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.

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 Home Sales Focused on Ultra-Luxury in July

High-end real estate in Chicago kept pace with the weather in July: hot, hot, hot. Luxury-single family homes saw an incredibly strong month of sales, particularly on the very high end.

Twelve of the $1 million-plus sales of single family homes were actually in the $2 million-plus range. And six of them were in the ultra-ultra luxury range, topping $3 million. The highest price home sale for the month clocked in at more than $4 million. All in all, it is a rarity to see these kind of sales during a summer month, but luxury buyers are proving to be “in market” no matter what the time of year.

Hot Features for Chicago Luxury Real Estate

Of course, these homes that sold at high prices certainly have plenty to offer, especially as it relates to today’s buyer’s wish lists. I find that most luxury buyers have a few features on their must-have lists for a new home:

  • A large lot: As in, larger than the standard 25 x 125 feet. Extra-wide or extra-wide lots allow for more space, open floor plans or outdoor areas that can be tough to find in the city.
  • Large rooms: Today’s luxury buyer wants a master suite that will make a high-end hotel envious. Spa-like baths, ample square footage and “wow” closet space are just a few things that take a master bedroom over the top.
  • High ceilings: A minimum of 10 feet.
  • Elevator: for 3- and 4-level homes, an elevator that makes for easy access to all floors in definitely a luxury feature, and I’m seeing more and more of it in new construction properties in particular.

These features not only add the comfort and characteristics to a home that a luxury buyer wants, but also add an air of sophistication and elegance.

Chicago’s Top Luxury Home Sales in July

It’s no surprise then that the month’s top five sales offer these features and much more. Here’s a detailed look at the most expensive single-family homes that sold in July, in descending order:

1734 N Mohawk St
Original list price: $4.5 million
Sold price: $4.15 million
Even though this home was on a slightly smaller-than-standard lot, it had an additional feature that buyers love: It’s brand new. Located in East Lincoln Park, this 6,800 square foot property was meticulously designed, paying homage to the turn-of-the-century Chicago home. It boasts a few unusual features as well: 7 bedrooms and 6.3 baths (a high number for a home this size) and a breezeway. The breezeway is an architectural features that allows for direct access to t he garage, and it is difficult to find in a Chicago home as it is difficult for a developer to create. The home’s elevator leads to all floors, including the penthouse with roof-top deck and skyline views. Luxury finishes, exquisite detailing and more make this home no surprise that it took the top spot in July.

23 E Scott St
Original list price: $3.34 million
Sold price: $3.2 million
No detail was overlooked in this beautiful home on an extra-long lot, designed by Nate Berkus’ right-hand woman who transformed it into a property with unparalleled style. The entry level features classic, original black and white marbled stone. A brand-new kitchen brings in amazing light through south-facing, floor-to-ceiling windows. An elevator or Adler-sequence staircase takes you between floors, where on the third level you’re find two ensuite bedrooms and a library that could be made into an additional bedroom. A concealed bar at the staircase landing has a beverage refrigerator and coffee bar. The entire top level is devoted to a luxe master suite, with two closet “rooms” and a bath with heated marble floors, dual sink, soaking tub and separate shower.

2139 N Seminary Ave
Original list price: $3.5 million
Sold price: $3.43 million
A brand-new home by a top Lincoln Park developer, this brick and limestone home has plenty of space in its open floor plan. High ceilings, a combination living/dining room, powder room and chef’s kitchen span the first level. The adjoining family room with fireplace and built-ins opens out to rear patio with wood-burning fireplace and deck over garage. The master suite spans the rear of the home with a spa bath, dual vanities, spacious steam shower, separate tub and walk-in closet. And the lower level features a rec room with built-in bookcases, laundry room, full bath, climate controlled wine cellar, wet bar and two additional bedrooms.

2248 N Orchard St
Original list price: $3.89 million
Sold price: $3.465 million
This 8,500-square foot home on an extra-wide lot is just steps from Oz Park, with four levels of superior quality. The main level boasts a grand. Living space with 11-foot ceilings, classic architectural details and two wood-burning fireplaces. The eat-in kitchen includes Woodmode cabinets, top-quality appliances and butler’s pantry; and the family room opens up to a two-tiered terrace with marble baths, rec room, home theater, dual laundry and huge roof deck with skyline views. This award-winning home is located on a quiet residential block in Lincoln Elementary School District, near restaurants and public transportation.

643 W Arlington Place
Original list price: $4.495 million
Sold price: $3.825 million
An extra wide (50 feet!) and extra long (175 feet!) lot size allows for a whopping 8,500 square feet inside this architectural masterpiece by Wheeler-Kearns. Located in East Lincoln Park, this home is contemporary, light-filled and boasts a dramatic design in its six bedrooms, 5.1 baths and renovated studio apartment. Other jaw-dropping features include and indoor, heated lap pool, hot tub and an incredible spa pool house. The loft-like two-story family room and breakfast room feature a wall of glass that faces the large landscaped backyard. This home is ideal for family living and entertaining, with a brand-new chef’s kitchen, huge lower level with playroom, full-floor master suite, three oversized bedrooms and a larger terrace on the third level.

For more information on the luxury single-family homes that sold in Chicago last month, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

On the Chicago Real Estate Market: Pristine Penthouse Condo in the Heart of Wicker Park

outsideLocated on a spectacular street in Wicker Park, this extra-wide condo offers everything you’d want in a great location: Close to the neighborhood’s vibrant hub of activity, a high Walkscore and an easy trip into downtown.

Address: 1947 W Evergreen, Unit D
Size: 2 bedroom, 2 bath
Neighborhood: Wicker Park/Bucktown
Price: $449,000
Contact: Sheldon Salnick, Dreamtown ,(312) 498-5080 or ssalnick@dreamtown.com

living-room-2 kitchen deckHere’s what you’ll find at 1947 W Evergreen in Wicker Park:

  • Extra large outdoor space
  • Amazing natural light
  • 9-foot ceilings
  • Granite kitchen countertops and 42-inch cabinets
  • Hardwood floors
  • Private, separate garage for car parking

living-room kitchen-living bedroom-2Living in Chicago’s Wicker Park

In real estate, we know that location is everything, and this Wicker Park condo certainly has it. Within short walking distance, you’ll find:

Wicker Park, an urban park complete with playground, sports fields, movie nights, a farmer’s market & other events.

  • The Damen and Division El stops, allowing for easy travel into downtown Chicago
  • Several bus lines
  • Milwaukee, Damen and Division streets: The central hub of activity in Wicker park

Wicker Park is known for its abundance of culture, with vibrant art, community nightlight and food scenes. This Wicker Park condo is within easy walking distance to the boutiques, restaurants, bars and music venues that make this neighborhood so beloved by its residents.

For more information on living in Wicker Park and this Chicago condo for sale, contact Sheldon Salnick at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

bedroom-1 bath-2 bath-1 floorplan

New on the Chicago Real Estate Market: 3-Bedroom in Jefferson Park

Chicago home for sale in Jefferson Park

One of my favorite things about real estate in Chicago is that there really is something for everyone—modern high-rises for urban aficionados; quiet, tree-lined streets for those who love the feel of the suburbs; and of course, many things in between.

Newly available is a Chicago home right with the best of both of those worlds. It has the residential feel of a suburban neighborhood—but it’s right here in the city, in Jefferson Park.

Chicago home for sale in Jefferson Park

4956 N Lockwood Avenue, Unit 2
3 bedrooms, 2.5 bath
2,500 square feet

This home is part of a gorgeous brick two-flat, similar to a townhome with a wide open floor plan. Here’s a look at what this home has to offer:

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Outdoor space: A 20 x 20-foot deck is the ideal space for entertaining and taking advantage of Chicago’s summer weather. There’s also an additional terrace off of the master suite.

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Chef’s kitchen: With stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and 48-inch cabinets, this kitchen is fit with everything you need for hosting parties, dinners, or a simple family breakfast.

Chicago home for sale in Jefferson Park

Convenient location: This Chicago home is close to the 90/94 freeways, Blue Line and the Metra for easy commuting to downtown or around the city.

Room for kids: This home is directly across from a wonderful park with a playground for kids and a mere two blocks from an excellent elementary school.

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Plenty of space: The master suite boasts a lofted office, plus two additional generously sized bedrooms. There’s also garage space with room for two cars—something you’ll surely be grateful for once winter returns.

Details: The home is impeccable tailored, with super finishes, cherry floors and oak doors.

This Chicago home for sale would be perfect for Chicago teachers, police or firefighters who have to live in Chicago but want an environment that feels more like the ‘burbs. To learn more about this property or to check it out in person, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Luxury Chicago Real Estate Continues to Move Briskly with May Single-Family Home Sales

With inventory still fairly low in the Chicago real estate market, luxury properties with much to offer are moving quickly. The location of May’s single-family home sales are no surprise: Lincoln Park, the Gold Coast and Lakeview all topped the list of the most expensive homes sold in May. These neighborhoods are a dream for home buyers, with plenty of trees and residential-like streets, walkability to dining and shopping and within the boundaries of great schools.

There were 33 luxury homes (those priced at $1 million and above) that sold in May, totaling $57 million in sales. Here’s a look at the top 5 most expensive, in descending order.

astor1207 N Astor St
Original list price: $5.875 million
Sold price: $5.875 million
This 7,500 square foot home sits on an extra-wide lot on storied Astor Street in the Gold Coast. It was recently renovated to include high-end finishes and fixtures, radiant heat and home electronics, but the bones of the home offer much to be desired as well. An elegant living room and dining room each have their own fireplace; the chef’s eat-in kitchen features Christopher Peacock cabinetry; the great room features a 20-foot ceiling and stone fireplace; and a sun-filled penthouse opens up to a skylight and has two terraces.

hudson2138 N Hudson Avenue
Original list price: $5.2 million
Sold price: $5.1 million
A custom home stretched on an extra-wide lot in Lincoln Park, this home features 8,000 square feet on the inside and a large yard on the outside. It’s hardly your “typical” city home, surrounded by a park-like setting that floods the home with light. Inside is a huge eat-in kitchen with great finishes, an adjacent great room with dining terrace, a formal dining room, gracious living room and a 2-story living room. The master bath on the top level is spa-like, with a separate sitting room, dual closets and 2 bedroom suites.

division43 E Division Street
Original list price: $4.5 million
Sold price: $4.15 million
This 5,500 square foot beauty in the Gold Coast was wonderfully revamped into a contemporary designed space on the inside, while retaining its 1870s Italianate exterior. This home has plenty of space, from formal rooms on the upper levels to coach house spaces and a floor plan idea for living and entertaining. This home also includes heated stone floors, heated sidewalks and a heated 2-car garage to combat Chicago’s winter chill.

magnolia2238 N Magnolia Avenue
Original list price: $2.849 million
Sold price: $3.05 million
From Platinum Homes, this 4-bedroom home was a new construction property on one of the most coveted streets in Lincoln Park. The great floor plan allows for superb natural light to showcase interior highlights like the amazing chef’s kitchen or the array of designer finishes throughout. An outdoor space includes a yard, rear patio with grilling station and fireplace, garage roofdeck, and an additional covered/open rooftop deck with great neighborhood views.

lakewood3646 N Lakewood Avenue
Original list price: $2.395 million
Sold price: $2.3 million
A new construction home near the heart of Southport Corridor in Lakeview, this single-family home is 4,800 square feet of interior with a full masonry/brick construction. With 6 bedrooms and 5.1 baths, this home also boasts details like fine cabinetry, SubZero/Wolf appliances, custom millwork and hardwood flooring. The outdoor space includes a breezeway, raised patio with fireplace, and a rooftop deck with an outdoor room. It’s location near Blaine Elementary makes this a coveted property, as buyers are eager to be in the enrollment boundaries of well-rated schools like this one.

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

Why do we Fall in Love with Chicago Real Estate?

Maybe it’s the view. The square footage. The architectural details.

There are a lot of reasons why buyers become enamored with a particular Chicago home or condo. Many of my clients say they go home after seeing a property only to learn they can’t stop thinking about it.

A recent survey by realtor.com revealed that “falling in love” with a house is a common affair. Nearly 70% of respondents said they have had a home crush—being drawn to the same property over and over again. They compared home crushes to the same kind of pitter-patter feeling in our hearts that comes with having a crush on another person.

Love or real estate, finding “the one” is often no easy task, and can often be heartbreaking, depending on the outcome. Some of the other interesting findings from the survey included:

  • Women are more likely to crush on a home that is out of their price range.
  • Outdoor living spaces are the most attractive home attributes to both men and women. In Chicago, having a desk, porch or yard to take in our short summers is crucial to many buyers.
  • Open-floor plans and garage space rank on the wish lists for men and women, respectively.
  • Most buyers find their first crush online. The web has made it easier than ever to “stalk” homes that are on and off the market. Once buyers find a home they’re interested in, about one-third opt to see it in person.

Falling for Chicago Real Estate You Can’t Have
It’s not uncommon for homebuyers to fall head over heels with a Chicago home, only to learn it’s already under contract. Some might even put their home search on hold and hope a contract falls through. Others might move on but will always remember the one, and watch the market for years after, hoping it will pop up again.

If you find yourself in love with an unavailable home, here are a few suggestions for making the most out of the situation:

Remember your price range: Sticking to your budget is still a crucial part of home buying. If you’re gravitating toward homes that are out of range, rank what’s most important to you to in a home that could be a big chunk of the budget. For example, if it’s square footage you want, perhaps a different neighborhood might have bigger homes without the price tag of a coveted location. If you want amenities in a Chicago condo building, something with one less bedroom or on a lower floor could bring it down into your price range.

List out what you like: What is it about a certain property that has you so enamored? Many features can likely be added to your list of needs and wants for home shopping. You might even consider remodeling, redecorating or even building a new home from scratch to incorporate the characteristics you love.

Know your deal breakers: Make sure you know what you don’t want so you can weed those properties out early. If you find your #1 choice in a Chicago home isn’t available, you don’t want to find yourself settling for something you know you didn’t want from the beginning.

You can read more about the realtor.com survey here.  To find Chicago real estate that might make you fall in love, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Chicago Real Estate Sales in August Were All About Lincoln Park

Chicago single-family home sales in August continue the trend we saw in July—the most expensive homes sold are in the $2 million to $2.9 million range. Luxury real estate in Chicago typically exceeds that $2.9 million figure. In fact, in many recent months we’ve seen the sold price on the most expensive homes exceed $4 million. Sales in the luxury sector continue to be strong, but price-wise are trending a bit lower.

Jumbo Loans Apparent in August Sales

Another interesting note about last month’s home sales is that, of the nine most expensive homes, only one was for cash. The rest were financed with mortgages. In previous months, we’ve seen many cash buyers for even the priciest homes sold, but the fact that people are pursuing mortgage loans is likely due to the fact that jumbo loans (those for more than $417,000) are more readily available.

Banks are becoming more lenient about lending jumbo loans, and those who qualify for them can get an incredible rate right now—under 4% for a 30-year fixed-rate loan. Currently, the rates for jumbo loans are even unexpectedly better than those for a conforming loan (those under the $417,000 mark).

Chicago Luxury Real Estate Sales in August

The month’s most expensive (and interesting sale) was a beautiful property in Lakeview. The home is newly built with all of the features today’s buyer is looking for, including a location in one of the best school districts in the city. People with children are flocking to these highly regarded districts to avoid sending their children to private school, which can run a tab of $20,000+ per year and be challenging to get into.

But the majority of the top sales in August were found in Lincoln Park—6 out of the 9 most expensive homes sold were in this highly desired community. I’ve worked with many clients to find properties in this phenomenal neighborhood, from mid-range Chicago condos to luxury single-family homes (find more on my background here, and work with past clients here).

If you’d like details on those top 9 properties sold in August, I’d be happy to send along photos and details of each home. But here, we’ll take a closer look at the top 5 sales on the luxury market last month:

3615 N Lakewood Ave
Original list price: $2.9 million
Sold price: $2.995 million
In the Southport Corridor and the Blaine School District, this extra-wide property boasts an open floor plan, stunning kitchen with custom cabinetry, a theater room and wine cellar. Outside you’ll find a heated lap pool, a snow melt system and 3-car heated garage. This Chicago new construction property also features 5 bedrooms and a master bath with all of the bells and whistles you can think of: steam shower, body sprays, soak tub, sauna and heated floors.

643 W Arlington Pl
Original list price: $4.75 million
Sold price: $2.825 million
A soft contemporary home in Lincoln Park, this property spans a whopping 8,500 square feet on a park-like 50 ft x 175 ft lot. Its unique features include an indoor lap pool, rear lawn, all-glass rear exterior and attached studio apartment with separate entrance. This urban estate perfectly merges the comfort of the suburbs with the convenience of city living, with parks, the zoo, shop and restaurants all within walking distance.

2248 N Burling St
Original list price: $2.89 million
Sold price: $2.775 million
This home was another rare opportunity in Lincoln Park, with a spectacular limestone house just steps form Oz Park and in the Lincoln Park School District. With 5 bedrooms and 5,600 square feet, this home has a long list of covetable features: a studio coach house over the garage, the finest finishes (like Calcutta Gold counters), spa master bath, rec room, and a deck.

1639 N Burling St
Original list price: $2.65 million
Sold price: $2.48 million
A single-family home exquisitely designed down to every detail, this breathtaking 5-bedroom in (you guessed it) Lincoln Park defines sophistication. With a lavish master suite, Brazilian Cherry floors, heated floors on the lower level, a custom wine cellar, and skyline views from the rooftop deck, there is a lot to love about this Chicago home.

75 E Elm St
Original list price: $2.8 million
Sold price: $2.45 million
Ample space is at the center of this Gold Coast home, with 7 bedrooms and 6,385 square feet. Renovated in 2000, this home is filled with natural light among the formal living room and dining room, chef’s kitchen, and 4 en-suite bedrooms. The lower level’s outdoor access makes it adaptable for a mudroom, game room or exercise space.

It will be interesting to continue keeping an eye on the luxury real estate market and how it’s trending over the next few months. I’m curious to see if jumbo lending continues to grow, and if luxury real estate in Chicago continues to sell at lower price points than we’ve seen earlier in the year.

To learn more about the single-family homes that sold in Chicago in August or to see what’s on the market now, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Lincoln Park Was Hot in June, Where 7 of 11 Most Luxurious Homes Sold

The numbers are in for Chicago luxury home sales in June, with 60 single-family homes closing for a total of $87.6 million. The top 11 sales ranged from $2 million up to the most expensive sale at $4.2 million–and not surprisingly, 7 of those 11 were found in Lincoln Park, one of the city’s most coveted neighborhoods for high-end homes.

If you’d like to see the locations or additional photos of the top luxury homes sold in June, email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com and I’d be happy to get them to you immediately. There’s something to be said for seeing the photos of these homes in order to understand (and possibly adjust) your expectations as to what is selling on the market. For buyers, this can really clarify what is out there for your budget and what type of details you’ll find in a luxury home with a certain price point.

For a buyer in today’s market, looking at the last month’s home sales can also give you an idea of the details and nuances of various luxury properties and what they cost–such as ceiling heights of 9 feet versus 12 or 13 feet; standard versus custom finishes; and a standard versus an extra-wide lot.

Top Chicago Home Sales in June

When it comes to the top five most expensive sales, you’ll find many of these qualities among them: large lots, ample square footage, and locations on some of the most prestigious blocks in Lincoln Park. Here’s a look at the top five in descending order:

542 W Dickens St
Original list price: $4.499 million
Sold price: $4.2 million
This magnificent Lincoln Park home sits on an extra-wide 32.5-foot wide lot. The home was custom built in 2006 with exquisite design, exceptional craftsmanship and outstanding millwork throughout. Ceilings soar to 12-13 feet on all levels, with wide plank walnut flooring and apparent attention to detail throughout each room. This top sale in June spans 6,700 square feet with a fabulous kitchen, spacious great room and a private back terrace.

1935 N Burling
Original list price: $3.7 million
Sold price: $3.15 million
On an extra-deep lot, this Lincoln Park home is flush with luxury features: an attached 3-car heated garage; high ceilings; a full-floor master suite; four fireplaces; a 1,400 bottle wine cellar; and a heated driveway and sidewalks. This Metzler/Hull re-sale offers 6.400 square feet, with a private 38- x 25-foot rear yard., plus elegant millwork, a formal dining room with butler’s pantry, gourmet kitchen and more.

1534 N Dearborn Pkwy
Original list price: $3.125 million
Sold price: $2.9 million
A 5 bedroom, 5,500-square foot beauty in the Gold Coast, this home offers gracious room sizes on its oversized lot. A spacious eat-in chef’s kitchen features professional-grade appliances, while a full-floor master suite boasts a huge bedroom, sunny bathroom and private terrace. Upper-level bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms, while the lower level features a family room, library and game room that lead to rear gardens and a gorgeous backyard.

1858 N Howe St
Original list price: $2.895 million
Sold price: $2.525 million
This stunning, modern, 6,000-square foot home comes with a number of sought-after details like cherry wood floors and doors, 12-foot ceilings and even a perfect new chef’s kitchen that was featured in Better Homes & Gardens. The head-turning kitchen (which also features walnut and glass cabinets, a granite waterfall island with trough sink, and walk-in pantry) opens up to a family room with a new wall of windows that lead to a terrace and serene yard.

3540 N Ravenswood Ave
Original list price: $2.4999 million
Sold price: $2.4 million
With a generous 7,229 square feet, this 6-bedroom home is spectacular and built for entertaining. Featuring a theater, outdoor basketball court, 4,000 square foot deck, endless swimming pool and over 5,000 square feet on the main floor, this is a great home for a large family and for hosting others. On an extra-deep lot, the home also features a 4-car attached heated garage, 10-foot ceilings, 2 kitchens and a private and secure design.

It’s important that buyers familiarize themselves with recent sales such as these–if you’re in the market for a luxury property, looking at the photos and details of recently sold homes gives you an idea of the market, and let’s you plan your own purchase accordingly in terms of what your wants, needs and budget are. For more information on these homes or to see what’s on the market now, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Purchase a Chicago Home Now as Rates are Creeping Up

As home prices and the number of sold Chicago homes continues to rise each month, another metric is moving on up as well: mortgage rates.

The Wall St. Journal reported last week that mortgage rates rose above 4% for the first time in about a year. Rates hit 4.15% the first week of June, up from 3.59% just five weeks earlier. The jump equals about a 15% increase in the cost of borrowing (or about $50 to the national average mortgage payment).

Buy Chicago Real Estate Before Rates Rise
The increase in rates isn’t expected to disrupt the housing recovery we’ve seen over the past several months, but it does mean one thing—if you’re in the market to buy a home, you should do so. Now.

I have been selling real estate for more than 23 years, and have seen this play out like clock work: interest rates go up, and people get off the fence and start thinking they need to purchase real estate. A rise in interest rates is typically an indicator that the economy is improving, and economists are predicting 3 to 3.5% growth in 2014 and for unemployment to drop below 7%. If that happens, there’s a strong chance the price of real estate will have no where to go but up.

I’ve talked to many clients who are plagued by the “coulda, woulda, shouldas” when it comes to real estate in Chicago. The timing of a purchase can’t be pinpointed exactly, but signals like this are a clear indication to buyers that the window of opportunity is quickly passing by. Every one-percentage-point increase in mortgage rates makes purchasing a home about 10% more expensive for buyers, so it’s crucial to act fast before we see another rise in rates.

But keep in mind—even though interest rates have gone up a bit, this is still a good time to purchase Chicago real estate. Despite the slight hike, mortgage rates are still a bargain for buyers. Numbers are still near record-lows when it comes to home loan rates, so buyers can still get in the door with a very affordable loan.

If you’re even considering making a Chicago real estate purchase this year, let’s talk. Contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.