East Randolph Street – Call Kristine 312-933-1894

Observations and insights into real estate happenings along E. Randolph St. in downtown Chicago

East Randolph Street, Chicago

Listing Your Chicago Rental Investment or Property

June 5th, 2014 · chicago downtown rental, chicago real estate investment, real estate investing, Uncategorized

When Listing Your Chicago Rental Investment or Property, here’s What We Do:
  • Put the listing on MLS and all major websites
  • Arrange all showings with current tenants, check current tenants schedule and make sure shoes off, lights off and lock up the door for each showing.
  • Explain to potential tenants what is included and what expense they need to pay,
  • Credit Check for each applicant
  • Employment / income check
  • Call to previous landlord to verify if there is any late payment
  • Criminal background and eviction history check
  • Arrange for professional cleaning
  • Arrange for regular maintenance such as painting, caulking
  • Arrange for new appliances as necessary
  • Prepare lease, have clients sign the lease
  • Ask tenants to get renter’s insurance
  • Prepare building docs and communicate with the building management about the new tenant and new move, drop checks to the management office.
  • For any minor or major room renovations necessary, a company like the Weston Interior Designer are one call away.
  • Collect checks for the first month payment and any move in related fees by the management office.
  • Hand out keys and walk through with new tenant.

Please go to http://www.KristineChenFrost.com/ and go down to “View recent listings>>”

  • Pick “Sort Lo to Hi”.
  • As per ConnectMLS records, I have recorded 125 “RNTD” transactions since 2007.
  • I have several clients who own 1 or 2+ units in in downtown Chicago for whom I handle all aspects of renting out and rental marketing every year.
One month rent +$100, I will not charge if they renew or wants to sign a longer lease, if I find a tenant myself, I will give you a $200 discount. On the other hand, if you’re someone who’s looking to find a property to buy, you can put your trust with services like the solicitors in Stratford.

Looking forward to working with you soon!


Kristine Chen Frost
Broker Associate, CPA, ABR

→ No CommentsTags: ··

Last Outdoor Randolph Street Market Festival of the Season!

September 27th, 2013 · chicago events

Another Randolph Street Market Festival is being held this weekend. If you’ve been been this year or ever, you owe it to yourself to get out there as this is the last outdoor Randolph Street Market until May 2014.

September 28th and 29th, 10 AM to 5 PM.

1340 W. Washington Plumbers Hall. Admission is $8 in advance or $10 at the gate.

Check out the videos, FAQ, and see more information on their web site.

Wikipedia has a good article on the Randolph Street Market.
quote: “The market has been compared to New York’s Chelsea Flea Market, London’s Portobello market, and the Paris market at Porte de Clignancourt”.

Yelp reviews
quote: “Clothing, jewelry, furniture, brickabrack, plus live music, food, & liquid libations abound!”
note: A number of reviewers recommend negotiating on prices e.g. if $30 for something seems too much for you, offer $15. Maybe walk away with it for $20. Also, a number of people mention getting discount tickets from LivingSocial or Groupon, although I don’t see anything at the moment. However there are discount tickets e.g. 3 for 2 on the Randolph Street Market web site.

Speaking of discounts, you can also get into the last two hours on Sunday for free! That might also be the best time to haggle, when vendors would rather not pack up and take unsold merchandise home.

Sixteen page “Summer Season Guide” (May-September 2013) (wait for it to load)
note: Includes floor plan, printed FAQ, and articles.

Facebook & Twitter, for the latest news and info:
note: Randolph Street Market is big into social media i.e 8 tweets in the last 24 hours, so these are good sources of information.

Chicago Now has 42 photos from a visit in 2013

Hope this helps someone and if there’s anything you’d like to add, please comment below!

→ No CommentsTags: ·

Buying Can Cost $300 Less Per Month Than Renting Right Now

August 21st, 2013 · chicago downtown rental, chicago real estate investment, chicago real estate market, real estate investing, rental buildings

In a recent article by Alby Gallun that appeared in Crain’s Chicago, renting can cost about $300 more than owning in one River North tower.

While there are a lot of variables including the terms of the mortgage and neighborhood, rents have certainly gone up quite steeply in the last few years, mortgage rates remain low and property prices are still depressed compared to the peak.

The oft-quoted rule of thumb has often been that if you are going to live in a place 3-4 years or more, you’re better off buying. If less, better stick to renting. I would assert that you might come out ahead for as little as one year. In a period where prices are started to rise again, I had a client make 30% recently for a property owned less than 1.5 years.

In any case, whether you are looking to buy or rent, I am eager to help you find the perfect match.

→ No CommentsTags: ·

Crain’s Chicago Predicts New Downtown Chicago Condo Construction

August 21st, 2013 · chicago loop downtown, chicago real estate investment, chicago real estate market

In an article entitled “Let’s Get Ready to Condo“, Crain’s Chicago predicts that as developments from years ago finally start selling out, new downtown Chicago condo construction is sure to follow.

I’ve actually been involved in helping to sell out some of the those condo projects lately including Trump, 2550 N. Lakeview (Lincoln Park 2550), 60 and 65 Monroe, and 600 Lakeshore. While there is certainly still inventory left including 200 units at 235 W. Van Buren, I can attest that some properties are indeed selling out.

While I do all kinds of deals for clients including foreclosures, short sales, and investment properties all over Chicago, lately I’ve become something of an expert in new condo developments downtown, and look forward to new condo construction in downtown Chicago.

→ No CommentsTags: ··

When Does the Taste of Chicago Open? (stomach grumbling)

July 11th, 2013 · chicago events

For those of you who skipped breakfast like me and thinking of skipping over to the Taste for an early lunch, the Taste opens at 11 AM today (Thursday) and Friday, and it opens at 10 AM Sat and Sunday.

More details —

Phil Vettel, the Tribune food critic recommends several dishes —

I have to go to Lao Ma La, it’s my current favorite restaurant in Chinatown (Dan Dan Noodles Yum), maybe see Tony there.

→ No CommentsTags: ··

Over One Hundred Chicago Properties Sold or Rented

July 8th, 2013 · chicago real estate market, real estate investing, what's on the market

I noticed on my new FindHomeChicago.com real estate search engine under “Properties I’ve Sold” it lists 101 properties. This also includes rental listings.

Note that I frequently work on the buyers (or renter’s) side, so in terms of total number of deals completed, it’s probably more like 300 or 400 satisfied clients.

Looking to make or move or invest in property? Give me a call to discuss how I can help you.

→ No CommentsTags:

N. Michigan Ave from Randolph to Wacker

July 8th, 2013 · new eastside

Crain’s Chicago reports on planned development in the three block “Dead Zone” between Millennium Park and the Chicago River.


In particular, I like the map graphic they put together showing all the projects —

N. Michigan Ave.

N. Michigan Ave. Projects

Regarding 360 N. Michigan Ave, isn’t that where Crain’s Chicago offices are? The 333 N. Michigan Ave building owned by the Wirtz family also contains the Hawks store. We were in there just a couple days ago. I do believe most of the retail space along the street is occupied, I am curious where they will put the additional retail space.

Here’s a Street View of the 200 N. Michigan Ave building they plan to tear down. Bye bye That’s Our Bag!

View Larger Map

→ No CommentsTags: ··

2nd North Michigan Avenue Arts Festival

July 6th, 2013 · chicago events

This weekend is the second North Michigan Ave Arts Festival of the summer, the first being a few weeks ago and couple blocks south called the Millennium Art Festival.

This one is actually called the North Michigan Arts Festival and is July 5th, 6th, and 7th: Fri-Sat 10AM to 6PM and Sun 10AM to 5PM.

It is at Pioneer Court which is just north of the river on Michigan Ave. It is the plaza in front of the Equitable Building, next to the Tribune Tower i.e. across from the Wrigley Building.

→ No CommentsTags: ·

Current Listings at the Parkshore Condos – 195 N. Harbor Dr.

July 4th, 2013 · new eastside, what's on the market

As you may know, I am a resident at the Parkshore Condos (lived here since 2007) and have also served as a board member and on the finance committee for the past few years.

Here are the current listings at the Parkshore from my FindHomeChicago.com real estate search engine.

195 N. Harbor Dr. Unit 903 – $1.8M
195 N. Harbor Dr. Unit 1102 – $850k
195 N. Harbor Dr. Unit 1104 – $549k
195 N. Harbor Dr. Unit 2402 – $925k
195 N. Harbor Dr. Unit 3509 – $479k
195 N. Harbor Dr. Unit 4209 – $485k
195 N. Harbor Dr. Unit 4801 – $1.15M

Prices listed above are approximate and may not be current.

By the way, if you are interested, my husband posted a ton of photos in and around the Parkshore Condo Building here.

As always, if you have any questions about any of the above listings or would like to schedule a showing at the Parkshore or anywhere around Chicagoland, please do not hesitate to contact me.

→ No CommentsTags: ··

New Eastside Nextdoor Community

July 3rd, 2013 · new eastside

Nextdoor is a new social media web site which concentrates on building local forums of residents by physically verifying (via postcard) residency within the community.

We helped launch a New Eastside community forum on Nextdoor last month and it already has over 25 members. To signup and start the verification process, go here — https://nextdoor.com/invite/uqjayndkwhczgtvjtyst

Here’s information and articles about the Nextdoor service — https://nextdoor.com/press/. My husband first read about it in the Wall Street Journal / All Things Digital article.

Anyway, it seems pretty interesting so far and definitely has potential to keep our neighborhood connected and informed about local issues events! Sign up here — https://nextdoor.com/invite/uqjayndkwhczgtvjtyst

→ No CommentsTags: ··

Latest Case-Shiller Data Shows Chicago Home Prices Up 9% vs. Last Year

June 25th, 2013 · chicago real estate market

The April numbers are in and Chicago’s home prices are up once again. The data shows residential real estate up 9% in April 2013 vs. the same time last year. This is the sixth consecutive month of price increases.

Whether you are looking to buy or sell, I do think that now is a good time to act for different reasons.

For buyers: interest rates are still low, and home prices overall are still down significantly from 2006 and very reasonably priced. In buying now, this summer, you can lock in the still low long term rates, on still reasonably priced homes or condos.

For sellers: given that interest rates are now rising and many people predicting rates to rise significantly more in coming months, the strong increases in home prices may not be sustainable. The market is cooling and you might be looking at getting the same price next year that you can get right now. So if you are looking to sell, better do it now than sit on the property for another year.

Give me a call if you would like to discuss further and I can give a detailed analysis of the market for the size of home and area where you are looking to buy, or a comprehensive comparable market analysis for the property you are looking to sell.

source: S&P/Case-Schiller Chicago data

→ No CommentsTags: ·

When is the Blackhawks Victory Parade?

June 24th, 2013 · chicago events

Does anyone know when is the Blackhawks Victory Parade? Will they wait until Saturday or do it on a weekday?

→ 2 CommentsTags:

Chicago Condo / Home Prices vs. Last Year and vs. Five Years Ago

June 20th, 2013 · chicago real estate market

Check out this interactive map.


You can see prices are up in large swaths of the Chicago area, but down in others. It seems the Near West suburbs like River Forest and Elmwood Park have rebounded the most in the last year, and far flung suburbs that may have overbuilt during the peak such as Orland Park, Harvard, and Frankfort are still down.

Overall the City of Chicago seems to be doing well, but data is not available for nearly half of Chicago’s zip codes.

Whether you are looking to buy or sell, I’d be happy to give you a more detailed look at a neighborhood or building to help you estimate the value of a unit. I have done quite a few listing presentations recently and also do detailed market comparisons to help buyers and sellers negotiate a good price.

→ No CommentsTags: ······

Chicago Downtown Developers Switching Back to Selling Instead of Renting

June 20th, 2013 · chicago downtown rental, chicago real estate investment, chicago real estate market, real estate investing, rental buildings

A couple years ago, it was quite common to see projects being switched from all Condos to all Rentals or a mix.

Now, the pendulum is swinging back the other way.

Inventory of condos available for sale downtown is quite low, less then 800 units are for sale right now, down from a peak of around 8,000. That’s right, the number of units for sale right now is less than 10% of what it was a few years ago, and is the lowest level since 1998.

Thus, investors and others who swooped in and bought up condos or whole buildings that were not selling in order to rent out, are now finding it more attractive to cash out — possibly just at the right time.

The reason I say that is because mortgage rates are still quite low, but some people are predicting they will rise rapidly in the coming year, possibly cooling the market.

What does that mean for you? If you are thinking to list or have been waiting to list, now might be perfect time.

I have helped dozens of clients list and sell their units in the past couple years and have had about 20 listings already this year. I would be happy to prepare a free listing presentation for your unit and advise on the potential market value. Feel free to give me a call!

→ No CommentsTags: ·····

Columbus Plaza is Possibly the Best Deal for Downtown Chicago Rental Buildings

June 10th, 2013 · chicago downtown rental, chicago loop downtown, new eastside, rental buildings, what's on the market

I have had several clients pick Columbus Plaza over the years and two just last week, so I thought it’s worth commenting.

Columbus Plaza at 233 E. Wacker is probably the best deal for a rental building in the New Eastside neighborhood if not all of downtown Chicago for several reasons.

  1. The prices are very good compared to anything else in the area.
  2. The location is almost unbeatable. You’re very close to the Lake, right on the river, one block from Millennium Park, and compared to other buildings further east in New Eastside, Columbus Plaza is right in the heart of all the transportation links with many bus lines on Michigan Ave. and rail at the Millennium Park station.
  3. Being right on river, the views are incredible.
  4. The units are big compared to the new buildings.
  5. There are many amenities and shops right in the building and very close along the pedway which goes in three directions from Columbus Plaza.

Obviously there are reasons it’s less expensive than say Aqua right across the street, namely that it’s a bit older building compared to all the new construction from the last 10 years (Columbus Plaza opened a little more than 30 years ago – http://www.emporis.com/building/columbusplaza-chicago-il-usa), but the price and the plusses listed above are compelling.

Read the reviews on Yelp and elsewhere (they are mixed), and keep in mind to get similar sq. footage anywhere around this location you’d be spending 25-50% more. If you are interested in renting here, I’d be happy to show you Columbus Plaza and other buildings in the area to compare.

If you’re looking for a good deal downtown or just being frugal with how you want to spend your cash, Columbus Plaza deserves a look. If you are looking to rent downtown, please give me a call and let me be your guide. I am very familiar with the options downtown and surrounding neighborhoods and am eager to help find you your ideal rental!

→ No CommentsTags: ·······

World Cup Qualifier Viewing Party at the Petrillo Music Shell Tuesday June 18th

June 7th, 2013 · chicago events

Here’s something different folks with a south view on E. Randolph St. will be able to see a week from Tuesday – a soccer party hosted by the U.S. Soccer Federation.

The game will be broadcast on ESPN and will be displayed on a roughly 20 by 33 foot screen at the Petrillo Band Shell. From our unit at the Parkshore, we have a southwest view framed by Outer Drive East and Harbor Point centered on Butler Field and the Petrillo Band Shell, and it’s something of a game for us to figure out what event is being set up or going on on any evening in the summer. I think a World Cup Qualifier Viewing Party will be a first.

The game starts at 8 p.m. and they will be playing against Honduras. I do remember a ton of Honduran soccer fans in Chicago a few years ago, it must have been a World Cup Qualifier game here in Chicago at Soldier Field?

In addition to the game at 8 p.m., there will be pre-event activities including pickup soccer games and a youth soccer clinic starting at 4 p.m., so if you’re looking for something to do with the kids that evening, that might be a nice change from hanging out in the Lakeshore East park or going to Mariano’s for ice cream.

→ 1 CommentTags: ·····

Chicago Residential Listings $10M and Up

June 6th, 2013 · what's on the market

Crain’s Chicago has a nice feature on high end listings currently on the market in the Chicagoland area. These are all very unique properties, each with their own story and background.


I’ve listed the Chicago properties first:

  • 401 N. Wabash Ave., Chicago. Price: $32 million. Owner: Donald Trump development venture.
  • 1547 N. Dearborn Parkway, Chicago. Price: $18.8 million. Owner: Ann Lurie trust.
  • 1870 N. Howe St., Chicago. Price: $10 million. Owner: Joseph G. Nicholas venture.

The rest are in the suburbs, mostly north and far north.

  • 68 Locust Road, Winnetka. Price: $21.9 million. Owner: Sherwin Jarol trust.
  • 2700 Point Lane, Highland Park. Price: $21 million. Owner: Michael Jordan.
  • 2000 Ridge Road, Highland Park. Price: $17.5 million. Owner: Harry D. Oppenheimer II.
  • 8 Kaleigh Court, South Barrington. Price: $16.9 million. Owner: Jorie Johnson trust.
  • 344 Old Sutton Road, Barrington Hills. Price: $14.9 million. Owner: Forsythe Building Fund.
  • 405 N. Mayflower Road, Lake Forest. Price: $12 million. Owner: First Bank & Trust Co. venture.
  • 925 Sheridan Road, Lake Bluff. Price: $9.99 million. Owner: Blair family estate.

→ No CommentsTags: ····

Only Two Units Left at the Park Monroe – 65 E. Monroe; Downtown Inventory Being Snapped Up Quickly

June 4th, 2013 · chicago loop downtown, chicago real estate market

The Park Monroe at 65 E. Monroe St is suddenly on the verge of selling out!

You have to wonder if the recent upturn in the real estate market caught them by surprise and they could have priced units a little higher.

In any case, I have shown this building several times and I can say it is very nice and at the same time a bit unique. The gym and overall decor are phenomenal. The building is squarely in the high density Loop and is shared with office space on the lower floors. There is a separate residential entrance for the 10 floors of condos, so it has a very different feel from say the nearby all residential condo buildings in the New Eastside neighborhood.

Read more on Crain’s.

→ No CommentsTags: