Lincoln Park Was the Hot Chicago Neighborhood for Luxury Home Sales in April

With the summer season nearly underway, the real estate market is looking promising for the warmer months ahead. Sales in April 2018 were strong for luxury single-family homes (those priced at $1 million or higher), with total sales topping $110 million and 14 homes sold above the $2 million mark.

New construction properties are no stranger to our top sales report, and April’s most expensive home to sell was on the renowned Howe Street in Lincoln Park, closing at $6.8 million. This home was on an oversized lot, as were four out of the top five sales for the month. These larger lot sizes are hard to come by in Chicago luxury real estate, and are highly coveted by buyers for the larger rooms and expansive outdoor space that often comes with it.

In addition to a large lot, what gets buyers to pay big-ticket prices for their new homes? Of course, the needs and wants vary from buyer to buyer, but it’s almost a sure thing that an ultra-luxe features will reel in buyers: a large, heated garage, an elevator for easy access between floors and exquisite details in things like finishes, mill work and appliances.
There are plenty of special details and features among April’s top home sales. Here’s a look at what stood out among the five most expensive sales:

1825 N Howe St1825 N Howe St
Original list price: $6.899 million
Sold price: $6,788,628
This new construction home on the highly prestigious Howe Street sits on an oversized (33 x 124 square foot) lot. The generous lot size allows for a whopping 8,761 square feet of living space across 7 bedrooms and 7.1 baths. This sophisticated home has a number of luxury features, including a kitchen with massive island, butler’s pantry and built-in banquette seating; a great room with wall of doors leading to two outdoor decks; and a huge 3rd floor family room that opens out onto a covered terrace with an outdoor fireplace. There is also a 3-stop elevator that provides access to a massive penthouse skydeck with panoramic city views.

2204 N Cleveland Ave2204 N Cleveland Ave
Original list price: $4.5 million
Sold price: $4.35 million
Another extra-large lot allows for an extra-large home, this one in East Lincoln Park. With 5,370 square feet on a 37 x 125 square foot lot, this 5 bedroom single-family home has been redesigned and renovated to perfection. Its sunny interior is full of spectacular finishes and details like wide-plank walnut flooring with radiant heat. The impressive De Giulio kitchen boasts ample storage, Wolf and Subzero appliances, custom-polished stainless hood and a large, white quartzite island. The second level has four of the five bedrooms, including a luxe master suite with dual walk-in closets and spa bath.

2615 N Lakewood Ave2615 N Lakewood Ave
Original list price: $3.25 million
Sold price: $3 million
An amazing property on a double lot, this Lincoln Park home offers remarkable living spaces indoors and out. With 5 bedrooms, 4.2 baths and nearly 8,000 square feet, this isn’t like a typical city home. It boasts an open, sun-filled floor plan with clean, modern finishes and high-end details. Interior spaces include a large foyer, a spacious dining room, sun-soaked living room, extra-wide kitchen and huge yard and sport court. Four bedrooms reside on the second level, including a huge master with a crisp marble bath. A separate office adjacent to the master suite offers access to outdoor space. And the finished lower level includes an enormous rec room, bedroom and full bath.

1358 N State Parkway1358 N State Parkway
Original list price: $3.05 million
Sold price: $2.875 million
Everything is fresh and new in this fully renovated Gold Coast Greystone. Spanning 4,950 square feet with 5 ensuite bedrooms and 5.1 baths, this home has beautifully proportioned rooms with 11-foot ceilings, rift sawn oak floors, two fireplaces, zoned HVAC, new windows with plantation shutters and more. The lower level has been configured into a one-bedroom apartment with full kitchen and laundry, and the home has been designed to accommodate a 4-stop passenger elevator as well. Not only is the location in the coveted Gold Coast, it is in the Ogden Elementary School District and close to the private Latin School of Chicago.

2738 N Magnolia Ave2738 N Magnolia Ave
Original list price: $2.495 million
Sold price: $2.35 million
This new construction home in Lincoln Park has 6 bedrooms and more than 5,000 square feet across and extra-wide lot. The first thing you’ll notice is the beautiful detail on the limestone exterior. Inside, the eat-in chef’s kitchen features dual SubZero refrigerators, a Wolf range, two dishwashers, a large center island with quartz countertops, Amish custom cabinetry and a full butler’s pantry with wine cooler. A great room boasts a custom fireplace with built-in surround. The generous master suite has massive double walk-in closets, a luxurious bath with heated floors, freestanding Victoria-Albert tub, grand shower and steam. Outdoors, a raised, exterior pavered deck includes a stone wood-burning fireplace, a roof deck off of the third level, and snow melt on the front steps and walkway to garage.

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

The Name to Know From Chicago Luxury Condo Sales in April: 9 W Walton

The new construction luxury market is alive and well, as April’s condo sales made clear. Sales were strong last month, with a healthy number of ultra-luxury prices. Eleven properties closed for more than $2.5 million.

For the luxury buyer, a high price point of several million is not an issue for the luxury buyer when it has everything to offer. A prestigious building, ample square footage and incredible views are just a few big-ticket features that buyers are willing to pay for. The great thing about Chicago is that these features don’t have to be a trade-off to live in the heart of the city. In fact, Chicago has a number of buildings in which a buyer can get 3,000 square feet, affording them the space that they could get in the suburbs. I always recommend my clients consider at least this much space when purchasing a luxury condo, as this will be easier to resell when the time comes.

Looking at the top condos to sell in April, you’ll notice there’s not much diversity—a single address was responsible for three of the top five most expensive sales.

No. 9 Walton: The Hottest Address in Chicago Luxury Real Estate
While there have been a number of new construction luxury buildings in Chicago over the last decade or so, it has been some time since one had the anticipation of 9 W Walton. Located at Walton and State streets, these Chicago condos were designed to offer a luxurious, comfortable lifestyle, and was carefully designed to tap into an authenticity and elegance that balanced modern living with the nostalgia of Chicago’s architecture.

The building design itself is incredibly thoughtful, with each unit bespoke and made to order, paying careful attention to detail and the sourcing of materials. The design is meant to engage with the city outside of it, paying tribute to the surrounding architecture while delivering a fresh standard for luxury living. No. 9 Walton was created to be a hospitality-driven building, akin to a high-end hotel—but without the hotel guests. The long list of features and amenities include everything a resort hotel has to offer, but are available exclusively to residents.

Each condo in No. 9 Walton is a home, not just a space, and is filled with impeccable details that create an unparalleled living experience. The completely finished terraces include overhead heat, letting residents extend Chicago’s famous short summers by a few months. The two- to five-bedroom floor plans are custom tailored with dramatic 10 to 12 foot ceilings.

And the building services have plenty to offer, as well, including a fully-staffed lobby and valet; a house car and driver; dry-cleaning service; full-service maintenance team; and indoor lap pool, hot tub, steam room and sauna; fully equipped fitness center; private wine storage in a beautifully detailed cellar; a large, private dining room; covered dog run; and two guest suites.

Top Chicago Condo Sales in April

There were a few other noteworthy sales last month as well. Let’s dive into a recap of the top five most expensive Chicago luxury condos to close in April:

676 N Kingsbury St676 N Kingsbury St, Unit PH608
Original list price:
$4,125,625
Sold price: $3,897,381
This spectacular new construction penthouse is a one-of-a-kind urban oasis, stretching across 4,648 square feet with a massive private roof deck. No details were overlooked, and features include floor-to-ceiling windows and private elevator access. This new boutique building is slated to have it all, with sleek modern homes, large outdoor spaces, a 24-hour doorman, garage parking and more.

9 w walton9 W Walton St, Units 1101
Original list price:
$3.425 million
Sold price: $3,791,730
The most expensive sale at No. 9 Walton is a 3 bedroom, 3.1 bath, spanning 3,172 square feet on the building’s 10th floor. The building boasts 66 condos in all, with expertly crafted interiors, five-star services and amenities and more.

9 W Walton St, Unit 1001
Original list price: $3.295 million
Sold price: $3,781,181
Another 3 bedroom, 3.1 bath unit, this one also on the 10th floor and 3,172 square feet.

9 W Walton St, Unit 1203
Original list price:
$3.365 million
Sold price: $3,708,728
This unit is clearly a winning floorplan—this is the third 3,172 square foot, 3-bedroom unit to sell during the month.

600 N Fairbanks Ct600 N Fairbanks Ct, Unit 3901
Original list price:
$4.5 million
Sold price: $3.7 million
This unique, contemporary home boasts a remarkable design, filled with unsurpassed finishes and 300 degrees of extraordinary views captured through floor-to-ceiling windows. With 4,500 square feet on the building’s 39th floor, there are a number of distinct features for luxury living. A custom library is equipped with a number of specialized features for hobbies and entertainment: a specialized exhaust system that lets you light up a cigar indoors; complete soundproofing for cranking up music; and an entertainment system with 6 cable boxes, 15 television screens and the ability to make the room completely dark. The Poggenpohl kitchen features island seating for five, and a grand dining area is adjacent to one of three stunning covered terraces. And the third ensuite bedroom includes a high-end gym and spa. And the book-matched black walnut millwork is featured prominently throughout, balancing other design elements like glass curtains and terrazzo flooring.

For more details on the Chicago luxury condos 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 Construction Condos at 9 W Walton Accounted for Nearly Half of the $2M-Plus Closings in March

Looking at each month’s condo sales, we can generally see some common denominators or indicators of what’s to come in Chicago real estate: a trend that buyers are gravitating toward, a hot neighborhood or even negotiating tactics between buyers and sellers.

And March’s closings definitely point to something worth watching in Chicago real estate: 9 W Walton. This new construction building is clearly making a name for itself in the luxury market already, snagging 6 of 13 sales that closed for more than $2 million during the month. The building’s popularity are a good indication that it could point to market trends in pricing for resale properties and other new construction projects.

Below is a recap of the top five most expensive units sold, which includes three units in 9 W Walton. You’ll see that the price per square foot varies—this number is a good way to compare “apples to apples” in real estate, and the price goes up with more amenities, better views and covetable features. In the case of 9 W Walton, these units closed in March were all on lower floors, which cannot typically demand the higher price per square foot without the light and views you can find on a higher floor.

For my clients moving into the city, I’m finding that they are willing to spend more money per square foot for the right features—natural light, great views, generous ceiling heights and of course, a brand-new building. And most clients—even those making the move to condo living—want at least 3,000 square feet. This is the magic number as it relates to resale value, but also seems to be the minimum amount of space that a buyer wants if they are moving into the city from the suburbs.

In the March mix of sold condos, you’ll see that everything from location to views to square footage wooed luxury buyers. Here’s a closer look at the top five luxury condos that closed in March:

25502550 N Lakeview Ave, Unit 3301
List price: $3 million
Sold price: $2.7 million
Lincoln Park 2550 is the “grand dame” of luxury living in East Lincoln Park, and this one-of-a-kind, custom residence lives up to the name. This 33rd floor condo is a rarely available corner unit located on a transition floor, bosting 12+ foot ceilings and breathtaking views of the lake, city and park. The original floor plan was completely overhauled to bring in additional light, south and east views and to boost functionality of the space. The revamped space includes incredible design details like artistic lighting, custom millwork, wide-plank hardwood floors, stunning accent curtains and more. The space includes a master suite with sitting area and huge his-and-hers walk-in closets; kitchen with Wolf, Miele and Sub Zero appliances; and an oversized terrace. The building itself mirrors the services and amenities of a 5-star hotel, featuring an indoor pool, yoga and massage rooms, a dog run, billiard/reading/media rooms, a theater, gardens and more.

The next three condos were all sold in 9 W Walton, billed as the newest and finest building in the Gold Coast. The 66 units in this building feature private, heated terraces, high ceilings, expertly crafted interior design and custom tailored floor plans. The building also boasts five-star services and amenities for its residents, including a magnificent motor court with valet, and indoor spa and pool, a two-story exercise studio, a wine tasting room and private dining. Here’s a look at the units that sold:

9-w-walton9 W Walton St, Unit 502
Original list price: $2.6 million
Sold price: $2.6 million
With 3 bedrooms, 3 baths on the 5th floor, this 2,703 square foot unit went for $962 per square foot.

9 W Walton St, Unit 602
Original list price: $2.75 million
Sold price: $2,956,579
With 3 bedrooms, 3 baths on the 6th floor, this 2,703 square foot unit went for $1,093 per square foot.

9 W Walton St, Unit 604
Original list price: $3.8 million
Sold price: $3,880,152
This 3,715 6th-floor unit went to a cash buyer for more than $800,000 more than the list price, totaling $1,044 per square foot.

401NWabash401 N Wabash Ave, Unit 87A
Original list price: $9.95 million
Sold price: $9.4 million
This custom penthouse was completed in 2015 and built to standards rarely seen in Chicago. Spanning 6,850 square feet on the 87th floor, this unit sold for $1,372 per square foot. The unit’s design is inherently livable, thanks to perfectly proportioned rooms, 16-foot ceilings, massive floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views, plus every amenity imaginable. Finishes and details inside include exquisite millwork, built-ins, custom stone, inlaid and rift sawn oak floors, handcrafted hardware, designer paint and fabric wall coverings, motorized shades, remote-controlled custom lighting and a7-zone A/V system. This condo was built for entertaining with grand rooms and a top-of-the-line kitchen with butler’s pantry and wine cellar. Each bedroom has custom built-ins and luxurious ensuite baths, with a master dressing room that is larger than most bedrooms. The sale of this unit also included five garage spaces and private storage. And of course, the buyer of this condo can take advantage of all of the amenities and services that 401 N Wabash has to offer, including a world-class spa and lap pool and Michelin-rated restaurant.

For more information on 9 W Walton, the condos that sold in March or to see what’s on the market now, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

February Closings for Luxury Chicago Condos Were All About Square Footage

Square footage is something I bring up with my clients a lot. Whether you’re moving into the city from the burbs, or are a recent empty nester, buyers are often drawn to the convenience of amenities, services and location of a Chicago downtown luxury condo—but they don’t want to sacrifice space and square footage to get it.

If this sounds like you, don’t despair—Chicago has a lot of great options for luxurious high-end condos with generous interior space. Send me your square footage requirements and I can provide you with photos and listings that fit the range you’re looking for.

February Chicago Condo Sales Offer Generous Space

I’ve typically said that buyers want at least 3,000 square feet in a Chicago condo, but recent sales are proving I may have underestimated. February sales show that clients really want a huge amount of space when purchasing a Chicago condo. In the top five sales from last month, the lowest square footage in the list clocked in at 3,200 square feet, and the largest space was a gargantuan 7,100 square feet. It’s safe to say that luxury buyers want bigger, newer and more luxurious.

That’s just what buyers got among the top condo sales last month, with 38 condos sold and a sales volume of $69 million. Let’s take a closer look at the top five closings, in descending order.

9 W Walton St9 W Walton St, Unit 3400
Original sales price: $9,912,500
Sold price: $9,912,500
There weren’t too many details available about this top sale for the month, but we do know it was a whopping 7,100 square feet of raw space. That means the buyer can make this 34th-floor home exactly what they want.

Chicago condos in Trump Tower401 N Wabash Ave, Unit 88A
Original list price: $9.5 million
Sold price: $7.7 million
A half-floor penthouse high on the 88th floor, this luxury condo in River North boasts the most luxurious panoramic views. Inside, you’ll find a truly great space for entertaining, with 16-foot ceilings, 3 fireplaces and a glamorous state-of-the-art kitchen with Miele, Bosch, Wolf, SubZero appliances. The Kohler master baths include large walk-in closets and a separate Jacuzzi room. Residents here can enjoy the five-star hotel amenities including a health club, spa, restaurant and room service.

800NMichigan800 N Michigan Ave, Unit 2501
Original list price: $3.1 million
Sold price: $2.9 million
Located in the iconic Park Tower Residences, this 3,200 square foot home is located on the building’s east side, offering sensational views from every room of Lake Michigan and the famous architecture that Chicago is known for. With 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths, the condo was custom designed with architectural details and a floor plan that assures every room is elegant, comfortable and enjoyable. Features include hardwood floors, custom millwork, granite and marble throughout, living and dining spaces ideal for entertaining, designer kitchen appliances from Viking, Dacor, Euro Cave, SubZero and Bosch, custom cabinets, a built-in family room TV and a terrace. A premium parking space was also included with this sale.

445-e-north-water-st445 E North Water St, Unit 2401
Original list price: $2.7 million
Sold price: $2.2 million
This beautiful, full-amenity building is in the heart of Streeterville, boasting a state-of-the-art fitness center, indoor swimming pool, large party room and catering kitchen. This unit in particular spans 3,983 square feet on the 24th floor, with 3 bedrooms and a den and 3.5 baths. With a south corner exposure and dual balconies, this Chicago condo has exquisite views of the lake, river and city below. Inside, you’ll find a chef’s kitchen with granite countertops, a living area with double-sided fireplace, a beautiful ensuite master with custom walk-in closet and spa-like bath.

647 w melrose647 W Melrose St, Unit 1
Original list price: $2.299 million
Sold price: $2.199 million
A brand new construction building built on a 50-foot wide lot in East Lake View, these condos live better than a single-family home. This unit’s 4,600 square feet offers a width and breadth of real living and entertaining spaces that are hard to find. A keyed elevator entry opens directly into a large, elegant gallery. Throughout, you’ll find extraordinary finishes, 10-foot ceilings, a gorgeous chef’s kitchen, a separate mudroom, laundry room, and a fantastic lower level with radiant heat and a large family room. There is also outdoor space: A huge, private 26 x 15 foot yard and a 430-square foot covered terrace with a fireplace. And the location can’t be beat, as this home is within walking distance to schools, the park, Lake Michigan, shops and cafes.

For more on the homes that sold last month or to see what’s on the Chicago luxury condo market now, contact me at (312) 598-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Luxury Chicago Home Sales Slow Down in February

Over the last several months, it hasn’t been uncommon to find a property or two on the top sales each month that I’d call “ultra luxury.” These are the homes that sell for $3 million up to $8 million, typically in Lincoln Park.

February’s sales did not include a property like this, and it’s the first month in some time where this is the case. This could be signaling a trend for 2018, so it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on in the Chicago luxury market.

But any number of things could be taking a toll on luxury sales. What we saw last month could simply be a product of the low inventory for these ultra-high-end homes combined with Chicago’s brutal February weather. Or the most recent increase in mortgage interest rates. With that in mind, it’s interesting to note that three out of the top five sales in February were sold to cash buyers. Most of them were also on extra-wide lots, which continues to be a coveted feature for single-family homes.

February’s luxury market saw 31 single-family homes sold in all, for a total of $48 million in sales volume. Let’s look at some of the details about the properties that sold, starting with the most expensive:

1236 W Lill Ave1236 W Lill Ave
Original list price: $3.225 million
Sold price: $2.975 million
February’s most expensive home sale is a whopping 6,300 square feet of new construction on a double lot spanning 45 x 127 square feet. That space allows for coveted features like a huge backyard, attached two-car garage and four bedrooms on one floor. Unique features include high ceilings, a brick/limestone façade, rift and quartered oak floors, exquisite millwork, a curved custom staircase and 4 wood-burning fireplaces. The main floor boasts a gorgeous living room, formal dining room, spectacular ceiling detail and large bay window. A gourmet eat-in kitchen has Calcutta counters, a large center island, Wolf and SubZero appliances and a built-in banquette. There is also a large great room, a limestone outdoor porch, gorgeous master suite and a lower level with family room, guest bedroom, private office and custom wine cellar.

1855 N Hermitage Ave1855 N Hermitage Ave
Original list price: $2.595 million
Sold price: $2.56 million
Another new construction home, another oversized lot. This 6,000 square foot home was built with unparalleled attention to detail in the heart of Bucktown. Inside, find features like a handsome brick and limestone façade with copper accents; rift and quarter sawn flooring; beautifully detailed millwork and custom cabinetry, high-end appliances, Waterworks bathrooms and more. There is over 1,500 square feet of outdoor spaces, with a garage deck and rooftop deck that let you enjoy skyline views. This home is also within easy walking distance of everything Bucktown has to offer.

2101 N Dayton St2101 N Dayton St
Original list price: $2.999 million
Sold price: $2.55 million
A premium home in Lincoln Park, this 5,500 square foot home is showcases with a brick and limestone exterior on a corner lot on a great block. The extra-wide interior is crisp and clean, with a southern exposure that floods the space with light. Other features include high ceilings; large window; a great floorplan; a gourmet kitchen with large, open great room; large master suite; a lower level mudroom, playroom and study; and a beautiful yard with three decks.

338 W Oakdale Ave338 W Oakdale Ave
Original list price: $2.195 million
Sold price: $2.1 million
This East Lake View home was freshly updated, and its 6,400 square feet are exquisitely highlighted by a flood of natural light. Located on an oversized lot a half-block from Lake Michigan and Diversey Harbor, this home is also in the top-rated Nettlehorst School District. Features include soaring 12-foot ceilings, expansive custom millwork, a passenger elevator, exotic hardwood flooring, three fireplaces and a hard-to-find, 3.5 car attached garage. The well-designed floorplan allows for spacious bedrooms, full-size laundry, a secluded rec room with private patio and marble baths. And a unique entry level is ideal for a live/work space, nanny or in-law unity with an open living area and private outdoor space.

1731 N Hermitage Ave1732 N Hermitage Ave
Original list price: $2.095 million
Sold price: $1.995 million
Another new construction home on one of the most desirable tree-lined streets in Bucktown, this home was billed as a “contemporary tour de force” by Norsman Architects. The high design and attention to detail in this home give it a bespoke sensibility, with expansive open living that is both luxurious and inviting. The home features an abundance of natural light, soaring 11-foot ceilings and a dramatic interior glass courtyard. There’s also an Italian kitchen, sumptuous spa-like baths, custom millwork and a gym with a sauna. The outdoor space is incredible, with garage and rooftop decks with city and neighborhood views.

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.

Flex Space Becoming Critical for Buyers of Chicago Luxury Homes and Condos

In luxury Chicago real estate, the design of a home is of the utmost importance. Sure, buyers can make their own changes in line with their personal aesthetics, but things like a smart floorplan or architectural design are generally major markers of a dream home no matter what.

Because of that, the latest development in home design is a big one: flex space.

What is a flex space, exactly? Well, by nature of it, this room lacks a true definition but it does have a few common traits: It’s off the entry hall, near the main living space, near a bathroom. Above the garage is another common flex space that can be used as a theater, an in-law suite, or kids’ room.

But whether it’s called a bonus room, a multi-purpose area or a flexible living space, the idea is that this is undesignated square footage that can adapt to different uses and brings a forward-thinking element to a home’s floorplan. This space is intended to serve changing purposes over time, taking on considerations for structure, wiring or plumbing up front so the room is ready to transform into its future state when needed.

Flexibility is Key in Real Estate Value

While not every buyer is planning for the future when purchasing real estate, it’s still a consideration when thinking about the resale value of your home, as people discuss the floorplan with an emphasis on the future. Especially in ultra-competitive markets, these flex rooms appeal to buyers who want to trade up for more space, but can’t afford the extra square footage.

If you’re building your first home or unsure of your future needs (like say, the number of children you’ll have), having some flexibility is key. Not to mention, our lifestyles are constantly changing: Folks are living with their parents longer than they used to; or parents move back in with their grown children as they need care in their later years. Buyers definitely feel a need to consider such future living arrangements when building or buying a Chicago luxury home. A flex room helps a property stand out from the rest by offering the promise of never outgrowing the space.

Space helps with sale and resale value because it offers a customization that buyers typically can’t get in an existing home. Designating that room as a flex space signals a freedom to do with it as you wish, versus trying to get a buyer to envision a dining room as their home office. Younger buyers see flex space as a way to customize their home—for example, to forego the formal living room without losing the square footage. Older home owners see these as a space that can adapt as they age—for example, being able to move the master suite to the ground floor.

Whether you’re a homeowner, a prospective seller or a potential buyer, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on what’s “trending” in home design and its impact on real estate value. Especially if you opt to take on a remodel or renovation project, I highly recommend you consider how certain features or characteristics will affect a resale down the line.

For more information on the latest in home design in luxury Chicago real estate, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Top Sales Closed in January: 3 Vintage Chicago Luxury Masterpieces, 2 Luxury New Construction

Looking at the luxury Chicago homes that sold and closed, the month of January was highly unusual. The top five sales were each extremely unique, including two brand-new construction properties along with three vintage architectural masterpieces which sold for major, major discounts. The three vintage homes are truly special properties—but for real estate like this, there is often a limited pool of buyers, and would require a real investment in artistry to bring these gems back to their original grandeur.

All in all, January saw $77 million in total sales volume of Chicago luxury homes, with nine of those homes selling for more than $2 million. There’s lots to cover, so let’s jump right in to the top five single-family homes that sold in January, starting with the most expensive:

2466 N Lakeview Ave2466 N Lakeview Ave
Original list price: $7.15 million
Sold price: $4.65 million
This is Chicago’s historic “Wrigley Mansion,” a magnificent estate that was designed by famed architect Richard Schmidt and built in 1896. It spans more than 13,000 square feet, across a main house and additional structures on the property. The main house features 9 bedrooms, 6.3 baths, a grand foyer, a solarium, butler’s pantry, wine bar, walk-in vault, game rooms, staff quarters, a mahogany paneled library, sprawling master suite and a top-floor ball room with unobstructed views of Lincoln Park and Lake Michigan. It also includes a 2,000 square foot coach house with ground-floor storage and garage bays with two residential units above. Special details include mahogany cherry and bird’s eye maple woods throughout, marble fireplaces and fixtures, intricate mosaic tile, ornate hardware, gold and silver leaf finishes and coffered ceilings.

You’ll notice this home sold for more than $2.5 million less than the asking price—that’s quite a significant discount. This home was sold as a foreclosure, and while it holds a ton of history, was in need of some significant rehab, which likely helped the cash buyer do some major negotiating on the list price.

1440 N Dearborn Pkwy1440 N Dearborn Pkwy
Original list price: $6.45 million
Sold price: $4.625 million
This vintage property also sold for a major discount—nearly $2 million under asking price. The buyer paid cash, which likely gave him or her a leg up in negotiating the final price. The home is in the Gold Coast’s historic district near Oak Street Beach and the Magnificent Mile. Its style is a total stand-out, a gilded age mansion designed by James Egan with a blend of fresh Romanesque style architecture modernized for today’s buyer. The vintage charm lends itself to exceptional details, such as an elegant Tiffany stained glass oval skylight on the top level. But the rest of the home has been completely renovated across its four levels, five bedrooms and 5.2 baths, with a spacious open floor plan made for entertaining, a top-of-the-line gourmet kitchen with butler’s pantry, dining room and formal living room, plus a finished lower level with guest suite, exercise room and two wine cellars. Outside, the 150-foot-deep lot allows for plenty of space for a private, landscaped backyard paved with limestone.

1831 N Fremont St1831 N Fremont St
Original list price: $3.495 million
Sold price: $3.495 million
This is a brand-new brick and limestone home on the tree-lined Fremont Street in Lincoln Park. This new home offers more than 5,200 square feet of luxurious living space that is bright and airy, thanks to oversized windows throughout. Design details inside include custom cabinetry and millwork, professionally designed natural stone baths, a luxe master bath with oversized steam shower, separate vanities and private water closet. Outside, you’ll find a tremendous outdoor space including a yard, rear patio, garage deck and secluded rooftop deck with covered patio and fireplace. Plus, the home includes a radiant-heated lower level, front steps and rear walkway along with an oversized two-car brick garage.

1248 N Astor St1248 N Astor St
Original list price: $3.65 million
Sold price: $3.15 million
Built in 1886 on a 29-foot lot, this architectural gem in the Gold Coast is located on one of the city’s most prestigious blocks. The three-story limestone home spans 8,000 square feet with six bedrooms and 6.1 baths. Period details brings a certain stately dignity to this home, such as a wide foyer with custom millwork, a restored original staircase, a beautifully restored fireplace and a wood-paneled library overlooking Goudy Park. The floorplan offers generous room sizes, a grand living room and dining room off the kitchen, plus high ceilings and hardwood floors throughout. You’ll even find the most coveted feature of any Chicago property: spectacular lake and city views.

This home also sold for well below the asking price—a whopping half million dollars.

2022 W Moffat St2022 W Moffat St
Original list price: $2.395 million
Sold price: $2.33 million
The final top sale from January was another brand-new build, this one made to be a 4,800 square foot contemporary dream home. The home was built on a hard-to-find 36-foot lot, which allows for an incredible floor plan with huge windows in the living and dining area that bring in southern light all day. A massive, open-concept living and kitchen area opens directly to a 30-foot long terrace and enormous roofdeck for the best in indoor-outdoor living. Upstairs, the second floor boasts four bedrooms and three baths, plus laundry; the master suite includes a sumptuous spa-like bath and massive walk-in closet, and on the lower level you’ll find a rec area complete with wet bar. Features aside, the location of this home can’t be beat, as it’s right off of Damen in Bucktown and within walking distance to parks, restaurants and shopping.

The top sales for January saw a mix of vintage stunners and contemporary new builds. This is one of my favorite things about Chicago real estate—if you’re a luxury buyer, you can find something that fits your taste, whether that’s old-world charm or new-age modern or something in between.

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

Chicago Luxury Homes Closed in December Were on a Tear

Chicago luxury home sales hardly went on a winter break at the end of 2017. The month of December saw $107 million in total sales volume for homes sold for $1 million and up. And the ultra-luxury category showed healthy sales as well.

During December, there were 18 deals made for more than $2 million. And the top five single-family homes all topped $3 million in price.

Lincoln Park Still a Hot Spot for Luxury Buyers
Of those 18 $2 million-plus sales, two-thirds of them were found in Lincoln Park. And of the top five, three were in Lincoln Park. While this beloved neighborhood has always been sought after by luxury buyers, it’s been especially hot in recent months, especially when a new construction property becomes available.

Lincoln Park is such a favorite for a few reasons:

Location: Lincoln Park is literally in the heart of it all. A quick jaunt into downtown. A short walk to parks and outdoor spaces. Nearby shopping, restaurants, nightlife and theater. But, the neighborhood boasts a residential feel that could be hard to come by in more urban areas. So Lincoln Park packs all of the convenience of city living with the comfort of the ‘burbs.

Plenty to do: You can spend a day in itself in actual Lincoln Park, home of the zoo, conservatory, North Pond and much more. And Lincoln Park is full of distinct blocks of boutique shopping, local eateries and other hot spots. There is always something to do, and it’s likely just steps from your front door.

Real estate options: Whether you’re looking for a full-amenity condo, a single-family home or a property with architectural significance, you’re likely to find it in Lincoln Park. This architecture of residential real estate in this area ensures you’ll find a property that sets itself apart in the luxury market.

Top Five Sales All Topped $3 Million
You can see why winter didn’t steer away luxury buyers from everything Lincoln Park and other Chicago neighborhoods have to offer. Here’s a closer look at the top five most expensive luxury homes that sold in December, in descending order.

1502 N Dearborn Pkwy1502 N Dearborn Pkwy
Original list price: $3.999 million
Sold price: $3.8 million
December’s top sale was a new construction property, which is always highly coveted with the luxury buyer. This 4-story, 5,200 square foot 3 bedroom includes features like a limestone façade, a top-floor master suite with double walk-in closets and a sky-lit level that brings in tons of sunlight. The extra-wide lot allows for plenty of green grass space between the house and garage.

1942 N Dayton St1942 N Dayton St
Original list price: $3.799 million
Sold price: $3.7 million
An extra-wide lot allows this Lincoln Park home to stretch across a generous 6,000 square feet, with 6 bedrooms and 6.1 baths. Features include a gracious entry foyer with a custom staircase that opens to spacious living and dining rooms; a huge great room with built-ins adjoining the kitchen area; and a large master suite with fireplace, dual walk-in closets, and a beautiful bath with steam shower. The showstopper of the home is the Christopher Peacock kitchen, featuring a walnut island, 48-inch Wolf cooktop, double oven and built-in desk area. You’ll also find a temperature controlled wine cellar, gigantic family/rec room with wet bar, an elevator to all levels and unbelievable outdoor space that includes a covered terrace, deck with pergola and planters, sunken stone patio and multiple rooftop decks. The home also has an attached 3-car garage—a must for Chicago winters.

2042 N Fremont St2042 N Fremont St
Original list price: $3.599 million
Sold price: $3.5 million
Located on a premier Lincoln Park block, this serene and understated 6 bedroom, 5.1 bath home has a highly functional layout across its 5,200 square feet. The home also has more than 1,500 square feet of outdoor space that includes a covered Loggia with outdoor fireplace on the penthouse level. The kitchen features custom slab-front cabinets, a giant walk-in pantry and a huge eat-at island. The great room opens up to a generous, stone-paved terrace leading to a garage roof deck. The lower-level family room includes oversized windows and a built-in wet bar with two additional bedrooms.

1804 N Leavitt St1804 N Leavitt St
Original list price: $4 million
Sold price: $3.4 million
You’ll see from the sales price that this home sold for a whopping $600,000 off of the list price—likely due to the buyer purchasing the home for case. Spanning 8,600 square feet, this 5 bedroom, 3.2 bath home is an architecturally exciting showpiece. Designed Miller Hull Partnership with heavy exposed timber and brick, the interior boasts soaring ceilings, and open central atrium that floods the home with light, a master suite on the top floor and a roof terrace. The kitchen’s two-story window wall opens to a full side yard with extensive landscaping. Other features include an elevator, 1,200 bottle wine cellar and an acoustically sealed theater room.

09061607_21489 N North Park Ave
Original list price: $3.1 million
Sold price: $3,061,310
This 6,000 square foot new construction home sold as quickly as it was listed. Touted as one of the most spectacular homes in the city presented by Urbane Home, this solid-brick beauty sits on wide, quiet, tree-lined street in the heart of Old Town. The location puts it just steps from popular shops, restaurants, transportation, parks and the lake. Inside, you’ll find artisan-caliber finishes in the professionally appointed interior that includes 4 living spaces. Outdoors, enjoy multiple outdoor spaces with skyline views. This home has luxury, comfort and convenience rolled into one, with a professional-grade kitchen, radiant heat in baths and exterior and electric car charging. Since this home was still in the final phase of development, the buyer even had time to make some customizations of their own from the builder.

Seeing what sold in the previous month is a great way for buyers to get a gauge on the market if they are looking to buy. If you’re looking for new construction or a particular feature, getting familiar with the recent sales can give you insight into what you might expect to pay for a property of the same stature.

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

Vista Tower: Newest Chicago Luxury Condo Building Expected to be Iconic

Over the last few years, Chicago has seen a number of exciting new construction projects for luxury buyers—but it’s been some time since something as exciting as Vista has been on the horizon.

This new luxury building is under construction now—but the anticipation for it is building even more quickly, as this is expected to be among the largest, most high-end condominiums in Chicago. Designed by famed Chicago architect Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects, the Vista Residences will be a part of Lakeshore East, an idyllic community with an unbeatable location where the Chicago River and Lake Michigan meet. Its 90 floors feature 1- to 4-bedroom condos (starting at $1 million), including 18 floors of penthouse units.

But one paragraph certainly isn’t enough to summarize what’s to come with the Vista Tower. Let’s take a closer look at this sensational new building:

The Architecture


A celebrated Chicago architect, Jeanne Gang is no stranger to stunning silhouettes along Chicago’s skyline. She is the name behind many Chicago buildings, including Aqua Tower, City Hyde Park, and the Eleanor Boathouse at Park 571, plus projects in New York and all around the globe.

Vista Tower will transform Chicago’s famed skyline. The three towers take on a crystalline form in a striking design, unlike anything along the city’s panorama. Its glass façade will reflect the never-ending blues of the lake and sky surrounding it, making an elegant, visual masterpiece in the sky.

The Amenities


Many of Chicago’s residential buildings can enjoy the benefits of luxury hotel-caliber amenities, typically from an in-building or adjacent high-end hotel that offers its services to the building’s residents. Vista Tower will be no exception. This project will include the American debut of the Wanda Vista Hotel, a hospitality heavyweight in China that has won countless hospitality awards and will bring the epitome of luxury and indulgence to Chicago. Residents can enjoy direct access to the 5-star amenities that come with the Wanda Vista Hotel.

Plus, residents of Vista Tower can enjoy an exclusive amenity floor, called Club Vista, which promises a private oasis on the building’s 47th floor. The club will include just about every amenity under the sun without even having to leave the building: a fitness room, outdoor pool deck, theater room, wine storage and tasting room, a private dining suite, a demonstration kitchen, a sky lounge, a children’s room and activity space and game room.

The Residences


With all of this outside your front door, it will be no surprise that what awaits you on the interior is equally impressive. These single-floor Chicago condos are perfectly appointed, with spacious layouts, 360-degree views, 9-plus foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, wide-plank hardwood flooring and Snaidero cabinetry.

From the 73rd to the 90th floor, you’ll find penthouse units with 11-plus foot ceilings and a bevy of additional features with no detail overlooked.

The Location


At the heart of Lakeshore East is an enduring community that Chicago residents love to call home, all in the middle of an urban oasis. The master-planned community has one a number of awards for its thriving neighborhood, luxury living options with incredible views and near-it-all location at the intersection of the river and lake. It is home to an idyllic 6-acre park that wide, open green space, seating areas, a children’s play park, dog park, and beautiful gardens throughout.

And if a day alfresco isn’t your thing, just about any activity you might enjoy downtown is within an easy walk of Vista, including the Chicago river walk and lakefront, Millennium Park and Maggie Daley Park, the Magnificent Mile, the Loop, the Art Institute and Navy Pier. Work, play and everything in between are right outside the front door.

Buying New Construction Condos in Chicago

It’s incredibly exciting for Chicago to have a project like this in the works, and I have no doubt it will change the luxury real estate market here. One of the most important considerations for a potential buyer of new construction is to work with your own agent throughout the process as you visit the sales center and work with the developers.

A new development’s sales center is a great resource to introduce you to the building, but it’s also important that a potential buyer has someone working with their interest in mind. I’ve visited many sales offices with clients to help review floorplans, choose product selections that will maximize resale value or to guide them around the nuances of different units or parts of the building. Visiting with your own agent will ensure you are being represented as a potential buyer only.

My experience with buyers of new construction properties has been honed by working with some of Chicago’s major developers and helping buyers make important decisions off of floorplans, renderings and models while the “real thing” is still in production. If you’re looking at a development like Vista Tower or other, I can represent your interests to make sure you negotiate the best deal possible and make the best decisions for your future home.

If you’d like to learn more about Vista Tower, I would be happy to introduce you to the project and show you what’s in store. Contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

How to Close on a Chicago Luxury Home in a Bidding War

Picture this: You’re shopping for a home and finally find a property that is stunning, special and feels different from the rest. It’s perfect for you, and because you can picture yourself living in it already—well, it must be meant to be.

Odds are, you aren’t the only one who feels this way about that one special home. Because inventories on Chicago homes and condos are still fairly low, it is more the rule than the exception that a great home will go quickly, and buyers will find themselves in a multiple-offer situation with any home they bid on.

Because of this increased competition, I am working with my clients more than ever on how to stand out as a buyer. While it once might have been as simple as throwing more money into an offer, I find it important to explain the different approaches to overcome multiple bids.

The Power of a Real Estate Letter

One strategy that is becoming more commonplace for buyers is penning a letter directly to the seller of a home. Referred to as a cover letter or even a love letter, this more personal communication is said to increase a luxury buyer’s chances of having their offer accepted by 75%. This personal approach can go a long way, which I think speaks to the emotions that are often involved in real estate.

While it might seem to be all about the numbers—highest bid wins, right?—a letter plays into a less black-and-white approach. For one, it gives you the opportunity to stoke the ego of the seller with compliments of their beautiful home. It also shows that a buyer is serious and will be diligent throughout the sales process if anything should come up. And third, it shows that there is a real person behind all the paperwork, and can help the seller feel like they are leaving the home in good hands if that is important to them.

Ultimately, it’s ultimately up to the seller to choose an offer for any reasoning they like. So anything that a buyer can put out there to connect with the seller is a possibility, whether it be to tell them about their family, their work, or their connection to the home or neighborhood via a personal note.

Other Strategies for Purchasing with Multiple Offers

While a letter may be effective for some, real estate is a business after all, and many sellers are just as motivated by knowing that the transaction will go smoothly. The Wall St. Journal recently reported on the various tactics that buyers are using to make their bids more competitive, with more common approaches including:

All cash: Yes, it’s still king. And it’s not just more cash that seals a deal. Cash rules in real estate because, the lower the risk of a sale going through without issues, the greater the appeal of the offer will be to most sellers. Paying in cash ensures a seller that a deal will close, and will do so quickly. High-end sellers in particular tend to be less price sensitive and might take less money for the promise of an all-cash offer.

Escalation clause: This is an arrangement that automatically increases a buyer’s bid if a competing buyer bids higher. It’s like an upfront guarantee to the seller that they’ll get the very best price for their property.

Waiving inspection contingencies: This means the potential buyer cannot cancel or renegotiate the contract based on the results of a home inspection. Not only does this cut down on the time to close, it ensures the seller won’t hit any snags if the home inspection reveals anything that might make the buyer want to rework the terms of their offer.

Waiving financing contingencies: This means the potential buyer’s offer is not dependent on his or her ability to obtain financing. With the influx of all-cash offers, this is becoming less effective of a strategy for buyers, and in some areas might even be mandated for your offer to be considered.

Pre-inspection: This is when a potential buyer commissions an inspection before making an offer. This ensures the seller that the buyer is confident in the property upfront, and that the closing process won’t be held up by an inspection timeline or any issues that get brought up.

If you’re in the market for a Chicago home or condo, it’s important to walk through some of these strategies with your agent so you know exactly what you’re able to offer when you find that home you love. Transactions move quickly and competitively, and my 25+ years of experience can help you navigate some of the less-charted territory we’re seeing in the luxury market today and help you close a sale on a great Chicago home.

For information on purchasing a Chicago luxury home or to see what’s on the market now, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.