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.

11 Luxury Chicago Condos Sold Between $2 and $3 Million in December

Considering the cold spell we’ve been having in Chicago, seeing the luxury condos that closed in December was a welcome surprise. During the month, a total of 61, $1 million-plus condos sold, reaching a total sales volume of $95 million. Twelve of those properties fell into the “ultra-luxury” category, priced between $2 million and $3 million.

Square Footage, Discounts Key to Top Condos Sold
As we’d expect, the top five condos (by price) had one common denomina
tor: close to 3,000 square feet or more, and going all the way up to 4,800 square feet. I have consistently recommended to my clients purchasing luxury property to aim for that amount of square footage at a minimum, as that is what helps high-end Chicago condos retain their resell value.

Many buyers are coming from the suburbs and trading their single-family home for something with less upkeep. But even as they are consolidating their belongings and trading in yard work for the convenience of assessments, many of them don’t want to find themselves cramped for space if they are moving from a 4,000 or 5,000 square foot home.

Another important note about the top condos that sold is the difference we see between asking price and list price. The buyers of the most expensive condos sold were able to obtain the properties for anywhere from $200,000 to $395,000 off their respective list prices. This is likely due to a few things: it was the end of the year, and many sellers are eager to make a deal and close the sale; and these buyers were able to offer cash, which helps negotiations in their favor. But in the end, the final purchase price appears to have worked in the buyer’s favor.
With that, let’s take a closer look at what the top properties had to offer those year-end buyers:

1201-s-prairie1201 S Prairie Ave, Unit 2301
Original list price: $3.395 million
Sold price: $3 million
Discount: $395,000
This half-floor condo on the 23rd floor boasts 5 bedrooms and 5.1 baths, making it a great alternative to the single-family home. The property has captivating views of Grant Park, Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline—a must for a luxury condo in the city. Inside, you’ll find a top-of-the-line kitchen with Ernestomeda custom cabinets, Wolf and Subzero appliances; a generous master suite with two walk-in closets and a marble bath with heated floors, steam shower and freestanding tub. Other features include wide-plank herringbone floors, motorized shades and surround sound throughout. And for what you don’t find in the unit itself, you’ll find in the building: The Grant has a 24-hour door staff, indoor pool, gym, sundeck, lounge, catering kitchen, children’s playroom and theater room.

180-e-pearson180 E Pearson Unit 6402
Original list price: $2.875 million
Sold price: $2.8 million
Discount: $75,000
Spanning 2,975 square feet high on the 64th floor, this 3 bedroom, 3 bath Chicago condo in the Water Tower Residences has been renovated into an exquisite home. The Water Tower Residences sit atop the Ritz-Carlton hotel, ensuring its residents privacy, discreet service and top security alongside access to the hotel’s renowned five-star amenities like room service, spa, gym and pool.

340ERandolph340 E Randolph St, Unit 4503
Original list price: $2.95 million
Sold price: $2.73 million
Discount: $220,000
Spectacular views are the cornerstone of this downtown building, with unobstructed southern views from every room, including vistas of Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain and Grant Park. This 45th floor 4 bedroom unit spans 2,750 square feet and includes $200,000 in upgrades from the developer: bamboo flooring, extra built-in cabinets, designer lighting, electric shade, top-of-the-line appliances, and a remodeled master bath. The purchase even included two side-by-side parking spaces. 340 E Randolph is a full-amenity building that includes a spa-quality, 4,000 square foot exercise facility, sauna, steam room, lap pool, sky garden atrium, full-service business center and a 24-hour doorman.

1500 N Lake Shore Dr1500 N Lake Shore Dr, Unit 20B
Original list price: $2.95 million
Sold price: $2.6 million
Discount: $350,000
This iconic Gold Coast co-op has been meticulously renovated. Its 3,150 square feet include a spacious adjoining living and dining room with expansive lake views, high ceilings and beautifully finished hardwood floors throughout. Other features include a cozy lacquered library that overlooks the lake; a master bedroom with huge walk-in closet; new windows, electric, plumbing and zoned air conditioning with humidity control. The building is full-service, with 24-hour door staff, valet parking, guest parking, an on-sit engineer and is pet-friendly.

The Fordham Chicago25 E Superior St, Unit 4401
Original list price: $2.75 million
Sold price: $2.55 million
Discount: $200,000
Ah, the Fordham. This is a one-of-a-kind, half-floor penthouse in a one-of-a-kind building. Located just steps from Michigan Avenue, this 44th floor Chicago condo offers a generous 4,800 square feet of luxurious space. The property is bright and sunny throughout, with oversized windows in each room that bring in spectacular views of the lake and city in all directions. The floor plan is ideal for entertaining, with a large, open chef’s kitchen, a master bedroom with large bathroom and dressing room, plenty of closets, high-end appliances and more. The Fordham is a full amenitiy building with 24-hour door staff, theater, party room, indoor pool, sun deck, fitness center, sauna, massage room, wine cellar, humidor room and a dog run.

Even though December is a busy, busy time—wrapping up the end of the calendar year, holidays, travel—it’s also proven as a great time to take on making a home purchase, as shown by last month’s sales. These opportunistic buyers were able to work the timing in their favor for big discounts off the asking prices of the city’s top Chicago condos for sale.

If you’re considering a purchase this year, I’d recommend getting started before spring is in full swing. With less competition from other buyers, there’s a good chance that we can negotiate a good deal on a home before the real estate market season is in full swing.

For more information on what’s on the market now or to get started on your home search, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

November Luxury Chicago Home Sales Slowed Slightly

While luxury Chicago condo sales saw a strong November, single-family homes seemed to experience the seasonal slowdown we often see this time of year. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t some noteworthy sales: The highest-price property traded for $4.2 million, and the top five sales were all around $2 million or higher.

The top five most expensive homes that sold each have their own list of unique and special features, from square footage, to location, lot size, or other features. This is the key in luxury real estate today. Upscale properties must have a healthy number of factors that differentiate it from what else is on the market to attract luxury buyers—and this month’s homes certainly did that.
Total luxury homes sales in Chicago totaled $56 million for November. Let’s take a closer look at the details and characteristics that set these apart with a recap of the top homes sold in descending order.

456-w-huron456 W Huron St
Original list price: $4.6 million
Sold price: $4.2 million
November’s most expensive single-family home sale also offered the most square footage: a whopping 10,000 across 6 bedrooms and 4.3 baths. Located on a quiet, tree-lined street in River North, this stunning home showcases quality construction and immaculate attention to detail. The space in an entertainer’s dream, equipped with a 750-bottle wine cellar, recreation room with full bar, elevator, custom staircase and 3-car attached garage. In addition to the generous interior, there are also three enormous outdoor spaces. The River North location offers easy access to the highway and is a short walk to shops, dining and all of the neighborhood’s offerings.

457-W-Deming-Pl457 W Deming Pl
Original list price: $3.795 million
Sold price: $3.625 million
This extra-wide, custom single-family home spared no expense through a long list of upgrades, including a first-floor marble foyer, elevator, high ceilings, an attached two-car heated garage, and hardwood floors throughout. The sunlit building boasts three levels, including a second-floor maginircenty living room with custom built-ins and wood-burning fireplace, plus a deluxe gourmet, eat-in kitchen. The top floor master suite includes an office/sitting room, massive walk-in closet with island, Calcutta master bath and oversized separate steam shower. Outdoors, you’ll find three private spaces with a one-of-a-kind, 900-square foot private side deck. And the new owners can enjoy all of the luxury amenities at the coveted 2550 Lakeview building.

214-W-Erie-St214 W Erie St
Original list price: $3.25 million
Sold price: $2.69 million
This is an ultra-unique property in River North—the distinct and recognizable Flair House, an 1883 masterpiece that formerly served as the office of Flair Communications. With 7,000 square feet, this home was ready to be created into a home or office across its 7,000 square feet.

3738-N-Lakewood-Ave3738 N Lakewood Ave
Original list price: $2.395 million
Sold price: $2.25 million
Located in the Southport Corridor (and in the coveted Blaine school distict!), this custom Greystone spans 5,360 square feet, with 5 bedrooms and 5.2 baths. Features include a commercial-grade, eat-in chef’s kitchen with luxury appliances, Amish custom cabinetry, oversized quartzite tile, a walk-in pantry, Butler’s pantry with full-size SubZero wine fridge. The expansive floorplan includes a sun-drenched family room with fireplace and coffered ceilings, while an incredible master suite boasts his-and-hers walk-in closets, gas fireplace, wet bar, marble spa bath, radiant heat and separate steam shower. Outdoors, there is a new limestone porch and walk-out balcony as well as a rooftop deck.

315-Wisconsin-St315 W Wisconsin St
Original list price: $2.05 million
Sold price: $1.925 million
A historic row home in the heart of Old Town, this 3 bedroom, 3.1. bath home is in an ideal location: steps from Lincoln Park and Green City market, buses to downtown, restaurants and shopping, plus within the Lincoln Elementary and Lincoln Park High School district. The home has a classic Chicago façade that has been completely rebuilt on the 4,500 square foot interior. You’ll find four levels of bright, luxurious living and entertaining space with tall ceilings and an unusually wide floorplan. A full-floor master suite includes a club-style family room with projection TV, paneled study, attractive millwork and built-ins. Four private outdoor areas include a roof deck with skyline views.

It will be in interesting to see how the end of the year shakes out for Chicago luxury sales and what trends will develop in early 2018. It’s clear that the differentiation factor is huge for the luxury buyer, and many Chicago properties are delivering on that need.

For more of November’s Chicago luxury sales or to talk about buying in 2018, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Ultra-Luxury Chicago Condos Sell Well in November

When we checked in on Chicago condo sales at the close of September, the final quarter of 2017 was looking a bit unpredictable. The month saw relatively soft sales of high-end properties, but sales seemed to resume in October— and not move into the typical winter/holiday slump that November and December usually bring.

But, November proved to be a strong month as well for luxury Chicago condos. Total sales for the month topped $79 million, and nine of the properties sold were over the $2 million mark.

We also saw two continued trends among the month’s top condo sales. As usual, every condo sold in this category boasted generous square footage—the largest one being a 6,100 square foot gem that sold for cash. And, cash remains king for purchasing luxury real estate in Chicago, as buyers who can do so can usually get a considerable amount of money off the listing price.

With that, here’s a more detailed look at the top five most expensive Chicago condos to sell in November, in descending order:

189ELakeShoreDr189 E Lake Shore Dr, Unit 10
Original list price: $5.2 million
Sold price: $4.3 million
The month’s most expensive sale was also the most expansive—a whopping 6,100 square feet. A rare opportunity on East Lake Shore Drive, this 5 bedroom/4.1 bath condo is a full-floor unit with an amazien layout that includes an open living room, den and office with stunning views of Oak Street Beach and Chicago’s stunning lakefront. A large, private south-facing terrace brings in plenty of sun and breath-taking views come from all bedrooms. Other features include a deluxe, eat-in kitchen with attached breakfast area, separate family room, and 3-car indoor garage parking. This premier, full-service building includes a 24-hour doorman, exercise room and more.

77-e-walton77 E Walton St, Unit 27F
Original list price: $3.4 million
Sold price: $3.2725 million
This 3 bedroom/3.1 bath property is a stunning Gold Coast condo in the Residences at 900. It’s 3,486 square feet have been meticulously remodeled with thoughtful room design and the finest finishes. The unbelievable master suite includes a 13-by-12-foot organized closet, a master bath with heated floors, custom lighting and vanities, handcrafted tub and an oversized shower. The state-of-the-art home automation system controls sound, lighting, climate and windows. Building amenities include a 10th floor roof garden, private, on-site concierge, 24-hour door person, valet parking and bike storage. Residents here have access to the Four Seasons hotel amenities, like room service, spa treatments, exercise facility and more.

1340 N State Pkwy, Unit 1S1340 N State Parkway, Unit 3S
Original list price: $3.25 million
Sold price: $3.25 million
A recent renovation made this half-floor Playboy Chicago condo a turnkey home, with 4,300 square feet and 4 bedrooms/4.1 baths. The unit boasts a large private terrace, plus sun-filled rooms from 23 huge windows in all directions. The building itself has just seven residences in the Gold Coast, on a quiet, tree-lined street that is within walking distance to Lake Michigan, Lincoln Park and the Magnificent Mile. Other rooms include a living room, separate dining room, informal family room, eat-it kitchen, separate home office and an attached two-car garage.

50echestnut50 E Chestnut St, Unit 501
Original list price: $3.295 million
Sold price: $3.175 million
Located in a premiere deluxe building one block off of Michigan Avenue, this one-of-a-kind home spans 3,904 square feet on the building’s 5th floor. Inside, you’ll find a stunning interior with designer finishes throughout; outside is a huge wrap-around terrace with space for a dog run, putting area and alfresco dining, plus additional outdoor space. There’s also a deluxe eat-it kitchen with Wolf, Sub-Zero and other high-end appliances. Plus, this property’s Gold Coast location is ideal for walking to shops, dining, the beach and much more.

180 E Pearson180 E Pearson St, Unit 3805
Original list price: $3.425 million
Sold price: $3 million
This 3 bedroom/4 bath unit in one of Chicago’s top luxury buildings boasts 3,400 square feet on the 28th floor. The unit has been completely renovated, designed and decorated by a world-class designer to include luxury materials and finishes and meticulous attention to detail. Features include wide-plank black walnut flooring, sweeping views of the lake and city and a well thought-out floorplan that includes custom cabinetry, millwork and window treatments. The kitchen and baths have the finest fixtures and finishes, while the master suite hosts a separate sitting room/office/bedroom chamber with his-and-her baths and abundant storage. Residents here can also enjoy the superb service and discounted amenities of the Ritz-Carlton Club and Spa.

While this is just a snippet of last month’s sales, t’s a great idea for prospective buyers to take a look at what Chicago condos have recently sold, and see how sale prices line up with the location, space, features and amenities on their own wish list. Particularly for luxury condos, it’s a good idea to understand some of the most coveted features of upscale homes and what those features mean for a sale price. Doing this research will help you understand what you might find when you’re ready to hit the market as a buyer yourself.

For more information 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.

Chicago Luxury Homes Sales Held Up in October with 8 Homes Sold for More Than $2 Million

Chicago luxury home sales seemed to perk up in October, especially when compared to the soft September that preceded it. October saw $58 million in total sales of luxury single-family homes, ranging from $1 million up to $7.5 million. Eight of the 33 luxury homes sold were over a $2 million price point.

Here’s a closer look at the top five single-family homes that sold in October:

52 E Bellevue Place52 E Bellevue Place
Original list price: $7.999 million
Sold price: $7.5 million
It’s easy to see why this was the most expensive single-family home to sell last month. An oversized lot of 26 feet by 129 feet enables 10,000 square feet of interior space in this amazing, one-of-a-kind, custom-built home in the Gold Coast. The façade of this 1885 home was carefully restored with a full renovation of the interior. The home boasts all ensuite bedrooms, a true master suite with spa-like baths, smarthome automation system, elevator, custom wine cellar, sauna, gym room, three laundry rooms, separate heating system for all levels, radiant heat throughout provided by solar panels, a media room with 120-inch screen and projector. There is also a 3-car heated garage, which is virtually unheard of in Chicago, let alone in the Gold Coast. Outdoors, you’ll find five decks, a firepit and two grilling stations for making the most of Chicago summers.

321 W Menomonee St321 W Menomonee St
Original list price: $3.45 million
Sold price: $2.8 million
The extra-wide lot allows for more than 6,600 square feet of living space inside this exquisite two-story residence in East Lincoln Park. With five bedrooms, 5.2 baths, the home opens up into a grand atrium with curved staircase, a gracious living space and a thoughtfully designed floor plan. Other grand spaces include a formal living and dining room with direct patio access, a wood-paneled library, an eat-in kitchen, a gracious master suite and a family room. The kitchen includes a breakfast bar and table space with top-of-the-line appliances, copious storage and a large island. The second-floor master suite overlooks the backyard from a private balcony and features a wood-burning fireplace, two walk-in closets, luxe master bath with onyx counters, oversized dual shower, separate whirlpool tub and dual vanity. Skylights and large windows in every room flood the home with natural light.

1801 N Hermitage Ave1801 N Hermitage Ave
Original list price: $2.735 million
Sold price: $2.375 million
Located in Bucktown on an extra-wide corner lot, this home is absolutely flooded with sunlight, thanks to its 65 windows throughout. With four bedrooms, three baths and laundry all on the second floor, the home has an ideal floorplan for a family. Luxe details include oak flooring, a completely redesigned kitchen, a master suite, extensive built-ins and millwork throughout, and a large penthouse office with full bath, bar and two private decks.

1932 N Mohawk St1932 N Mohawk St
Original list price: $2.8 million
Sold price: $2.42 million
On one of the best streets in the heart on Lincoln Park, this grand, unique residence showcases its excellent craftsmanship the moment you see its stately limestone exterior. Those luxe features continue as you move inside, with an exquisite staircase, architecturally dramatic ceilings, a formal entry, high-end light fixtures, a master suite suited for a king and queen and three fireplaces. This home is built for entertaining, with a custom wine cellar, authentic bar, numerous outdoor spaces and a state-of-the-art smarthome system.

830 W Buena Ave830 W Buena Ave
Original list price: $2.395 million
Sold price: $2,293,333
This home is truly something to be seen—a one-of-a-kind modern estate that sits on three lots and was featured in Dwell Magazine. This home exemplifies the best of inspired modern design in the city, having been gut-renovated to the highest standards. The design features an incomparable width and breadth of indoor/outdoor living spaces rarely found in Chicago, centered around a sensational two-story glass-roofed atrium with sculpted concrete that creates a zen-like oasis in the hart of the home. Enormous rooms flow from one to another, from the huge living and formal dining rooms, to the chef’s Italian kitchen, to the private office. An LED-lit stairwell leads up to three ensuite bedrooms including a serene master wing with dreamy bath, backlit walls, freestanding Lupi soaking tub and steam shower. Outdoors, there is an expansive yard at grade level.

I highly recommend my clients in the market for a single-family Chicago luxury home review the latest sales to familiarize themselves with the market. Knowing the various features and upgrades found in these luxury homes can give you an idea of the price tag that comes with them—and can help you distinguish between your own must-haves and nice-to-haves when you think about what you hope to find in your own home.

For additional details and photos of the homes that sold in October, or to see Chicago luxury homes for sale now, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Chicago Luxury Condo Sales Resume with 11 Sales Over $2 Million in October

You might recall that as we headed into the fall months, Chicago condo sales were a bit of a question mark after a soft September. But looking at October sales, that month may have been an anomaly, as October bounced back with not only a healthy number of total sales, but several units in the “ultra-luxury” sector that sold for more than $2 million.
Another trend that returned was that most of the luxury Chicago condos sold—including the top five most expensive ones—boast more than 3,000 square feet of living space. The top five were also newer or brand new properties, showing that buyers are still looking for turn-key properties that offer ample space when it comes to shopping Chicago condos.
All in all, October saw $80 million in total sales for Chicago luxury condos, with 51 sales in total ranging from $1 million up to $3.7 million. Here’s a closer look at the top five most expensive, in descending order:

11-e-walton-jpg11 E Walton St, Unit 3002
Original list price: $3.875 million
Sold price: $3.7 million
This exquisitely renovated Chicago condo in the Waldorf Astoria spans 3,436 square feet high on the 30th floor, allowing for stunning views of Lake Michigan. The 3 bedroom, 3.1 bath home offers plenty of space for entertaining, with a living and dining room that open to an east-facing balcony with gorgeous views and custom-designed fireplace that’s perfect for accommodating large groups. There’s also a new designer chef’s kitchen that includes Wolf, Subzero and Bosch appliances, a 10-foot waterfall island and ample storage. The master suite features sunset views from the private balcony or soaking tub, along with an expanded master closet with custom cabinetry. Residents of the Waldorf Astoria can enjoy the fie-star hotel amenities that are included in their monthly assessments, plus a 24-hour door staff and a valet parking space.

400 W Huron St400 W Huron St, Unit 1201
Original list price: $3.6 million
Sold price: $3.525 million
This newer boutique building was designed to redefine modern luxury, with unparalleled design and finishes. The current owner worked with a top designer to enhance the gorgeous design that features jaw-dropping views from every single room. A stunning, custom Valcucine kitchen was created to be the heart and soul of the home, opening up to a huge family room and 46-foot wide terrace. The master suite has been customized with a sitting room, two walk-in closets, and a spa bath that open up to a second, private east-facing terrace. Building amenities include a fitness facility, temperature-controlled wine storage, secured bicycle storage, a covered, outdoor dog run and 24-hour door staff.

50echestnut50 E Chestnut St, Unit 2501
Original list price: $3.5 million
Sold price: $3.35 million
A three bedroom, 3.1 bath unit spanning nearly 4,000 square feet, this Chicago condo sits on the 25th floor with a split bedroom floorplan. The unit offers private elevator access/foyer into a double door entry, 10-foot ceilings and expansive floor-to-ceiling windows. Details like high-end finishes, motorized window shades, top-of-the-line appliances and Brookhaven cabinets and two private balconies with lake exposures up the luxury factor.

30WOak30 W Oak St, Unit 9B
Original list price: $3.1 million
Sold price: $2.95 million
This 9th floor, 3,349 square foot three bedroom Chicago condo is located in one of the top boutique buildings in the Gold Coast. It’s been meticulously upgraded with panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows, 10-foot ceilings and electronic shades throughout. Outdoors, a 24-by-12-foot terrace includes irrigated custom plantings, lighting and gas line. The Poggenpohl kitchen has new Carrera marble countertops, two Subzero refrigerators, four freezer drawers, two Miele dishwashers, two Miele ovens and a butler’s pantry with wine refrigerator. You’ll also find a bevy of other luxury details: a smarthome system that controls all home technology through a smartphone or tablet; limestone and white oak floors; a Victoria and Albert freestanding tub; Carrera marble floors in the master bath; and his-and-hers closets with built-in safes. The building also boasts a brand-new, state-of-the-art gym.

676 N Kingsbury St676 N Kingsbury St, Unit 504
Original list price: $2.379 million
Sold price: $2.475 million
These are River North’s best new luxury condominiums, bringing together a historic renovation with elegant new construction into 41 unique residences. This four bedroom unit spans 3,103 square feet on the second floor. The boutique building is designed to boast large outdoor spaces, 24-hour door man, exercise room, garage parking options and many units with private elevator access.

It was great to see the a strong month for Chicago condos as we head into the winter season. If you’re considering making a home purchase this is a great time of year to make it happen, as the competition among buyers often dies down, and many sellers are apt to make a deal so that their property does not sit on the market for another three months. Seeing what types of properties sold in the previous months can give you a good idea of what to expect when you’re prepared to hit the market yourself.

For more information 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.