Photo: Courtesy of Redfin
List Price: $320,000
The Property: The owners of this Portage Park three-bedroom had rented it out for a few years since they relocated to California, but now “they say it’s time to get rid of it,” reports their listing agent, Chris Norton of Domain Realty.
The numbers say they’re serious: The asking price is 30 percent off the $455,000 that the Cook County Recorder of Deeds shows they paid for it in 2006. That pricing strategy was astute: since going on the market August 12, the house has already picked up two offers. Nothing has yet been accepted, Norton says, so if you’re interested, get in now and see if you want to bid against those offers. (Ethics rules prohibit Norton from disclosing to me what the existing bids are.)
You can see in the listing that the house has a lot of charms, starting with that classic front porch-and-dormer facade. Inside are vintage features like crown moldings and a few original stained-glass windows as well as updates like central air and closet organizers (which are a big plus in these tiny-closeted old homes). It’s on an extra-wide lot—35 feet, compared to the city norm of 25—which gives it bit of side yard “so you have a little more of a suburban feel,” Norton says.
That extra ground aside, Portage Park is definitely a city neighborhood, with old houses—many of them bungalows—landmarks and convenient service by CTA bus and rail and Metra. In the magazine’s April issue, we tagged Portage Park as a great place for first-timers to buy.
While the neighborhood has a thorough mix of multi-unit buildings and single-family homes, today’s property is on a street lined only with houses—and leafy trees and front yards. Just one block over is the historic park, which hosted swimming events in the 1959 Pan-American Games and which is still the thriving heart of the neighborhood.
Among the other walk-to attractions: There’s a Dairy Queen right at the end of the block and three blocks away is Portage Grounds, which opened just this summer but is getting good reviews on Yelp. A mile east is the Six Corners shopping area.
Norton priced the house based on a neighboring home that sold in July for $319,500. The sellers there had also purchased in 2006, for $448,000, approximately what these sellers paid. But Norton notes that that house has a few amenities that his listing doesn’t: a finished third floor, a full second bath, and a deck.
The offering is a short sale, which means more paperwork and wait time than a conventional sale, but Norton says he expects the lender to act relatively fast because the sellers “aren’t that far upside down.” (Public records don’t say clearly how much their debt is.)