What Will $1 Million Get You in Chicago?

If you’re looking in downtown Chicago, chances are $1 million will get you a condo, while the same amount can get you a house in a different neighborhood.

With a metro population of more than 9.5 million and a sprawl that physically covers thousands of miles, Chicago has quite the variety to offer prospective homeowners.

That said, while $1 million can go far, it depends a lot upon where you look - and what exactly you’re looking for.

“Homebuyers in Chicago looking to buy residential properties priced at $1 million have a variety of options from luxury condominiums to modern single family homes in West Town,” Chicago real estate broker Rafael Murillo said in an email. “Luxury can also mean different things for different people. Some people are willing to pay a premium to live in the downtown area and sacrifice square footage, while some buyers prefer to go a little west into West Town for a brand new construction single-family home.”

Murillo adds that in neighborhoods like the Gold Coast or Lincoln Park, $1 million will yield an outdated single family home.

The median home value in Chicago is $226,300, according to a Zillow report that showed data through August 31, 2018. The same report found that Chicago home values went up 2.4 percent over the past year and Zillow predicted they would further rise by 7.1 percent over the subsequent year. The data spanned the Chicago metropolitan area.

A quick look through websites such as Zillow, Trulia and Redfin will show similar trends: $1 million will more likely get you a condo - often a nice condo, to be sure - the closer you live to downtown Chicago. Going further away from the hustle and bustle of downtown will pretty much yield the same results, but those condos are likely to be a little bit bigger with more bedrooms and bathrooms.

In Chicago’s River North neighborhood, $1 million condos are practically a dime a dozen. A current Trulia listing in that neighborhood is for a three-bedroom, two bathroom classic timber loft for $1 million. You’ll also get lucky if you find a place with more than one bedroom. (The good news: Several places with just one bedroom that are currently listed actually have two bathrooms, which means your space will be perfect for entertaining.)

Also located in River North is a two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo, currently listed on Zillow for $950,000, which would be under budget and not a terrible deal. The good news is that pretty much anywhere in Chicago, $1 million will get you more than one bedroom, if that provides any kind of comfort.

A three-bedroom, three-bathroom condo in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood is currently listed for $1 million. At 2,535 square feet in a fancy high rise building with tons of amenities, you could do far worse.

Now, if you want a house - as in, a property that is entirely yours and not shared with another person, as you would find in a condo building - you’ll need to go above $1 million. Not by much, depending on what neighborhood you look at, but it will likely be more than $1 million.

Trulia currently lists a five-bedroom, four bathroom single-family home in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood for $1,099,999. Even less over-budget is a five-bedroom, four-bathroom single-family home in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. Listed on Trulia for $1,075,000, this brownstone has gone up tremendously in real estate value over the past 18 years, according to the listing.

In Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood, which is probably best known for being the home of that comedy mecca The Second City, Trulia currently lists a three-bedroom, three-bathroom house for $1,350,000. Not bad considering the relatively high prices in the area, especially for renting.

Chicago may have an expensive housing market, but if you’re flexible, you can definitely find the right space to suit your needs for $1 million.