Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Carol Moseley Braun's Kitchen is Atrocious, or, How Hyde Parkers Expect to Sell High in Down Markets

posted by chicago pop



No one is going to vote for her anyway, but one look at the interior design job in her $1.7 million brownstone, and voters have every right to ask some serious questions. Like, how can you expect to ask 11% or $200 K more ($1.9 million) than you paid for it, if that's what you did to the kitchen? What's with all the jarring Christmas tree green? And what happened to the soul, amidst all the whitewashed box-rooms, of what must have at one time been a beautiful old brownstone?

It is often remarked that Hyde Park residential real estate operates in a kind of Bermuda Triangle, in which home prices seem to go in the opposite direction of prevailing trends, exempting themselves from the rules of economics that apply to most everyone else. "I'm not into 'buy high, sell low,'" Braun told Chicago Magazine.

The piece confirms a few other things about the Twilight Zone real estate market in Hyde Park that have been widely rumored for ages: 1) To be successful, you must be like a humanities PhD candidate who expects to get a job, and pretend that you are an exception. List for above what comparables in the neighborhood are going for, and pray.

Chicago Magazine
's Dennis Rodkin reports that "Hyde Park’s current average sale price for single-family homes is in the 2004-2005 range." Braun bought her home in 2006. 2) Don't list unless you're willing to die in the home before lowering the price. Quoth Braun: “The market is so soft. Until it turns around, I’ll stay here."

7 comments:

QRBNST said...

Well, the article doesn't actually say that CMB re-did the kitchen and judging from its dated appearance, she probably bought it looking like that.

chicago pop said...

Then it makes even less sense to raise the price, if she hasn't done anything to it!

QRBNST said...

CP: But, in real estate, one need not actually do anything in order for a property's value ti rise. Prices are based primarily on the prices of comparable sales in an area.

chicago pop said...

But even in real estate, the origin of our current travails, people must be aware that housing prices have not risen at all in 3 years. But sticking to your point, and as I mentioned in the post, the comparables you mention are currently "in the 2004-2005" range -- where homes like hers were selling before she bought hers in 2006! Local price points have fallen, not risen.

CMB wants to run Chicago's city finances? Who is she trying to rip off here?

More to the point, does she honestly expect to cull an 11% appreciation from her property in the midst of the greatest depreciation in housing prices in the 20th century? When we still aren't sure if we've hit bottom?

It might help to look at this chart which tracks single family home prices in Chicago.

Carol Moseley Braun purchased her home at the height of the market. Prices have done nothing but fall since then -- even in her section of Hyde Park.

But don't just take my word for it. Here's more :

"[P]rices have now fallen 12 straight quarters in the Chicago area on a year-over-year basis, matching the performance of the entire U.S. market and rivaling New York as the longest downward streak among the biggest metro areas."

David Farley said...

I've been told by those in the know that the University works hand-in-glove with local realtors to reserve the "nicest" properties for important faculty and VIPs, which is how they can stay on the market marked up and forever. I don't believe this myself, but I've been treated to the eye-rolling and "such a naive boy" pats on the head when I differ.

Yael said...

This might be true. I heard that the Frank Lloyd Wright house on Woodlawn between 52nd and 51st was somehow part of that (high-level) UC employee's hiring package, as in it was somehow reserved for his purchase.

David Farley said...

I don't see why the University couldn't act as an agent on behalf of someone they really wanted to hire. They could reserve it by putting down their own money. However, I don't see them working with realtors to cherry pick all the nice properties in HP so the "wrong sort" didn't buy them.

Also, what's wrong with that kitchen? I could live with it for years and never change a thing. Would the tone of this article be different if it was some HP Frank Lloyd Ingvar Kampradean fantasy?