Million Dollar University Village Foreclosure Closes Only 10% Below Bubble Peak

1420 S Emerald ExteriorEver since this single family home at 1420 S Emerald in University Village went into foreclosure I’ve had my eye on it, trying to guess what it was going to sell for. My guess was that there was no way it was going to sell for more than $1 MM. In fact, I had the price below $1 MM. After all, it sold for $1,253,307 back in December, 2007, having gone under contract exactly at the bubble peak in September, 2006. So $1 MM would have been a 20% decline in a market where the average Chicago home has fallen 35% since the market peak. Not to mention that another single family foreclosure down the block at 1454 S Emerald sold for $801,000 back in August.
So you can imagine my surprise when this home was listed at $1.35 MM and then finally sold for $1.12 MM just a few days ago. Let’s take a closer look at this home and the one down the street to see what you think. Do you think the buyers of 1420 got taken to the cleaners or maybe the buyers of 1454 just got a really good deal? (BTW, I bid on 1454 and came close to getting it but walked away because we didn’t think we needed a house that big – deal or no deal. Now we regret it.)

1420 S Emerald – Closed At $1.12 MM

As with 1454 S Emerald this one is on the better side of the street. After foreclosure the house was trashed so the bank rehabbed it. As described in the MLS listing:

Stunning Custom SFH in University Village.Top of the line finishes in every room. 4Br 3.5 Ba home w/ 3 Car Gar. Marble floors in Formal Liv/Din Rm,custom designed eat -in kitchen & butler pantry. FR has gas fireplace w/built-ins. Dramatic floating staircase. Deluxe Mstr ste w/Infinity Soaking Tub & sky light & deck. Lower level with custom bar, spa bath w/sauna, theater room & many special features.

Here are a few key stats:

  • 4299 square feet
  • 4 bedrooms
  • 3 1/2 baths

As you can see in the pictures below the finishes were a bit over the top and frankly a bit odd. Like the marble floor throughout the entire first floor, the dark wood trim, and the commercial looking staircase.
1420 S Emerald Living Dining Room
And that’s the dining room with that weird star pattern.
1420 S Emerald Star Pattern
The photo below shows the kitchen from a distance.
1420 S Emerald Kitchen

1454 S Emerald – Closed At $801K

This home also needed a bit of work but it was mostly paint, carpet, and minor repairs and it was up to the buyer to take care of the repairs. I believe the appliances were intact but some needed repairs and there may have been a missing oven. If I recall we estimated we would have to put about $50K into it. The finishes were far more pedestrian but nice. It had hardwood floors and stainless steel appliances with the requisite granite. The key stats:

  • 4216 square feet
  • 6 bedrooms
  • 3 1/2 baths

You tell me what happened here.

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