By Liam Millerick
Living in Beverly/Morgan Park is a unique experience, especially when compared to other city neighborhoods. Much of our housing is low-density, historic single-family homes built in the early 1900s, which is a far cry from the towering apartment complexes one might see in other areas of Chicago. Part of what makes our neighborhood so special is the people who choose to live here. It’s not uncommon for people to live in Beverly/Morgan Park for 30 years or more. New residents are drawn by the fact that the area is less transient and more a place where they can put down long-term roots and call home.
A community focused website called Niche ranks Beverly/Morgan Park among the best neighborhoods in Chicago to raise families, with Beverly listed as the third best neighborhood in the city for people looking to buy homes. The website, which searches through large amounts of census, crime, and housing data to generate reports on communities across the county, attributes this ranking to our general low crime rate, accessibility, diverse nightlife options, and, above all, our affordability. According to the website, Beverly/Morgan Parks also boasts impressive safety statistics, with fewer property crimes compared to the national averages.
Bill Biros of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/Biros Real Estate, operates one of the community’s largest local real estate companies and claims the local housing market “increased dramatically” in the last few weeks of April. Many of the homes on the market are in good condition but generally, he says, there are two types of properties being sold: homes that are completely remodeled and homes in need of updates.
The completely finished homes are more likely to be bought by young couples who don’t have the time or desire to finish a large-scale housing project. Houses in need of rehab and modernization are more likely to go to developers who are willing and able to spend the time, energy and resources such projects require.
Rich Fitzgerald of Fitzgerald Real Estate, another local company, concurs with this assessment. “Buyers like everything well done and well cared for, and don’t necessarily have the time for major projects,” he said, noting that generally, houses that offer newer amenities and are in good overall condition are the homes more likely to sell.
Michele Pettiford, a neighborhood resident and agent with Coldwell Banker Homes in Oak Lawn, noted that many of the new buyers in Beverly/Morgan Park are coming from all over the city, and many are new to the area.
According to Pettiford, these homebuyers tend to be in their late 20s and early 30s and are looking for a great community to begin planting roots and raising a family. “Many are drawn to our neighborhood because of the charm, history, ease of access to downtown, low housing prices, and most importantly the sense of community that they feel while visiting,” she said.
Pettiford added that many of prospective buyers visiting Beverly/Morgan Park sense that this is a community that cares and supports local businesses, and has good public and private school options.
Bill Biros agreed with this assessment, claiming that there have been “quite a few new people to Beverly” and a rise in “discoveries” in the local housing market.
Many of these newcomers said they either met someone from this area or heard of Beverly/Morgan Park somewhere, which is “a very good sign,” Biros says. This recent notoriety has led to a surge in home purchases compared to previous years.
Biros reported a 5% increase so far between 2018 and 2019, with a bigger increase expected as the year progresses.
“Prices are headed in the right direction”, he said, which he attributes to more information being available to buyers now to educate them on what a fair market value is for a particular home. These days, buyers tend to do a lot of research when it comes to buying homes and tend not to bite at properties listed above a fair market price.
Local price points, Fitzgerald said, range across the board depending on location and property conditions. Biros and Pettiford both say that homes that are fairly priced and in good condition often don’t stay on the market very long. Both Pettiford and Fitzgerald indicated the need for more local properties, as the fast-moving housing market is starting to generate low-inventory for buyers.
For those looking to sell their homes in Beverly/Morgan Park, these realtors have a few tips.
Fitzgerald recommends that sellers should “be doing all the little repairs and updates they have been meaning to get around to” and advises that nothing smells better than a clean house.
Biros recommends that if buyers are looking for closing cost credit, sellers should look at the net price when considering.
For those looking to buy homes, all three realtors stress that working with a local real estate agent is the best move to make.
“We bring a wealth of experience and knowledge of the market to best assist our buyers. We can introduce them to aspects of home buying that they may not be aware of,” Fitzgerald said.
“It’s always easier to sell your own neighborhood, and local realtors know the area and know the right price points. For buyers, clients of the local realtors are the first to get notified about new listings and can get a jump on the market within an hour,” Biros said.
“I see agents coming in with buyers and they can’t speak to the events going on in the community that bring everyone together. For me, my clients are not just clients – they are my new neighbors. It’s my job as not just the local realtor but as someone who chooses to live here, volunteer here, and raise my family here – to help them feel welcome,” Pettiford said.
With large grassy lots, wide tree-lined streets, and neighbors who will stop and chat with you, Beverly/Morgan Park has historically had a strong, healthy real estate market that gives residents great pride in their homes, a strong sense of community, good local businesses, and excellent school. It’s no wonder that people from all over Chicago are choosing Beverly/Morgan Park as the place to raise their families.
Real Estate Contact Information:
Bill Biros,Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/Biros Real Estate, 708--422-0011