July Was a Sizzling Month for Chicago Home Sales

Spring is typically when we see the real estate market in Chicago come on strong. When we arrive at July and August, typically the market slows down considerably, but this July was certainly not the case.

Sales for luxury single-family homes in Chicago were just outstanding in July. There were 81 luxury homes sold—those sold for more than $1 million—and a whopping 17 of those were over the $2 million mark. Total sales volume for the month was $136 million.

So where was all of the action happening? Lincoln Park was certainly at the center of this sales surge. More than half of those top 17 $2+ million sales were in Lincoln Park, including the most expensive sale of the month. Another common denominator among the top sales is lot size. Wider lots are what luxury buyers are looking for, and a home on a larger lot than the standard 25 feet x 125 feet definitely differentiates itself from the rest.

To see photos and details of the homes that sold last month, just contact me with your name and email address, and I will be happy to send you each and every one. That way, you can get an idea of what you might be looking for when you buy a Chicago luxury home.

Here are the details on the top five luxury single-family homes that sold in Chicago last month, in descending order:

2224daytonst2224 N Dayton St
Original list price: $3.565 million
Sold price: $4.75million
This stately 6-bedroom home sits on a 35-foot-wide lot, which allows it to have 5,900 square feet of living space. It’s also on one of Lincoln Park’s—if not the city of Chicago’s—prettiest blocks. The home features a vintage façade, with a fully renovated interior that retained classic features inside like antique mantles, leaded glass and moldings. The luxe master suite includes a stunning bath and custom closets. A penthouse study features a vaulted ceiling, wet bar, and a large deck with skyline views. Other stunning features include a rec/media room, exercise room, an exquisite garden/side yard and two laundry rooms.

1733NorthPark1733 N North Park Ave
Original list price: $3.95 million
Sold price: $3.6 million
Another extra-wide (31 ½ feet) in Old Town, this 5-bedroom, 5,900 square foot home features remarkable details and craftsmanship. This historic home recently underwent a complete gut rehab to feature a luxe master suite with steam shower, 4 additional bedrooms each with a private bath, separate living room, dining room and library, four fireplaces, a wine cellar, and a landscaped yard with putting green and a spectacular roof deck above a 3-car garage.

1825NCleveland1825 N Cleveland Ave
Original list price: $3.9 million
Sold price: $3.28 million
Having undergone a number of recent upgrades, this spectacular East Lincoln Park home was completely move-in ready for this buyer. With 5 bedrooms and 6,200 square feet, this home features gorgeous finishes and millwork throughout. There is also an attached garage, mud room, 2-story patio, 4,800-bottle walk-in wine room with tasting area, and a number of other upgrades.

1753WWabansia1753 W Wabansia Ave
Original list price: $3.295 million
Sold price: $3.15 million
This brand-new Chicago luxury home was just completed on a 48-foot wide lot in Bucktown. Designed in a transitional style, the home features rich hardwood flooring, impressive millwork, a huge custom kitchen, a private first-floor study, sauna, wine cellar, over 1,000 square feet of yard space and 3,000 square feet of deck space.

3624NJanssen3624 N Janssen Ave
Original list price: $3.495 million
Sold price: $3.1 million
Another new construction home. Another extra-wide lot. This Southport home has everything Chicago luxury buyers are looking for, with 7 bedrooms, 7,200 square feet and a bevy of features: media room, professional-grade kitchen, massive family room, yard and deck above huge 3-car garage, spa-caliber baths, an incredible master suite and much more.

As I mentioned before, don’t hesitate to contact me to learn more about the other homes that were sold last month or to see additional details about these top 5. It’s a great list for potential buyers to review and understand what’s going on in the market. For more information, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Chicago July Luxury Condo Sales Are Terrific

The summer continues to soar in the Chicago luxury condo market. In July, there were 50 sales of luxury condominiums—those sold for $1 million or higher—for a total of $83 million in sales volume. Of those 50 sales, 10 of them were sold for more than $2 million, showing that the “ultra-luxury” market is alive and well.

If you’re searching for a Chicago luxury condo, looking at the prior month’s sales is a great place to start. I can send you the top 25 properties via email  that sold last month, along with photos and details, to give you a bird’s eye view of condos that are selling and let you compare square footage and price to your own budget. Just email me with your name and email address and I will send that to you right away.

Staying in the loop of recent Chicago real estate sales will only work in your favor as a future buyer. You’ll have an idea of property values and available amenities and be able to use that to construct your own real estate wish list and evaluate properties during your search.

With that, here’s a detailed look at the top five Chicago luxury condos that sold last month, in descending order:

209 E Lake Shore Dr209 E Lake Shore Dr., Unit 7E
Original list price: $4.995 million
Sold price: $4.5 million
The most expensive sale last month was this 5,900-square foot co-op on the coveted Lake Shore Drive. Renovated by top Chicago architecture and design firm Marvin Herman & Associates, this 3-bedroom unit is thoughtful and meticulous down to every detail. A stately living room and dining room share a paneled library and views of the lake and city below. Other stunning rooms include a custom kitchen and breakfast room, a master suite with attached sitting room, his and her baths and dressing rooms; and an Italian walnut paneled media room.

Palmolive Building in Chicago159 E Walton Pl., Unit 19A
Original list price: $4.9 million
Sold price: $4.4 million
One of the most iconic condo buildings in Chicago: The Palmolive. This spectacular 3 bedroom spans a whopping 4,700 square feet on the 19th floor, with unobstructed views of Lake Michigan and Michigan Avenue to boot. Inside, you’ll find exquisite attention to detail, from the hardwood floors to the custom office to the eat-in area that overlooks the lake. Other features include a gracious formal dining room, spacious kitchen with top-of-the-line appliances, a grand master suite with sitting room, luxe bath and whirlpool tub and 2 parking spots.

The Elysian Residences11 E Walton St., Unit 3001
Original list price: $3.75 million
List price: $3.75 million
This 4,000 square foot 3-bedroom in the Waldorf Astoria is perfect for both everyday living and formal entertaining. The grandly scaled living room offers panoramic views and opens up into a dining room and terrace. The master suite includes walk-in closet, an office/study and another private terrace. Residents of the Waldorf Astoria can also enjoy the 5-star amenities and services from the adjacent Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

lp-25502550 N Lakeview Ave, Unit S32-02
Original list price: $3.499 million
Sold price: $3.1 million
This building is certainly no stranger to our tops sales lists each month. It’s been one of the most popular addresses among luxury buyers seeking new construction in Chicago, as 2550 Lincoln Park is one of the newer projects in the city. This 32nd-floor 3-bedroom features spectacular lake, city and park views, plus 2 covered terraces, a fantastic floor plan, large gourmet chef’s kitchen and a luxurious master suite. Other details include 10.9-foot ceilings, crown moldings and millwork and a number of high-end finishes and appliances.

445445 E North Water St, Unit 2205
Original list price: $3.195 million
Sold price: $2.730 million
The owner of this 3,983 square foot condominium spent $1 million in upgrades on this stunning, custom 3-bedroom unity with exquisite detail and workmanship. High on the 22nd floor, the unit boasts 180-degree north, south and east views of the river, lake and city. Features include two balconies, a study, separate laundry room, lavish master suite with walk-in closet and a spectacular chef’s kitchen. The full-amenity building offers a 24-hour door person, indoor pool, sundeck and exercise facilities.

This is just a sample of the recent top sales to provide a high-level look at the current market. For more details on any of these properties or to see what is on the market now, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Another Gang Buster Month for Chicago Luxury Home Sales in June

June was good to the Chicago luxury real estate market. A total of 64 luxury homes (those sold for $1 million or higher) were sold, totaling $105 million. And these homes were certainly on the higher end—13 of them were over $2 million, and the most expensive sale of the month went for $3.9 million.

There was a clear common denominator among the top homes sold: not a single one was on a standard lot. The standard size lot for a single-family home in Chicago is 25 feet x 125 feet, but many luxury homes are lucky enough to be built on a lot that is extra wide or extra deep (sometimes even both!). The extra space translates to extra square footage for the home, a more open floor plan or more expansive outdoor space. Luxury buyers are on to this trend, and I’ve had a number of clients indicate that they were searching for a home on an extra-wide lot to reap some of those benefits.

Along with plenty of space, the homes sold in June feature everything from envious outdoor space to views to impeccable details. Here’s a closer look at the characteristics of the top five sales, starting with the most expensive:

843 W Webster843 W Webster Ave
Original list price:
$4.5 million
Sold price: $3.895 million
This stunning estate in Lincoln Park sits on a double lot (48 x 125 ft) with a full limestone facade. Inside, you’ll find 6,785 square feet, including a second-level living room that stretches a whopping 42 feet wide with a large wall of windows. Throughout the home are high ceilings, northern and southern exposures and tall windows, bringing in plenty of natural light for an airy atmosphere. On the third level is a master suite with three additional bedrooms, while the first level is home to an “acoustically perfect” music room, rec room, media room or private office. The outside features a Zen garden in the front and back, and the back facade includes 3 terraces. Note, the buyer of this new Chicago home paid cash for this purchase.

1874 N Burling St1874 N Burling St
Original list price:
$3.95 million
Sold price: $3.75 million
This custom-built home sits on an extra-wide lot which affords it 7,500 square feet of interior living space. Burling is one of the most desirable streets in the city, lined with beautiful McMansions in one of Chicago’s most covetable neighborhoods, Lincoln Park. This 5-bedroom home boasts an off-the-charts level of finish, with an incredible elliptical staircase and elevator that stops on all 4 stories, including the penthouse that includes an expansive roof deck with incredible views. The chef’s kitchen includes top-of-the-line appliances while a full-floor master suite includes a spa-like bath and office.

1239 N Wood St1239 N Wood St
Original list price:
$3.5 million
Sold price: $3.1 million
Many single-family luxury homes sit on an extra-wide or extra-deep lot. But then, there’s this home, which sits on an incredible six lots, translating to over 22,000 square feet of living space. On 3 of those lots is a private garden oasis with a pond, stream terrace, walking paths and customer lighting. The interior features 3 bedrooms, 5.1 baths, a huge private gallery and a ton of open space. The second floor boasts a mahogany library, bar, offices and two large bedrooms. And on the third floor, you’ll find the master bedroom and bath, a living room/kitchen combo and a massive 58 x 56 foot ballroom.

1111 W Wolfram St1111 W Wolfram St
Original list price:
$2.9 million
Sold price: $2.7 million
Built on a 40 x 125 foot lot with a 3-car garage, this Lincoln Park home features a harmonious floor plan between the formal living room and dining room, kitchen, great room with wood-burning fireplace and much more. The huge kitchen is a chef’s dream: 3 ovens, 2 dishwashers, a 6-burner stove, full refrigerator and freezer and breakfast area. High ceilings and beautiful crown molding are found throughout.

1942 N Cleveland Ave1942 N Cleveland Ave
Original list price:
$2.695 million
Sold price: $2.55 million
This single-family Lincoln Park home spared no expense when it was built just 2 years ago. On a 25 x 127 foot lot with 5 bedrooms and 5.1 baths, this home pays unparalleled attention to every detail, from the high ceilings to the custom staircase, large open rooms, wine cellar designer Calcutta baths and more. Exterior space includes a large deck over a 2.5-car attached garage, plus a full roof top deck. It’s also in the Lincoln Park school district, a feature high on buyers’ lists so they can send their children to some of the area’s top-rated neighborhood schools.

I recommend my clients who are in the process of finding a Chicago home to review the previous month’s sales. This will give them an idea of what comparable properties are selling for and help them determine what to look for in their own search.

For more information on last month’s sales of luxury real estate in Chicago, call me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

The Right Tools for Your Chicago Real Estate Search

Embarking on a real estate search can be overwhelming. There are a number of decisions to be made upfront, followed by dozens more along the way.  But getting started doesn’t have to be complicated, and having the right resources at hand can even make sure it’s as enjoyable as it is informative.

Step one for any buyer is to consider what type of home you’re looking for–a condo or a single-family home? Number of bedrooms? Particular features and amenities? Compile a working list so you know what your wants and needs are. Next you’ll want to zero in on the right location you’re interested in, then bring it all together to find the just-right home for you. Of course, this is a task made much easier with the right resources.

Here are three important tools for your arsenal that will help get you started on buying real estate in Chicago:

A neighborhood guide: If you’re already in Chicago, you might be familiar with the various corners of the city. But if you’re moving from the suburbs, another state or even another country, it can be difficult to navigate Lincoln Park from Lakeview or Streeterville from River North. Dream Town offers an extensive neighborhood map with an easy breakdown of neighborhood boundaries. Being able to zero in on a location you like is the first step before learning more about everything an area has to offer, from transportation to schools and more. I would be happy to send you a map so you can check it out for yourself and do some exploring of the various areas of Chicago. Just contact me and I’ll be happy to send you one in the mail.

An extensive search: We all know that most real estate searches today begin online. That’s why Dream Town offers the most comprehensive search of real estate in Chicago, with more than 100,000 up-to-date listings. This powerful search makes it easier and faster to narrow in on the just-right property for you–and you can find it right on this blog (to your right if you’re on a computer, and at the bottom of the homepage if you’re on a mobile device). Once you’ve gotten familiar and narrowed down a few neighborhoods to start you search in, you can use this search to begin with the basics—property type, price, bedrooms/bathrooms and neighborhood. From there, you can uncover all of what’s available now and register to receive up-to-date listings right in your inbox. You’ll find interior photos, virtual tours and video clips that you can check out right from your computer, and then schedule a visit to see the ones you’re most interested in.

An experienced broker: Once you’re ready to take the next step to making a home purchase, you’ll want the right broker to help you do it. It’s important that you partner with a real estate agent with experience in your type of home purchase, whether it be new construction, luxury condos, a co-op building, etc. To learn more about my real estate expertise, check out my bio for a list of buildings I’ve helped clients purchase a home in, plus a bit about my history in this wonderful city. I’ve worked with clients buying property in the most prestigious buildings in the city, on the most enviable blocks and have worked with everything from new construction to multi-million dollar deals.

For more information on starting your search for luxury real estate in Chicago, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

June Report: 48 Chicago Luxury Condo Sales Totaled $85 Million

Summer so far has been good to the Chicago condo market, and June was another great example of that. In June, 48 luxury condos (those over $1 million) sold for a sales volume of $48 million. And what set the upper end of those sales in motion was without a doubt the amazing amount of square footage found in each of these homes.

The space ranges from just shy of 4,000 square feet all the way up to 5,700 square feet for the most expensive property. That unit was a co-op, and according to the listing sheet, the assessments of $6,016 doesn’t even include taxes for the apartment. So a high-end Chicago condo like this certainly comes with a luxury price tag.

Become Familiar with Chicago Real Estate Sales

If you’re considering purchasing a luxury Chicago condo or home soon, I encourage you to get familiar with recent sales in a particular area you’re looking for. Especially if you’re looking for a specific amount of space, it’s important to understand what the cost of a square foot might be in a certain neighborhood, in a particular building or in a type of property similar to what you’ll be looking for.

Here are the top 5 most expensive Chicago condos to sell in June, starting with the most expensive sale of the month:

209 E Lake Shore Dr209 E Lake Shore Dr, Unit 11-E
Original list price: $7.9 million
Sold price: $7.4 million
Billed as “one of the most beautiful and elegant apartments in all of Chicago,” this 3 bedroom, 3.2 bath has had all 5,700 of its square feet renovated to take the 1920 unit into 2015. Along with a prestigious Lake Shore Drive address, this co-op unit boasts fabulous lake views and a custom floor plan. It’s important to note that this property—the most expensive to sell last month!—was purchased with all cash.

lp-25502550 N Lakeview Ave, Unit C8-13
Original list price: $3.999 million
Sold price: $3.999 million
Lincoln Park 2550 is celebrating five years of being one of Chicago’s most sought-after luxury properties. In fact, this is still my favorite building in Chicago and I recommend all of my clients searching for a Chicago condo check this building out, as it really sets a benchmark for luxury. The building is noted for its exquisite lobby, private park, top-of-the-line amenities (including an indoor pool and fitness center) and much more. This 3-bedroom, 3 ½ bath unit total 3,965 square feet of interior space, plus a 758 square foot terrace that showcases southeast lake, park and city views. A fully appointed cook’s kitchen includes a large granite breakfast bar, Italian cabinetry and Subzero, Wolf and Miele appliances. The gracious living room and dining space features oak floors and floor-to-ceiling windows while a large master suite includes a walk-in closet and marble spa bath.

lp-25502550 N Lakeview Ave, Unit C8-12
Original list price: $4.854 million
Sold price: $3.795 million
This unit is identical to C8-13 above, so at least two lucky buyers last month were able to become residents of this exquisite building. Also with 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths and 3,965 square feet and the full suite of services and amenities, it’s easy to see why this unit and building are among the most sought-after in Chicago.

1100 n lake shore1100 N Lake Shore Dr, Unit 40B
Original list price: $4.299 million
Sold price: $3.2 million
Spanning a whopping 8,000 square feet, this triplex is a one-of-a-kind, “true” penthouse on one of Chicago’s most prestigious streets. The unit is perched high atop the 40th floor, allowing for magnificent lake and city views from the full private floor and its rooftop deck. Four bedrooms and 5 ½ baths make this unit ideal for family use and entertaining, along with 4 wet bars, a huge living/dining room off of the kitchen and media room. Additional details throughout include polished porcelain floors, Rosewood walls, custom tile and millwork, a top-floor solarium with eating and seating area.

130 n garland130 N Garland Ct, Unit 5603
Original list price: $3.299 million
Sold price: $3.06 million
A custom-designed, custom-decorated penthouse unit, this Chicago condo boasts wraparound views to the east, south and west. Three bedrooms and three full baths fill out a generous 4,400 square feet with a large open kitchen and family room. Other features include marble and hardwood floors, electric blinds, high-end finishes and much more.

If you’ve considered a Chicago condo purchase, but are concerned abut sacrificing space, last month’s sales illustrate that there’s no need to have one without the other. Luxury condos in the city comes with all of the square footage you need, with the added bonus of services and amenities for easy, modern living.

For more information on last month’s real estate sales in Chicago or to see what’s on the market now, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Buy Chicago Real Estate with a Super Jumbo Loan

As we see month to month in the sales report for Chicago real estate, there are luxury properties, and there are ultra luxury properties. So it’s no surprise that there is a mortgage loan that takes luxury to the next level as well.

Meet the super jumbo. The term refers to home loan financing in, well, super jumbo amounts—usually at least $2 million but reaching all the way up to $20 million or higher.

Even though these loan amounts are larger than large (and therefore carry a larger risk), many lenders are seeing super jumbo financing as a sweet spot for their wealthy clientele. The Wall St. Journal recently reported that financing loans of this size have gotten significantly easier in the least year.

The big difference between financing a super jumbo loan and a conventional or jumbo loan is that borrowers carry a high net worth, and are choosing—not needing—to borrow the money to purchase a home. Qualified buyers can generally find financing of this size at big banks where they are typically already customers, but some smaller, local lenders may be willing to work with their best customers as well.

But if you’ve got the cash, why borrow? With interest rates as low as they are, borrowers may very well find that their cash will earn a higher yield invested elsewhere. The super jumbo loan allows a buyer to keep their investments where they please and simply make a monthly mortgage payment.

If you’re considering purchasing a luxury Chicago real estate and think a super jumbo loan might be the answer, here are a few things to consider:

Credit still counts. Borrowers still must prove excellent credit—a minimum 740 credit score. Just having the cash but not the reputation to back it up won’t cut it.

There may be stricter underwriting. A super jumbo borrower may need to put down a larger down payment or show more cash reserves than a traditional borrower would. One reason could simply be inventory: with properties moving quickly and not as many luxury homes as there are luxury buyers, buyers may end up paying more for a home than it is appraised for.

Guidelines may vary. Some banks have super jumbo loan requirements that live under a certain amount-borrowed threshold; others may determine the rules and regulations on a case-by-case basis.

Consider both a fixed and an adjustable-rate mortgage. As the amount of a jumbo or super jumbo mortgage goes up, many borrowers are more attracted to an adjustable-rate mortgage, as many only hold a mortgage for 3 to 5 years. But high-net-worth borrowers might consider the old-fashioned 30-year, fixed-rate loan to lock in today’s unbeatable rates.

Other assets may count. Some banks might allow borrowers to pledge a portion of their stock portfolio if cash reserves aren’t an option. This works similar to a margin loan: if the market declines and the borrow doesn’t have cash to make the mortgage payments, the lender may sell those assets.

If you’re looking at a super jumbo loan, Chicago’s super jumbo homes certainly make a case for their ultra-luxury price tag. Mansion-esque square footage, sprawling outdoor space, seemingly limitless amenities and luxury features down to every detail. To learn more about high-end properties on the market now, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Chicago Luxury Condo Sales in May Particularly Strong

The summer selling season is moving along extremely well, with sales of Chicago luxury condos hitting a real high last month. In May, 52 units sold for a total of $82.5 million, compared to $69 million in sales during the month prior.

Four out of the top five most expensive sales were in buildings that are always on the top of my list of recommendations for luxury buyers. These buildings all differentiate from the norm, with units that offer 3,000+ square feet and services and amenities that take luxury living to the next level. Each of these buildings are also extremely walkable, with shopping, dining, entertainment and more all within a close distance.

And while these building share many luxury features, they each stand on their own as well. I encourage you to give me a call to discuss the various nuances and amenities that differ from these luxury buildings and see them first-hand. That is by far the best way to understand why these Chicago condos are consistently on the top of the sales lists and why the most discriminating buyers choose them.

In the meantime, here are a few details on those top five most expensive condos to sell in Chicago last month:

Chicago real estate at Park Tower 800 Michigan Avenue800 N Michigan Ave, Unit 8008
Original list price: $3.79 million
Sold price: $3.5 million
Park Tower is an icon along Michigan Avenue, not to mention in the city of Chicago. It’s no mystery why it earned two of the top five units sold last month. This 4,200 square foot r-bedroom is on the building’s 56th floor, allowing for soaring views of the lake, city and dreamy sunsets. Features include loads of storage, huge walk-in closets in the master bedroom, a spacious balcony off of the kitchen and two included garage spaces. Residents of Park Tower can take advantage of all of the luxe hotel amenities offered by the neighboring Park Hyatt.

aquatower225 N Columbus Dr, Unit 8032
Original list price: $3.9 million
Sold price: $3.3 million
The south, east and north exposures of this 78th floor 3-bedroom condo equate to 360-degree views from inside and from multiple wrap-around balconies. The Aqua building is a gem on Chicago’s architectural map, designed by Jeanne Gang in the city’s East Lakeshore neighborhood. Designer-inspired finishes are found throughout this unit, with Gaggenau and SubZero appliances, Snaidero cabinets, controls for audio, lighting and window treatments.

Chicago real estate at Park Tower 800 Michigan Avenue800 N Michigan Ave, Unit 4401
Original list price: $3.2 million
Sold price: $3 million
Another stunner in the iconic Park Tower. This 3,200 square foot, 3-bedroom unit is on the premier “01” tier of the building, on the 44th floor boasting spectacular lake views from every room. Details inside include beautiful millwork with built-in bookcases, wide-plank walnut hardwood floors, a gracious floorplan and a large familiy room that opens up to a terrace.

65 e monroe65 East Monroe St, Unit 4601
Original list price: $2.84 million
Sold price: $2.95 million
This exceptional penthouse was recently designed and built to epitomize luxury real estate in Chicago. Perched high in a southeast corner of the 46th floor, this 4,000 square foot condo captures stunning views of Michigan Avenue, Monroe Harbor, Millennium Park and much more through 10-foot floor-to-ceiling windows. The building itself—The Park Monroe—includes amenities like a lap pool, gym, media room, outdoor Jacuzzi, party room and rooftop terrace.

Chicago condos in Trump Tower401 N Wabash Ave, Unit 53A
Original list price: $3.29 million
Sold price: $2.775 million
This upgraded “A-tier” unit in Trump Tower spans just over 3,000 square feet with 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths and unbeatable north and east views of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. Details throughout this unit include a Snaidero kitchen, Miele, Wolf and SubZero appliances, dark Brazilian hardwood floors and three fireplaces, PLUS upgrades like motorized window treatments, a glass wine room, custom storage and state-of-the-art lighting and sound system. The building itself is known for the luxury lifestyle it offers to residents, with a world-class health club and spa, five-star hotel amenities and attentive service from the curb all the way up to your front door.

These buildings, among a few others, are truly the cream of the crop for luxury real estate in Chicago. If you’re in the market for a new condo, I definitely recommend checking these out and would be happy to give you a personal tour. Contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

May Luxury Single-Family Homes Hit $59 Million

Ultra high-end homes are once again ruling the luxury market. The top five homes sold in May were all on the higher end of the spectrum, with four our of five topping $3 million and the most expensive selling for $5.875 million. Total sales of luxury homes (those sold over $1 million) in May totaled $59 million.

As I’ve told many of my clients, when it comes to luxury properties, there are certain features that come at a price. The most expensive homes have a number of things in common, but one feature in particular is popping up more than ever: turn-key homes that don’t require nay work to be done before moving in. Even better if the home is new construction or newly renovated.

New and almost-new homes are definitely at the top of buyers’ wish lists, which means they move especially quickly, as did the homes sold last month. Among the top five, each was sold in record time, the longest being just 21 days. For upscale properties, the time to sell is going down—but prices are going up.

Here’s a look at the top five luxury homes to sell in Chicago during the month of May:

image1207 N Astor St
Original list price: $5.875 million
Sold price: $5.875 million
On an extra-wide lot (27 x 107 ft), this fantastic home on storied Astor Street features 7,500 square feet, 6 bedrooms and 4.1 baths that have all been renovated to include high-end finishes and fixtures, radiant heat and home electronics. A great room stretches up to a 20-foot ceiling with a stone fireplace, while a sun-filled penthouse features a skylight and 2 terraces. The terrazzo floored lower level features a media room and wine room.

image2138 N Hudson Ave
Original list price: $5.2 million
Sold price: $5.1 million
This single-family home takes “extra-wide lot” to the next level with a lot that’s twice the standard 25 feet wide, allowing for a whopping 8,000 square feet of living space. That alone makes it atypical of a city home, but the large yard, park-like setting and abundant natural light make it feel almost like a vacation getaway. Inside you’ll find 5 bedrooms, a huge eat-in kitchen with high-end finishes, dining terrace off of the great room, two-story library, spa-like master bath on the top level and an attached 3-car garage.

image43 E Division St
Original list price: $4.5 million
Sold price: $4.15 million
This 5,500 square foot Italianate home hails from the 1870s—but has been fully revamped for contemporary living in 2015. The property includes coach house spaces that can be used as in-law quarters or even a separate living space entirely. Other features include a heated sidewalks, stone floors and 2-car garage, expansive storage and 2 additional outdoor parking spaces.

image2238 N Magnolia Ave
Original list price: $2.849 million
Sold price: $3.05 million
This sparkling new construction single-family home is on one of Lincoln Park’s finest one-way streets. The spectacular floor plan allows for superb natural light and is complemented by an array of feature: designer selections throughout, an amazing chef’s kitchen with integrated appliances and modern millwork. The great outdoor space includes a backyard, garage roofdeck, covered/open rooftop deck, great neighborhood views, outdoor grilling station and fireplace and heated steps and rear patio.

3646 N Lakewood Ave3646 N Lakewood Ave
Original list price: $2.395 million
Sold price: $2.3 million
Yet another Chicago new construction, this home was built by Bloomfield Development just steps from Southport Corridor and Blaine Elementary, one of the top (and therefore most sought-after) schools in the city. With a full masonry/brick construction that built a handsome exterior, the 4,800 square foot interior boasts 6 bedrooms, 5.1 baths, custom millwork, a SubZero/Wolf appliance package, hardwood flooring, lower level radiant heat and more. The home’s outdoor space includes a raised patio with fireplace and a rooftop deck with outdoor room.

With high-end luxury homes in Chicago moving so quickly on and off the market, it’s important to keep up with the current listings. What’s for sale today could be very different from what’s for sale tomorrow. If you’d like to keep an eye on a particular neighborhood, type of home, or particular features, give me a call and tell me what you’re looking for. Contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Luxury Condos in Chicago Continue to Sell Well in April

It’s all in the name—last month’s top sales for April condos in Chicago reads like a who’s who in high end real estate. Lake Shore Drive, Trump Tower, Michigan Avenue, Gold Coast—all indicators of the best of the best in Chicago luxury.

Each of the top 5 condos sold was either on a prestigious block or in a prestigious building, with 42 units sold totaling $69 million. And there was another reoccurring theme among the top homes sold—square footage. Even though these are condo units, not one of these units skimped on space, going all the way up to 6,000 square feet.

Here is a closer look at the top 5 Chicago condos that sold in April, in descending order from the most expensive:

1021 N Dearborn St
Original list price: $5.5 million
Sold price: $5.5 million
Last month’s top sale was an exquisite, one-of-a-kind end unit located in the Gold Coast at Oak and Dearborn—it sold even before the listing sheet officially made it to the printer. The elegance of this unit is apparent as soon as you step inside, with a dramatic stone-tiled 2-story foyer to welcome you. Beyond that, you’ll find 5,800+ square feet over 4 levels, with a huge living and dining room, a 441-foot wraparound balcony, cook’s kitchen with luxury stainless steel appliances and granite counters, a full-floor master suite with sitting room, walk in closet and stunning master bath, plus a media room that opens to a grand terrace.

Trump Tower Chicago real estate401 N Wabash Ave, Unit 46A
Original list price: $4.29 million
Sold price: $4.025 million
It’s certainly not uncommon for River North’s Trump Tower to have a place on the top condo sales each month. This 3 bedroom unit is just under 4,000 square feet and puts the building’s iconic views front and center, offering a stunning eastern view from the master bedroom. The unit is located on one of the best tiers in the building, with only 9 other units offering the same features. Plus, residents of Trump Tower enjoy some of the most high-end services and amenities in any Chicago condo building, from a private chef to world-class spa and much more.

Chicago real estate at Park Tower 800 Michigan Avenue800 N Michigan Ave, Unit 2801
Original list price: $4.2 million
Sold price: $3.5 million
This condo is located in the iconic Park Tower, one of the most architecturally famous buildings on the Magnificent Mile. Its location on the 28th floor allows for breathtaking views of the lake, city and daily sunsets from every window. With 4,200+ square feet, this Chicago condo takes up a half floor with a custom design that maximizes space for entertaining and casual living, including features like a dramatic entry, formal living and dining room, cook’s kitchen, huge family room, large master suite, rich finishes, hardwood walnut floors and custom millwork.

1347_ndearborn1347 N State Pkwy, Unit 1
Original list price: $3.999 million
Sold price: $3.3 million
Called a “magazine caliber” residence, this Gold Coast triplex lives more like a single-family home than a condo (with a whopping 6,000 square feet of living space!). The 6-bedroom unit is located in the Gold Coast and includes a lavish master suite with exercise room, incredible bath, media room, terrace, billiards room, dream kitchen and 800+ bottle wine cellar. The location is especially ideal, with the Gold Coast being a favorite among luxury buyers, and this property being within walking distance of Lake Michigan, Old Town, Rush Street and the Magnificent Mile.

179-e-lake-shore-drive-co-op-apartments-360179 E Lake Shore Dr, Unit 21E
Original list price: $2.45 million
Sold price: $1,999,999
Lake Shore Drive is among the best blocks in the city, and this gorgeous half-floor, 3,045 square foot co-op helps showcase why. Located in a landmarked building designed by famed Chicago architect Benjamin Marshall, this unit includes superb views, beautifully updated architecture, new baths and kitchen, a luxurious master suite, a handsome paneled library and gracious upgrades throughout. The building also adjoins the prestigious Drake Hotel. The buyer for this co-op paid cash, but it is important to note that the co-op stated upfront that a buyer would only be able to finance 50% of the cost. The building was also on the market for just over 500 days, which isn’t surprising considering the approval process required for co-op buyers is often a long one.

Whether it’s in a condo, a co-op or a single-family home, it has been apparent for months that ample space is at the top of luxury buyers’ wish lists when shopping for a home. This month was no exception. If you’re looking to buy in the next several months, I encourage you to keep an eye on the monthly sales and see what types of homes are selling for what price. Then you can keep that in mind when establishing your own wants/needs list for your real estate purchase.

To learn more about last month’s Chicago real estate sales or to see what’s on the market now, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Phenomenal Sales Month for Chicago Luxury Homes in April

Spring is here, and so are the buyers. Last month’s numbers are in, and it seems that people who can afford luxury real estate in Chicago are coming out of the woodwork, which led to 56 luxury ($1 million-plus) homes sold in April. Of those 56, 15 homes sold for more than $2 million.

Trends Among Luxury Chicago Real Estate Sales

You’ll see a few commonalities among these sales, especially in location. Three of the top 5 homes sold were in Lincoln Park and 2 were in Lakeview. I am noticing that the Lakeview area is becoming popular among luxury buyers—particularly those who want larger rooms, an extra wide lot and new construction. Those features run considerably more expensive in Lincoln Park, plus land is limited, so such lots are much harder to come by.

Another trend is one we’ve been witnessing for awhile—extra-wide lots. Even a stretch of only a few feet past the standard lot size can afford a home more square footage, a more open layout and larger rooms, and these are all things buyers want in a new Chicago home. Last month’s sales in Lincoln Park are on extra wide lots and one is of the most exclusive blocks in the city.

With that, here’s a closer look at the top five most expensive sales last month, in descending order:

1874orchard1874 N Orchard
Original list price:
$5.975 million
Sold price: $5,927,483
Last month’s most expensive sale is truly special and checks off just about everything a luxury buyer is looking for. Foremost, the space is absolutely huge. At 35 feet x 131 feet, the lot is extra wide and extra deep—I might even call it extra, extra large. Plus, this street in particular lacks an alley in back, allowing the 8,530 square foot home to benefit from an attached, front-loaded garage and an enormous rear yard measuring 37 feet x 35 feet. That size outdoor space is practically unheard of in the city.

Secondly, the home was sold as proposed construction—which means brand new, plus the buyer can work with the developer to make customizations to their liking. While many details were TBD at the time of sale, there was one spectacular inclusion: a 5-stop elevator to provide access to the home’s massive penthouse roofdeck with exceptional city views. And one last (but most certainly not least) feature: the location is one of the most coveted in Lincoln Park, as Orchard is a prestigious block home to many beautiful mansions.

2032NClifton2032 N Clifton St
Original list price:
$3.75 million
Sold price: $3.5 million
Built in 1883, this brick and limestone home was recently rehabbed on its fabulous Lincoln Park block. Details inside include a custom O’Brian Harris kitchen, Calcutta Gold marble counters, walnut cabinetry and Wolf and Miele appliances. An extra large master suite includes a huge chaise lounge shower, dual vanities and custom closets, and 4 additional bedrooms feature their own private paths as well.

2017NFremont2017 N Fremont St
Original list price:
$2.95 million
Sold price: $2.775 million
This 5,000+ square foot home was a 3 flat converted into a single-family home on the ever-charming Fremont Street. Each corner was built to the highest quality, with luxe materials and finishes, limestone countertops, a gorgeous kitchen and a new lower level that could serve as a great room or guest suite. Plus, a 2-car heated garage, 3 heating/cooling zones, 4 fireplaces and 5 skylights are just a few perks throughout.

jansen3446 N Janssen Ave
Original list price:
$2.995 million
Sold price: $2.75 million
Another just-finished new construction home on an extra-wide (37.5 feet!) lot, this Lakeview home offers loads of space: 6,200 square feet and 6 bedrooms. That allows plenty of room for a huge professional-grade kitchen, massive family room, a deck above the 3-car garage and much more. Beautiful details are found throughout, from the solid brick/limestone exteriors to the interior hardwood floors, custom millwork, spa-caliber baths and radiant heated floors.

lakewood3649 N Lakewood Ave
Original list price:
$2.85 million
Sold price: $2.75 million
Six bedrooms, 6,000 square feet and a stunning addition to the Southport corridor—this Chicago new construction home has plenty to boast about. Ideally located in the Blaine School District, the home was built on an extra-wide, 30-foot lot, allowing for generous space throughout. The home features quality millwork throughout, custom designed kitchen, a penthouse rec room, smart home integration, plus radiant heat on the lower level, baths and front steps. An attached three car garage is a rarer find among urban real estate, as is the abundant outdoor space.

Last month’s sales are proof that space is a luxury among Chicago homes—buyers covet square footage as much as a prime location newer properties. And many want all three of those and more! This is why I think it’s important for potential home buyers to keep an eye on what’s selling on the Chicago real estate market from month to month. If you’ve got a big list of “wants” for your own purchase, seeing what sold for what price can help you set expectations for your budget.

For more details on last month’s single-family home sales or to see luxury homes in Chicago on the market now, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.