Something I have noticed about the real estate market is that properties are becoming increasingly expensive. And I am not wrong. As reported in Fortune magazine last year, housing affordability is the worst it has been in a century, with home prices rising and monthly mortgage payments reaching an all-time high. The average American has to earn at least six figures if they want to buy a median-priced home in a city like Chicago. These statistics have not only affected homeowners and prospective buyers, but also renters. You might have noticed over the last month that I’ve shared several expensive listings for sale across the region, including pricey greystones and the $2.5 million dollar World’s Fair home in Indiana. But this time, I am going in a different direction. I have found five condos for sale that will not break the bank (if you exclude HOA fees and property taxes). All properties are priced below $400,000.

900 S Wabash Ave APT 205, Chicago, $265,000

Fairbanks, Morse and Company was a manufacturer of various agricultural products, which included farm tractors, platform scales, and internal combustion engines. Their former headquarters, designed by architect Christian Eckstrom in 1907, is now a seven-story condo building located in Chicago’s South Loop. This renovated one-bedroom, one-bathroom unit has exposed brick walls, high timber ceilings, a new contemporary kitchen, and a built-in workspace. The $509 monthly HOA fees include amenities such as a bike room/storage and services like security, cable television, and insurance. 

1300 N Astor St UNIT 8C, Chicago, $265,000

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about high-priced properties for sale on Astor Street. On sale for just $265,000, this one-bedroom, one-bathroom condo is located in Astor Tower, a 25-story modernist building designed by architect Bertrand Goldberg and completed in 1963. The monthly HOA fees are quite high, at almost $1,000 per month. They cover 24-hour security, an on-site manager, and sixth floor exercise facilities. Although the corner unit itself does not offer skyline or lake views (there is a great view north looking up Astor Street), the building does have a rooftop area for residents.

929 Hinman Ave APT 2N, Evanston, $390,000

Let’s leave the city and check out what properties are currently available in Evanston. Hitting the market for the first time in more than 30 years, this two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo caught my attention. It’s perfect for anyone seeking a traditional layout with individual rooms, a long hallway, and two distinct balconies: one right off the kitchen and the other next to the rear bedroom. The $454 monthly HOA fees cover a bike room/storage, water, gas, and a single parking garage space. 

523 S Plymouth Ct APT 303, Chicago, $264,900

The opulent brick and terra facade of Jackson Tower, built in 1925, was the work of notable hotel designer Walter Ahlschlager. This newly renovated two-bedroom, one-bathroom condo comes with excellent views of the Museum of Science and Industry and Jackson Park from its south-facing windows. Some of the updates include a wallpapered ceiling in the foyer, custom-designed banquette in the dining area, and a spacious bathroom with double vanities/sinks. Though the sale price is only $269,000, the historic building comes with high HOA fees at $1,438 per month.  

523 S Plymouth Ct APT 303, Chicago, $264,900

Back in Chicago’s South Loop, specifically Printer’s Row, to share this 950-square-foot condo listed for sale in early February. The glazed white terra cotta building, which once housed the Peterson Linotype Company, was designed by architects Schmidt, Garden & Martin in 1917. As you enter the one-bedroom, one-bathroom unit with 11-foot-high ceilings, the foyer features a pop of color with the green board-and-batten accent wall. The $475 monthly association fee includes a recently renovated exercise room, a storage locker, and a rooftop deck with a grill and seating area.