TRI-TAYLOR — Young buyers looking to nab affordable single-family homes are increasingly setting their sights on Tri-Taylor on the city's Near West Side, real estate agents report.
An influx of new single-family homes — all priced under $450,000 — are bringing new, younger buyers to the neighborhood. Inventory in Tri-Taylor, bordered by the Medical District and near the UIC campus and the hot and pricey West Loop, is up more than 57 percent compared to last year. And the median sale price has jumped 20 percent in that time, according to a new Redfin study.
In addition to the new construction homes, buyers are landing move-in ready, single-family homes in the mid-to-low $300,000s while staying close to Downtown, said Redfin real estate agent Niko Voutsinas.
"It's a great value proposition, with a mix of solid historic housing and some modern, new construction single-family homes," Voutsinas said.
Stephanie Lulay discusses why Tri-Taylor is attractive to buyers:
Casey Hoogstraten, vice president of sales for SmartTech Homes, a firm leading Tri-Taylor's new construction with Eco Square, said most of his buyers are in their 20s or early 30s and currently live in condos in highly populated neighborhoods like the South Loop. Tired of homeowners association fees and condo management, the young buyers are looking to stretch out in a single-family home of their own.
"They have new babies or a baby on the way, or they are whispering about the baby they will one day have," Hoogstraten said. "They want to keep it simple — house, yard, deck, dog, baby. It's very consistent."
So far, Eco Square has completed eight single-family homes in the 2500 block of West Grenshaw Avenue near Roosevelt Road and Western Avenue. The four-bedroom, three- bathroom homes are priced $429,000-$434,000. To date, four of the homes have sold, and four are under contract, Hoogstraten said.
The developer, who took over the failed Metro Place development, originally considered building town homes and condos as part of the project. But after early feedback from buyers, SmartTech Homes is switching gears, and now plans to build all single-family homes in stages as the houses sell. With city approval, Smart Tech will build an additional 60 homes on Fillmore Street and Roosevelt Road, Hoogstraten said.
"We feel that there's a lack of affordable single-family homes in Chicago, and we can [sell] a home for a reasonable price," he said. "Even though it's modest, we have impacted the market here. We're basically selling them as fast as we can build them."
SmartTech Homes plans to build 80 new single-family homes in the Eco Square development in Tri-Taylor. [SmartTech Homes]
Hoogstraten notes the neighborhood is close to Downtown, and for workers who commute to the suburbs, it's just a quick hop on the expressway.
The demand continues despite some problems with crime that continue in a section of the neighborhood west of Western, where there have been five shootings this year already and a murder last year.
Redfin agent Alex Haried said the new construction Smart Tech homes are bringing new buyers to the neighborhood.
“With these starting to come on the market, buyers are interested in the investment in the area and possibilities of Tri-Taylor," Haried said. "Add in Illinois Medical District’s significant development plans, and you have a neighborhood with easy Blue Line access, affordable homes and a bright future."
Thinking she couldn't afford a brick single-family home close to Downtown, in a "safe, quaint" neighborhood, buyer Ingrid Damacela opted to instead buy a condo in Hyde Park a year ago. But today, she's back working with her real estate agent, looking for a multilevel home priced $300,000-$400,000 in Tri-Taylor, she said.
"I wanted a small house, not a condo. [In Tri-Taylor] there are a streets with gingerbread homes, bungalows that have so much character," she said. "Plus, I'm close to the Loop area."
Damacela, who works for a biotech company and does business with the University of Illinois-Chicago and University of Chicago, said finding a home close to the expressway was a "must."
"I absolutely love the neighborhood," she said. "It's like a hidden treasure for me."
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