Lakewood Balmoral Halloween

It was another great year for Halloween in Lakewood Balmoral!   Maybe it was a little cold, but the rain stayed away and one neighbor reported handing out over 1500 pieces of candy!

We seem to be more and more popular as a Trick or Treat destination, and Chicago Block by Block featured us this year-thanks to Lisa for the great press!

I am always torn, however – part of me wants to walk the neighborhood, camera in hand, to capture the magic.  To do that, though, I need to hire someone to keep Tom company.  It’s too hard to man the door by oneself – the trick or treaters come so quickly and continuously between 4:30 and 7:30 that one can hardly take a sip of wine, let alone take a break.  This year Terri and Jacob helped man the door, and we’re grateful for their company.

It’s the second year we haven’t gone overboard decorating, and I’m ambivalent about that, too.  I miss the decorating, the kids gawking, the toddlers crying (mostly when they see Tom!) and the fake car accident in our front yard (complete with skeletons, fog, and “Stayin’ Alive” on the CD player).  One man told us that he drove 30 miles to see our house, only to find our home naked (and newly painted – not even creepy gray!)

I admit I was inspired all over again by Charles and Lawrence, who are absolutely terrific and a neighborhood must-see.  Patrick is always a spectacle, and he was so handsome as a flying pig!  Betsy’s witch on the dust porch is an annual favorite, and I get such a kick out of spectators’ confusion.  Maybe next year I’ll decorate again….

DAR Good Citizens Award

Chicago High School Seniors – it’s time to honor your Good Citizens!

As the chair for this year’s NDSDAR Good Citizens Award in Chicago, I welcome all Chicago High School counselors to to participate in our Good Citizens program:

Honor your school’s senior who best exemplifies the character of a Good Citizen*

Your school can implement any selection method that you like – most often, the faculty chooses 3 seniors, and the senior class votes to select the winner.  Winners receive a pin, certificate, and wallet recognition card.  They are also eligible to participate in the scholarship contest (part 2). Winners need not be American Citizens to be honored or to participate in the essay contest.

The DAR Good Citizens Award is nationally recognized, and is a prized addition to one’s college application and resume.

Offer a fantastic oppportunity for scholarships and recognition for future education

The Chicago Chapter, NSDAR offers a $1000 scholarship for the winner of our local essay contest.  Students write an essay (2 hour limit, one sitting, no references) and this, along with their personal information, is evaluated by non-DAR judges.

Our winner will also be eligible for prizes at the regional, state, and national levels.

What is a DAR Good Citizen?

The following qualities should be considered when choosing a winner at each school, and each Good Citizen should possess these characteristics to an outstanding degree:

  • dependability – truthfulness, loyalty, punctuality
  • service – cooperation, courtesy, and consideration of others
  • leadership – personality, self-control, ability to assume responsibility
  • patriotism – unselfish interest in family, school, community, and nation

For more information, select the following links:

Good Citizen Program Overview

Good Citizen Scholarship Contest Instructions

Good Citizen Essay Contest Information

Student Cover Sheet

Lakewood Balmoral Real Estate Update

Two great homes have gone under contract this month  in Lakewood Balmoral – this is without doubt the best value neighborhood in Chicago!

Homes which will close soon:

5418 N Magnolia – originally listed at $ 975,000, it was reduced to $ 825,000 before going under contract.  With 6 bedrooms and 2 baths on a 40′ wide lot, this is a great opportunity for buyers to build a future.

5255 N Lakewood

I am not at all surprised that 5255 N Lakewood went under contract in 14 days.  The sellers and agent worked hard to make it market-ready, and it showed.  The property is a personal favorite of mine – as a history buff, the home maintains delightful original details.  I can’t wait to meet the new owners of this gem!

Activity over the last 2 months in Lakewood Balmoral:

Stat List Price Sold Clsd BR BA
ACTV 5210 MAGNOLIA $875,000 4 2.1
ACTV 1450 SUMMERDALE $925,000 4 3
ACTV 5440 MAGNOLIA $1,190,000 5 2.1
ACTV 5344 LAKEWOOD $1,200,000 5 3.2
CLSD 5407 LAKEWOOD $875,000 $835,000 7/15/2010 3 3
CLSD 5312 MAGNOLIA $925,000 $900,000 6/30/2010 6 3.1
Pend 5418 MAGNOLIA $825,000 6 2
Pend 5255 LAKEWOOD $995,000 4 3

Edgewater Beach Penthouse with Rooftop Terrace — $ 339,000

Not only is my new listing on Edgewater Beach (now Osterman Beach) a spectacular home at an incredible price — it also has a PAST!

Playboy Magazine Designed my Condo Listing?

Penthouse room opens to private roof terrace

According to JT, the Beach Point Tower garage man for 48 years, the penthouse at 5801 N Sheridan Road was modified by Playboy Magazine for photo shoots!  I suppose it makes sense – the roof terrace is totally private on two sides, with 500 square feet exposed to miles and miles of gorgeous, panoramic Lake Michigan and sandy beach views.  The penthouse room (2nd floor den/bedroom) was added to the 21st floor roof, and one could call the secluded room with (now decorative) fireplace and  floor to ceiling windows very sexy…

This is the ONLY 21st floor room and the only rooftop terrace in the building.  Exclusive!!!

This lore adds to what’s already a great story…

The  current owners of over 20 years have lovingly rehabbed the 1800 square foot unit.  The 20th floor ‘C’ unit’s original 2nd bedroom was opened up, creating an expansive 31’x25′ great room Living Room with unobstructed north and east views– you’re immediately struck by the sweeping panoramic views of Lake Michigan.

The kitchen is new, with granite counters, glass front cabinetry and decorative shelving.  Archways in and out of the dining area create architectural interest and an added granite buffet makes entertaining a breeze.  The condo is a study in  clean lines — new tile, new wood floors and moldings. The two baths are fresh, too — white on white tile in interesting patterns sparkle.  You’ll have trouble deciding if you’ll decorate in black/chrome minimalist Mies-type style or” tropical vacation” seagrass comfort!

Beach Point Tower is a gem as well!

The intimate, 90 unit building sits directly on Osterman Beach, where the lakefront bike trail begins (and yes, the building has a bike room!).  Because there is no public parking for this beach, it feels like you’re at a resort with the open and vast stretches of sand and relatively few people, even on a hot weekend afternoon!  The building takes advantage of this situation – a large party room overlooks the beach.  You can also entertain in the patio garden with picnic tables and barbecue grill, which directly accesses the beach but retains privacy for your guests.  The new park district’s beach house opened July 4th.

The building is just one block north of Lake Shore Drive, and it’s just a short walk to the red line El stop.  The 136, 151, and 147 Express are just outside the door.  Whether you’re commuting north, south, or west — the location is great!

Why are you waiting?  See this condo!

This once-in-a-lifetime property will not be available long.  Contact Anne Rossley at Prudential Rubloff (773-620-5333)  for a showing appointment.

Anne sells historic properties using tomorrow’s technologies!

Edgewater Historical Society
Edgewater Chamber of Commerce
Mayor Dedicates Edgewater Beach house
Edgewater Blog
48th Ward
Edgewater Community Council


Single Family Home sales on Chicago’s north side are looking better all the time. In June, 79 homes closed on Chicago’s north side*, a steady increase over the previous month, and up 84% over June 2009.

Median prices declined this month-  down 7% vs the previous month (May ’10) and -16% vs June 2009.

Inventory levels continue to decline.  Based on 79 units closed per month and active single family homes of  610, it would take 7.7 months to absorb the current inventory.  This is the healthiest inventory we have seen in a long time, and indicates that we could be nearing the bottom of the drop.

For information on how you can capitalize on this current market, contact Anne Rossley at Prudential Rubloff.

Other market data:

* This data includes sales for Chicago’s Near North, Lincoln Park, LakeView, Lincoln Square, North Center, Uptown, and Edgewater neighborhoods.

A  new website has been brought to my attention —

Parking Spotter is a site designed to bring parking landlord (or owner) and potential parking renter (or buyer) together.  It has great possibilities, but today not enough people are using the site.

A condo listing without parking  in a “parking-poor” neighborhood like Lincoln Park is a tough sell.  Buyers today want parking spots, even if they don’t own a car today.  It’s like buying a home in a good school district without kids — you know it improves the saleability of the home in the future.  If a seller could identify potential car parking options to buyers through Parking Spotter, their home’s saleability would increase dramatically.

Homeowners often have 2 cars in a one-car housing situation, so they, too, could benefit from this site.

There’s even a way to customize the page to your neighborhood and parking needs.  The site offers updates so you can be notified when something becomes available that matches your needs.

I have no interest in selling garage spaces, but I do want my buyers and sellers to have access to information on where they can keep their cars — this site could be fantastic.

Alas — unless a large number of parking landlords post here, it’s not going to be very useful.  Today, I saw only 3 options for buy and rent in the Edgewater neighborhood,and 12 in the Gold Coast.

Hopefully soon it will have 10 times that many options!


Chicago Vehicle Stickers – get yours by June 30

Pay Chicago Tickets Online

What Does $ 4 Million Buy in Lincoln Park?

This month, $4 Million is the price for 2248 N Orchard, a new 8,550 square foot 6 bedroom home on a 31 foot wide lot.  Located near Oz Park in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood,  the home includes a mahogany paneled library, 2 tiered terrace with fireplace, and an elevator to all levels, including the penthouse roof deck.  There’s room to park 4 cars in the attached garage.

Built by GVP Development, the home won this year’s Good Neighbor Award from the Chicago Association of Realtors and the Chicago Home Builders ‘ Gold Key Award.

The property closed 5/28/2010, and the buyer was represented by Prudential Rubloff.

There are currently 125 luxury single family homes for sale in the near north neighborhoods listed over $ 2,000,000.  Eighteen (18) have closed in the last 3 months, and 12 are currently under contract.  The luxury real estate market is soft — based on 6/month closed, there is currently a 20 month supply of homes for sale.  Of the homes that closed, the average market time is 191 days.

As a comparison, there are currently 554 homes for sale in all price ranges.  The 49.3/month sales average means there’s currently   11 months of inventory.  Currently, 130 homes are under contract with a median price of $ 912,000.  The average time to sell a house is 165 days.

Please contact Anne Rossley at Prudential Rubloff to get information on homes for sale or to learn about your individual neighborhood’s market activity.

Other luxury homes for sale…

1930 N Howe $ 6,350,000

2043 N Clifton $ 4,699,000

2461 Geneva Terrace $ 4,650,000

Lincoln Square – Albany Park – Best Restaurants and Retail

Best restaurants and retail shopping in Albany Park – Lincoln Square

When buyers look for a home,  they want to know where are the best  eating and shopping establishments.  After all, we all need to easily get fresh groceries, find a reliable dry cleaner, enjoy parks, eat reasonably priced and tasty restaurant food, and access convenient transportation.

For every listing, I create a “Map Flyer” , with a map showing all amenities — coffee houses, library, movie theaters, grocery, police, fire, and more…

I also like to ask my sellers, though,  where THEY like to go, i.e. what are the best local amenities?  What have they enjoyed that their home’s buyers will come to love, too?

The sellers at 4830 N Albany have given me a fantastic list of “Preferred Shops and Restaurants” for the Lincoln Square and Albany Park neighborhoods, and we’d like to share it with you.  Feel free to refer to the Google map, too, which shows where they’re located.

Neighborhood Gems of Albany Park/Lincoln Square:

Restaurants of Albany Park

View 4830 N Albany, Chicago, IL in a larger map

To see this property, contact  listing agent Anne Rossley of Prudential Rubloff.

Chicago Condo Sales 2010 — How are we doing so far?

There is just about one month left in the federal home buyer tax credit program — $ 6500 – $ 8000 in tax savings if you buy by April 30 and close by June 30.

How is the home buyer tax credit program affecting condo sales in Chicago?  In a nutshell —

  • Sales are better than last year but still not as good as 2005-2008
  • There is a 22 month supply of condos, based on the February figure of 276 units closed
  • There are currently 875 units under contract, or pending sale

The following chart shows the number condos that have sold and closed on the north side — from the Gold Coast to Edgewater, including Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Square, North Center, and Uptown — for 2005 to 2010.

It is still a buyers’ market.  For more information about the Federal Tax Savings Program for buyers, select this link.

To see condos for sale, or to find a great condo bargain

before the home buyer tax credit expires,

call Anne Rossley at Prudential Rubloff

Lakewood Balmoral Real Estate Update

Lakewood Balmoral has some great single family homes for sale.  The bargains on Wayne and Magnolia are under contract, but there are currently 2 homes for sale under $ 900,000 that are worth seeing.  The lovely rehab by Dave Kirk, 5511 N Lakewood, is also for sale.

5253 N Lakewood, a 5 bedroom built in 1903, sits on an oversized lot and features gorgeous hardwood, WoodMode cabinets in a renovated kitchen, a lovely back deck and perennial garden.

5407 N Lakewood has 3 bedrooms up and one down, and like most homes in Lakewood Balmoral, it also sits on an oversized lot.  The home is a great opportunity to live on a sought-after block in popular Andersonville.

Status Street Price Rms BR BA
NEW 5253 N Lakewood $835,000 12 5 2.2
ACTV 5407 Lakewood $879,000 12 3+1 bsmt 3
ACTV 5511 Lakewood $1,575,000 14 5 3.1
PEND 5537 Magnolia $539,900 10 4 2
PEND 5323 Wayne $595,000 14 7 2.1
CLSD 5434 Lakewood $815,000 13 5 2.1
CLSD 5400 Lakewood $817,000 15 7 6

Lakewood Balmoral, 5200 – 5600 North on Lakewood, Wayne, and Magnolia streets, is between the Andersonville retail district on Clark Street and Broadway to the east.  It’s moments from Lake Shore Drive, making it an easy commute to the city or northern suburbs. (Select this link to see a Google map.)

This historic district is host to magnificent turn of the century homes which can qualify for property tax breaks when owners do rehab work.  You’ll find Queen Anne Victorian, Dutch Colonial, Foursquare, and other vintage home styles here.  Because most lots are larger than typical Chicago lots, you’ll find homes that are wider and more gracious than those on 25′ wide parcels.

View Lakewood Balmoral Historic District in a larger map

To see these houses, other historic homes, or for information on Chicago Real Estate,

contact Anne Rossley at Prudential Rubloff.

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