Due Diligence is a Must When Purchasing New Construction

Now that new construction real estate has made a comeback throughout the U.S. and in Chicago, brand-new properties are understandably some of the most coveted properties on the market. But the rise of new construction and the costs associated with it has led to some developers cutting corners to maximize their margins. That means, rather than high-end, authentic finishes and details (like “real” hardwood floors, plastic over other materials, etc.) they are turning to faux details that look similar aesthetically but lack the quality that a true luxury property should have.

The Wall St. Journal recently covered this move toward faux materials in new construction properties, and this trend could be making its way into Chicago as the costs of construction continue to increase along with the cost of purchasing land.

It is in a buyer’s best interest to understand that some luxury features in their home only have the appearance of luxury, and they should be diligent in understanding what went into their potential home. There are a number of building materials today that look and feel like the “real” thing, so it may not be something that concerns you as a buyer. But it’s important to note that the difference between real and faux can certainly come into play down the line when you’re thinking about that property’s resale value.

A few areas where “faux” is more common, and therefore should be inquired about, include:

Floors: Many upscale, luxury condos are not using “real hardwood” floors, which are more expensive but also of a much greater quality than their prefabricated floors, which some developers are using. Real hardwood floors are individual, raw wood pieces that are hand-laid by a professional floor installer. Buyers of a new construction property should have some input on the flooring, especially choosing the stain color and type.

Crown moldings: Determine if the crown moldings used in a new construction property are made of wood or plastic. You’ll also want to note the amount of seams that are visible, and these can expand as the condo or home ages, and is a sign of less-than-lux quality.

Lighting: If a developer is using track lighting in an expensive, high-end home, this is also a workaround. Recessed can lighting is more expensive than track lighting, but is a less obtrusive, better design option in a home’s lighting plan. Model units or homes will sometimes use can lighting that will end up being more expensive if you choose them as an option in the actual unit that you buy.

Because of the many considerations and nuances that need to be worked through when buying new construction, it’s best to work with a real estate broker who brings a solid background in this area. I have sold an extensive amount of new construction condos and homes in Chicago, working with some of the most prestigious developers and projects in the city. If you’re thinking about purchasing a new construction home in Chicago, contact me to learn more about what’s on the market and considerations you’ll want to make during the process.

Contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Chicago New Construction Condo Sales Back In Force In May

Chicago’s Gold Coast were at the top of the list for condos sold in May; and one particular standout building was the brand new building at 4 East Elm. Total Chicago luxury condo sales in May were $88.5 million with 53 luxury condos sold.

Three out of the top five most expensive condos sold last month are in this new construction building, and each boost around 3,500 square feet of space. I have been noting for some time that 3,000+ square feet seems to be the magic number in terms of the space that luxury condo buyers are looking for.

Search Chicago condos with 3,000+ square feet

All five of the top luxury condos sold in were above 3,000 square feet, proving that upscale condo living in the heart of the city doesn’t mean sacrificing the space you might get in the ‘burbs. The most expensive home to sell in May was in 800 Michigan Avenue, with the unbelievable square footage of 6,240 square feet—that’s the size of a large home, all on one floor of one of downtown’s most iconic buildings.

For a limited time, I am offering $2,500 at closing for buyers who begin and end their home search with me. This is a great opportunity to have a little influx of cash to help with moving or decorating expenses. I encourage you to read a bit more about me in my bio, then contact me to see if I can help you get started on a search for your new Chicago home.

Here are additional details on the most expensive Chicago luxury condos to sell in May, starting with the most expensive:

800NMichigan800 N Michigan Ave, Unit 5101
Original list price:
$5.1 million
Sold price: $4.5 million
The crown jewel of May’s luxury condo sales was a 6 bedroom, 5.1 bath condo in the iconic Park Tower on Michigan Avenue. This unit spans a whopping 6,240 square feet and was priced well below market value for the building. The unit boasts an open floor plan that allows for entertaining above breathtaking, unobstructed, 360-degree lake views that can also be enjoyed from two 8 X 14 foot balconies. And residents of Park Tower have access to all of the amenities of the adjacent 5-star Park Hyatt Hotel.

image4 E Elm St, Unit 16S
Original list price:
$3.8 million
Sold price: $3,987,391
The mots expensive home to sell in 4 East Elm in May, this 3 bedroom, 3.1 bath condo spans 3,486 square feet on the 16th floor of the Gold Coast’s hottest new construction building. Four East Elm is home to just 35 Chicago condos in the heart of one of the city’s most beloved upscale neighborhoods. The building is sleek and modern with half- and full-floor residences and offer residents a bevy of amenities, including garage parking, 24-hour doorman, an outdoor pool and spa, a screening room and fitness center.

image4 E Elm St, Unit 17S
Original list price:
$3.9 million
Sold price: $3.9 million
The second most expensive sale in 4 East Elm in May, this 3 bedroom, 3.1 bath unit is high on the 17th floor and spans 3,486 square feet. If May condo sales are any indication, this Gold Coast condo building is already proving to be one of the most sought-after properties for luxury buyers in 2016. Each unit offers 10-foot ceilings and floor-to-ceiling Windows that emphasize the spacious, open interiors, with finishes that include Florense cabinetry, fully-integrated Sub-Zero Wolf and Miele appliances and wide plank solid white oak flooring.

401NWabash401 N Wabash Ave, Unit 29A
Original list price:
$3.5 million
Sold price: $3.5 million
Designed by John Robert Wiltgen, this downtown Chicago condo lives up to all of the luxe expectations you’d have for Trump Tower. Boasting 3,487 square feet two bedrooms, 4 baths plus a media room and den, the unit has been totally customized for luxury living. The living room has Trump Tower’s signature curved shape that allows for a panoramic skyline view of the river, lake and Navy Pier. Other features include 11-foot ceilings, spa-like master baths, a master bedroom with generous walk-in closets, gourmet kitchen with Wolf appliances and a SubZero refrigerator. Trump Tower has a great location in River North and is a full amenity building with health club and spa, pool, restaurant and bar.

image4 E Elm St, Unit 14S
Original list price:
$3.475 million
Sold price: $3,483,229
This new construction condo in 4 East Elm Is a 3 bedroom, 3.1 bath on the 14th floor. With 3,516 square feet, the unit boasts high-end finishes with at least 3 exposures in a building that is the ultimate urban oasis of luxury and privacy—amenities include an outdoor pool, sun deck, fitness center, screening room and clubhouse lounge.

Looking at recent sales of luxury condos can help prospective buyers understand what is popular on the market and at what price. Buyers can use that information to determine their own budget and wish list of features they would like to find in their own home.

If you’re interested in additional details on these sales, or what to see what’s available on the market now, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Outstanding Chicago Luxury Home Sales in Lincoln Park for May

There was a clear star of the show when it came to last month’s luxury home sales in Chicago—and it goes by the name Lincoln Park. This was the neighborhood that had the majority of most expensive home sales, ranging from $2.59 million up to $4.1 million. It appears that high-end home buyers are flocking to Lincoln Park, since 11 out of the 13 most expensive homes purchased were located here. The reason? For starters, Lincoln Park is a highly sought-after neighborhood to begin with, but additionally, inventory is low for large homes and homes on oversized lots.

Trends in Recent Chicago Luxury Home Sales

Looking at the properties that sold last month, it’s interesting to note that  three out of the five most expensive homes sold in less than 2 months, while one sold in 3 days and another in 25 days. Those are quite extraordinary time frames for homes that are upwards of 7,000 square feet. And one other trend in last month’s sales was that more buyers are opting to take out a mortgage rather than paying in cash like we’ve seen a lot of in recent years.

If you’re in the market for a luxury home, taking a close look at the previous month’s sales is a great place to start. I would be happy to send you photos of these homes or provide a tour of luxury homes within your budget.

If you make a home purchase with me, right now I am offering my buyer clients $2,500 in cash upon closing. If you’ve ever moved, you know there are a number of expenses that arise with a new home, such painting costs, window treatments, home technology and of course the move itself. Give me a call so I can tell you more about it.

But in the meantime, here are some details on last month’s top luxury home sales:

1922 dayton1922 N Dayton St
Original list price: $4.3 million
Sold price: $4.1 million
Understated, luxurious and state of the art—those are the words to describe this 7,000 square foot home on one of Lincoln Park’s most desirable streets. With a brick and limestone façade on the outside and well-crafted detailing on the inside, this home boasts luxury on every level. The first floor houses an elegant living room and dining space with a large, well-appointed kitchen, attached great room, large outdoor patio and garage deck. The second floor has an expansive master suite with spa bath, walk-in closets and a second bed/bath and office. The third level offers 3 additional bedrooms with ensuite baths. And the lower recreational level has 9-foot ceilings, a sixth bedroom and bath and direct access to an oversized 2-car garage. And a grand, elliptical staircase ascends through the home up to a sunlit penthouse that has access to an expansive roof deck and sweeping views of the city.

dayton2145 N Dayton St
Original list price: $3.995 million
Sold price: $3.55 million
Another home on an extra wide (33 feet) lot, this fairly new construction property was built by LG Construction Group in 2014 to include a long list of high end features. Details like custom carpentry, millwork and finishes; exotic stone and designer fixtures; 4-inch white oak rift hardwood floors; a grand marble foyer with built-in armoire; and much more. The gourmet eat-in kitchen includes a butler’s pantry, quartz countertops, island with breakfast bar, Subzero refrigerator and freezer, dual Miele dishwashers and 6-burner Wolf range. The home’s second level has four bedrooms, with a wet bar, den and guest room on the 3rd level. On the lower level are two additional bedrooms, rec room with built-in bar area, wine room, playroom, mud room and storage. The home also features a spectacular outdoor space, with a yard and patio off family room and balcony off master.

mohawk1821 N Mohawk St
Original list price: $3.495 million
Sold price: $3.435 million
Located on a premiere block in Lincoln Park, this 6,500 square foot home recently underwent an extensive renovation stunning enough to earn it a feature in CS Interiors. New additions include exquisite new flooring, lighting staircases, kitchen and bath spaces. The home has five upstairs bedrooms, including a luxe master suite. The top level is a gorgeous penthouse entertaining space with skyline views adjoining two roof decks with an outdoor shower, planters, pergola and professional landscaping. The lower level includes a guest suite with kitchenette and radiant heat.

orchard2244 N Orchard St
Original list price: $3.095 million
Sold price: $3.095 million
Every luxury detail was thought of in this 7,500 square foot, five bedroom home in east Lincoln Park. Features include a distinguishing limestone façade, highly upgraded finishes, and a generous floor plan that allows for family living and entertaining. A top-of-the-line English style kitchen includes a built-in banquette, adjoining a bright family room that opens up to a raised terrace with outdoor fireplace. Other details include tall ceilings, a passenger elevator and wine cellar. This home also boasts a great location close to Oz Park, Francis Parker School and the neighborhood’s great selection of shopping, dining and entertaining.

janssen2421 N Janssen Ave
Original list price: $2.699 million
Sold price: $2.59 million
Located on an extra wide (28 ft x 128 ft) lot, this nearly 7,000 square foot home in Lincoln Park has been fully remodeled with 6 bedrooms, 6.1 baths and a whole host of luxury features: 11-12 foot ceilings, crown and wall moldings, elevator access, heated floors in bath and  lower level, Chef’s kitchen, five fireplaces, a movie theater, sauna and wine cellar. In addition to the generous interior space, this home posts more than 1,500 square feet of outdoor space as well.

I would be happy to give you more information on recent home sales and tell you more about my offer for buyers to get $2,500 at closing. To see what’s on the market now, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Chicago Luxury Home Sales in April Were Unusual, with 10 Sales Over $2 Million

Spring typically brings good signs to the real estate market, and we certainly saw that in last month’s luxury home sales. Property values in the luxury market are on the upswing, a fact that becomes all the more apparent looking at last month’s single-family luxury home sales. In April, 62 homes sold for more than $1 million (for a total sales volume of $98 million) and 10 of those homes sold for more than $2 million.

The $2 million-plus price tag isn’t nearly as common in our monthly recap, so 10 properties in the “ultra-luxury” category is an atypical amount for one month of sales. A few commonalities among last month’s sales were location (Lincoln Park and Lakeview), lot size (lots more than the standard 25-feet in width are highly coveted) and newness (several of these properties are brand-new construction homes).

Here is a recap of the top five luxury homes sold in April, starting with the most expensive:

genMid.09118597_11804 N Mohawk St
Original list price:
$5.975 million
Sold price: $4.95 million
This 6,400 East Lincoln Park home is in a perfect location, just minutes from Lincoln Park, children’s parks, Lake Michigan, the Magnificent Mile and the Loop. It sits on a 46-foot-wide lot, which opens the home up to a whopping 6,400 square feet of living space. Inside, the master level includes a spa bath, dressing area, two walk-in closets and seven (!) additional closets; the penthouse level features a conservatory, exercise area and breathtaking views of the skyline. And as if the interior isn’t impressive enough, the exterior is an incredible bonus. Some of the al fresco features include a beautifully landscaped side yard and patio, mature trees, a 44-foot deck with covered dining area and sunning space, a sports court with separate access, and two additional penthouse terraces.

deming453 W Deming Pl
Original list price:
$3.749 million
Sold price: $3.65 million
Although this home was sold before print, we’ve seen several of these single-family rowhomes on the sales report over the last few months. These new construction properties are adjacent to Lincoln Park, and residents here can enjoy the ultra-luxe amenities of 2550 N Lakeview. The property itself features a spectacular layout featuring 5/6 bedrooms, 4.2 designer baths, a luxurious master suite with two walk-in closets and statuary spa bath.

genMid.09118597_12227 N Magnolia Ave
Original list price:
$2.975 million
Sold price: $2.8 million
This new construction property was billed as having too many features to list, but it certainly has plenty on the list anyway. A brand-new, custom-built, fully automated smart home in Lincoln Park, this home’s 5,300 square feet offer generous space and luxurious details. A chic white kitchen features a huge island, breakfast bar, built-in banquette and top-end appliances. The open living and dining rooms include a marble fireplace and temperature-controlled wine cellar. The master suite shares a level with two en suite bedrooms, and offers a separate seating area, sumptuous bath and custom closet space. The penthouse level has an additional guest suite along with a family room that opens up onto a rooftop terrace with an outdoor fireplace.

greenview3653 N Greenview Ave
Original list price:
$2.85 million
Sold price: $2.79 million
A new construction home in the Southport Corridor, this 6 bedroom is on an oversized lot, which allows for an extra-wide interior, generously proportioned living space and four bedrooms on the second level. There are high-end features throughout, including custom millwork, hardwood floors, tall ceilings and exquisite design details. The kitchen includes a butler’s and food pantry and built-in banquette; the family room serves as the epicenter of the home, with a dramatic barrel ceiling, built-in bookcases, a wood-burning fireplace, and opening to two large terraces. The home is also located in the Blaine Elementary School distirct, a highly sought-after feature for parents who want to live within the boundaries of one of Chicago’s best public schools.

lakewood3716 N Lakewood Ave
Original list price:
$2.795 million
Sold price: $2.75 million
Another new construction property, this one on a 30-foot, extra wide lot and a tree-lined one-way street in the Southport Corridor. The home features a custom, all-limestone façade, a heated entry, an open-air room on the roof deck, locally handcrafted cabinetry and tile design, radiant heat on lower level and master bath and four bedrooms on the second level. This property is also within the boundaries of Blaine Elementary School.

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

New Article: Parents and Real Estate Considerations

Spring is the time of year when the real estate market always picks up and stays pretty steady until mid- to late fall. It’s not just the nicer weather, but many buyers find it easier to move or relocate during the summer when their children out of school.

That’s just one of many things parents might be thinking about when they’re considering a move. This month, I wrote an article on my website geared specifically toward parents with children who are shopping for a home. As parents, your days are likely quite busy with day-to-day decisions involving your little ones, from shopping for the right car seat to thinking about the schools they’ll go to.

Read: 12 Real Estate Considerations for New Parents

When you’re thinking about purchasing a home, there are a number of variables you might not think of that could have an effect on your family. There are the things you’re likely already thinking of, like location and square footage, but also less common considerations that come with the nuances of different property types and buildings.

Right now is a great time to think about purchasing a home, as interest rates remain low and likely won’t be in the future. So if you’ve been on the fence, take a look at 12 Real Estate Considerations for New Parents to get started, and when you’re ready for more details, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Unusual April Sales for Chicago Luxury Condos: 13 Sold Over $2 Million

My monthly recap of the top luxury real estate sales in Chicago include those properties that sold for more than $1 million, and most of them fall between there and $2 million, with perhaps a few that sold upwards of that. But this April was a bit unusual, with ultra-luxury units accounting for a large chunk of the top sales—13 out of 43 sales, in fact.

That’s considerably more $2 million-plus sales than we usually see in a given month, and I think it can be attributed to the low inventory in the Chicago luxury condo market. Buyers want to live in buildings that are newer, at prestigious addresses in great locations, and are willing to pay the price that comes with those features.

Another feature I see consistently among Chicago luxury condos that are selling is square footage. High-end buyers don’t want to sacrifice space for a move into a condominium, so those units which can offer 3,000 square feet or more tend to trade quickly. You’ll see that last month’s top sales were all more than 3,000 square feet in size, with the largest spanning a generous 4,300 square feet.

Search Chicago condos over 3,000 square feet

Here’s a closer look at the Chicago luxury condos that sold last month and the features that gave them the top price tags for April:

The Elysian Residences

11 E Walton St, Unit 3901
Original list price: $4 million
Sold price: $3.82 million
This 3 bedroom, 3.1 bath unit is high on the 33rd floor, this spanning more than 3,400 square feet. It’s location in the Gold Coast’s Waldorf Astoria means the new residents have access to a bevy of high-end building amenities, like 5-star concierge services, indoor pool, spa, fitness center and valet.

Park_Tower_060527

800 N Michigan Ave, Unit 2201
Original list price: $4 million
Sold price: $3.55 million
A wonderfully unique 3-bedroom unit in the famous Park Tower, this east-facing residence (translation: beautiful lake views) spans 4,083 square feet on the 22nd floor. The unit includes 6 balconies in total—more than any other unit in the building—and enviable features in every single room. The engry foyer includes a built-out, fully organized walk-in closet. The dining room includes a wet bar, wine cooler, bamboo and granite floors. The kitchen features custom cabinetry, professionally organized storage, concrete counters, top-of-the-line appliances, Thermador double oven, side-by-side Subzero refrigerators, built-in Miele coffeemaker and a Viking 6-burner range. The master suite boasts a grand dressing room with custom built-ins, walk-in closets, and a master bath with a custom Japanese soaking tub with lake views.

55eerie

55 E Erie St, Unit 3703
Original list price: $3.6 million
Sold price: $3.25 million
With spectacular north, east and south views of the city, this modern duplex has all of the must-haves for a luxury condo in Chicago. It has been highly upgraded throughout, with hardwood floors throughout, two balconies, designer lighting, cedar closet, powder room and storage. The gourmet, windowed kitchen includes Sub Zero, Miele and Viking appliances and a separate butler’s pantry. The upstairs level includes a master suite with fireplace, custom walk-in closet and a large, windowed spa bath with soaking tub and separate shower. All of that and more in a full-service luxury building with indoor pool, fitness center, steam room and sauna and dry cleaners.

401NWabash

401 N Wabash Ave, Unit 69E
Original list price: $4 million
Sold price: $3.1 million
Newly remodeled in Trump Tower, this 3 bedroom/4 bath condo boasts wraparound views from high on southeast corner of the 69th floor. Luxury features inside include motorized curtains in all rooms, home system, 10-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, wood floors and a fireplace. The master suite has his-and-her walk-in closets, a luxurious master bath and a chef’s kitchen. The building’s exquisite 5-star amenities include 24-hour door staff, fitness center, indoor pool, room service, valet and more.

65 e monroe

65 E Monroe St, Unit 4101
Original list price: $2.95 million
Sold price: $2.95 million
This immaculately designed new construction condo in The Park Monroe is perched on the southeast corner of the 41st floor. The 4,000 square foot interior epitomizes luxury, with 10-foot floor-to-ceiling windows, stunning lake, skyline and park views, high-end appliances and more. The Park Monroe offers its residents a full suite of amenities, including a lap pool, gym, media room, Jacuzzi, party room and rooftop terrace.

No matter the month, there is clearly a few common denominators among the Chicago luxury condos that are drawing buyers quickly. For more information on these sales or to find out what’s on the market now, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Luxury Condo Chicago Sales in Chicago Lower For March

Although luxury condos didn’t move as quickly as they have in recent previous months, sales in March did not disappoint, with 6 sales that exceeded $2 million and went all the way up to $4.65 million. There were just 8 luxury sales total (those units sold for more than $1 million) but total sales volume was $46 million.

As far as trends go, it’s no surprise that last month’s sales were concentrated among well-known buildings with hotel-grade amenities and coveted locations in downtown Chicago and the Gold Coast. Two of the top 5 sales were located in the Park Hyatt at 800 Michigan, which is an amazing location on the Magnificent Mile and offers residents all of the services and amenities of the Hyatt Hotel next door.

Here’s a closer look at each of the top five sales and the features that landed them on this month’s top sales report:

132EDelaware132 E Delaware Pl, Unit 6308A
Original list price:
$5.125 million
Sold price: $4.65 million
The month’s most expensive sale was this rare offering high above the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago’s Gold Coast. This contemporary penthouse duplex is one of a kind, offering 300-degree breathtaking views of the lake and city. A sweeping, stainless steel-and-glass staircase is the centerpiece to the home, with a dramatic open living space, soaring ceilings and 22-foot windows to take it all in. This Chicago condo is built for entertaining, whether a grand scale event or small, intimate gatherings. Smart home technology allows for control of the climate, window shades, lighting and music with the touch of a button. Residents of 132 E Delaware have access to all of the lavish amenities offered by the hotel, including a health club, spa, indoor pool, around-the-clock room service and an on-site concierge. And if that didn’t add up to a luxury buyer’s ultimate wish list, the offerings of the Gold Coast neighborhood are icing on the cake, with high-end shopping, restaurants, nightlife and beaches all within a few blocks.

800NMichigan800 N Michigan Ave, Unit 3801
Original list price:
$3.2 million
Sold price: $3 million
This is a unique home in the Park Hyatt built for the most discriminating luxury taste. Spanning 3,200 square feet high on the 38th floor, this home features east and south exposures with amazing views of the lake and city. Details include beautiful finishes, hardwood floors, granite, marble, mill work, and a gas fireplace. The private master suite features a sitting room, balcony, generous closet space and a luxurious in-suite master bath.

Chicago real estate at 840 N Lake Shore Dr840 N Lake Shore Dr, Unit 2103
Original list price:
$2.67 million
Sold price: $2,512,500
An exquisite home on the 21st floor, this Chicago condo boasts stellar views of the lake, museum and city from every window. It’s perfect 2,909 square foot floor plan includes 3 bedroom suites, enormous chef’s kitchen, spa-like master bath with steam shower and custom closets throughout. A gorgeous balcony overlooks the lake, park and city. The previous owners used this condo as an in-town with very minimal use, leaving the unit immaculate and beautifully decorated. Two heated garage parking spaces were also available for purchase with this unit.

800NMichigan800 N Michigan Ave, Unit 2402
Original list price:
$2.6 million
Sold price: $2.375 million
The 3,024 square feet of this downtown Chicago condo have plenty to offer the luxury buyer. With 3 bedrooms, 3.1 baths, this home was prime for a new owner’s decorating and design to enhance the open layout. Panoramic views facing east, with and south, allowing for beautiful vistas throughout. Features include a balcony, large living room, sitting area, dining room, huge chef’s kitchen and a master suite complete with 2 huge walk-in closets, a lux master spa bath and an abundance of natural light.

500 W Superior St, Unit 2305
Original list price:
$2.69 million
Sold price: $2.275 million
The elegance of this condo is felt the moment you see the glass wall foyer that greets every guest. With 3 bedrooms and 3,600 square feet, this breathtaking home includes a family room, modern kitchen with stainless steel counters, Wolf range and built-in grill and an impeccably finished bath. There is ample attention to detail throughout, plus amazing east views that puts the city skyline as a beautiful backdrop.

imageFor more information on last month’s luxury condo sales or to see what’s on the market now, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Two Highest-Price Luxury Homes in Chicago Sold on Burling and Orchard Streets

Spring is moving in quickly, and its effects on real estate were seen clearly in Lincoln Park last month. March’s sales of single-family homes were comprised of 47 luxury homes (those sold for $1 million or more) for a total volume of $85 million. That’s nearly double of the sales we saw in February, which is not surprising to see as the weather warms up and real estate “season” returns once again.

Last month, the two top homes sold were found on one of Lincoln Park’s most sought-after areas—Burling and Orchard streets, respectively, two blocks that are known as home to the mega-rich. The homes on these blocks are typically families, as the location is near everything from great schools and parks for kids to easy downtown access for parents.

But it wasn’t just the location that made these homes a coveted piece of Chicago real estate. From lux interior features to enviable outdoor space, here’s a closer look at what made these top five properties the most expensive sales last month:

1829 orchard1829 N Orchard St
Original list price:
$6.2 million
Sold price: $6.1 million
Details were sparse on this top sale during March, but we do know that this Chicago new construction home is a stunning 9,000 square feet of custom design from LG Development Group. Boasting 7 bedrooms and 5.1 baths, its located on one of the most coveted blocks in Lincoln Park, if not the city at large. This area is home to rows of McMansions with huge lots, luxury interiors and ideal family living.

1874 n burling1874 N Burling St
Original list price: $4.2 million
Sold price: $3.75 million
This custom home on one of the premier blocks in Lincoln Park has plenty to boast about within its whopping 7,500 square feet. An elevator makes for easy access between all four levels, and amazing attention to detail is seen in everything from the high-end finishes to the attached garage and penthouse level. The chef’s kitchen includes best-in-class appliances, a breakfast bar and eat-in space. The adjacent great room has a wood-burning fireplace and overlooks a lush backyard. The penthouse level features two roof decks with unparalleled city views (a major plus for single-family home living), while a huge lower level includes a recreation/media room with projector screen and exercise room.

2018 n dayton2018 N Dayton St
Original list price: $3.45 million
Sold price: $3.425 million
Just steps from Armitage in Lincoln Park, this single-family Chicago home is filled with the comforts of modern luxury living. They begin even before you step inside, with radiant heated limestone steps that lead into an elegant foyer. Oak floors are found throughout, alongside Ann Sacks tile and casings, trim and molding made from real poplar. The main floor has everything for an ideal living space: a formal living room with wood burning fireplace; dining room with coffered ceilings, walk-in and butler’s pantry; a chef’s-grade, eat-in kitchen with banquette seating; an expansive great room and true mudroom. Other features include a lavish master suite with a spa bath and soaking tub, enclosed water closet and steam and rain showers. The sky-lit top floor includes a den that opens up to a 35-foot lanai with an outdoor fireplace and mounted TV. This home has also been extensively wired for whole-home automation.

2122 kenmore2122 N Kenmore Ave
Original list price: $3.495 million
Sold price: $3.38 million
Yet another new construction home, also on one of Lincoln Park’s most desirable streets. This 5,200 square foot property is just steps from the shopping, dining and el train stop found on Armitage. Its bright and spacious design showcases and open floor plan, high ceilings, intricate millwork and high-end finishes throughout. Plenty of luxury features like wide-plank oak floors, smart home technology and top-of-the-line appliances are included as well. A massive, sunny master suite boasts a spa-caliber, white marble bathroom and walk in closets, while a top-floor rec room offers a wet bar and a sunny roof deck. This impressive design continues outdoors as well, with heated front steps and sidewalk, and a blue stone rear patio that includes a built-in grilling station and wood-burning fireplace.

2020 n dayton2020 N Dayton Street
Original list price: $3.45 million
Sold price: $3.375 million
This home is identical to (and a next-door neighbor of) #3 on our list, with 5,200 square feet of the same timeless design and meticulous workmanship from Foster Design Build.

East Lake Shore Drive Co-Op is February’s Most Expensive Luxury Real Estate Sale in Chicago

Similar to last month’s single-family luxury home sales, February was a quieter month for luxury Chicago condo sales. Twenty-six luxury units (those sold for more than $1 million) sold, for a total sales volume of just under $40 million.

Looking at the top five most expensive sales, there was certainly a mix of things happening with each one. For one, the types of properties vary greatly: a co-op, a vintage condo, two modern high rise units and a vintage high rise unit. The locations also varied: Several were located in the Gold Coast (by far one of the most sought-after neighborhoods for luxury buyers), one at the relatively new Lakeshore East neighborhood, and another on the prestigious East Lake Shore Drive. And, there was a mix of boutique buildings among full-amenity buildings, rather than the latter, which is what we’ve seen in more recent months.

Let’s take a closer look at the details of the top five Chicago luxury condo sales last month:

229 e-lake-shore-drive 229 E Lake Shore Dr, Unit 9E
Original list price:
$3.29 million
Sold price: $3.1 million
This sale was highly unusual in that it sold—for cash—two days after the property was re-listed by the original realtor. Co-op sales generally take a long time for a sale to close due to the number of approvals required.

The unit itself had plenty to offer. This magnificent East Lake Shore Drive co-op occupies an entire half-floor in this landmarked building (which was designed by Chicago architect Benjamin Marshall). Units in a building like this are rarely available—the entire building only has 20 units—particularly one like this on a high floor with enviable lake and city views. With 3,800 square feet, 4 bedrooms and 4.1 baths, the unit was recently renovated and customized for upscale modern living. That means gorgeous mill work and custom built-ins throughout; a bright kitchen with high-end appliances, a large wine fridge and butler’s pantry; a family/media room that overlooks the lake; a combined master suite with his-and-her baths; and an elegant dining room with silver leafed ceiling. Other details include new windows, sound wiring, zoned heating and air and laundry room.

11 E Walton St11 E Walton St, Unit 3301
Original list price:
$3.09 million
Sold price: $3.05 million
In this 3-bedroom unit at the Waldorf Astoria, all 3,436 square feet have been highly upgraded for luxury living in the Gold Coast. Inside, you’ll find a chef’s eat-in kitchen with Snaidero cabinets, Wolf, Bosch and Miele appliances and Porcelanosa floors. Other features include 5-inch walnut floors, east and west terraces and a master suite with fully customized closets. The Waldorf Astoria is a full amenity building that includes hotel amenities like room service and spa facilities.

1300NStatePkwy1300 N State Pkwy, Unit 903
Original list price:
$3.1 million
Sold price: $3 million
Apartments in the highly sought-after Ambassador building are rarely available, and that’s especially true for a spectacular unit like this one. Inside, a wide gallery leads to gracious-sized public rooms, all with double Windows. The living room includes a fireplace, hardwood floors, and crown moldings. Additional features include a formal dining room, butler’s pantry, eat-in kitchen/family room, and two private balconies. The Ambassador is a landmarked, boutique building in the Gold Coast with just 37 residences. Amenities include a doorman, rooftop terrace and party room, a shared landscaped terrace, gym, ½ basketball court and a dog run.

Aqua Tower at 225 N Columbus Drive in Chicago

225 N Columbus Dr, Unit 8105
Original list price:
$2.845 million
Sold price: $2.35 million
A 3-bedroom penthouse in the awe-inspiring Aqua building in Lakeshore East. This unit offers jaw-dropping views in every room. Perched on the northeast corner of the 81st floor, this Chicago condo was completely redesigned to consider every detail. Luxuries include 14-foot floor-to-ceiling Windows with motorized shakes, custom stone and millworker throughout, Subzero refrigerator, Wolf range and Miele dishwasher in the kitchen, and a huge master suite with generous walk-in closet. And several times a year, this condo offers the best seat in the house for enjoying fireworks at Navy Pier.

image20 E Cedar St, Unit 12C
Original list price:
$2.2 million
Sold price: $2.2 million
Also located in the Gold Coast, this 4,700 square foot duplex in an absolute gem in a vintage doorman building. With 5 bedrooms, 4 baths, it’s a great alternative to a single-family home, with great features like a dramatic living room with floor-to-ceiling Windows, 22-foot ceilings, wood burning fireplace and ornate detailed plaster ceiling. The space is idea for entertaining, thanks to a generously sized formal dining room, an eat-in kitchen, butler’s pantry and more. Not to mention, the location is unbeatable, just steps away from everything the Gold Coast has to offer, from shopping to restaurants and more.

For additional photos or details about the Chicago condos that sold in February, or to see what’s on the market now, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

February Sales for Chicago Luxury Homes: Lincoln Park Single-Family Home Sells for Over $8 Million

Perhaps it was the winter doldrums or some overlapping effects from the volatile stock market, but Chicago luxury home sales in February were well, “just OK.” Just 26 luxury homes (those sold for more than $1 million) closed last month, totaling $46 million. More than $8 million of that was a single double-lot property that certainly stood out from the rest.

Even when one property is completely distinctive from the rest, there are often a few common threads that can be found among recently-sold luxury homes. This month, there’s a clear interest in a great location (Lincoln Park, the Gold Coast, Bucktown), oversized lots and generous square footage (2 homes boast 9,000+). And lastly, one commonality we’ve seen fairly regularly among luxury real estate sales in Chicago: purchasing with cash.

Cash is King in Chicago Luxury Real Estate

Four out of the top five most expensive homes sold last month were bought with cash. You’ll notice in the recap below that several of the top properties sold did so at a considerable discount to their list price—and it’s likely that the buyer has their cash offer to thank for that. Cash also helps buyers to negotiate a good deal, especially when the market is experiencing some volatility.

Here’s a closer look at the top five properties that sold last month in Chicago, in descending order from the most expensive:

mohawk2026 N Mohawk St
Original list price:
$8.95 million
Sold price: $8.35 million
This spectacular space was built on a double lot by developer firm Metzler Hull, who is known for building beautiful, upper-bracket homes in Chicago. Boasting a location on the best block in East Lincoln Park, no luxury was spared in this 11,000 square foot home, from the fine details to the thoughtful floor plan that blends intimate family living with fabulous entertaining space. The list of features for this Chicago luxury home is lengthy. Each of the 7 bedrooms has an ensuite bath and large closet. The state-of-the-art kitchen is built for gathering and relaxing, with a seamless transition from the family room. The elegant master suite features a large walk-in shower, soaking tub, double vanity, dressing room, walk-in closet and make-up area. Other spaces include a library, exercise room, private professional theater, indoor/outdoor basketball court, coat room, a large laundry room , attached four-car, heated garage and four private outdoor areas.

lasalle1352 N Lasalle Blvd
Original list price:
$3.49 million
Sold price: $3.05 million
This stately Old Town mansion sits on an oversized (149 foot) lot. Its 9,200 square feet include 5 bedrooms and 4.2 baths, a large eat-in kitchen, paneled dining room, den, family room, foyer, five-stop elevator and a lower-level in-law apartment. There’s even an additional 2 bedroom, 2bath guest apartment. Other details include a grand staircase, 7 fireplaces with carved mantels, intricate moldings and 8-foot original pocket doors.

honore1917 N Honore St
Original list price: $2.995 million
Sold price: $2.8 million
Just built in 2013, this brick/limestone home—on an oversized 33.5-foot lot—was customized by Tom Stringer Design in a warm, transitional style. A fully integrated kitchen includes commercial-grade appliances and stardust marble with leather finish countertops, while the luxurious master suite features a separate sitting room and spa-like bath with heated flooring, towel rack and oversized steam shower. A 900-square foot rear patio/yard encompasses a completely private rooftop oasis complete with IPE decking and a custom stainless steel hot tub. And the home’s location is ideal on one of the premier blocks in Bucktown.

hudson1916 N Hudson Ave
Original list price:
$2.5 million
Sold price: $2.5 million
A recently upgraded single-family home in East Lincoln Park, this 6,000 square foot Chicago home features a ton of great space for family living on a residential, tree-lined street. The generous spaces include a full-floor master suite with a 21 x 10-foot closet and brand-new master bath; a penthouse room, study, library plus several terraces and patios, including a mini “children’s deck.” Other features include 4 brand-new baths, high ceilings throughout, a chef’s kitchen with breakfast area for 10, a two-story family room, wide walnut floors throughout, heated lower-level floors and an attached two-car garage.

bellevue69 E Bellevue Pl
Original list price:
$2.6 million
Sold price: $2.1 million
This home’s wow factor comes from its unique design, featuring an open-concept floor plan that is rarely found among the vintage homes in the Gold Coast. The first floor features a deck off the kitchen, and the third level includes an additional deck beautifully shaded by a nearly 200-year old maple tree. The home also boasts lots of natural light, a music system, four large bedrooms, 4.5 spa baths, a basement apartment and garage.

For more information on the Chicago luxury homes that have recently sold, or to see what’s on the market now, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.