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Chicago Condo Auctions / Real Estate

The use of real estate auctions by condo developers in Chicago, banks and in some instances even financially distressed home owners as an exit strategy will most likely continue to be a growing trend in 2009. Third quarter 2008 sales of ction Chicago condos were down 82% from the same period in 2007. There was a 56% drop in sales for November 2008 alone compared to sales in November 2007, according to data from the Chicago MLS. With tightening credit, loans coming due and traditional marketing falling short, developers needing to liquidate inventory fast and raise cash are opting for the quick solution of auctioning off their units.

Adding to increasing number of real estate auctions is the rising number of foreclosures. The national foreclosure rate slowed during the last few weeks of 2008, mostly due to the temporary reprieve that both Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac gave their delinquent mortgage holders. Many states also lengthened the legal time for the entire foreclosure process. But RealtyTrac predicts the number of foreclosures will start to rise again in January 2009 as those temporary reprieves are up for troubled homeowners. The estimated number of houses and condos that will fall into foreclosure in 2009 is 2.25 million, according to the Federal Reserve. That's double the normal amount and many of those homes will be put up for auction.

The combination of excess inventory for developers and banks eager to unload foreclosed properties can add up to some pretty good deals for buyers. It's also beneficial for the developer or lender as they can at least recoup some of their money and move on. Many developers are willing to sell the final few units in a building at a much lower price in order to close the book on the project. To that end, some units are often sold "absolute," meaning that they will be sold at that auction no matter how low the highest bid ends up being. Still other banks and developers will put a reserve or minimum amount that they will accept on a condo. In that case they have the right to refuse the highest bid if that bid doesn't meet the minimum reserve price set before the auction.

There are a few things you need to know before going to a real estate auction though. It isn't as simple as showing up and waving your hand as soon as the bidding starts. Generally the process is the same at most auctions. You have to arrive in time to register with the proper photo ID and you usually have to have a cashier's check with you for a pre-determined amount of money. This can vary from one or two thousand to several thousand dollars, depending on the starting bid and the expected selling price. If you are fortunate enough to win an auction, that cashier's check will then go into escrow and you have to produce at least a 10% down payment in typically 10 days from the auction. Proof of financing for the rest of the amount will be required in 30 to 45 days, so it's beneficial to already be approved for a loan before you bid.

As for foreclosure or bank auctions, the time frame is generally shorter than at a developer auction. With these types of sales, a buyer usually must come armed with cash for the down payment or be pre-approved for a loan. A bank-owned or REO sale is when the property owner and mortgage lender agree for the lender to assume control of the condo and sell it. This sometimes happens when a property doesn't sell at a foreclosure auction. REO sales at auctions can net some great deals for buyers but this type of auction occurs less often.

If you are interested in a condo that is coming up for auction, take the time to do some research on the property. The seller or auction company will normally hold an open house before the auction date and also print fact sheets and property descriptions with the necessary legal disclaimers listed. If you want to go the extra mile, you can talk to current residents of a multi-unit building or high-rise or even consult with a real estate broker or contractor about the property coming up for auction. Most auctions are listed well enough in advance to do this.


Grand Plaza Penthouse Auction
August 26, 2010
Location: James Hotel on 55 East Ontario
Registration Start Time: 6:30pm
Bidding To Start: 7:30pm
Auctioneer: Chartwell Group

Open House Dates:
Saturdays and Sundays: 12pm to 4pm
Tuesdays and Thursdays: 6pm to 9pm

Auction Details:
The last ten penthouse units located on floors 32 through 37 at the Grand Plaza on 545 North Dearborn in River North are to be auctioned. Five of those ten will be sold regardless as long as the minimum starting bid is met.

Winning bidders must be able to present Chicago Title with 8% of the total purchase amount by 4:00pm September 2, 2010 and able to close on or before September 30, 2010. A 6% buyer's premium will be added.

Qualified buyers may be able to finance through Lincoln Mortgage & Funding and Perl Mortgage. However, you must be pre-approved with one of the two lenders before the auction and bring an approval letter with you to the auction. Financing on only one condo will be allowed for each mortgage company.

For bidder's packets or more information, contact the Chartwell Group.

Mortgage Options Offered:

80% Loans (APR 4.8%) - Conventional Mortgages for qualified owner occupants and second home buyers.
80% Loans (APR 4.906%) - Jumbo Mortgages for qualifiedowner occupants and second home buyers.
75% Loans (APR 4.906%) - for qualified investors.

Penthouse Finishes:
Granite kitchen islands, full size washer/dryer, ceramic kitchen and bath tile, gas fireplace, high speed Internet, phones and cable, walk-in closets, soaking tubs, wood flooring and individual heat and AC controls.

Building Amenities:
24 hour doorman, bike storage plus club floor with 1/8 mile runing track, fitness center, indoor resistance pool, whirlpool, sauna, steam rooms, lockers and putting greens. There is also an outdoor pool, gardens, sundeck, BBQ area, glassed- in winter garden, business center, library, Internet cafe, party room with kitchen, media room and lounge. The retail shops in the high-rise include a Jewel/Osco and Bed, Bath & Beyond plus other shops and restaurants.

Penthouse Unit Details:

Group A
The first residence chosen in Group A by the Buyer's Choice bidding method is guaranteed to be sold if the final high bid price meets or exceeds the Published Reserve Price, the balance of Group A will be offered With Reserve, Subject to Seller's Acceptance.

Unit W3602 / 2BR/2Bath Penthouse / 1,238 sq ft / 5'x13'4" Terrace or Balcony / Was $652,900 / Reserve Price $345,000 / 52.84% Off / Monthly HOA $875 / Cashier's Check Required $12,500

Unit W3605 / 2BR/2Bath Penthouse / 1,232 sq ft / 5'x13'4" Terrace or Balcony / Was $728,900 / Reserve Price $400,000 / 54.88% Off / Monthly HOA $890 / Cashier's Check Required $12,500

Group B
The first 2 residences chosen in Group A by the Buyer's Choice bidding method is guaranteed to be sold if the final high bid price meets or exceeds the Published Reserve Price, the balance of Group A will be offered With Reserve, Subject to Seller's Acceptance.

Unit W3201 / 2BR/2Bath Penthouse / 1,690 sq ft / 5'x34' & 10'x14'3" Terrace or Balcony / Was $835,900 / Reserve Price $475,000 / 56.82% Off / Monthly HOA $1,171 / Cashier's Check Required $15,000

Unit W3204 / 2BR/2Bath Duplex with Loft / 1,921 sq ft / 10'x23'3" & 5'x15'1" Terrace or Balcony / Was $984,900 / Reserve Price $550,000 / 55.84% Off / Monthly HOA $1,330 / Cashier's Check Required $15,000

Unit W3301 / 2BR/2Bath Penthouse / 1,690 sq ft / 5'x34' Terrace or Balcony / Was $828,900 / Reserve Price $475,000 / 57.30% Off / Monthly HOA $1,181 / Cashier's Check Required $15,000

Unit W3505 / 3BR/2Bath Penthouse / 1,785 sq ft / 5'x28'5" Terrace or Balcony / Was $987,900 / Reserve Price $550,000 / 55.67% Off / Monthly HOA $1,313 / Cashier's Check Required $15,000

Group C
The first residence chosen in Group A by the Buyer's Choice bidding method is guaranteed to be sold if the final high bid price meets or exceeds the Published Reserve Price, the balance of Group A will be offered With Reserve, Subject to Seller's Acceptance.

Unit W3401 / 2BR/2Bath Duplex with Den / 2,507 sq ft / 5'x33'6" & 10'x12'2" & 5'x18'6" Terrace or Balcony / Was $1,265,900 / Reserve Price $695,000 / 54.9% Off / Monthly HOA $1,807 / Cashier's Check Required $25,000

Unit W3406 / 3BR/2Bath Duplex / 2,495 sq ft / 10'10"x34' & 5'x30'6" & 10'x28'1" Terrace or Balcony / Was $1,304,900 / Reserve Price $775,000 / 59.39% Off / Monthly HOA $1,835 / Cashier's Check Required $25,000

Unit W3601 / 2BR/2Bath Duplex with Den / 2,465 sq ft / 5'x34' & 5'x34' Terrace or Balcony / Was $1,285,900 / Reserve Price $695,000 / 54.05% Off / Monthly HOA $1,848 / Cashier's Check Required $25,000

Unit W3604 / 2BR/2Bath Duplex with Den / 2,459 sq ft / 5'x34' & 5'x34' Terrace or Balcony / Was $1,303,900 / Reserve Price $695,000 / 53.3% Off / Monthly HOA $1,879 / Cashier's Check Required $25,000

Upgraded Residences
Unit W3605 - cost of $52,000
Unit W3201 - cost of $24,000
Unit W3204 - cost of $52,000
Unit W3505 - cost of $32,000

 

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