T Nation

Buying a Place in Downtown Chicago

Hey all,

By the end of next summer, I want to be living somewhere in downtown Chicago. Currently, I live in the suburbs and want to try something new for a few years. I’m 24 years old and I don’t want to rent as I’d like to make some money on the place in this economy.

Now here’s my question: where are good places to live in downtown chicago? I’m currently looking at Lakeview and Lincoln park areas as well as some lofts in the loop. Ideally, I’d like a loft looking place with a patio, but with my spending budget between 170k-190k, I don’t know what I could get. I can put about 20-25k down for the downpayment.

Also, in this economy, how much do you think I could get the price down in chicago? I’ve heard I could get as much as 20k off, but I have trouble seeing that.

btw - I’ve been doing searching, so I’m not being lazy. I just don’t know the best areas to buy for what I’m looking for and my price range.


Not to put a fire under your ass or anything, but if you went with an FHA loan, you would only put down 3.5% of the sales price. The problem is that the new regulations that keep rolling out and fucking up the industry will prohibit “spot approvals” for FHA loans for condos that are not already in a pre-approved building.

This regulation goes into effect Nov 1 this year. In other words, get a ratified contract in BEFORE the end of september. Your FHA case number has to be ordered BEFORE 9 pm on the last day of September. That’s still plenty of time to find a condo that you like and write an offer.

I am not licensed in Illinois nor do I have any financial interest this what so ever - I just wanted to point out an upcoming regulation that could fuck you up and try to help a fellow “t-nationite” to save a few thousand dollars.

Thanks Chicken! I’m still trying to learn about all that comes with buying a new place. So what you’re saying is that in order to get a FHA loan (after Nov 1st), I need to get a condo that’s already pre-approved? Are most not pre-approved? I know for sure I won’t have enough for the down payment by then, so I’m wondering how this will effect me.

I live in Chicago. There are some good places along LSD that are pretty reasonable right now…mainly on the Gold Coast. When you say Lakeview, where in Lakeview do you mean? Close to the Wrigleyville area of Lakeview? Or nearer the actual lake?