Home Buying in Loop>Question Details

Molly, Home Buyer in Chicago, IL

We have been looking for condos in the loop and immediate surrounding neighborhoods.

Asked by Molly, Chicago, IL Thu Jan 31, 2008

A lot of properties in University Village have shown up in our search. We are unfamiliar with that neighborhood. How would you compare it, in value, safety, accessibility, and growth potential to the Loop, West Loop/West Loop Gate, or Printer's Row?

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Sarah Ziehr’s answer
If you are unfamiliar with the neighborhood, I would recommend spending some time there. Go to dinner, brunch, the grocery store, coffee house, etc. You will love Taylor Street, so many great stuff on that block.

Its completely different than Printers row or the Loop. I would compare it more to the West Loop - part residential, part pockets of restaurants and store fronts.

As far as accessibility, its not really ideal if you need to get on public transportation every day, but great if you drive for work.

Growth will continue since it is so close to UIC and Rush.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 28, 2012
University Village is nice, it's not as walkable as some of the other areas, but if you want to be close to UIC it's decent. Lots of nice new restaurants. I live at 701 S. Wells, it's a great building to live in. Walkable to the loop, printers row, etc. I would encourage you to look there or Harrison Street Lofts on Clark. We have had almost no problems with the developer (who lives in the building), they both have good reputations and parking (unlike most of printers row). Corner units in Wells Street tower have amazing views of the lake and the city from every room, the east facing units have amazing views of the lake and versus some of the new buildings it has good reserves, no special assments, assessments include everything, etc.

I will advise, when you are considering buying new and resale (and not just because I will have a resale one day, but because I've always bought new), be careful with the initial assessment figures in new construction, they almost always go up and you almost always get a special assessment to bolster the reserves. It's probably better to buy in a building about 4-7 years old.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 27, 2009
University Village is a new development mostly for UIC students and employees, its fine for value, safety but growths its done for since it is a completed planned community. It a small nice community. West Loop is more established and is closer to transportation, Lake and some of the best restaurants in the city. When I bought my place almost 5 years ago I looked at over 50 places including University village, West Loop, West side, South Loop, Lake View , Lincoln Park Streeterville, Old town. The west loop offers condo's with a view and is more affordable than some of the other areas while being walking distance to the business district, lake, theater etc. I havea great 1 bedroom in West loop with great location and views.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 30, 2008
I hate to say it, but people either love it or hate it. I know that's kinda vague, but the developer's of University Village, residential, retail and commercial basically built an entire "Village" out of just about nothing at all. It's not like Lakeview where everything has grown over many decades, but instead, it basically just popped up over a few years. It's great because everything is at your fingertips. You are close to public transportation, 5-10 minutes to downtown and the Loop, close to I-94, UIC, 290, restaurants, shops, Home Depot, Jewel, Whole Foods, dog parks, etc. etc. The list just keeps on going. For that reason, I think it's great! It's important to find a home here though that is unique and not "cookie-cutter" because since everything was built pretty quickly, there is a lot of similar product. You want to make sure that when you go to sell your home, you aren't competing with 25 other homes that look exactly like yours!

If you have any other questions at all, don't hesitate to contact me. I'd be happy to help.
Sierra Bloom - sbloom@prupref.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 2, 2008
If you want to see growth potential ask your buyer agent to calculate absorbtion rates. That is to say, if no more new listings came on the market, how long would it take for all active homes to sell. It used to be six months now it is years in some places. You look at closings in last month versus active listings, then you can determine how much stock you have and how long it will take to be "absorbed" into the market.
Also, Chicago Association of Realtors tracks average sales prices by area quarterly, your agent can show you this info. Using this data (plus your agents opinion) you can make a wise choice.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 7, 2008
I have a client that bought there. Nice construction and good value. I would walk around the area and see if you like the neighborhood and amenities as well as your other choices.
Web Reference: http://www.condochicago.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 31, 2008
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