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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

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CITY NEIGHBORHOODS

ALBANY PARK
Situated roughly between Foster and Montrose avenues on the north and south, and Kedzie Avenue and the Chicago River on the east and west

In the 1890s, some big investors converted farmland northwest of the city into a residential area by stringing streetcar lines out to what is now known as Albany Park. In this century, there has been a different kind of conversion going on, as rental apartments were remade into spacious condos. “For a while prices kept going up and up,” says Suzy Thomas, a Rubloff Residential Properties agent who has sold some of them. “Now we’re back down to what you would have paid in 2004 and 2005.”

Most condos here—the majority are in vintage buildings, though there are a handful of new ones—sell in the middle to upper $200,000s, even for three-bedroom units. And with the Brown Line terminus at Lawrence, and the Edens Expressway to the west, transportation remains an asset in this neighborhood brought to life by streetcars.

PLUS: Quiet streets, the North Park University campus along Foster Avenue, and the North Branch of the Chicago River winding along the neighborhood’s northern edge
MINUS: Bargains on single-family homes are rare; for the most part, houses either sorely need rehab or, having been renovated, are saddled with a big price tag.

 

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