Strange Home Prices In Chicago's Ukrainian/ East Village

About a month ago I wrote about how I often see very odd price variations between different home sales in Chicago that leave me scratching my head. Over the last year I’ve seen 3 single family home sales in my own neighborhood of Ukrainian and East Village that seem very strange so I thought I’d put them out there for others to consider. However, before going into the details on these 3 sales I wanted to point out that I have not been inside any of these homes so I can’t be completely certain that there aren’t mitigating circumstances that explain their odd relative pricing.
Let’s start with one, pictured at the top of this post, that looks like the steal of the century: 2008 W Ohio, so technically that’s Ukrainian Village. This home was listed as 4000 sq. ft. with 4 bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths. It was built in 2002 on a lot just shy of the normal dimensions and has a limestone and masonry exterior but I don’t know for sure if it’s a solid masonry construction or not – I’m betting that it is. The kitchen appliances appear to be mid-grade stainless steel.
Listed at $799,900 it closed at $740,000 after 67 days on the market. It did hit the market at the worst time of the year but that price still looks incredibly low, as you will soon see when I compare it to 2 other listings. If you go through the photos behind that link to the listing above you may notice one potential “flaw” in the house that could explain the fire sale price. If you think you know what it is you can leave me a comment below. But do you really think this one thing (and the time of the year) could really explain the extremely low price for a house of this size?

1626 W Erie
1626 W Erie

Now compare that sale to this one at 1626 W Erie, which is East Village but essentially the same neighborhood. Listed at 3600 sq ft, this home also has 4 bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths on a slightly below normal sized lot. However, it’s a frame construction built in 1997. The pitched roof cuts into the ceiling of all the top floor bedrooms and on the main level you have that almost split-level thing going on, which almost certainly means that the kitchen ceiling is low. In fact, from the photos it looks to me like the basement ceilings are low as well. And speaking of the kitchen…the appliances appear to be mid-grade stainless steel. But the master bathroom is very nicely updated.
So guess what? This home was listed at $925,000 in mid-January of this year (just a tad early in the season) and sold in 22 days for $897,500. BTW, that’s more than $140,000 above the last sale price less than 3 years earlier. Does anyone see why this home sold for $150,000 MORE than the last one?
1627 W Huron
1627 W Huron

Then you have this other home, basically one street over at 1627 W Huron, which was built in 2006 and is brick and limestone. I’m estimating that it’s around 3800 sq. ft. and it has 4 bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths. The kitchen has nicer stainless steel appliances than the other two houses but I don’t think they are top of the line and the kitchen seems smallish, with scarce cabinet and counter top space.
The house does have some cool finishes like that staircase with the full wall of frosted windows next to it and the bathrooms. But it was listed in June 2015 for $1,139,000 and went under contract in 65 days for $1,085,000. So that puts it almost $350,000 over the first one, which was actually bigger. Go figure.
2130 W Huron
2130 W Huron

And just as a point of comparison here is one that I’ll show you as a benchmark of where I think the market really is in Ukrainian and East Village: 2130 W Huron. I’m estimating that this 5 bedroom, 3 1/2 bath home is between 4100 – 4200 sq ft and it sits on a lot that is similar in size to the ones above. Built in 2004, it’s brick and limestone construction and seems to have a higher end kitchen than the other homes discussed here. The bathrooms appear to be of similar caliber to the ones at 2008 W Ohio.
This home was originally listed at the peak time of the year for $949,900 and sold in 29 days for $905,000, which is much more typical in this neighborhood. Meanwhile, new construction on a standard sized lot in the neighborhood is going as high as $1.4 MM recently, but that’s with over-the-top finishes. That begs the question: Why not just buy one of these older homes for $900K and put about $200 – 300K into it? Seems like you’d have a pretty good deal at the end of the day.
#ChicagoRealEstate #WestTown #EastVillage #UkrainianVillage
Gary Lucido is the President of Lucid Realty, the Chicago area’s full service discount real estate brokerage. If you want to keep up to date on the Chicago real estate market, get an insider’s view of the seamy underbelly of the real estate industry, or you just think he’s the next Kurt Vonnegut you can Subscribe to Getting Real by Email using the form below. Please be sure to verify your email address when you receive the verification notice.

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