Meet Karen and Jim, the proud owner of a 45th floor condo unit at 235 Van Buren, and hear what they have to say about the building and the neighborhood.
After close to three decades of living in the suburbs, Karen and Jim longed for that urban experience and wanted a place of their own for those nights after late dinners or a show in downtown Chicago.
They found theirs in 235 Van Buren, at the edge of the Loop. They liked the vibrancy of River North but saw 235 Van Buren as a quieter location with great access to the sports venues they visited frequently.
Karen and Jim spend most weekends at their second home in the city. They’re looking forward to becoming empty nesters, selling their suburban home, and splitting their time between 235 Van Buren and New Mexico or Arizona.
As the cost of rentals keeps rising each year, we wonder if ownership might be the way to go. And here, we take a look at the condominium tower at 235 Van Buren, the new Ralph Johnson-designed condo at the edge of Chicago’s Loop and done some of the calculations and comparisons for Unit 2219, a 1,048 square foot 2-bedroom, 2-bath that offers a 35-square foot balcony. Assuming that the purchase price is set at $285,900 with 10% down payment, and a 30-year fixed-rate loan at 3.4% interest. Real estate taxes have not yet been fully assessed, but are estimated at 1.5% of the purchase price.
Condo purchase price $285,900
Down payment $28,590
Loan amount $257,310
Monthly cost of ownership
Principal & interest $1,141
Real estate taxes $357
Total monthly cost $1,975
Based on actual rentals in the building, according to CMK Realty, the monthly rent for a comparable unit is $2,249. Buying is more advantageous than renting by $274 a month, before taking into account any income tax savings from the purchase. Income tax savings can vary widely based on individual circumstances, and so are not estimated, but may exceed $300 per month for higher-bracket taxpayers.
Early in the sixth year of ownership the loan balance would be less than 80% of the original purchase price, resulting in the elimination of the $125 monthly PMI (private mortgage insurance) premium.
This analysis disregards any imputed return on an alternative investment of the down payment, and any assumed return on investing the monthly out-of-pocket cash savings from owning rather than renting.
This analysis does not take into account principal reduction on the mortgage, which would approximate $29,000 over a 5-year period. It also ignores closing costs.
If rents rise, as many expect, ownership may become more advantageous over time, since the bulk of ownership costs – principal and interest payments – are fixed for a 30-year period.
The video gives you an overview of the location’s convenient access to multiple modes of transportation. You can meet 235 Van Buren buyers, and learn what attracted them to the community, at its video page.
Tentatively named Wacker Gateway Park, the Loop’s long-awaited park located immediately adjacent to 235 Van Buren appears to be nearing the final stages of construction. Benches and antique street lamps have been installed, and walkways partially paved. Along the perimeter, trees have been planted, with various other plantings in place or on-site as well. Another section of the park, identical in size to the one pictured above, is on the south side of Congress Parkway.
Also nearing completion is the surprisingly large new dog park southwest of 235 Van Buren. In the interim, the building’s dog owners have been frequenting the main park.
Designed by Ralph Johnson, 235 Van Buren is a new award-winning high-rise condo building. One-bedroom units in the building start at $198,900, 2-bedroom units at $275,900, and penthouses at $339,900.
Located at the edge of Chicago’s Loop, it’s hard to imagine a location with more convenient transportation options than the new Ralph Johnson-designed condo, 235 Van Buren .
All of the Loop is within walking or biking distance, and the El and subway lines are around the corner, just a few short blocks away, as are Union Station and the Ogilvie Transportation Center for suburban rail connections.
The reconstruction of the Congress / Wacker interchange is great for those who are car-oriented, which has afforded incredibly easy access to Chicago’s expressway grid from 235 Van Buren.
The Edge is a newer tower built atop an existing loft building. Residents enjoy a full amenity package, including state-of-the-art fitness center, 24-hour doorman and party room.
Located in the West Loop at 210 S Desplaines St. The Edge is just a short walk to the Loop, public transportation, restaurants, shopping and entertainment.
This sponsored video is of Unit 710, a pristine, bright 1 bedroom + den corner unit listed at $260,000.
Coldwell Banker’s Nicholas Apostal is our tour guide to showcase the unit’s features, such as the floor-to-ceiling windows with views, a spacious living room with private balcony, hardwood floors, marble baths, a granite breakfast bar, stainless steel appliances, and a large master bedroom with new carpeting. There is plenty of storage and an in-unit washer and dryer. A deeded heated garage parking spot is also included.
From those in the know, Chicago’s River North neighborhood is where it’s at. While living in the Loop provides the best known assets - the lakefront parks, theaters and museums, those living downtown are also apt to cross the river for their entertainment and more.
In the above video tour, residents of Oakwood 200 Squared, 210 N Wells St, discuss the vibrant bar, nightlife, gallery and restaurant venues in River North and the endless nearby shopping options. Life in the building itself is full of incentive; great views and extensive amenities, including an indoor pool, fitness room, dog run and a sprawling sun deck with a fire pit and grills.
The change of ownership of Echelon at K Station has meant a makeover and a slew of expanded and revamped amenities in the development. A sleeker lobby and lounge areas on the inside. Expanded seating, cabanas and firepit augment the pool. New grills are slated for an outdoor patio. Take the above video tour to see more.
In the neighborhood, there are new restaurants and nightlife options. A deluxe Jewel-Osco is across the street and the CTA Blue line is only two short blocks away. Adjacent to Echelon, the park hosts Movies in the Parks in the summer.
This spacious and nicely updated one-bedroom unit is priced at $299,000 and offers diagonal hardwood floors, 8 crown molding, custom kitchen with granite countertops and breakfast bar, stainless steel appliances and custom lighting.
An impressive lobby welcomes the residents, as well as a sprawling roof deck and pool with wraparound views of Chicago’s skyline.
This 3 bedroom, 3 full baths 25th floor home just recently became available and it offers 2,350 square feet of extensively renovated and upgraded living space, great views and light from floor-to-ceiling windows, generously sized rooms, hardwood flooring and custom built-ins.
Located in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood and within walking distance to Lake Michigan, Oak Street beach, the boutiques of the Magnificent Mile and Oak Street and many dining options such as Tavern on Rush.
For buyers looking to hedge their bets on condo ownership and assure themselves that they’ve chosen the right building and location, the recently-launched rent-to-own program at 235 Van Buren has proved popular.
Renters can become buyers at any point during their 12-month lease and receive 30% of the rent they’ve paid as a credit toward closing costs, up to 3% of the purchase price of their unit. You can meet some of the buyers, and hear them discuss their decision to purchase, at the video page for 235 Van Buren.
In this sponsored video, January Sambell of CMK Realty discusses the program and the wide array of dining options in the area.
Recent months have seen solid sales activity at Superior 110. The high-rise at 110 W Superior has only 3 units still available - a high-floor full floor and two half-floor units.
“These are desirable units,” said Greg Eldridge, who is in charge of sales at Superior 110. “They’re available only because of contract fall-throughs, a situation that’s been the story in many new developments in recent years.”
The 2-bedroom, 2-bath split-bedroom apartment unit offers dazzling skyline views and many high-end features often not found in other South Loop developments. The building is within walking distance to Grant Park and many of the area’s stores, restaurants and colleges.
Boldly blue at 27 stories, luxury condo tower Superior 110 catches all eyes along Chicago’s River North skyline. Recent penthouse and half-floor unit sales have put what the locals call “the blue building” within six units of selling out.
Designed by Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture to be a “gleaming gem amidst a sea of beige concrete”, this new construction high-rise carries the designer’s intent with a visual impact unrivaled by its dull-looking neighbors. With recent price reductions, remaining units are available from the $500s to upwards of $2 million.
Greg Eldridge of @properties has the listings. He details Superior 110′s immediate neighborhood in the following video:
When we visited the Loop’s 235 Van Buren, we were initially struck by the architectural details and layout, from exposed concrete walls to a recessed balcony. A deeper look, however, revealed much more.
Scott Hoskins of CMK Realty described this condo as among the best values for a 2 bedroom, 2 bath, new construction unit in downtown Chicago, and the numbers seem to support his case. Priced at $249,900, and containing nearly 1,050 square feet (breaking down to roughly $238 per square foot), it’s easy to see why many still consider it cheaper to own than rent. With warranties, not to mention an outstanding high rise location, Scott estimates that owning Unit 1419 works out to be $500 to $700 per month less than renting a comparable unit.
A more detailed breakdown of the numbers, in addition to a video testimonial from two of their buyers, can be found at YoChicago.