Home Buying in Chicago>Question Details

Magde, Home Buyer in Chicago Ridge, IL

Lincoln Park or South Loop?

Asked by Magde, Chicago Ridge, IL Thu Jan 15, 2009

I'm a potential first time buyer. Looking for 2bdrm or 1bdrm den. I don't have a realtor so far, because I can't make up my mind on location. Currently I'm in Lakeview. So I'm more familiar with Lincoln Park area. I would appreciate any ideas/oppinions. Thanks.

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I would suggest living in the area that you most suits your lifestyle. They're both great neighborhoods, so it's really hard to go wrong. South Loop offers great access to the financial district and has some nice restaurants and a few entertainment venues. Lincoln Park has much more in the way of entertainment. That said, they aren't very far away from each other, geographically. Buses, Trains and Cabs will get you between the two rather easily. Both communities have great access to the Lakefront, and Lincoln Park obviously has much more in the way of beaches.

As far as price point goes, it seems that South Loop will get you more Sq.Ft. for the dollar. With the volatility in the market, it's hard to say what investment potential the areas have, but it's fair to say that prices today are a bargain compared to prices 18 months ago. Both areas have very good deals right now, and rates are very favorable for buyers. Go out there and get a good deal!

Best of Luck
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 29, 2009
Joe,
Maybe you should get your facts straight. AOL Demographics: Lp34 South Loop 38. Eneighborhoods has it at LP 31 to South Loops 34. Yahoo Demo has it LP 34 to South Loop 38. All of them with Lincoln Park younger. 3 stats, all credible to your one. I am done on this subject.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 23, 2009
My office is in Lincoln Park but I have helped buyers down there. There will be different opinions, but the South Loop has a huge glut of condos for sale. Simply put, they over built, at least for the short term. Lincoln Park is much more stable with prices holding steady, and you might find a better deal particularly on lower priced vintage units. More developed area too, no matter what people say the South Loop has a long way to go. Just walk through both areas and see if you agree. The exception I would make is buying a short sale or REO in the South Loop which there are many- this would reduce what would otherwise be a pretty big risk down there in this market. Just my two cents....good luck.

Jeff Kropp
Exclusive Buyer Agent
1st Home Group
jeff@1sthomegroup.com
Web Reference: http://www.1sthomegroup.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 16, 2009
Personally, I'm fond of Lincoln Park... it's a hot commodity, and has been for years and years.

South loop is great, and is hot too... but we don't know how it'll hold up in years to come, vs. Lincoln Park, which has held up very well, and remains a highly desirable location.

I don't think you could go wrong with either... they both have their advantages. Good luck Madge.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 29, 2009
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
MVP'08
Contact
Matt,

You started this off with a snotty assumption that I had no basis in fact for my statement. You want to end it by asserting that the MLS, AOL, eNeighborhoods and Yahoo are more authoritative than the most recent Census data, and huffing that you're "done."

You also want to make this all hang on the simplistic notion that median age is the sole answer to the issue of which age group is more prominent in LP vs the South Loop, and ignore the discrepancy in the median age reported by each of the sources you cite.

Like many real estate agents you don't quite know how to deal with people who take these questions seriously and operate from a deep base of knowledge. Like many real estate agents you're averse to fact-grubbing, eager to latch onto anything that buttresses your argument, and reluctant to examine in detail sources that don't.

I based my statements on an examination of data at the census tract level for the census tracts I know to comprise the South Loop and Lincoln Park. LP is easy, but there are varied descriptions of the South Loop's boundaries. Some of those variations probably account for the median-age discrepancies you encountered. The national sources you cite – and the MLS, for that matter – often use inaccurate neighborhood boundaries and boundaries that differ from each other. Anyone who's spent any time around that data is aware of its shortcomings.

You're clearly a rookie at this business, so let me give you a bit of unsolicited advice. When someone disagrees with you, step back and take their point seriously, and pay attention to the source. You advised me to "look it up" and I'll advise you to "look me up" and get some perspective on my experience and knowledge.

Just out of curiosity, Matt – where do you live / office and how much time have you spent in either the South Loop or Lincoln Park? As a professional, I assume you're deeply familiar with these areas before undertaking to represent a client in them, no?
Web Reference: http://yochicago.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 23, 2009
Matt,

If you're "not about to get into an argument" you should avoid taking cheap shots at people who a) know an area better than you do and b) get their data from more authoritative sources than you do.
Web Reference: http://yochicago.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 23, 2009
I got the information straight from the MLS that has some of the most up to date data. However, I am not about to get into an argument over something so petty.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 23, 2009
I did look it up, using the latest Census data available at MCIC (Metro Chicago Information Center).

Where did you look it up?

Several other considerations in thinking about the age distribution in a community. A higher number of kids - as in LP - skews the median age down but doesn't have much effect on whether adults in the community - of most concern to this person - are older or younger.

Also, Lincoln Park has dramatically different demographics east of Halsted and west of Halsted. East of Halsted is an older group.

Lincoln Park was far younger years ago than it is today as it's become far more affluent and attracted longer-term residents.

I'm looking forward to seeing the source of your data.
Web Reference: http://yochicago.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 23, 2009
Lol, my answer was dead on Joe. South Loop is a little bit of an older crowd (med. age 36) LP med age 30. Look it up.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 23, 2009
I think the previous answer has the demographics of Lincoln Park and South Loop upside down.

Lincoln Park skews slightly older than the South Loop.
Web Reference: http://yochicago.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 22, 2009
It depends on what your looking for. First off, Lincoln Park is more expensive. But if you like to go out and like the benefit of going walking to bars/resturaunts, stick in the LP area. This is a lot younger crowd and has a lot more going on.
The south loop is a good place where you can get a little more bang for your buck. There is a lot of new development down there. It is mostly high rises and big multi-unit buildings. There is not many of the 3flat or 12 flats yopu are used to seeing in LP. The other thing is it is a little older demographic. It depends on your lifestyle, and what your more into. Let me know if I can help in any way.

Matt Laricy
Americorp
mlamericorp@aol.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 22, 2009
Lincoln Park and the South Loop are radically different neighborhoods.

They're both large neighborhoods and hard to compare as a whole. If you're close to the park in Lincoln Park, or on one of the tree-lined streets in Sheffield / DePaul, the lifestyle is hard to beat.

I'd recommend the followingi strategy. Pick an area of Lincoln Park that you like and get to know it fairly well. Do the same with a part of the South Loop. Then decide whether you can find housing in your price range in those areas and opt for the best mix of housing / neighborhood.
Web Reference: http://yochicago.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 18, 2009
Dear Madge,

It's hard for anyone other than you to answer this question for you. Realtors will be (and should be) very reluctant to describe one area as "better" or more desirable than any other. As you already know both neighborhoods have their distinct appeal, and in some ways the areas are very similar.

With respect to prices, the neighborhoods are also very similar. If you're looking for a 2BR 1BTH (or more) with an in-unit laundry and parking, then the average units in Lincoln Park with an average square footage of 1420 are selling at $442,636.00 and the average units in South Loop with an average square footage of 1343 are selling at $461,762.00. I would suggest that with the amount of new construction in South Loop compared to Lincoln Park, you may have a larger variety of product types from which to choose (i.e. more townhomes and with so many newer buildings possibly more unique floorplans) in the South Loop.

Are you relatively new to Chicago? If so then I'd suggest taking a look at the Not For Tourists guide to Chicago which gives a pretty good overview of the many neighborhoods of the city.

I'd also suggest hanging out in both areas at different times of the day/week. Try doing whatever you generally like to do (window shopping, cycling, going to restaurants, etcetera) in both neighborhoods. If you go on different days or at different times of day, you might get a better sense of what feels most comfortable to you.

Good luck and let me know if I can be of further assistance to you with your home search.

Sincerely,
Christopher Thomas
Broker Associate, Sudler Sotheby's International Realty
773-418-0640 (cell)
christopher.thomas@sothebysrealty.com
Web Reference: http://www.myagentchris.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 16, 2009
Hi Magde

I live in Lincoln Park and have my office in the South Loop - These areas are so different.

South Loop is brand new, urban and has a lot of inventory. Prices are pretty comparable for both areas but in Lincoln Park/Lakeview you will be looking at older properties.

Shoot me an email at nick@kalerealty.com or give me a ring at 312-939-5253 and I'll be happy to show you some properties.
Web Reference: http://www.kalerealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 15, 2009
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