We are looking at buying a place on Western Ave in Lincoln Square. We really like the place, but are

Asked by Kat, Mon Jun 23, 2008

concerned about living on such a high-traffic street? Right now, we have no kids, but we plan to within the next year or so. Also, nervous about the appreciation rate if we buy a place on Western. I would think a side-street would be better.

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19
Voice Of Rea…, Home Seller, Chicago Heights, IL
Fri Aug 20, 2010
I also live in the 4525 N. western building.....LOUD. Market analysis puts the value of the smaller units at $210,000, and the larger units at $280,000. From what I see on public records, some of the larger unit owners, including 2 RESALES, paid close to $600,000. Wow, that's turned out to be a nice investment. I also see, on public records, that at least one of the larger unit owners has taken a second, and two unit owners have not paid taxes. Must be to pay for the kids. In any case, ALL of these units are underwater. Foreclosure will make it worse. I suggest my neighbor do a little more digging, and then vote to have a PROFESSIONAL MANAGEMENT CO. manage the Association, as my loss has been compounded by a lack of Board direction.
2 votes
Matt Shrake, Agent, Chicago, IL
Fri Jun 27, 2008
As long as you buy it right your rate of appreciation (as a percentage) will be the same as your rate of appreciation anywhere else. Your Realtor can run comparable sales for you and show that condos on Western Avenue sell for x amount less than those on a side street. When you sell this property you should do the same analysis and market your property for x amount less than the comparable sales at that time. Your buying pool will be significantly less because the property is on a main street. It is similar to purchasing a property that backs up to the el or is a garden unit. There is nothing wrong with it if you are willing to live there, but there are a large percentage of potential purchasers who will not even take a look at something that has a main street address. Good luck!
Web Reference:  http://www.mattshrake.com
1 vote
Mark Zatz, Agent, Chicago, IL
Wed Feb 25, 2015
Future plans definitely need to be considered. It may be OK if you have an infant, but at toddler age and above, Maybe a western ave address is not the best idea. My opinion only..

Best of luck
0 votes
Michael Ofsa…, Other Pro, Grayslake, IL
Thu Aug 26, 2010
Aside from all the banter about resale value, which will eventually go back up, just not to the highs of the early to mid 2000's any time soon. Think of a safe and positive environment for your children to grow up in. Kids need lots of exercise and have endless energy. When young they can break free from you and run, thinking it's funny that you're chasing them. Are there any parks nearby? What school will they attend and is it safe there? Most often the choice of schools dictates where parents look for a home. When it comes to Chicago there are many options. Choose wisely!

Don't be deceived by the fact that I'm from Grayslake. I lived in Lakeview for some time and it's also where my wife and step-daughters grew up. They all attened Catholic schools.
0 votes
Geoenv, Home Seller, Chicago, IL
Wed Aug 25, 2010
4525 is obviously mentally challenged. Using assessed values as a barometer of market value? El stupido, as your 4th floor neighbor would say. The answer posted by "Voice" referenced Board incompetence, a topic you fail to address. Lack of sufficient reserves, incomplete miuntes, failure to act as responsible fiduciaries-all reasons to get a professional management company before future sales are also cancelled
0 votes
4525, , Chicago, IL
Tue Aug 24, 2010
Apologies. Just looked back at assessed values and it looks like the decline is an average of 5-10% in this building. At any rate, I can definitely speak for me, as someone who is not married with no kids. I enjoy the building and tenants. Can't speak for everyone, although I believe everyone else, minus one unit, really enjoys it as well.
0 votes
4525, , Chicago, IL
Tue Aug 24, 2010
We have eight units owners in this building, and only one unit has ever had any issue with the building. That said, it is a shame when someone goes on this site and poses as multiple people. We have confirmed with all seven other unit owners that they are extremely pleased with the building, its owners and the association. Funny that the "Voice of Reason" and "Geoenv" are one in the same user.
0 votes
Voice Of Rea…, Home Seller, Chicago Heights, IL
Fri Aug 20, 2010
I also live in the 4525 N. western building.....LOUD. Market analysis puts the value of the smaller units at $210,000, and the larger units at $280,000. From what I see on public records, some of the larger unit owners, including 2 RESALES, paid close to $600,000. Wow, that's turned out to be a nice investment. I also see, on public records, that at least one of the larger unit owners has taken a second, and two unit owners have not paid taxes. Must be to pay for the kids. In any case, ALL of these units are underwater. Foreclosure will make it worse. I suggest my neighbor do a little more digging, and then vote to have a PROFESSIONAL MANAGEMENT CO. manage the Association, as my loss has been compounded by a lack of Board direction.
0 votes
4525, , Chicago, IL
Wed Aug 18, 2010
I live at 4525 and love it. the neighbors are actually extremely cordial and great to deal with. We do have one neighbor, whom I am assuming wrote the below post, that hasn't pauid his assessments in 7 months, so I can only assume he is the one in foreclosure and is the one that posted the below message.

One note, I would also assume we would have seen a place in foreclosure in our building, since we live here, and I have not seen or heard of that happening, and neither as any other of the residents living here.
0 votes
Geoenv, Home Seller, Chicago, IL
Tue Feb 9, 2010
I live at 4525 N. Western, the building is loud, the neighbors are rude and now we have a foreclosure in the building.
0 votes
A, , Chicago, IL
Wed Jul 16, 2008
Hey Kat,
I to was interested in a new condo unit on Western Ave..I wonder what bldg you were looking at?
0 votes
Ken Dooley, Agent, Chicago, IL
Thu Jun 26, 2008
Hi Kat,

In addition to the advice given in the previous answers I would recommend trying to locate an elevator building to accomodate the arrival of children. Many buyers love the idea of an upper floor or penthouse unit but the joy of nobody living above you and a city view can quickly change when strollers and baby supplies come into the picture.

Having said that, such buildings tend to exist on the busier streets. Commercial zoning allows for wider buildings which can encompass an elevator but due to building height and a small number of units in most buildings (zoning restrictions & cost) are seldom found.

Best of luck with your search.
Web Reference:  http://www.KDRchicago.com
0 votes
Ryan Fischer, Both Buyer And Seller, Chicago, IL
Tue Jun 24, 2008
Definately agree that as far as busy streets go, I'd much rather be on Lincoln between IP and Lawrence versus on Western.
0 votes
Tom McCarey, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Jun 24, 2008
Hi Kat,

You are wise to ask these questions now. No matter what, at the end of the day the unit on Western will still be on Western. That being the case the home will still be proximate to a four-lane street with a ton of traffic, lots of noise, a surfeit of pollution, and an unappealing aesthetic. I doubt that the location will result in any residual value gain unless the purchase price is a steal. Having said this I doubt that you will have great luck in finding a sidestreet condo in Lincoln Square because the nature of zoning here provides for commercial and multi-unit construction along busier streets while sidestreets tend to be aligned with creation of single family homes (with the occasional exception of a rehab on a sidestreet). If nothing else at least shifting toward Lincoln Avenue would be better as it is a two lane road - thus it does not seem so foreboding as Western.

Good luck with your choice making.

Tom McCarey
The Real Estate Lounge Chicago with @properties chicago
0 votes
Jeffrey Kropp, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Jun 24, 2008
Kat-
I have lived in both Diversey and Montrose (for a total of 8 years) and regretted it. Forget about resale and appreciation and think quality of life. Western is a huge traffic artery and you will hear buses, motorcycles, fire engines, etc. and never really get used to it. Many of my clients rule these main streets out in their searches outright without any discussion for these reasons. Just my two cents...
Web Reference:  http://www.1sthomegroup.com
0 votes
Christopher…, Agent, Winnetka, IL
Mon Jun 23, 2008
Your concerns are well founded, however you will find some of the lowest prices, on a per square foot basis, north of lawrence. Resales may be a better bet. The buildings are financially stable and sell easily when the time comes. Montrose by Wells Park is attractive and the condos are of good quality. You hear virtually no noise from the street.
0 votes
Kat, Home Buyer,
Mon Jun 23, 2008
Its actually a condo - it would be our first investment into real estate. The condo we would want would not be facing Western, but the entrance to the condo would be on Western. I'm not looking for huge appreciation, but we do expect to be there for 5 years or so, so it would be nice to sell it for some sort of profit.
0 votes
Ryan Fischer, Both Buyer And Seller, Chicago, IL
Mon Jun 23, 2008
I agree with Mike. Side street >>>>>> Western Ave. You are buying a home, so I wouln't necessarily be too concerned about appreciation. But if I were to pull out my crystal ball, you missed the boat on Lincoln Square by 10 years, and I'd expect no significan appreciation over the next decade. (Much less so since you will be ON Western Ave). Since you will not likely be staying there for more than 10 years, I would keep not factor in any significan appreciation and concentrate on what location will make you and your family happy.
0 votes
Michael Danek, Agent, Chicago, IL
Mon Jun 23, 2008
You are correct in thinking appreciation will be slower on a busy street. Streets such as Ashland, Western, Clybourn are all busy streets and you will normally get more bang for your buck, but you may also have a harder time selling the property b/c some buyers do not even want to look at properties on those streets.

The one caveat would be if the property faced away from the street, so you wouldnt hear the street noise from the unit.
0 votes
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