It wasn’t just the overall Chicago real estate market that was sizzling last year. The luxury market for single family homes (I arbitrarily define it as homes selling at or above $4 MM) was on fire too. We may have even set a record but my data only goes back to 2008 so I can’t be sure. But we definitely set a 15 year record for sales in this category with 24 deals closed on the MLS. There were probably a few more closed outside the MLS. By comparison the previous high was 16 MLS deals closed in 2020.
No surprise that 18 of these sales occurred in Lincoln Park with one in Lake View, four in the Near North Side, and one in Hyde Park. The most expensive single family home sold last year was at 1950 N Burling, selling for $12.55 MM compared to the $11.9 MM highest sale for 2020. That made it the second most expensive home sold in Chicago during the last 15 years…the most expensive sale being a neighbor at 1955 N Burling which sold for $13.35 MM back in 2015.
The Burling home is only (check out others in this price range) 8000 square feet but it sits on a massive 90 x 130 lot with 6 bedrooms, 6 full baths, 2 half baths, 2 fireplaces, and a 3 car garage. They spread the house out across the oversized lot with only 2 levels above grade, leaving plenty of room for a generous and carefully manicured outdoor space.
The home was designed and built by BGDC in 2012 and includes the overly complex Control4 home automation system. Property taxes were only $109 K per year which suggests that the home was severely under valued by the Cook County Assessor. Well, Fritz Kaegi fixed that and more than doubled the valuation!
Just to get an idea of the elegant finishes in this home check out the photo below of the walnut paneled study. If you look closely you can see that the doors have a herringbone pattern.
It’s always interesting to examine the sales history on these homes since they exist in such a rarified universe. The home at 1950 N Burling actually sold rather quickly for a home in this price range – in only 209 days. However, it went for quite a discount to list price which was $15 MM. There were no price reductions but maybe the sellers were contemplating one when the offer came in. It was an all cash offer which might have carried some weight.
The second most expensive home, sold for $9.5 MM last year, was the 11,000 square foot home on the triple lot at 1866 N Howe. It had been on the market for only 106 days. It was built in 2004 and previously sold for just a tad over $9 MM in 2013.
The home has 6 bedrooms, 5 full baths, 4 half baths, 2 fireplaces, an elevator, and a 3 car garage. Property taxes were most recently $189 K which seems about right.
Number 3 on the list might be the most interesting, though some of the finishes are a bit “taste specific”. Nevertheless, this home at 2435 N Burling sold for $7.5 MM before it was ever listed on the MLS, although I suspect it was listed privately for $7.6 MM for 53 days before going under contract.
This 10,000 square foot home was designed by Burns & Beyerl and built by LG in 2013 on a double lot for Laurel and Eric Hansen, a private equity executive. (Note that this is the only transaction of the 3 where we know anything about one of the parties. The rest of the parties are hidden behind land trusts.) According to a Crain’s article the home contains design elements borrowed from both London Georgians and woodsy Wyoming homes. Laurel grew up in Wyoming and spent some time in London.
Here is the description from the MLS:
Remarkable custom home on a double lot in Lincoln Park! Designed by Burns & Beyerl and built by LG in 2013, this stunning home with approx. 10,000 square feet offers the ideal space and comfort to live, work and play at home with an indoor basketball court, exercise room, two offices, 8 total fireplaces, a top floor lounge, playroom, large backyard patio and so much more. This spacious home has 5 bedrooms, 6 full bathrooms, 2 powder rooms and features an elevator, gorgeous wide plank European smoked oak hardwood floors, high end finishes throughout, and has a Crestron lighting system. The 2-car heated garage is attached. This absolutely stunning home is situated perfectly in the middle of Lincoln Park just steps to Clark St, Lincoln Ave and Halsted St shops and restaurants, nearby Oz Park, Lincoln Park and the lake.
Here are a few of the more interesting areas of the house, starting with the family room
This is probably the largest and most elegant butler’s pantry I’ve ever seen.
And this third floor Wyoming oasis was paneled with wood reclaimed from a Pennsylvania barn. Yeah, I realize that Wyoming and Pennsylvania are in two very different parts of the country. While this is gorgeous it’s the kind of customization from which seller’s usually don’t recover their investment.
Property taxes were listed as only $64 K so it’s another Joe Berrios screwup. I’m sure Fritz Kaegi fixed it this last iteration but the assessor’s site is not working right now so I can’t tell you.
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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.