Everyone loves a good house hunt, especially when you're not the one buying. That's why we thought it would be fun to stage our own home search in a popular metropolis; for a buyer we, well, made up.
We created a fictional profile for an imaginary millennial buyer, complete with fake hobbies and a dog to boot, to see what properties real agents would come up with. We found three prominent Chicago brokers who were game for our fanciful quest, and searched the city for real listings based solely on our buyer's profile. From a lakeside high-rise to a downtown condo with pool access, here is what our real estate agents picked for our phony house hunt.
Here's What Our Fake Profile Looked Like...
Relationship Status: Single
Pets: One small dog
Hobbies: Jogging, dining out, seeing art, and listening to music
Walk-able neighborhood, close to public transportation, coffee shops with Wi-Fi, centrally located grocery store, accessible parking
At least one proper bedroom, a decent-sized bathroom (with tub), a dishwasher, and laundry
No carpet, no major renovations necessary
Could they do it? Could these brokers find a home that fit the bill? Let's see what they came up with:
Listing: 3660 N. Lake Shore Dr. #3706 (above)
Bathrooms: 1 (full)
Square Feet: 720
Asking Price: $269,000
Why is this home a good find for our buyer? "I believe it's a great fit for your buyer, because it meets every single one of their needs and is still under budget"
How would they use it? "The building is incredibly pet friendly and is located in the Lakeview neighborhood, which features the famous lake shore path, perfect for a scenic run."
Why would they like it? "It's also walking distance to three grocery stores, the Lake Shore bus and red line El train, multiple coffee shops and great restaurants. This particular unit also has garage parking included in the price of $269,000."
Listing: 1111 S Wabash Ave Unit 605 (above)
Bathrooms: 2 (1 full/ 1 half)
Square Feet: 943
Asking Price: $269,900
Why is this home a good find for our buyer? "Located in Chicago's South Loop area, his unit is just 1 block off of the Green, Orange, Red line trains. Michigan Ave Bus, Clark Bus, and Roosevelt bus/train stop hub. Also located blocks from the Metra commuter train. There are two grocery stores located 1 block from the building (Jewel & Trader Joes)."
How would they use it? "This particular unit has a HUGE private terrace (as well as access to a massive rooftop deck). And although there are three gyms located just blocks away, you can save money by utilizing the building's swimming pool instead. You are also just two blocks off of the south end of Grant Park, where you can take your dog to the dog park."
Why would they like it? "You'd be a couple of blocks from Target, Whole Foods, TJ Maxx, Best Buy, Home Depot, Bed Bath and Beyond, and all kinds of other awesome shopping. There's also in-unit laundry, a spacious bedroom, tons of closet space and low taxes! This unit is listed at 269k, with parking for an additional $30k. However, with my fierce negotiation skills, you would get this place for $285-295k (including parking), which you easily rent out to other tenants for extra income if you don't have a car."
Listing: 4127 North Keeler Avenue Unit 201S (above)
Bathrooms: 1 (full)
Square Feet: 1,000
Asking Price: $184,500
Why is this home a good find for our buyer? "At $184,500, this Old Irving oasis affords you a neighborly atmosphere and assigned parking. This unit comes in well under budget yet overflows with upscale features. The newly renovated 2 bedroom 1 bath impresses with a Kohler tub, waterproof flooring, and in-unit laundry, while its location offers endless convenience."
How would they use it? "There's tons of entertainment and shopping within walking distance, which allows you to maximize your daily routine. There are also several nearby public transportation lines (CTA Blue Line), which grants you easy access to other culture hubs."
Why would they like it? "You can hole up with your laptop at local favorite Backlot Coffee or Starbucks—both under a half mile jaunt. Just a half-mile more, and you'll find Jewel for the weekly grocery shop. Meet friends at Old Irving Park Brewing Co., or browse the classics and newer releases at Raffe's Record Riot. And we haven't forgotten about your pup. Walk him or her to Independence Park (just over a half mile away), or jog through the community's collection of public murals."