Another University Village Short Sale Drives Prices Down

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As I’ve recently written, home sellers in Chicago’s University Village just can’t compete with the short sales and foreclosures in that neighborhood – or at least they choose not to. Of course, buyers have been choosing not to buy.

Just yesterday another short sale closed at what is probably the biggest discount to current asking prices yet. 832 W. Village Ct., a townhome which was originally listed at $549K and later reduced to $520K, closed at $492,500 (not quite public at this time). This is one of the most desirable floorplans in University Village, with 3 bedrooms, including a huge master bedroom, 2 and 2 half baths, 2 balconies, a private roof top deck, an attached 2 car garage, and a large, square footprint. The developer originally marketed these units as having 3000 square feet, which is how they are usually listed in the MLS, but the reality is they are more like 2600 square feet. Apparently the developer included the garage in their estimates since you could live in your garage in a pinch. This townhome originally sold new in October 2002 for $601,500 and was then resold to the short sellers (not a reference to their stature but their financial position) for $720,000 in December 2007.

Now, in all fairness, this townhome had multiple offers on the
table, some of which were apparently higher than the accepted offer. It
also needs some work – about $30 – 40K worth – but when the buyers are
done they are going to have a spectacular home. I’m intimately familiar
with this particular deal since I represented the buyers and lived
through short sale hell for the last 5 months. I also live in an
identical unit (I rent it) and really wanted to buy this one for myself –
seriously. This latter point makes for an interesting dynamic: if you
want to keep me from outbidding you on a property just ask me to
represent you on the purchase. Of course, that strategy will only work
until my wife threatens divorce.

To fully appreciate just how
wide the discrepancy is between where this townhome sold and current
list prices you should compare this to other University Village townhomes and condos for sale. Then consider that this townhome is one of only two that have sold in the last 6 months in University Village – the other one also being a short sale. And as I’ve said before, there are more short sales and foreclosures coming to University Village.

Epilogue: Shortly after I published this I discovered that the developer just slashed the prices on several of their remaining townhomes. The most dramatic example was 745 W. 15th St., where the price just went from $789,900 to $635,000. That thing was so overpriced at almost $800K I couldn’t figure out who they were trying to fool.

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