With the spring real estate market in Chicago well underway a number of homes have come on the market in University Village lately. And quite a few of them have been distressed – either short sales or foreclosures. As with Chicago as a whole most of the distressed homes are at the lower price points – below $300,000 or even $400,000. This is certainly true of the mid rise buildings at 811 and 833 W 15th Street and at 1524 and 1525 S Sangamon where I’ve seen a lot of distressed properties at the lower price points. And of course there is a ton of short sale and foreclosure activity in University Commons (whether or not this is part of University Village is debatable).
But this spring has also revealed quite a few distressed homes on the market among the walkup condos and townhomes available throughout the much larger University Village development. The added benefit of these ground level units is that, on a relative basis, the monthly assessments can be a bit lower than their large building cousins. Here is an up to date snapshot of what’s available on the ground floor, with the distressed sales highlighted in yellow. The red cells highlight questionable information or my incredulity.
Please note that when I said up to date I really meant it. What that means is that this list will continue to update long after this post is published. So if you are reading this a year from now you may be wondering where the yellow and red highlights are and the answer may be that they are gone. Also, regarding those square footage numbers…best case they come from the developer and therefore include the garage. Worst case the realtor rearchitected the floor plan to add a few hundred square feet.
Anyway, some of these homes offer pretty good values, the reality of which is not being ignored by several of the sellers of non-distressed homes (an intentionally ambiguous statement). Just to give you a flavor…one bank owned 2700+ square foot (according to the developer) townhome in the area was recently under contract at $400K. Despite needing some basic cosmetic work it was an exceptional value. Just to put things in perspective this townhome sold for $617,000 back in October 2005 – about one year before the bubble peak.
Unfortunately, that townhome can’t close because of a title problem that probably won’t be resolved for a year or more. The sad thing is that 3 adjoining townhomes are also affected and their owners almost assuredly are not aware of the problem – and it’s a serious one. But I digress.
Also, as you might expect, it turns out that there are at least (the tax records are a mess) 4 other of the smaller townhomes and 6 other walkup condos in University Village that are in various stages of foreclosure that are not yet on the market. It’s only a matter of time before these hit the market.