Chicago Luxury Condo Sales Were on a Tear in July

No summer slump here. Chicago luxury condo sales had yet another strong month in July, which is highly unusual for a mid-summer month. One of the reasons for the high sales volume is a ground-breaking price on a unit in the Waldorf Astoria, which sold for $11.7 million. That’s a price that many pay in New York and San Francisco for luxury properties that are half the square feet of homes you’d find in Chicago.

While that property was certainly the standout, there was a number of other notable sales in July, as well. Ten of the 53 luxury condos ($1 million and up) were sold for more than $2 million. Total sales volume for the month was just under $94 million, an outstanding number for the middle of summer.

Here’s a closer look at the top Chicago condos that sold last month, starting with the most expensive:

Waldorf Astoria Chicago11 E Walton, Unit 5200
Original list price: $13.9 million
Sold price: $11.7 million
Spanning an entire floor in the Waldorf Astoria, this unparalleled residence was a custom build from top to bottom with the finest finishes available. It’s also interesting to note that the buyer opted to pay cash for the home. With 4 bedrooms and 4.1 baths, this Chicago condo features gracious, flowing living spaces, a beautiful paneled den, home theater, glass encased wine cellar, an incredible master suite with dream closet and a true spa bath that leads to an unbelievable private pool area.

ritz118 E Erie St, Unit PH1
Original list price: $10,850,400
Sold price: $8.632 million
This is the penthouse of all penthouses, located on the top (40th) floor of the Ritz-Carlton Residences, Chicago. A full-floor unit, this property was more than 6,000 square feet of raw space, with 12 to 18 foot ceilings plus 660 square feet of private, south- and east-facing terraces. The service of the Ritz-Carlton Residences is unmatched, with on-site, five-star staff to cater to residents’ every need. Residents here also have access to the Landmark Club, Chicago’s only private, residential city club located on the 10th floor of the building (which also boasts an unbeatable location just off of the Magnificent Mile).

270EPearson270 E Pearson St, Unit PH16E
Original list price: $4 million
Sold price: $4.3 million
A duplex penthouse unit in a luxury boutique building, this Chicago condo has undergone a number of refinements to create an elegant living space. The interior features an open floor plan with 12-foot ceilings, an open millwork staircase, gourmet kitchen, crown moldings, hardwood floors, custom finishes throughout, tremendous closet space and ensuite bedrooms. Outside, you’ll find 800s square feet of outdoor space with spectacular lake, city and park views. The building is just steps from Michigan Avenue, with high-end shopping, dining and transportation.

4EastElm4 E Elm St, Unit 17N
Original list price: $3.1 million
Sold price: $3.135 million
The brand-new building at 4 East Elm has been the darling of luxury real estate in recent months, taking up many spots on the top sales lists. This unit in particular was a 3,095 square foot, 3 bedroom, 3.1 bathon the 17th floor. With just 35 half-floor residences, the building has been very popular among luxury buyers, thanks to a number of features including elevator entry into every unit, 3 exposures with city and lake views in most units, and high-end finishes. Building amenities include an outdoor pool, whirlpool, sun deck, fitness center, screening room and clubhouse lounge.

328WisconsinSt328 W Wisconsin St, Unit 3N
Original list price: $2.6 million
Sold price: $2.6 million
This is a new, boutique building in the heart of Lincoln Park with just 7 units. This 3-bedroom home spans 3,801 square feet of gracious, light-filled space that includes a library with wet bar, 41-foot gallery wall for art collectors, a large master suite with his/her closets, 8-foot interior doors, 10-foot ceilings, plus two terraces. Contemporary finishes throughout include Snaidero cabinets, Subzero, Wolf and Miele appliances and quartz countertops.

If you’re considering a home purchase, contact me for a private tour of some of the exceptional properties that the Chicago real estate market has to offer right now. I can provide first-hand details on each of the buildings and explain why some are apt to increase in value more so than others. Or if you’re just getting started, I can send along images and details of 5-10 properties I think you’d want to check out. Contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Chicago’s Luxury Home Sales Were Terrific in July, with a $8.3 Million Sale on Howe St

Luxury Chicago homes proved to still be on a tear with sales in July. The month saw 66 luxury ($1 million and up) Chicago homes sold, totaling $109 million in sales volume. Twelve of the high-end homes that sold were even over the $2 million mark, a price tag that is considered ultra-luxury for Chicago real estate.

The highest priced sale last month was a home on Howe Street, a block that has long been known for its “McMansions.” This home in particular was only on the market for 56 days, which reinforces the idea that prospective buyers who are on the fence should bite the bullet and make a purchase. Interest rates are low, but so is inventory, so the market is only going to get more competitive.

Howe Street and its neighboring blocks, Burling and Orchard, are among the most prestigious streets in all of Chicago. Their Lincoln Park location makes homes here ideal for families, putting them close to great schools, parks and other entertainment; and many residents love the neighborhood feel of this area even though it’s just a quick jaunt into downtown. I would be happy to give you a private tour of what makes this neighborhood truly special, and introduce you to other prestigious homes and buildings in the area.

Top Luxury Chicago Homes that Sold in July

The top five single-family properties to sell last month all pushed past a $2 million sale price. Here’s a closer look at the top homes that sold, starting with the most expensive:
1944 N Howe St
Original list price:
$8.6 million
Sold price: $8.3 million
A brand-new construction home in one of the most sought-after areas in Lincoln Park, this breathtaking home offers every imaginable space for gracious living. With 6-bedrooms and 6.3 baths, this home sits on an extra-wide, 42-foot lot, allowing for a whopping 10,500 square feet of interior space. There is also more than $3,500 square feet of outdoor space between open-air terraces, two outdoor fireplace areas and a penthouse skydeck with panoramic skyline views. The home boasts thoughtful design throughout, including a five-stop elevator, ample entertaining space and a seamless blend of indoor and outdoor living. The state-of-the-art finishes and gorgeous fixtures were all chosen with the most discerning eye for elegant and tasteful living.

1929 N Cleveland Ave
Original list price:
$3.899 million
Sold price: $3.825 million
This fabulous 6,400 square foot property is on one of the premier blocks in East Lincoln Park. Inside, the home is beautifully designed with a blend of transitional finishes, dramatic ceiling heights, designer window treatments, custom lighting, hardwood floors, and home automation with Sonos audio system. Five large bedrooms include a spacious master suite with dual closets and spa baths; there is also a den with en suite custom office, a penthouse-level rec room with wet bar, a gym and catering kitchen. The outdoor space has been thoughtfully designed to accommodate entertaining, with an outdoor kitchen, a garage top deck with pergola and a rooftop deck with skyline views.

1763 N Wilmot Avenue
Original list price:
$3.999 million
Sold price: $3.8 million
A new construction home from LG construction and development, featuring an exceptional design by Northworks Architects and Planners. This 6 bedroom, 6.3 bath home was built on a unique oversized lot at the end of a cul-de-sac, with a private gated alley, 3-car attached garage and massive yard. Inside, find generously sized bedrooms along with a stunning gourmet chef’s kitchen with Subzero, Miele and Wolf appliances, designer stone work, custom millwork and abundant light throughout.

2215 W McLean Ave
Original list price:
$2.899 million
Sold price: $2.75 million
This showstopper sold before the listing was even officially public, and it’s easy to see why. Designed by Studio Dwell Architects, this property has one several awards for its warm, modern design—which spans three lots in Bucktown. The home boasts expansive outdoor space that is paired with private indoor/outdoor living areas—a rarity in Chicago—plus a meditation courtyard and heated in-ground plunge pool. The interior features read like a who’s who of luxury living: Copat Italian cabinetry, integrated appliances by Miele, Wolf and Subzero, Lauzon engineered oak flooring, Lutron automated lights and window treatments. There is also a steam room and sauna, radiant flooring in the garage, lower level, office and master suite, separate HVAC zones, snow-melt system for walkways and sidewalks and a five-car attached garage.

2621 N Dayton St
Original list price:
$2.775 million
Sold price: $2.675 million
There aren’t many details on this new construction home, as it sold before the listing was completed—which means it must have had a lot to offer beyond its 6 bedrooms, 4.2 baths and limestone interior.

Chicago Real Estate Versus Other Major Cities

It’s important to note that what is considered ultra-luxury real estate in Chicago is far beyond what you might get in New York, San Francisco or London for the same price. A home like the one on Howe Street would easily cost 3 times that amount in those cities. Real estate in Chicago continues to be a good investment, especially since the stock market could become frothy in the near future.

Right now, I have a special offer for my clients: Receive $2,500 at closing for a home purchase of $500,000 or more. That is a nice influx of cash that can help cover moving expenses, décor updates, paint and a number of other things that come along with a new home. Visit my website for more details on the offer, and give me a call if you would like to discuss further.

For more information on purchasing real estate in Chicago, or for additional details on what’s on the market now, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Updating Your Chicago Luxury Home to Sell Faster and at a Higher Price

Since the real estate market has been especially favorable to sellers as of late, I’m seeing a lot of clients who are deciding to make a change and putting their long-lived-in homes on the market. Some of these homes have been lived in for quite a long time, which means there may be some important steps to take before it’s market-ready for a quick sale.

If you find yourself in this scenario, it might be time to bite the bullet and make some minor modifications to your home in order to maximize the price upon selling it. Even if you’re living in a unit or neighborhood that is netting high sale prices, if your property isn’t up to par with those that are being bought, you may not see the same results.

The Washington Post recently addressed this topic in “Don’t resist your real estate agent’s suggestion to upgrade that dated décor.” The article noted that buyers typically only get a single look at a potential home, and one of the main things they are evaluating is how much work is needed to bring it to their standards. For a home that hasn’t been updated or renovated, there are a few aesthetic-focused tricks that can go a long way, like paint or replacing fixtures.

It will cost a bit of money upfront, but making strategic changes before putting your home up for sale can help it sell faster, and you could get that money back in the improved sale price.

What to Consider Updating Before Putting Your Home on the Market
I have found that kitchens and bathrooms tend to be prime areas in a home for an update. These are the rooms with the most “parts” to them and can look outdated quicker than say, the blank canvas of a bedroom.

If you’re putting your home up for sale, it’s understandable to not want to make a huge investment in the space, but just enough to help buyers imaging themselves in the home. Here are a few suggestions that don’t require a hefty monetary investment:

Kitchen cabinets: Dark wood cabinets can quickly make a kitchen feel dark and unwelcoming, and updating them with a fresh coat of white paint will transform the entire room. White is the color in these days, loved for its ability to lighten and brighten a space.

Kitchen countertops: Speaking of white, a white backsplash that complements the cabinetry would be another great way to update the room; Pair it with a new countertop in gray, black granite or even a faux material that can provide a completely new look without a renovation.

Bathroom fixtures: If you’re home is sporting a pastel toilet from the decades of yore, replace it with a white one. You’ll be surprised how much it helps the bath feel more up to date. Do the same for the sink, tub and tiles, swapping them out for white finishes. Tubs and tiles can be difficult to replace, so consider re-glazing as that will be much less expensive to make sure all of the pink/yellow/green is out of the bathroom.

Floors: It is not terribly expensive to have the floors re-sanded and stained in a nice mahogany finish. Doing this make a home feel luxurious and inviting to buyers.

Wall colors: A colorful home might be your signature, but odds are it’s not going to appeal to prospective buyers. Stick to universally loved white, cream and taupe colors on every wall.

Consult with an Experienced Broker
If you’re considering selling your home, I am happy to provide some feedback on what would help your home get ready for the Chicago real estate market. I can bring in a professional expert at no cost to you to get specifics on what might detract buyers from your home and help you address them before going to market.

I’ve worked with interior’s expert Joseph Rice many times, who brings his talents to help seller’s homes look their best before going on the market. There was one client in particular who we worked with to stage their condo for a sale, which Joseph can do at no cost to the seller—working with existing furniture, editing knick-knacks, etc. That condo sold in just two weeks!

I am also running an offer for my clients right now to receive $2,500 at closing when they partner with me to sell their property. If you’re home could use some sprucing up before selling, that influx of cash could certainly help offset any unexpected costs when the sale has closed. Contact me for additional details at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

How to Maximize a Chicago Luxury Home’s Sale Price

Painting your Chicago home before sellingIt’s no secret that color plays an important role in selling a luxury home.

If the colors are too, well, colorful, then a buyer might not be able to see past them and quickly decide a home isn’t their style. But if they are too bland, the home could seem uninteresting to a buyer looking for something they feel is special.

When I’m working with a seller to get their property sold, many don’t want to spend the time, money and energy to paint the home they’re planning to move out of. But, it’s a really important step that a seller can take to expedite the sale of their home. And I have found that sellers who do paint before going up for sale are always quite surprised at how quickly the home sells—and often at a higher price than they expected.

When it comes to the appearance of a luxury condo or home for sale, I always stress to my seller clients the importance of having a consistent color palette throughout the home. And secondly, a home with lighter paint colors throughout will typically sell faster than one with different dark colors as its background.

If you decide to give your home a fresh coat before putting it on the market (and I’d highly recommend it), you’ll be faced with another all-important question: What color?

Because color does indeed play a role in real estate, I always like to stay on top of the most recent colors that paint manufacturers and new construction developers are selecting for high-end properties, and there are a few clear trends at work right now.

The Paint Color of the Moment: White

When selling a home, you want to choose colors that a broad spectrum of buyers will identify with—across tastes and styles, lifestyles and interests. This topic was recently covered by the Wall Street Journal, and the article highlighted that the color that gets a home sold fast might not be considered a color at all: white.

Benjamin Moore selected “Simply White” as its 2016 color of the year, and the hue has endured among builders, developers and designers, particularly in urban areas. Experts associated its increased popularity with an increased focus on well-being, as the color is light, clean and refreshing.

Not to mention, white is a great canvas for buyers who are art collectors or design aficionados and won’t detract from art, architecture or design elements in a home. White won’t look dated, and gives buyers a neutral palette to imagine themselves living there.

Color in Your New Chicago Home

As paramount as color is when selling a home, it’s also an important part of the post-purchase process. After you’ve bought a home, it’s typically a next step to personalize it with your own chosen paint color and other décor.

For that reason, I’m offering my clients $2,500 at closing when they purchase or sell a home with me for $500,000 or more. If you’re looking to put that money toward painting, I have teamed up with an expert who can help you along the way. Click here to learn more about this special offer.

For more advice on getting your Chicago home ready to sell, or to talk more about your upcoming real estate moves, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Chicago Luxury Condo Sales in June Skewed Toward Ultra Luxury

When we look at the previous month’s Chicago condo sales, there are typically one or two sales that fall in the ultra-luxury category. But in June—a month when warmer weather moves in and the extremely high-end sales tend to slow down—there were an unusually large number of ultra-luxury condos sold. The month saw 13 condos sold for $2 million or more, with the most expensive sale going all the way up to $6.7 million. Total sales volume for the month was $135 million.

So where is all of this ultra-luxury action happening? Four out of the five most expensive condo sales were new construction at 4 East Elm, a new luxury high rise in the heart of Chicago’s Gold Coast. This area is seeing resurgence in luxury new construction, but 4 East Elm offers something that many buildings do not: privacy. The building is comprised of half-floor units, so there is very little sharing of space compared to other luxury condo buildings.

Top Chicago Condo Sales Offer Generous Square Footage

In recent years, I’ve noticed that luxury condo buyers have their sights set on one feature in particular: space. The magic number is usually at least 3,000 square feet, and that number holds true among the condo sales from June, as each one of these sales offers well over 3,000 square feet of living space. The most expensive unit sold clocks in at a whopping 5,400 square feet.

Search Chicago condos with more than 3,000 square feet

While the price tags on these luxury Chicago condos might seem high, the cost per square foot of a condo in Chicago is significantly less expensive than some other major U.S. cities. The Chicago condos sold in June came to about $1,241 square feet, whereas New York or San Francisco real estate can easily cost more than $3,000 per square foot.

Here’s a closer look at the size and space of the Chicago condos that sold last month, starting with the most expensive sale:

image4 E Elm St, Unit PH23
Original list price: $6.69 million
Sold price: $6,692,192
As I mentioned, 4 out of the top 5 Chicago condo sales last month were in this building: 4 East Elm. As of last month, the property had sold 75% of its 35 half-floor residences, before this 5,400 square foot penthouse unit sold on the 23rd floor. The luxury Chicago condos in 4 East Elm boast elevator entry into each unit, high-end finishes, and at least three exposures with expansive views of the city and lake from most units. The building is billed as the ultimate oasis of luxury and privacy, with an outdoor pool, whirlpool, sun deck, fitness center, screening room and clubhouse lounge.

4 E Elm St, Unit 19S
Original list price: $3.9 million
Sold price: $3,936,052
This unit on the 19th floor spans 3,486 square feet, with 3 bedrooms and 3.1 baths.

4 E Elm St, Unit 18S
Original list price: $3.8 million
Sold price: $3,792,709
Identical to the unit above it, this 3 bedroom, 3.1 bath is on the 18th floor and offers 3,486 square feet of living space.

50echestnut50 E Chestnut, Unit 3701
Original list price: $3.795 million
Sold price: $3.722 million
If a half-floor residence in 4 E Elm isn’t enough space, 50 East Chestnut has your number. This Gold Coast building offers full-floor residences made for gracious living, with stunning views, delightful details and more. This 37th floor unit was customized to perfection, with expansive floor-to-ceiling windows with Lutron treatments, Snaidero cabinetry, Calcutta marble countertops, walnut floors, Venetian plaster walls, Ann Sachs tile and Wolf, Subzero and Miele appliances. With 3,550 square feet, this unit offers all of the quality and style you expect from the Gold Coast.

4 E Elm St, Unit 21N
Original list price: $3.6 million
Sold price: $3.6 million
With 3 bedrooms, 3.1 baths, this Chicago condo offers 3,135 square feet on the building’s 21st floor.

Having worked with luxury clients in Chicago for more than 25 years, I understand that space is really the name of the game when it comes to condo living, especially that magical 3,000 square feet. I’ve made it simple to search Chicago condos that offer a minimum of 3,000 square feet of living space on my website, so you can see firsthand what is on the market and at what prices. I would also be happy to show you the floor plans and other building details for these units to give you an idea of what it has to offer.

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

June was an Amazing Month for Ultra-Luxury Chicago Home Sales

There was certainly no summer slump to be seen among Chicago luxury (and ultra-luxury) home sales in June. Last month, there were $158 million in sales volume for luxury single-family home sales, with sales ranging from $1 million all the way up to $4.8 million.

Luxury buyers are noticing that with interest rates being historically low and the stock market potentially going higher, now is an ideal time to purchase high-end real estate. It’s also interesting to note that buyers relocating from New York and San Francisco are finding the Chicago market to be more affordable luxury, as real estate in their current locations can be two to three times more expensive. And the space that’s available likely doesn’t compare to these other urban areas, as luxury buyers in Chicago are snapping up homes on extra-wide lots as soon as they hit the market.

Lincoln Park the Most Sought-After Neighborhood in June Sales

It’s nothing new to see Lincoln Park homes among the top luxury sales, but in June, 9 out of 12 ultra-luxury homes (those sold for $2 million-plus) were in this neighborhood. Lincoln Park is a wonderful neighborhood for young professionals, families and empty nesters alike, thanks to its central location, residential atmosphere and plenty of things to do, from dining to nightlife and theater. For those with children, Lincoln Park is a favorite for its proximity to great schools, both private and public.

Read: Real Estate Considerations for New Parents

Here’s a more detailed look at the top five homes that sold in June, starting with the most expensive:

843 W Webster Ave843 W Webster Ave
Original list price: $4.999 million
Sold price: $4.775 million
Located on a double lot on one of the most sought-after blocks in Lincoln Park, this thoughtfully designed residence spans a generous 6,785 feet. The home has been completely renovated for modern living, starting with a sun-filled main level that features a double foyer, herringbone flooring and access to a large rec area with a full-size sport court. A grand staircase leads to the expansive living area that offers abundant space for entertaining, and next to that is a large dining room with French doors that leads to a separate great room. A chef’s kitchen features state-of-the-art appliances, wet bar, large breakfast bar and large cabinets. And on the top level, you’ll find 4 of the home’s five bedrooms, including the master suite with walk-in closets and terrace that extends the entire width of the home.

2015 N Clifton Ave2015 N Clifton Ave
Original list price: $3.75 million
Sold price: $3.65 million
This is a newer construction Chicago home that lets in plenty of light from every angle. With 6,250 square feet on a 28-foot lot, this four-level home features a master suite with three walk-in closets, a flex room on the 3rd level and two bedrooms on the lower level. A stunning kitchen features custom cabinetry, integrated refrigerator and freezer, a Wolf 6-burner stove, 2 ovens, 2 dishwashers and butler pantry. The home is prime for entertaining, with a large great room next to the kitchen that flows directly into the outdoor area featuring an outdoor grill station, patio and garage roof deck with fireplace. Exquisite details throughout include a showstopping elliptical 4-story staircase, beautiful crown molding and trim details, four fireplaces and four-stop elevator.

1900 N Burling St1900 N Burling St
Original list price: $3.35 million
Sold price: $3.125 million
On one of the most prestigious blocks in Lincoln Park, this pristine home has been renovated to perfection, with amazing attention to detail and an extra-wide, open floor plan. The space lends itself to entertaining, with a light-filled living room, separate dining room and custom-designed high-end chef’s kitchen with commercial-grade appliances. A great room overlooks a professionally landscaped yard and deck, and a penthouse conservatory makes for perfect in-home office space, with a rooftop terrace that offers sweeping views of the city skyline. A lower level family room, full bath and mudroom could convert to another bedroom if desired.

626 W Arlington Pl626 W Arlington Pl
Original list price: $2.849 million
Sold price: $2.675 million
A grand, extra-wide home spanning 6,320 square feet on a huge 50 x 174 foot lot. That massive space allows for the best of all worlds inside: a classic Victorian red brick façade, a lofty, light-filled interior and tremendous green space outdoors. The main level flows perfectly for entertaining, along with dramatic ceiling heights, hardwood floors, oversized windows and garden views. The dining room doubles as a library with custom built-ins, and the eat-in kitchen boasts a design from Roy McMakin. The home’s spacious master suite includes a sitting room and brand-new contemporary bath. A lower level serves as a one-bedroom apartment but could be incorporated into the main residence to add additional living space.

1853 N Fremont St1853 N Fremont St
Original list price: $2.65 million
Sold price: $2.562 million
Another highly sought-after Lincoln Park location, this exquisite 4,500-square-foot four bedroom home has been embellished with an Architectural Digest flare. Every detail uses the most high-end finishes, and features throughout include custom Marvin arched doors/windows, Christopher Peacock custom cabinetry, smart home system, reclaimed herringbone white oak floors, radiant heat floors and much more. The outdoor space includes a beautifully landscaped paver patio off the main living area and an oasis-like roof deck complete with river birch trees, an outdoor shower and city views.

Reviewing last month’s sales is a great way for buyers to get an idea of what various features, locations and square footage might cost and allow you to compare those to your own budget. I have an extensive history of selling luxury real estate in Chicago, and would be happy to talk to you more about what you might be looking for in a home purchase–and for a limited time, I’m offering $2,500 cash at closing for clients who make a purchase over $500,000 with me.

For more details on the 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.

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.