Cheap Condos on Lake Shore Drive?

Everyone wants a Lake Shore Drive address and of course everyone wants to buy a condo cheap right? The question is: “How cheap are condos on Lake Shore Drive, really?” While many condos may appear to be inexpensive at first glance, there are many more costs involved besides just your mortgage payment. There are even more costs than your taxes…there are assessments. If you are used to assessments in your newer condo buildings or in a walk up or recent condo conversion then you’ll be surprised at what you might have to pay to live on the famous drive. Lets take a look.

First lets start in Lakeview, as they have some of the largest buildings along the drive. If we do a search for current condos on the market along LSD in Lakeview we get 155 places. Some are as cheap as $75,000. A studio in 3600 N. Lake Shore Drive for instance is available at that price and the assessment is actually reasonable at only $287/mo. But lets check out some other “Great Deals.”

1 Bedroom at 3900 Lake Shore Drive on the market at only $95,000! Assessment….a whopping $531. This means that if you take out a 30yr mortgage on this property, at current interest rates, your mortgage payment would be less than your Home Owners Association (HOA) assessment and this doesn’t include your taxes.

2 Bedroom at 3950 Lake Shore Drive on the market at only $139,900 and it is actually updated! Assessments though are $597/mo.

Now check out this one

2 Bed / 2 Bath at 3430 N. Lake Shore Drive. Nice sized unit, but it is pretty dated. Price: $175,000. Assessment $833/mo!

Why are assessments so high? The majority of these buildings are older buildings. The older things get the more problems they have. Fixing problems in older buildings are extremely expensive and usually not a one time thing. Replacing elevators for instance can easily cost $250,000 PER Elevator. Replacing windows can cost over $10,000 just for a studio. But then there are other costs as well such as the cost to heat the building (many of these assessments include heat). Since many times the windows are older and the heating systems are inefficient the costs go up.

I am not saying do not buy in these buildings (although there are some with problems that I always do caution against). All I am saying is to KNOW WHAT THE TOTAL COSTS ARE. The reason why many of these buildings have depressed prices are because the assessments are so high.


2 thoughts on “Cheap Condos on Lake Shore Drive?

  1. Paul,
    3600 N Lake Shore Dr, also does not allow unit owners to rent. This rental restriction rule is being challenged in court. Please write a blog about this, I can help you out with some details if you want to share it with everyone. Other unit owners may be very interested that their rights are being violated as well.

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