Here’s a common real estate scenario: You want to buy a home but can’t quite swing it, especially since mortgage rates spiked to 4.46 percent from 3.4 percent in late June, their biggest jump in 26 years — and haven’t fallen since.
But there is a solution: Boost your budget with a multi-unit building, which can bring in income with a rental unit or two (or even three or four, if your budget allows), providing additional funds that can help defray mortgage and living expenses.
The only problem? Everyone wants one. “Good properties are very hard to find, especially now, given the already low market inventory and still-decent interest rates,” says Baird & Warner broker Gabrielle Weisberg (right, call 312-420-1762). Plus, those rising interest rates are creating a sense of urgency and expediting sales, notes Robin Kane, senior vice president of Hendricks & Partners, a national multi-family investment banking firm.
But multi-unit buildings can still be found. “There’s an astonishing range of options,” says Weisberg, from quintessential Chicago three- or six-flats to single family residences with garden apartments or coach houses. On the luxe end of the spectrum is Weisberg’s current listing for a Gold Coast three flat at 11 E. Division. Marketed for $2.43 million, it’s a beautifully updated 1887 brownstone in a tony area with great public schools and services and brings in the proverbial bacon to subsidize the set-up. Its unique and varied units include an ultra-plush, 3,500-square-foot, three-bed, two-full and two-half bath duplex with a roof deck; a two-bed, 2.5-bath, 2,000-square-foot unit right below that rents for $3,500 per month; and an 800-square-foot lower level one-bed, one-bath that rents for $1,500 per month. All units have fireplaces and independent hot water and HVAC systems, and there is an attached two-car garage. Another luxury option is 1930 N. Honore in Bucktown, a charming, fully renovated 1910 four-bed, 2.5 bath single-family home marketed for $1.15 million with a one-bed, one-bath duplex coach house that rents for $1,635 per month (above, contact Baird & Warner broker Robert John Anderson, 312-909-9647).
Lowering the scale: “A lot of people can’t get their own homes without rental income,” notes @properties broker Maureen Murnane, who is marketing a superbly maintained vintage Andersonville three-flat at 1436 W. Olive (above), complete with a two-car garage, for $799,000. The top two floors sport three-bed, one-bath units that average 1,650 square feet and rent for about $1,650, while the first floor is a 2,200-square-foot, three-bed two-bath with a lower-level duplex that can rent for $2,150.
Dual Deal: Amplify in-place heating and cooling systems with Dyson’s bladless Hot + Cool fan, which draws in six gallons of air per second to provide whole-room heating in the winter and high-velocity cooling in the summer. $399.99; Dyson.com