.
  • Is private school an option in a more affordable neighborhood? A competitively priced private school could actually end up being the same or even less expensive than a hefty mortgage you may have to take on to get into a coveted district.
  • Are there up-and-coming areas? Communities that are growing around a school can increase property taxes and those tax receipts can flow back into the school district, allowing the neighborhood school to thrive along with a new neighborhood.

If you’re in search of a Chicago home near a great school, give me a call. I’d be happy to talk about your options and introduce you to some of the neighborhoods that these schools call home. Give me a call at (312) 264-5853 or email me at ssalnick@koenigrubloff.com.
 

 

 

Navigate the New Construction Sales Center with a Chicago Real Estate Agent by Your Side

If you’re in the market for a Chicago new construction home, chances are you’ve been in a building’s or development’s sales center to check things out.

The sales center is a wealth of information—you can usually see renderings or models of properties that are available. You can learn about the building or take a tour. It may seem like a casual introduction—you may find yourself just “dropping by” if you’re in the neighborhood of a building you have your eye on.

But if you’re serious about a particular property, I encourage buyers to always bring a realtor with them, particularly when dealing with luxury new construction. Your Chicago real estate agent represents you and you only. The agents at the sales center represent the building. While they’re a great resource for information about your potential home, they aren’t being paid to get you a good deal. But a realtor who represents you only knows the right questions to ask, can negotiate on your behalf, and can walk you through the nuances of a building that you won’t get from the standard introduction.

Once you walk into a sales center without an agent, you can lose the opportunity to be represented by one down the line. The developer will not pay a commission to a broker you choose for negotiation, as the broker did not do the due diligence to lead you to purchase the property. Your options would then be to find an agent who will work for you without a commission (which is unlikely) or to go into a deal unrepresented by a professional—neither of which sound like a good plan for negotiating in your favor.

Your broker can also walk you through any required earnest money—some new construction buildings (2550 Lakeview is an example) require a certain percentage of the purchase price upfront with your offer. It’s extremely important to have a realtor who will discuss any potential issues with you that could put your earnest money at risk. You don’t want to just write a check to the sales center and walk away without knowing what could come up.

Avoiding Dual Agency in Chicago Real Estate

If you walk into a sales center without an experienced realtor by your side, you are effectively giving up representation. If you find yourself negotiating and working with the real estate broker from the sales center, you’re looking at a dual agency situation—this is when the same agent works with both the buyer and the seller. According to the law, it is required that you’re made aware of this important aspect of the sale.

In short, walking “blind” into a sales center rarely works in your favor. Even if you think you’re “just looking,” consult with a realtor you trust first. I would be happy to guide you through the various aspects that come with purchasing luxury real estate in Chicago and ensure you don’t end up in a dual agency or in a deal that doesn’t represent your needs.

For more information on purchasing new construction in Chicago, contact me at (312) 264-5853 or email me at ssalnick@koenigrubloff.com.

Get Creative with Cash When Buying Chicago Luxury Real Estate

As I’ve said in a number of previous blog posts, cash is king when it comes to real estate, and luxury real estate in particular. It’s ideal for both the buyer and the seller, but it often helps buyers get a deal on the best house, for the best price, on the best terms.

A cash offer is an attractive one for a buyer to put on the table. Sellers view cash buyers as far more promising than a buyer who still has to secure a mortgage for a luxury property, which could require anywhere from $1 million to $5 million and could potentially be difficult to obtain.

Buyers certainly understand the advantage of putting cash on the table. About 31% of all real estate purchases across the country were made with cash in 2013. But if an all-cash offer isn’t an option, there are alternatives that can also be effective. Here are a few tips for buyers who are navigating the all-cash market:

Get a good loan: If you need to obtain a mortgage, make sure you’re going with a lender who can close loans quickly or one that offers a range of financing options. A lender that can help get a deal done quickly can make or break a deal.

Be flexible: A no-cash offer could become a part-cash or even all-cash offer if you’re able to add in a second mortgage or a home equity line of credit to your offer. A some-cash offer is better than a no-cash offer.

Be patient: Offers can disappear as quickly as they were put in. An all-cash buyer could pull out their offer, so waiting it out could reap big rewards, especially if you’re willing to put down a large down payment.

Know the market: A good agent will help you find properties and sellers that are open to accepting bids and financing, so you won’t waste your time on properties that only plan to accept cash bids.

Work with Your Realtor to Create an Offer that is Creative

I discuss financing with my clients in the very beginning, as it’s a crucial part of the process. How you plan to purchase a new Chicago home plays a critical role, especially in the negotiation process for a luxury property.

This is why it’s especially important to have a savvy realtor in your corner when shopping for Chicago real estate. Together, the two of you should discuss everything you have to put into an offer even before you’ve found a home you’d like to purchase. A good realtor should walk you through the various methods of buying a home and see if adding cash to your offer is possibility. He or she can use that information to get you, the buyer, the best deal on a new home.

If you’re searching for a Chicago luxury home, give me a call to discuss your wants and needs. We can walk through the different ways you can have a competitive offer ready for a home you really want rather than chasing every new listing that hits the market. Give me a call at (312) 264-5853 or email me at ssalnick@rubloff.com.

‘Smart’ Toilets a Smart Option for Chicago Luxury Homes and Condos

Contemporary Bathroom by Toronto Interior Designers & Decorators Jill Greaves Design via Houzz

The value of Chicago real estate can be greatly affected by how well a home meets what today’s buyers are looking for. Certain features and amenities that fit in with current trends might make a home more appealing, so it’s important for buyers and sellers alike to stay on top of what’s hot in modern homes right now.

Readers of this blog know that I closely follow home trends and consider how they might affect the value and appeal of luxury real estate in Chicago. We’ve explored ultra high-end ovens, coffee stations and jaw-dropping master baths, all great upgrades to a modern home. There really is no limit to the type or amount of luxury features that you might find.

But just when I thought I had a handle on the products you might consider for an upscale home, along comes: the smart toilet. The Wall St. Journal recently highlighted the toilet of all toilets: the Toto Washlet. With all of its high-tech bells and whistles, the Washlet takes one of the most simple home fixtures and brings it into 2014.

Hailing from Tokyo, these commodes are like something out of a movie. Touchless lids that lift on their own. Seats that heat up. A built-in bidet that…well, you know. Some even sync up with smart phones, so that the toilet remembers your preferences and can even play your favorite song through speakers that are built right into the bowl.

While it might seem kitschy or unnecessary to some, home trends like this can quickly become the norm and expectation in luxury real estate.

Bathrooms Becoming the New ‘It’ Room in Luxury Real Estate

Toilets aren’t the only thing getting an upgrade. Bathrooms in general are quickly becoming a room that homeowners are spending money on to create a luxury refuge in their home. The kitchen was once the focus of remodels and renovations that brought upscale features into a home. But bathrooms—and the master bath in particular—may be taking over.

More and more manufacturers are introducing bath fixtures that take this room to the next level. A few common trends I’ve seen in luxury bathrooms include:

Floating tubs: A freestanding tub adds to a spa-like feel, especially when paired with a great view from a high-rise Chicago condo.

Big showers: When it comes to shower space, bigger is better. Clean and simple styles pair perfectly with generous space to create a daily refuge. Features like a rain shower head, heated floors, and wireless speaker systems are all ways that let the shower take center stage.

Smart technologies: Adding things like wifi or audio/visual systems to the master bath truly make this room a destination for unwinding and relxing at the end of the day.

No touching required: From toilets to faucets, the bathroom is a great place to integrate fixtures that work at the wave of a hand rather than on contact.

In short, luxury amenities in the bathroom add everything from entertainment to efficiency to an extra level of hygiene. A “wow” bath is a great pull for buyers and something that can truly up the resale value of Chicago real estate when its done right.

For more information on current home trends or to talk about increasing the value of your Chicago home or condo, contact me at (312) 264-5853 or email me at ssalnick@koenigrubloff.com.

Single-Family Luxury Homes in Chicago Sold Amazingly Fast in April

Single-family luxury homes were flying off the proverbial shelves last month, with 4 out of the top 5 most expensive homes selling in less than a month.

April’s luxury home sales (those priced a $1 million and higher) totaled $57 million in sales, coming from 33 properties. Seven of those sales were more than $2 million.

Bucktown Becoming a Destination for Chicago Luxury Real Estate

Bucktown is certainly coming into its own—this Chicago neighborhood took two spots on last month’s priciest home sales. In recent months, we’ve seen a number of new construction properties sell in Bucktown, many of which take advantage of wide lots, modern architecture and happening surroundings.

Just back in January, Bucktown saw its second highest-priced sale ever at $3.1 million. The highest (before April’s sale) was $3.68 million. So last month’s most expensive home sale in the city was likely a record-breaker for the neighborhood as well.

Square Footage Sold Chicago Single-Family Home Sales in April

Chicago’s luxury homes are proof that you don’t have to head to the suburbs to get more space. Of the top five homes sold last month, every one spanned more than 5,000 square feet, many thanks to wide lots and multiple levels.

Starting with the most expensive, here are details on the top 5 home sales in Chicago last month:

1837 N Winchester Ave
Original list price: $3.895 million
Sold price: $3.7 million
April’s top sale sits on a double lot in the heart of Bucktown. It also sold in just 23 days, despite its phenomenal price tag. This one-of-a-kind contemporary estate boasts an amazing floorplan perfect for entertaining, floor-to-ceiling windows and a 2-story atrium that washes the home with natural light. You’ll also find exotic woods throughout, extensive custom cabinetry, a state-of-the-art gourmet kitchen and a spectacular lower level. The outdoor space includes a large deck and yard, with a pool and hot tub above the attached garage.

1962 N Burling
Original list price: $3.1 million
Sold price: $2.8 million
Burling is one of the most prestigious streets in Lincoln Park, but that’s not even one of the major highlights on this home. Spanning 6,500 square feet, this home is rich with luxury, including outstanding architectural details, a limestone façade, and extra-wide interior, two fireplaces and a 3-story atrium. Each room is generously sized, from the eat-in gourmet kitchen with top-of-the-line appliances, large family room with wood beam ceilings, a large terrace, and generous lower level with a rec room, 5th bedroom and bath.

3627 N Lakewood Ave
Original list price: $2.795 million
Sold price: $2.75 million
Also a newer property in the Southport Corridor, this single-family home is on an extra wide 30-foot lot, spanning 6,900 square feet in total. With 4 bedrooms and 3 baths, the home features a custom-designed kitchen, radiant heat on the lower level, baths and front steps, smart home technology and quality millwork throughout. Abundant outdoor space is another perk, not to mention the home’s location in the Blaine School District (one of the city’s best).

1858 N Paulina St
Original list price: $2.599 million
Sold price: $2.59 million
A brand-new Bucktown home, this property resets the standard of elegance and urban style in Chicago real estate. Its location on a wide corner lot allows for an interior width over 21 feet and 5,400 total square feet. A spacious, open floor plan is detailed with exemplary finishes, custom, oversized windows, industrial metal workmanship and custom mahogany. Out back is a raised yard with a fireplace for soaking in summer weather.

1316 W Henderson Ave
Original list price: $2.45 million
Sold price: $2.275 million
A generously sized 6 bedroom, 6,000 square-foot Lakeview home, this property is on an extra-wide lot and has been completely upgraded and customized. The home was just built in 2010 and was “barely lived in,” with high ceilings, a walk-in wine cellar, home theater, private patio and deck. Impressive millwork is detailed throughout, including coffered ceilings, custom cabinetry and built-ins.

If you’re in the market for luxury real estate in Chicago, take a look at the sales from the previous month to get an idea what to expect—in terms of price, location, availability and what your budget will get you in today’s market. For additional details or to see what’s on the market now, contact me at (312) 254-5853 or email me at ssalnick@koenigrubloff.com.

Buyers Primarily Purchasing Luxury Chicago Condos with Cash

For the second consecutive month, cash buyers were the stars of the show when it came to luxury Chicago condo sales. Four out of the top five most expensive homes sold were bought with cash, something sellers should certainly take note of.

April’s condo sales are further evidence that downtown Chicago is where buyers want to be. And not just anywhere downtown—luxury buyers are still gunning for new or newer properties with ample square footage in buildings with loads of amenities to offer.

Buildings like the Ritz-Carlton Residences and Lincoln Park 2550 continue to make appearances on each month’s sales report. These buildings are moving because many high-end clients have realized the value of luxury real estate in Chicago compared to other parts of the country and the world. Here, the cost per square foot is relatively inexpensive—a maximum of $1,200—whereas upscale properties in New York or San Francisco are priced upwards of $3,000 per square foot.

Buyers are also drawn to condos with the space of a single-family home. Luxury condos with more than 3,000 square feet move quickly, as buyers don’t want to sacrifice space if they are moving from a house to a condo or into the city from the suburbs.

Each of the top 5 sales for April demonstrate these key features on today’s buyers’ wish lists. Here’s a detailed look at each sale, in descending order:

118 E Erie St, Unit 37J
Original list price: $4,333,200
Sold price: $3,901,700
The most expensive Chicago condo to sell in April was none other than a unit in the Ritz-Carlton Residences, a favorite among high-end buyers in the last year or so. And this property sold in just three days. This condo was partially finished, allowing the new resident to design certain aspects of the home to their liking. This 89-residence tower is in the heart of the Magnificent Mile, with the private Landmark Club that includes a grand salon, a staff chef, a staffed bar, wine storage, movie theatre, full-time staff and athletic and spa facilities.

2550 N Lakeview, Unit N1701
Original list price: $3.95 million
Sold price: $3.4 million
Lincoln Park 2550 continues to be one of luxury buyer’s favorite buildings this year. This Chicago condo in particular is a rare combination unit spanning more than 3,500 square feet. Breathtaking views of Lake Michigan, Lincoln Park and the city skyline can be enjoyed from inside or either of 2 balconies. The home is fitted with the latest technology, with high-tech upgrades and state-of-the-art systems. The building itself features a number of sought-after services and amenities, including a superb fitness center, a ¼-acre private park, and an outstanding lobby. Plus, this is one of the latest projects from famed Chicago architect Lucien Lagrange.

30 W Oak Street, Unit 8B
Original list price: $3.15 million
Sold price: $3.25 million
Spanning more than 3,300 square feet, this Gold Coast home is an immaculate 3 bedroom, 3.1 bath with 10-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and custom stone floors. The kitchen has undergone major upgrades with Poggenpohl designs, Miele appliances, a butler’s pantry and organized storage. A spacious terrace off of the kitchen makes a great addition for entertaining. The master bath features built-ins, and organized walk-in closet and ultra-luxe master bath with an oversized shower, separate tub and double sinks.

229 E Lake Shore Dr East, Unit 6W
Original list price: $3 million
Sold price: $2.9 million
This Lake Shore Drive co-op unit has been renovated into a stunning, high-end property from end to end. With 4 bedrooms and 3.5 spa baths, this home boasts elegance in a luxury, full-service boutique building. Inside you’ll find breathtaking lake views, exquisite architectural detailing, a new DeGullio kitchen, new windows and three fireplaces.

415 E North Water St., Unit 802
Original list price: $2.8 million
Sold price: $2,805,000
In a highly coveted building, this rare Chicago condo in River View has been upgraded to the nines. This 4,705 square foot condo is flooded with sunlight and opens up to amazing city, river and lake views. Inside features a huge dining room with gorgeous built-it wine fridge, a master suite with an office/sitting area, 2 large organized closets and a luxury bath. The 3 bedrooms are large and each features its own private balcony, with 4 balconies in total.

As spring and summer arrive, it’s the perfect time to check out the Chicago condos in some of these great buildings. Many offer both private and shared outdoor space that can be truly appreciated after the city’s long winter! To learn more about these sales or any of the buildings featured in last month’s sales, contact me at ssalnick@koenigrubloff.com or (312) 264-5853.