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

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

11 Upper Bracket Chicago Condos Sell in April

When I refer to the “upper bracket” of Chicago luxury condos, I am referring to properties that sold upwards of $2 million up to $4.2 million, as was the case last month with 11 upper bracket condos sold in this range. April’s sales certainly indicate that sales in the $1 million-plus market should be strong in the next few months. In total, the month saw 60 sales close for a sales volume of $93 million in April.

Looking at what sold last month, four out of the top five Chicago condos sold were brand new construction. They were also in excess of 3,000 square feet. I am anticipating in the upcoming months that new construction with generous square footage will make a frequent appearance on our most-expensive-sales list.

In the meantime, here’s a look at the top five upper-bracket Chicago condo sales from April, starting with the most expensive:

25502550 N Lakeview Ave, Unit 1101S
Original list price: $4.6 million
Sold price: $4.2 million
This 3 bedroom, 3.1 bath unit sits on a corner and has been exquisitely appointed and highly upgraded. You’ll find stunning views of the lake, park and city skyline through dramatic 11-foot ceilings in nearly every room. State-of-the-art technology brings sound, light, HVAC and window treatments at the touch of a button. There are terraces for sunrise and sunset, including a 45-foot loggia off of the family room. Living in Lincoln Park 2550 is like staying at a fine resort, with dedicated concierge and a number of enviable amenities (more on that below).

4EastElm4 East Elm St, Unit 21S
Original list price: $4 million
Sold price: $4 million
The luxury condos at 4 East Elm have proved popular since the building debuted in the Gold Coast last year. The building is now 90% sold of its 35 sleek, modern half-floor residences, each with elevator entry into the unit. The Chicago condos in 4 East Elm include high-end finishes and at least 3 exposures with expansive views of the city and lake. Plus, residents here enjoy building amenities like an outdoor pool, whirlpool, sun deck, fitness center, screening room and clubhouse lounge.

1615-Burling1615 N Burling St, Unit 401
Original list price: 3,123,000
Sold price: $3,123,000
This Lincoln Park boutique condo building is brand new, with just 15 intimate units in the heart of the beloved neighborhood. With two combined units, this duplex penthouse occupies the top two floors of the building, with a 113-foot extra-wide floorplan. The penthouse includes 6 bedrooms, 4.2 baths, floor-to-ceiling windows and city views. Thoughtful details and finishes include Archisesto cabinetry, Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances and Jason Woo fixtures. The outdoor space is also incredible, with two balconies and a 39 x 32-foot private terrace.

4EastElm4 E Elm St, Unit 15N
Original list price: $2.99 million
Sold price: $3 million
4 East Elm strikes again! This brand-new construction unit spans 3,135 square feet, with only two units per floor and a private elevator. The superb open floor plan includes 3 bedrooms and 3.1 baths, with exquisite finishes throughout. Other details include 10-foot ceilings, Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances, Florense cabinets, in-ceiling invisible speakers, electric shade wiring, LED lighting and a luxurious master suite. The building’s amenities include a 24-hour door staff, outdoor pool, whirlpool, sun deck, fitness center, screening room and clubhouse lounge.

1615-Burling1615 N Burling St, Unit 104
Original list price: $2,248,000
Sold price: $2,248,000
Also located in the new boutique building in Lincoln Park, this unit is an extra-wide combination unit, with 3 bedrooms and 3.5 baths. Features include floor-to-ceiling windows, Archisesto cabinetry, Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances, Jason Woo fixutres and a thoughtfully conceived open floor plan with superior finishes throughout. The building offers unimaginable outdoor spaces—this unit boasts an 81 x 50-foot terrace. The buyer of this Chicago condo paid cash.

Luxury Living in Lincoln Park 2550
2550NLakeviewIt’s been awhile since we’ve seen Lincoln Park 2550 on our top five list, but this building has been a mainstay of luxury living in Chicago nonetheless. Even as new construction condos return to the Chicago condo, this building continues to stand apart from other luxury properties, thanks to its extensive list of amenities that makes day-to-day living feel like a resort vacation. In addition to concierge service, Lincoln Park 2550 offers its residents spa-like fitness facilities, private cinema, dry cleaners, yoga studio, party room, game room, library, dog run and a beautifully landscaped 1.25-acre private park. The location also can’t be beat, as this building is within an easy talk to restaurants, bars, grocery stores and public transportation.

I currently have a listing at 2550 N Lakeview, with 2600+ square feet, two north-facing balconies, two heated garage spaces and access to all of the amenities and services of this outstanding building.

For more information on this unit, or to see other properties that sold in Chiago luxury real estate last month, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at

Chicago Luxury Buyers Get Super Deals in January 2017

Despite the inevitable winter slump, sales of luxury real estate in Chicago were decent in January. The month saw 35 single-family luxury homes sold, totaling $57 million in sales volume.

The interesting thing about the homes that sold in January—particularly among the top five—is the deals that the buyers were able to secure despite the high price tag of these ultra-luxury homes. The top properties sold ranges from $2.3 million all the way up to $7.2 million. But you’ll see in the details below that many of those “sold” prices fell well below the list price.

As I recommend to all of my luxury buyers, getting an excellent deal is often about timing. Purchasing between mid-November and the end of February when the weather is at its worst is an ideal time for a buyer. There aren’t too many out there in the mood to look for real estate, so competition is scarce. And sellers are fearful that their home may sit on the market through all of those chilly months, making them more likely to settle on a deal that favors the buyer. The January sales are especially impressive considering that inventory remains low in the Chicago luxury real estate market.

Here’s a closer look at the single-family luxury homes that sold in January, in descending order:

542-w-grant-pl542 W Grant Pl
Original list price:
$8.5 million
Sold price: $7.2 million
This is an absolute gem of a Chicago home—so much so that it was featured in Architectural Digest. Having undergone a custom renovation in 2012, this 9,200 square foot property boasts an incredible floorplan that would normally require a much larger lot if not for its thoughtful design. The home sits on all four property lines of a 48 x 125 square foot lot. Features include mahogany floors, heated terrazzo floors, steel and glass staircase, Bulthaup kitchen and beautiful built-in cabinets. And that isn’t a typo—the lucky buyer of this home was able to get this home for a whopping $1.3 million less than the asking price.

1805-n-sedgwick1805 N Sedgwick St
Original list price: $3.599 million
Sold price: $3.25 million
This incredible home is all new construction in a vintage shell, right in the heart of Old Town and within walking distance of everything this beloved neighborhood has to offer. With 6 bedrooms, 6.1 baths, this home underwent a complete five-star renovation to include every modern amenity imaginable: an enormous custom eat-in kitchen; the highest-end professional grade appliances; a second level master suite with separate den, private bath and fireplace; an elevator to each level, including roof; and a thoughtfully designed third floor layout with three large bedrooms flooded with natural light. A couch house above the two-car garage and spacious rear yard offer even more hard-to-find space.

1428-w-bertau1428 W Berteau Ave
Original list price: $2.7 million
Sold price: $2.6 million
This new construction home sold quickly to a cash buyer, so there weren’t many details about it available. The Lakeview 6 bedroom, 4.2 bath home was just completed when a buyer was able to snap it up for $100k off of the original list price.

419-w-oakdale419 W Oakdale Ave
Original list price: $2.595 million
Sold price: $2.39 million
This is a fully renovated and restored brownstone in coveted East Lakeview—just two blocks from the lake and two blocks from the neighborhood’s retail shops. The extra-wide, extra-deep lot allows for 6,800 square feet of living space, plus a separate 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath apartment on the ground floor PLUS a 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath coach house on a large rear lot. The main house features six large bedrooms, plus a full-size sitting room, full dining room with space for 18, a full professional kitchen with three ovens, pantry prep area and oversized island for six. The second floor has a gracious master suite with sitting room and fireplace, large walk-in closets and luxe master bath.

2621-n-mildred2621 N Mildred Ave
Original list price: $2.599 million
Sold price: $2,344,500
This luxury new construction home comes with a long list of luxury features and details: Lots of natural light, herringbone detailed oak flooring, elegant molding details, two roof decks, three gas fireplaces, 11-foot ceilings on main level, and smart home technology which includes Sonos speakers, sprinklers and multiple security cameras with integrated systems. The 7-bedroom home spans 5,600 square feet, with four bedrooms on the second level, two on the lower level and the seventh on the third floor with a media/entertaining space. A stunning kitchen includes an oversized Calcutta quartz island, breakfast nook, Thermador range and refrigerator. The lower level is set up for a home theatre and rec room, with 9.5 ceilings, radiant heat, full bar and built-in wine storage. The master bath includes a huge steam shower, two reclining benches, split vanities, a freestanding tub and radiant floors.

For more information on the homes that sold in Chicago recently or to see what’s on the market now, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at

Large Lots, New Construction Topped Chicago Luxury Home Sales in December

Holiday gifts weren’t the only new items being shopped in December—brand-new homes were also at the top of the list for the month’s real estate sales.

December was all about new construction single-family homes, and in particular, large new construction homes. Each of the top five homes sold offered incredible square footage and amazing quality for the off-season luxury buyer, who won’t settle for much less when it comes to a home purchase. Today’s high-end buyers aren’t first-time buyers, and are savvy to what’s current in design and in real estate. Therefore, they want the newest, the largest, and the most stunning properties on the market and will snap up homes that offer those key tenets.

With that, let’s take a more detailed look at what drove buyers to close a deal before the end of the year. Here are the top five most expensive single-family Chicago homes to sell last month, in descending order:

2129 N Kenmore Ave2129 N Kenmore Ave
Original list price:
$4.4 million
Sold price: $4.4 million
The most expensive of several new construction sales last month, this sophisticated residence was built on an extra-wide lot at the former site of DePaul University Theater School. The highly functional, 7,000 square foot layout includes a four-stop elevator, a great room that opens to a rear deck and a kitchen with two huge islands, butler’s pantry and built-in banquette seating. Outside are two decks, one above the garage and another on the penthouse level with an outdoor fireplace.

4122 N Greenview Ave4122 N Greenview Ave
Original list price: $3.999 million
Sold price: $3.8 million
A crown jewel of Graceland West, this one on a huge 41-foot by 161-foot lot, space that allows for a generous 7,169 square feet of living space. Designed by noted architecture firm Sullivan, Goulette & Wilson, this custom home boasts six bedrooms and every conceivable amenity indoors and out. It starts with the elegant exterior, which was built in massive rubble stone, cedar shingles and limestone in a stately palette. As for the interior, a dramatic, 13-foot barrel vault ceiling and expansive windows grace the kitchen and great room, while an enormous lower level includes a separate media room, bar and wine cellar, and two additional bedrooms. Outdoors, there is more than 2,500 square feet of space that includes a sprinkler system, outdoor fireplace and heated walkways. The home’s automation system is state-of-the-art as well.

1503 N North Park Ave1503 N North Park Ave
Original list price: $2.999 million
Sold price: $2.9 million
Located in Old Town near the beach, this absolute stunning new construction property was built and designed with meticulous attention to detail. The result is a one-of-a-kind home with five bedrooms, 5.2 baths and a long list of luxury features: a custom chef’s kitchen with high-end appliances; a luxurious master suite with spa-like master bath; a lower-level rec room with wet bar, wine cellar and sauna; three indoor and two outdoor fireplaces; and a heated driveway.

39 E Elm St39 E Elm St
Original list price: $2.85 million
Sold price: $2.8 million
A four bedroom, 3.1 bath renovated home in the Gold Coast, this property sold before the listing sheet even made it off the printer. This renovation resulted in a number of covetable, luxury features, including a Christopher Peacock kitchen and built-ins, newly renovated baths, a redesigned staircase, designer lighting and wallpaper, custom closets and much more. Infrastructure improvements also made this vintage beauty ready for modern-day living, such as a flood control system on the lower level, new roof, new HVAC, heated bath floors and new copper downspouts.

539 W Belden Ave539 W Belden Ave
Original list price: $2.795 million
Sold price: $2.71 million
This brand new renovation was completed by a renowned developer, in one of the most sought-after areas in East Lincoln Park. This fantastic location is near Lincoln Park, Latin schools, several parks, Lake Michigan and the zoo. The home itself was designed to thrill the most discriminating of buyers, with the finest finishes throughout and 5,000 smartly designed square feet spanning over a huge main level, large living and dining rooms and six bedrooms. The upscale kitchen includes an eat-in space, butler’s pantry and adjacent great room, while the luxurious master suite boasts a spa-quality bath and enviable closet space. A penthouse level addition includes a north-facing deck, bonus entertaining space and additional bedroom/bath. A lower level with a private entrance has radiant heat, two guest bedrooms, a full bath and large recreational space.

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

Chicago Luxury Real Estate Scheduled to Be on a “Tear”

When it comes to real estate, Chicago has something to fit a number of location “wants.” A quiet neighborhood-like street? Easy. An upscale, urban condo in the heart of everything? Of course. Waterfront properties not far from all the perks of city living? Yep—and there’s soon to be more.

Not unlike many other parts of the country, developers are seeing the real estate opportunities that lie within land near water—and they’re putting in the work to clean up the waterways and develop along them.

Chicago is proving to be at the forefront of this trend, with a massive project along the Chicago River that broke ground last month: A $1.5 billion revamp of a spot on the southern stretch of the Chicago River.

A rendering of the Riverline project on the Chicago river, via the Chicago Tribune.

A rendering of the Riverline project on the Chicago river, via the Chicago Tribune.

Named Riverline, the development will include more than 3,600 new residences, with high-rise condos and townhomes and a public riverwalk. The location is just a short walk from Willis Tower, and will likely be a coveted spot for new construction real estate in Chicago, even with its expected completion timeline of eight to 10 years.

Real Estate, Professional Opportunities in Chicago

Developers aren’t the only ones seizing the opportunities throughout Chicago—major corporations are, as well. McDonald recently announced its plan to move its corporate office into the city, to the West Loop where Oprah’s Harpo Studios once called home. (It hasn’t been decided yet if the studio will be demolished or retro-fitted for McDonald’s to move in). Kraft Heinz has also announced relocating its Northfield office to downtown Chicago, and Motorola recently moved a number of executive-level employees to a shiny new office near Union Station.

A recent article in the New York Times highlighted several of these corporate moves into downtown Chicago, noting that the access and vibrancy of the Loop are what many young professionals are looking for in terms of job location.

And Chicago real estate has much to offer the professional crowd, as well. With Chicago real estate still considerably less expensive than other major cities—New York, London, Los Angeles, San Francisco, to name a few—relocating here has become an easy consideration for professionals. Clients from these areas find luxury real estate in Chicago to be quite inexpensive for exceptionally high-end buildings that are in an ideal location and come with all of the amenities they could imagine.

Perhaps that is why luxury new construction is selling very quickly right now. These high-end buyers know what they want: Namely new construction and space. Buyers moving here from other cities look for at least 3,000 square feet of living space; and they are finding it in Chicago condos that offer half- or full-floor residences in great locations like River North, the Gold Coast and others.

With major construction projects in the works and an influx of professional opportunities taking root in the city’s center, it’s clear that Chicago real estate could soon be taking on a major growth spurt. If you’re interested in new construction properties, I’d be happy to show you some of the current projects and new developments that might fit your taste and lifestyle. Contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at

Real Estate Sales Were All About Chicago Luxury Homes in August

Chicago’s summer’s successful run in luxury home sales continued in August, fighting the slump that is often typical for this month. Not only was it not a “slow” month, but the ultra-luxury segment (homes sold for more than $2 million) had a great month, with 13 properties sold.

There were 49 total luxury homes sold in August, for a total sales volume of $82 million. The highest priced property to sell in August went for $3.391 million—not quite as high as the $8+ million sale we saw on Howe Street in July. What’s interesting about the homes that sold last month is the trends you can see among the most expensive homes—notably, extra-wide lot sizes (four out of the top five were on non-standard lots wider than 25 feet) and the fact that cash is still king among luxury buyers (three of the top five homes sold were purchased with cash).

Here is a more detailed look at the top five most expensive Chicago homes sold last month, in descending order:

image2121 N Dayton St
Original sale price: $3.45 million
Sold price: $3.391 million
Located steps from Armitage Avenue, this brand-new, 5,200 square foot home showcases the timeless design and meticulous workmanship Foster Design Build is known for. The elegance begins with radiant heated limestone steps that lead into a beautiful foyer. One the main floor is a formal living room with wood-burning fireplace, a dining room with coffered ceilings, a chef-grade, eat-in kitchen and a true mud room. The lavish master suite boasts a spa bath with soaking tub, enclosed water closet, steam and rain showers. Two ensuite bedrooms and laundry room are on the second floor, and the top floor (lit by a skylight!) features another bedroom, full bath and a den that opens onto a 35-foot lanai with an outdoor fireplace and mounted TV. The lower level features radiant heat, two bedrooms and an additional full bath. Other details include wiring for whole-home automation; oak floors throughout; poplar wood casings, moldings and trim; and Ann Sacks tile.

image1953 N Dayton St
Original list price: $3.595 million
Sold price: $3.313 million
On a double-sized lot on one of Lincoln Park’s most desirable blocks, this home has plenty to offer for the luxury buyer—and the one who indeed bought it paid cash. The home was recently renovated with the highest quality finishes, and boasts a number of envious features throughout, including high ceilings, stunning mill work, hardwood floors and three-panel custom doors. The gracious living room features a custom stone fireplace and a bay window that is just asking for a grand piano in it. A gourmet oak and white eat-in kitchen includes quartz countertops and Wolf and Subzero appliances. The family room opens up to an enormous backyard that makes this a perfect city oasis, complete with a lush Japanese zen garden and basketball court.

image3432 N Janssen Ave
Original list price:
$3.575 million
Sold price: $3.1 million
Custom designed on an extra-wide, 75-foot lot, this 4-bedroom single-family home is flooded with southern light. The open floor plan makes it ideal for entertaining, along with a large chef’s kitchen that includes an expansive island and built-in banquet. The master suite opens up to a balcony and includes two large walk-in closets and a fireplace. Other house features include heated floors in the kitchen, a heated back rest in the kitchen banquet, exterior heated walkways, a top-of-the-line security system and extensive landscaping work. There is also a four-car garage that includes a full gym above it. This home is located on a prime one-way street and is only a short walk to shops and restaurants. It’s also worth noting that this too, was a cash purchase for the lucky buyer.

image2049 W Dickens Avenue
Original list price:
$2.999 million
Sold price: $3.025 million
Yet another brand-new luxury home on an extra-wide lot—this one in Bucktown was sold to another cash buyer. Inside, you’ll find nearly 7,000 square feet of living space, with gracious room sizes, oversized doors and windows and quality craftsmanship throughout. The extra-large chef’s kitchen features restaurant-grade appliances, and oversized lighting with seating and plenty of storage. A great room has access to three terraces, anchored by a gorgeous marble fireplace. A huge master suite runs the width of he home and is on the same level as three additional ensuite bedrooms. The home’s lower level offers a recreational space, media room, optional wine cellar and a guest suite. And entertaining is as easy outdoors as it is in, with 1,300 square feet of alfresco space, including a heated patio with fireplace, a deck above the 3.5-car garage and a secluded terrace off of the living, dining and great room.

image3643 N Lakewood Ave
Original list price:
$2.799 million
Old price: $2.767 million
Another new construction property—this one from Bloomfield Development—built on a 30-foot, extra-wide lot, just a short walk from Southport Corridor. Two of the home’s signature features is a raised patio outside the family room and an attached breezeway to the garage. The custom, French-inspired limestone and brick façade is a only trumped by the beautiful interior, which includes handcrafted cabinetry, stained oak hardwood flooring, polished nickel hardware, Italian marble countertops and custom-designed tile. The kitchen includes Subzero and Wolf appliances and the bath, lower level and front entry boast radiant heat to combat Chicago’s winter chill.

I always encourage my clients and prospective buyers to review the previous month’s home sales to give them an idea of what types of properties are selling for what price. That way, they can compare recent sales to their own budget and wish lists and understand what they might be up against when they’re ready to purchase as well.

For more details on the single family homes that sold last month in Chicago, or to see what’s on the market now, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at


Due Diligence is a Must When Purchasing New Construction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chicago Luxury Real Estate Should be Strong In 2016

Welcome back! As we hit 2016 running, I always like to look back at the trends and happenings from the previous year and think about what it all means for the state of Chicago real estate in the year ahead. In the last year we’ve definitely seen consistent strength in the luxury real estate market in Chicago, but as inventories remain fairly low, buyers have faced a competitive scenario for the better part of the year.

Prediction: Luxury Buyers Will Get Off The Fence
Last month, the Federal Reserve announced a increase in interest rates. The news wasn’t terribly unexpected, but undoubtedly has an effect on the real estate market. Many potential buyers assume that rising interest rates will affect the buying market more than the seller’s market. But in my 25-plus years of selling Chicago real estate, I find the opposite to be true. As interest rates crank up, sellers often see the benefit, as buyers get ready to make a move before rates grow any higher.

In Chicago, there is certainly a pent-up demand for housing as the city catches up from several years without any real new construction projects. That being said, I think new construction could have a banner year in Chicago luxury real estate.

New Home Construction Picking Up
Nationwide, housing starts are up and Chicago is no exception. Increases among single-family homes and condos alike suggest that builders are gaining confidence that home sales will keep steady (or grow) over the next year. Despite the interest rate increase, that’s great news for the market and will likely draw additional buyers off of the “maybe this year” fence.

Growth in new construction is evident in Chicago. If you look around the Gold Coast—one of the most coveted neighborhoods for luxury real estate—you’ll see a number of new development projects moving right along. There is also a lot of talk about new construction opportunities popping up on the new east side, a newer area that luxury buyers love thanks to its proximity to downtown and unbeatable views of Millennium Park.

Purchasing New Construction in Chicago
I predict that as more and more new construction projects become available that luxury buyers will be snapping them up. A brand-new or close-to-new home is always at the top of the list for what my luxury clients are looking for, and I think many will be taking advantage of any increased inventory, particularly those close to downtown that offer the proverbial location, location, location.

Working with clients who are looking to buy new construction is a specialty of mine, as I have worked with some of the most prestigious developers in Chicago over the years, both for single-family homes and condos.

As a buyer, a new construction home might sound foolproof, but it comes with a number of things to consider as well. I can help walk you through a number of things, including determining the best unit to purchase, why a unit’s location in the building is especially important and the best tactics for negotiating a new construction deal.

If you’re thinking of purchasing a new construction property or luxury real estate in Chicago in 2016, give me a call and I can walk you through some of the upcoming projects or introduce you to some of my favorite buildings. It should be an exciting year, and the sooner potential buyers get in, the better. Contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at