This weekend, I took clients on a tour of East Lake Shore Drive co-ops – they’re almost empty-nesters who are planning to leave Winnetka to begin Living Well in Chicago!

Chicago’s East Lake Shore Drive real estate is not only beautiful – it’s a Chicago Historic Landmark.

East Lake Shore Drive - Chicago, Illinois

For those of you not familiar with co-operatives, here are 10 facts to know:

1.  Co-ops were the only form of apartment ownership prior to condominium law’s introduction

999 N Lake Shore Drive

2.  Owners own “stock” in the building as a whole, and have a lease on their personal apartment. (In a condo, homeowners own from the drywall IN and have a proportionate share of the common elements.)

3.  Taxes are included in your assessment – one tax bill is paid by the entire building.

4.  Because the co-op owners share the building, and thus everyone is liable for sustaining the asset, it’s in everyone’s interest to make sure those who move in are financially qualified to maintain the building. Thus, co-op boards require financial statements and letters of recommendation before approving the apartment’s purchase.

5555 N Sheridan Road- Edgewater Beach Apartments

4.  Contrary to popular belief, co-ops, just like condos, MAY NOT discriminate against buyers for race, age, marital status, or other protected classes. Don’t believe all you see on Frasier or Seinfeld!

5. Historically, co-ops were only available for full-cash purchases.  Today, loans can be available for 30-50% of the purchase price, but not only must the buyer be qualified – each building sets loan to value requirements for its residents. Very few lenders offer loans on these properties – remember, each loan is for the purchase of shares!

6.  Because these properties are difficult to finance, with fewer buyers able to afford the higher down payments (or cash purchases), these properties are significantly cheaper than condos on a cost per square foot basis.

7.  Co-ops also have much longer market times – it’s not unusual for co-ops to be listed for sale for a year, 2, or even more.

860 - 880 N Lake Shore Drive - Mies van der Rohe

8.  Co-ops are not limited to East Lake Shore Drive – there are some wonderful properties on Lakeview, North Lake Shore Drive, in Streeterville, the Gold Coast, and in Hyde Park.

9.  Co-ops aren’t always vintage properties – 860-880 (Mies van der Rohe glass hi-rises) are also co-ops!

10.  Only 130 co-ops sold in the last 12 months, making them the most exclusive property type in Chicago!

Here are 2 tours of coops in Chicago that are currently for sale …

A Sample of co-ops for sale on Chicago’s north side

East Lake Shore Drive Co-op Tour

For your own tour of Chicago co-ops,

whether virtual or in person,contact

Anne Rossley


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This