Gold Coast Chicago Homes – How Far Will $750,000 Get You?

This article looks closely at properties in the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago, and just how far $750,000 will get you.

Gold Coast Location

The amazing Gold Coast neighborhood borders Lake Michigan, and is known for being affluent, mostly residential, and defined by its stately homes and high-rise apartment buildings.

Upscale shopping and dining options can be found along North Rush, North Clark, and East Oak Street. There is a man-made beach called Oak Street Beach, and it offers seasonal open-air restaurants as well as city views.

Gold Coast History

The Gold Coast district is a historic district in Chicago, located on the near northside community area. It’s roughly bounded by North Avenue, Lakeshore Drive, Oak Street and Clark Street. The neighborhood grew in the wake of the great Chicago fire.

In 1882, a millionaire named Potter Palmer moved to the area from the Prairie Avenue neighborhood on the city’s south side. He filled in a swampy area which later became Lake Shore Drive, and he also built the well-known Palmer Mansion, which is a 40-room castle-like structure. Soon after, other wealthy Chicagoans followed Potter into the neighborhood, and it quickly became one of the richest neighborhoods in Chicago.

Today the Gold Coast neighborhood is one of the most desirable areas in both the city and the entire country. It ranks as the seventh richest urban area in the United States. With tree-lined streets, vintage row houses, high-rise and mid-rise buildings, stunning architecture in every corner, and Lake Michigan at your disposal, it’s no wonder it’s such an in-demand place to not only visit but also call home.

How Far Will $750,000 Go

Let’s discuss how far $750,000 will go in terms of finding a home in the Gold Coast neighborhood, as well as prices for renting which is common in the city.

Before we start, please keep in mind that prices are ever changing. For example, in today’s market, prices are much higher especially when buying because rates are an all-time record low, inventory is also low, so naturally prices of homes are skyrocketing.

Gold Coast Rentals

Studio apartments for rental in the Gold Coast typically start around $1,500 while one- and two-bedroom rentals can range anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000 per month depending on features, finishes and location.

Some of the most expensive rentals in the Gold Coast, which are usually fully refurbished brownstones, graystones, and single-family homes, can go all the way up to $40,000 per month.
Let’s talk about $750,000 and what you can get in the Gold Coast.

Around the $400,000 to $500,000 range, you can get at least a one- and two-bedroom condo with two baths, usually around 1,200 to 1,500 square feet, mostly on the near north side. $600,000 to $750,000 could get you three bedroom, three baths, and offer around 1,800 to 2,500 square feet, sometimes a little bit more, which is generous for a condo in the city. Many of these higher priced condos will be found on East Delaware and East Lakeshore Drive, but mostly North Lakeshore Drive.

Do not forget about HOA and taxes. The amounts vary and depend on what the building has to offer such as a doorman, a gym, a rooftop terrace, pools and so on. HOA can range from $400 to over $1,000 per month and taxes will range anywhere from $3,000 all the way up to $30,000 per year.

Here are the top ten luxury buildings in the Gold Coast neighborhood based on price, amenities, service level, and overall luxury.

  1. The Waldorf at 11 East Walton Street
  2. Park Hyatt at 800 North Michigan Ave
  3. 50 East Chestnut Street
  4. 65 East Goethe Street
  5. 10 East Delaware Place
  6. 30 West Oak Street
  7. The Bristol at 57 East Delaware Street
  8. The Four Seasons at 132 East Delaware Street
  9. 980 North Michigan Ave
  10. 2 West Delaware Place in Walton on the Park

Gold Coast Real Estate

Getting your own condo in Chicago or any home for that matter is one of the largest investments and biggest decisions you’re ever going to make.

The following tips will help narrow down your options before buying a Chicago condo and should get you thinking about what items on your list are truly the most important.

1. Which Chicago neighborhood fits your lifestyle?

Chicago has 77 individually defined communities and if you’re looking for a vibrant part of downtown with energetic nightlife and plenty of big city entertainment, the Gold Coast or River North may be the right choice for you.

If a more relaxed low-key scene better suits your personality, a quiet neighborhood on the north side may be the perfect spot for you to call home.

2. Do you prefer a high-, mid- or a low-rise?

Many Chicago home buyers don’t take into consideration the extreme difference between living in a 45-story skyscraper, and a three-flight condo building that offers much more privacy.

All too often home buyers fall in love with the spectacular lake and city views a massive high-rise has to offer, but they fail to fully understand the everyday nuances of waiting for the elevator, dealing with garage parking, and having hundreds of neighbors all under the same roof.

Like anything else there are upsides and downsides to almost any Chicago condo, so just make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into before you make a final decision.

3. You should know the condo building rules and regulations

In many cases Chicago condo buildings have straightforward rules and regulations that dictate things from what kind of pet is allowed, to what residents can hang on their front door. Before buying what you thought was the perfect downtown Chicago condo, make sure you know and fully understand what’s allowed by your potential new condo association.

4. How important are lifestyle amenities?

If there’s one thing about high-end luxury condo buildings in Chicago, it’s there’s never a lack of fabulous building and lifestyle amenities that are designed to make your time at home relaxing and convenient.

Many residents enjoy things like 24-hour door service, health clubs, indoor pools and even first-rate hotel services like round-the-clock room service and free concierge. If building amenities are a top priority for you when buying a Chicago condo, make sure you do your homework and find out which building offers you the best amenities around.

5. Factor in your HOA fees

Homeowner association fees are monthly dues that cover building maintenance, insurance, property management costs, and various other operation costs it takes for your building to maintain stability. HOA fees vary from building to building and unit to unit, so when trying to decide on which Chicago condo is right for you, find out what your monthly fees will be, what the expense covers, and whether or not the association has increased fees in recent years.

6. Onsite Parking

Whether you own a car for commuting back and forth to work, or run errands, or visit your family in the suburbs, being able to park your private car is important for many Chicago homeowners. If the building or condo you love doesn’t offer parking, don’t immediately get discouraged because many times a building next door or around the block will have open space or available parking for a moderate monthly rate. Do your research before giving up on a place with no immediate availability for parking.

7. Does the condo building allow renters?

With the recent housing crisis negatively affecting nearly every market around, many newer condo developments in Chicago were forced to rent units out. While having a rental tenant living next to you isn’t always a bad experience, a building with high rental to owner-occupied ratio can sometimes impact the value of your condo, not to mention making it more difficult to secure financing.

8. How much does your potential condo association have in reserve?

While unforeseen accidents or disasters aren’t likely, things like windstorms and floods can happen. If unexpected expenses arise, like having to replace windows or a roof, it’s vital to know there are enough reserves to cover emergency situations such as a natural disaster.

9. Does the condo have on-site maintenance or management?

While this might not seem like a make-or-break factor for others, when it comes to deciding on a new Chicago condo, it definitely is something to keep in mind. It’s very reassuring to have on-site maintenance should an unfortunate plumbing or electrical issue arise while you’re at home.

If on-site maintenance isn’t available at the building you’re considering, try and talk to a neighbor and ask them how attentive the off-staff maintenance service is or how the management office is when something does go wrong. It’s good to know if someone’s going to be there at a reasonable time or if they’re going to keep you waiting for an entire week.

10. Is it a good potential investment property?

Aside from knowing how many units are in the building, and how many are owner-occupied, it may also be important to know if you have the option of renting your condo to qualified tenants in the future. While you may not be purchasing your new condo now as an investment property, you never know what’s going to happen, so having the option of possibly renting your condo down the road on a short- or long-term basis, can not only make for a savvy investment but also a lucrative one.

Living in the Gold Coast means you’ll have amazing views, and be in close proximity to the many trails, parks and beaches found along the shoreline. You’re only a few blocks north of Lincoln Park, which is the largest park in all of Chicago. On warmer days you can take advantage of all the outdoor options the area has to offer. No matter the weather you’ll never be bored living in the Gold Coast.

I hope this article gave you some good insight on what the neighborhood has to offer, as well as some price points for the different housing options.

If you’re ready to begin your adventure in the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago, the next step is to call, email or simply text message us. We’re available seven days a week to help you with all your housing needs. We are experts when it comes to moving anywhere in Chicago, and will make the process smooth for you.

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