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Tips for Buying a Chicago Penthouse

Chicago Penthouses

Penthouse condos in Chicago typically offer enviable views, like this one from The Legacy at Millennium Park.

Penthouse Condos in Chicago for Every Budget

Starting around $400,000 and going upwards of $5 million, penthouse units and condos in Chicago are available in a wide budget range, going from top-floor homes in unique vintage buildings to the ultra-luxury condos high above the city.

In my nearly 25 years working in Chicago real estate, I’ve come across countless buyers who are interested in what many consider to be the crème de la crème of condo living: the penthouse unit.

But not all penthouses are created equal, especially in Chicago where the type of unit, price and layout can vary greatly from building to building. But some of the city’s best neighborhoods are ideal locations to find a penthouse unit, including Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Old Town, Streeterville, Gold Coast and Bucktown. These coveted neighborhoods can have penthouse units that range anywhere from $550,000 to more than $5 million.*

The Best Neighborhoods for Chicago Penthouses

Chicago’s most enviable neighborhoods are also great locations to find penthouses in a range of prices. Some of the top locations to find a luxury penthouse include:

Lake View: Penthouses range in price from approximately $350,000 to almost $1 million.

Search Lake View Penthouses for Sale

Lincoln Park: Penthouses range in price from $400,000 to $1 million

Search Lincoln Park Penthouses for Sale

Old Town/Near North: From $425,000 to $1.6 million

Search Near North Penthouses for Sale

Here’s a look at some of the different types of penthouses you’ll find in Chicago:

Chicago Penthouses in a 3- or 4-Flat

Typical square footage: 1,300 to 1,600 square feet
Lot size: 25 x 125 feet
A three- or four-flat building typically offer the standard penthouse, and its usually the most expensive in the building. It might come with roof rights or a private roofdeck that can be accessed throught the penthouse or a common hallway.

Wide-lot 3- or 4-Flat

Typical square footage: 1,600 square feet
Typical lot size: 37.5 feet wide
A wide lot means more horizontal space. Condos—and penthouses—in these buildings feel bigger and typically have the highest resale value when compared to other types of Chicago condos. These units also often boast features like high ceilings and outdoor space.

6- to 8-Flat

Typical square footage: 1,600 to 1,800 square feet
Typical lot size: 50 feet x 125 feet
The position of a building like this allows for lavish space and often a private roof deck, making it one of the most coveted condo types. Penthouses in a 6- to 8-flat might expand the entire floor of a building. The expansive horizontal space in a penthouse often equals better resale value than properties located on the lower floors of the same building.

Duplex Penthouses

Typical square footage: 1,600 to 1,800 square feet
Typical lot size: 50 feet x 125 feet
There are a number of things that set duplex penthouses apart from the rest: dramatically high ceilings in the living space, a small private deck instead of a roof deck, etc. These condos are usually found in a 3-flat or 6-flat but may also be in wide-lot 8-flats as well.

Small Building Penthouses

In smaller buildings, the price range for penthouse units can vary. Masonry buildings, for example, tend to be more expensive than those built with block. Higher priced penthouses usually include ceilings of 9-plus feet, high-end millwork, brand-name appliances and hardwood floors throughout.

High-Rise Penthouses in Chicago

A penthouse unit in large, high-rise buildings are everything a luxury buyer wants. Ceilings at least 9 feet tall (though I would recommend 10-feet or higher), brand-name luxury appliances, generous square footage and coveted outdoor space. This type of condo usually has higher monthly assessments due to increased services and amenities. The units here are often ideal for showcasing artwork, thanks to tall ceilings and ample wall space; they are also the best way to get a spectacular panoramic view of the lake and city, since most high-rise penthouses offer incredible views of the city below.

If you’re in the market for a Chicago penthouse condo, email me with your price range, neighborhood and other details of what you’re looking for and I’ll send over photos and a list of available units for you to check out.

*Price changes are approximate and subject to change.

 

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