It’s been 4 1/2 years since I told The Sad But Colorful Story Of Frank Thomas’ Massive Oak Brook Mansion. In case, like me 4 1/2 years ago, you haven’t heard of Frank Thomas before…he was a baseball player for the White Sox. At that time it had just sold for the 3rd time to Michael Sahli – a realtor, developer, and investor – for $2.3 MM. But it went on the market again 40 days ago, listed by Mr. Sahli at $5.95 MM which is $2 MM below what it sold for in 2003, and it’s already under contract as of last Tuesday. Of course we don’t yet know the sales price but I found it interesting that it sold so quickly.
It’s also very interesting how much better the home looks this time around. Check out the slideshow below but give it a minute to fully load so you can flip through it without leaving this page. The last couple of times it was clear that the home had seen better days. It looked like it was in a state of disrepair, the landscaping had clearly been neglected, the pools were covered, and there was extraneous “stuff” in the photos. In fact, the photos were just horrible – dark, poorly framed, and no captions. We shoot better photos for $200K condos. Who hires these realtors and why?
The description says:
A rare once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own an impressive rarely available PRIVATE ROAD ESTATE situated on over three pristine acres, in the Heart of centrally located Oak Brook with highly sought-after Hinsdale schools. This majestic, extremely secluded 27,000+ square foot resort-like estate has absolutely everything you could dream of and more. Entering through the wrought iron gates to the grand circular driveway, which surrounds the tranquil fountain that is centered to the front entrance of the house which was completely renovated in 2017. Enter the grand foyer with soaring 28-foot ceilings and dual grand staircases, a huge luxurious 5-star owner’s suite features a sitting/family room that overlooks the pool with remote curtains, remote drop-down T.V, walnut wet bar with wine cooler, dual vanities, soak-in tub, his & Hers toilets & bidet, 12-person hot tub, artistically designed luxury HUGE his & Hers boutique-like walk-in closets. All En-suite bedrooms with walk-in closets and bathrooms, the fabulous kitchen includes custom stainless-steel cabinetry, commercial-grade appliances, a large island, and a breakfast bar. Butler’s pantry with 3 wine coolers, warming drawers, microwave, and dishwasher. Generous size dining room with a marble table that comfortably sits 14 people, and a 43′ x 33′ great room. The First-floor marble floors and the lower level have radiant heated floors. The lower level features an indoor basketball court, a 14-seat theatre, over 1500 square foot gym with floor to ceiling mirrors, a 12-person steam room, massage room, a chef’s kitchen, your own hair salon, a full bar, wine cellar, and a cigar room with commercial filtration system. Heated dual garages for 8 cars and a whole house diesel generator. The spectacular grounds of this estate include two in-ground swimming pools, a spa, a waterfall, and a pool house complete with 2 full baths, lockers, a built-in grill, and a hibachi grill.
Now notice that the description says it was completely renovated. Despite the dramatic improvement in the appearance of the home I don’t think they did much in the way of actual renovation. The previous set of photos were so awful it’s actually hard to compare them but if you look closely it appears as though very little was actually changed other than a few counter tops and some decorating – e.g. paint, carpet and drapes. And they fixed the landscaping. Yet, with the right photographs, the home looks night and day better than it did last time. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mr. Sahli is making a very nice profit on this sale.
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 or get an insider’s view of the seamy underbelly of the real estate industry 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.