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Where to Buy Now

The silver lining behind the residential real-estate collapse is the opportunity for housing bargains. Here are 14 up-and-coming Chicago neighborhoods and suburbs where prices are relatively low and the promise for future growth is strong

(page 6 of 15)

CITY NEIGHBORHOODS

KENWOOD
Situated roughly between 43rd Street and Hyde Park Boulevard on the north and south, and Lake Shore Drive and Cottage Grove Avenue on the east and west

A few years ago, Michael and Angela Clark were living in a Rogers Park condo when Michael started selling real estate in Kenwood. In 2005, the couple headed south themselves, trading their three-bedroom condo on the North Side for a historic three-story graystone with more than twice the square footage, plus four fireplaces and a yard. They got it for $275,000—the price of their condo—although they have since spent $100,000 on renovations.

Though Kenwood feels as if it has been preserved in amber, it’s not trapped in the past. In fact, with its mix of old mansions, medium-sized homes, and vintage multi-flat apartment buildings (some of them converted to condos), it’s on the brink of recapturing its reputation as a fashionable, high-end neighborhood. Perennially undervalued, Kenwood saw steady price inflation in the boom years, especially as people found themselves priced out of Hyde Park, the neighborhood to the immediate south.

But the neighborhood still has a way to go before it falls off the bargain list. (The fact that Barack Obama lives in Kenwood has boosted the area’s visibility but doesn’t seem to have affected real-estate prices.) The entry-level price for a habitable two-bedroom condo, says Clark, an agent for Exit All Pro Realty, is about $175,000. In May, an extensively rehabbed four-bedroom red-brick Victorian row house was sold for $375,000. Try that on the North Side.

PLUS: Lots of 19th- and early 20th-century homes, many in relatively good shape thanks to a strong local preservationist spirit
MINUS: There are very few shops or restaurants within Kenwood’s borders; most people head downtown or south to Hyde Park for shopping and dining.

 

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