In the interest of full disclosure I’m going to be selling my East Ukrainian Village home in the spring so I have a vested interest in the neighborhood having high home prices. But that’s how I stumbled across this very odd home sale at 1951 W Huron. My wife and I watch all the comparable home sales in the neighborhood very closely.
So we were shocked and dismayed when we saw this “4500 sq ft”, 5 bedroom, 3 1/2 bath house listed for only $1.25 MM. Given that the house had been nicely updated (more on that later) my wife and I were thinking it should have been listed at no less than $1.35 MM with a final sale price above $1.3 MM. In fact, given some recent sales in the neighborhood, it could have easily sold above $1.35 MM. For instance, a much smaller home at 1850 W Superior just sold for $1.4 MM. But the home at 1951 W Huron sold for $1.235 MM after only 2 days on the market (further evidence that it was underpriced).
But here’s the real kicker. The home was purchased in 2016 for $1,345,000 when it was outdated. The buyers easily overpaid at least $150K for the home back then. You’ll have to take my word for it since I’m not going to run comps back then but it had been on the market for 168 days without a price reduction. In fact, this home caught my attention at that time because it sold in late 2016 for $630,000 over its purchase price and I felt compelled to post about that sale. So what do you think?
I estimate that the buyers (today’s sellers) then proceeded to pump at least $150K into some very nice and smart updates of the home including refinishing the floors, painting, new light fixtures, smart updates to the kitchen, and updating several bathrooms. Check out the photos of the finished product at the bottom of this post.
One other odd thing. Supposedly the home gained 400 square feet between the time it was purchased and when it was sold. Back in 2016 the home was listed as having only 4100 square feet but most recently it was listed as having 4500 square feet. In reality, it’s hard to get more than 4300 square feet on one of these lots and that’s assuming you have an extended basement. Therefore, I believe the real number is 4300.
So, it looks to me like the sellers took quite a hit. Total investment = $1.345 + $.15 = $1.495. With a final sales price of $1.235 MM that’s a $260 K loss and that’s before transaction costs. That’s unusual in today’s market. How did they let that happen?
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.