You may have heard that the high end of the Chicago real estate market was really smoking hot in 2018 but the reality was a bit more tepid. Don't get me wrong. 2018 appears to have had more uber-expensive activity than 2017 with 14 home sales above $4 MM (my arbitrary cutoff) compared to 2017's 11 sales or 2016's 9 sales. And the most expensive home sale of 2017 was a mere $7.5 MM compared to 2018's $11.9 MM whopper. But I'm not convinced that any of that qualifies as smoking hot. After all, we've hit 14 sales above $4 MM in the not too distant past (a few 12 month stretches in 2015 and 2016) and the market time on these sales was not spectacularly low.
Nevertheless, it's fun to look at what kind of homes the demonized are buying, all of which are unsurprisingly located in either Lincoln Park or the Near North Side. At the top of the list is the 8000 sq ft home that sits on nearly 4 lots (90 x 130) at 1950 N Burling with the following MLS description:
Classically designed by BGD&C, this beautiful home was completed 2013. Encompasses 3 oversized city lots totaling 90' x 130'. Sunny south facing side lot with 39’ Terrace & adjacent Grilling Area off Great Room. Wonderful huge lawn, formal garden and Patio, all surrounded by lush trees for ultimate privacy. Property situated on renowned Burling St in heart of Lincoln Park. 8000 sqft on 2 levels, including beautifully finished Lower Level. Width of house allows for center entrance. Refined formal rooms on either side of Reception Foyer. Unforgettable impact as you enter Chef’s Kitchen, Casual Dining & family sized Great Room, all leading to Terrace thru 9’ palladium style doors. 4 private family En-Suite BRs on Upper Level. Serene Master Suite has Sitting Room, exquisite white marble bath, large walk-in closets. Laundry on Upper & Lower Levels. 2 add'l BR Suites, Wine Rm, Rec Rm, Office, 2 Storage Rooms on Lower Level. No detail overlooked. Proof of Funds required prior to showing.
Here are the major factoids on the home:
- Built in 2012
- 6 bedrooms
- 6 full baths, 2 half baths
- 2 fireplaces
- 3 car garage
- Only 3 floors
- 2017 property taxes of $87,000
Originally listed at $12.95 MM it sold for $11.9 MM in only 77 days.
There are a couple of unusual aspects to this home. First, notice that, unlike almost every other house in the city over $1 MM, the very front of the house is not gated. I find that highly unusual for one of the most expensive homes in the city. Second, 8000 sq ft seems a bit light for such a high price tag but a lot of the money went into the outdoors and they kept it to just 3 floors, meaning it has a larger footprint.
I've included a slide show of several of the home's photos below. The very traditional and elegant design elements are typical of homes in this price range.
In true Joe Berrios style the 2017 property taxes were based upon a market value of just over $4 MM. However, the 2018 assessment places it at $5.3 MM. Hmmm. I hope Fritz Kaegi is paying attention.
The buyer of the home is hiding behind a trust but the previous owner, who presumably built it, was Conrad and Elizabeth Von Petterfy who own Schenker Storen, a blind, awning and shutter company in Switzerland.
The second most expensive house sale of 2018 was a newly constructed 8761 sq ft house (technically bigger than the Burling home) at 1825 N Howe on a 33 x 124 lot which sold for not quite $6.8 MM. This home had 7 bedrooms, 7 full baths, and 1 half bath with 3 fireplaces and a 3 car garage. As a new home property taxes are indeterminate at this time.
And the third most expensive house sold in Chicago last year was a 7800 sq ft home built in 2009 on a 30 x 125 lot at 1841 N Orchard. It was listed at $6.1 MM but had been on the market for over 500 days, starting in September 2016 when it was initially listed for $8.1 MM. It sold in May for just over $5.6 MM to Steve and Tracy Cahillane. Steve is likely the CEO of Kellogg, though they are based in Battle Creek, MI so maybe he's going to commute?
The home has 5 bedrooms, 5 full baths, and 2 half baths with 2 fireplaces on 4 levels. Supposedly it has a 4 car garage but at less than 28 feet wide I don't see how you squeeze 4 cars in there. 2017 property taxes were $64,000 based on a $3 MM valuation but the valuation got kicked up to $5.6 MM for 2018.
This year's list of most expensive home sales also includes a foreclosure larger than the top 3 sales of last year which sold for $4.65 MM after being on and off the market going back to October 2011. The Theurer-Wrigley House at 2466 N Lakeview is 13,705 sq ft with 9 bedrooms, 6 full baths, and 3 half baths on an 83 x 117 lot in a fairly congested area. Dennis Rodkin wrote up a nice overview of the history of this house in Crain's when it sold: Wrigley mansion sold by foreclosing lender.
Created with flickr slideshow.
Gary Lucido is the President of Lucid Realty, the Chicago area's full service real estate brokerage that offers home buyer rebates and discount commissions. If you want to keep up to date on the Chicago real estate market, get an insider's view of the seamy underbelly of the real estate industry, or you just think he's the next Kurt Vonnegut you can Subscribe to Getting Real by Email using the form below. Please be sure to verify your email address when you receive the verification notice.