A Bargain Near Maxwell Street

List Price: $836,900
Sale Price: $801,000
The Property: This 14-room house was sold new four years ago for $1.207 million, and then sold again last week as a foreclosure for $801,000—or 33 percent off the 2006 price…

List Price: $836,900
Sale Price: $801,000
The Property: This 14-room house was sold new four years ago for $1.207 million, and then sold again last week as a foreclosure for $801,000—or 33 percent off the 2006 price. Ayoub Rabah, the agent who sold the house for Bank of America, says that he cut the asking price a dozen times after initially listing it for $1.15 million in July 2009. When the price finally got to $836,900, in June, the house “sold right away,” Rabah says. The buyers are not yet identified in public records.

Information from the Cook County Recorder of Deeds suggests that the former owners may have made few or no payments on the house beyond a 10 percent down payment. Exactly a year after the mortgage was approved, the lender, Mid-America Bank, filed a lis pendens notice that it was beginning foreclosure proceedings. At that point, the homeowner’s association already had a three-month-old lien against the property (which often signals that a homeowner hadn’t been paying assessments). Rabah dealt with the bank, not the former owners, so he does not know their payment history. I have been unable to reach the former owners.

Completed in 2005, the house is part of the Ivy Hall development in University Village, southeast of the University of Illinois at Chicago campus, in the vicinity of the old Maxwell Street Market. In the surrounding blocks are new condos, retail spaces, UIC buildings, and a playground; this house’s front windows look over facing houses to the elevated Dan Ryan Expressway.

Immediately south of this house is a nearly identical home for which Illinois’s former First Lady Patti Blagojevich was the selling agent two times—in 2006 and 2007—collecting a total of $52,000 in commissions, according to the Chicago Tribune. I wrote about the sale of that house in 2007, in one of the first posts on this blog.

Price Points: Although vacant, the house was not run-down. “It was fine to move right in,” Rabah says. That suggests the price is what the market would pay today—which poses a dilemma for the developer, who still has at least one finished home to sell, less than a block away. Roughly comparable to this one in size and room count, it’s priced at $1.325 million.

Listing Agent: Ayoub Rabah of Great Street Properties, 312-733-9100

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