Your Best Offer

Deal Estate toured a house with three agents who offered their assessments

The Location: Oak Brook
The Listing: A 12,000-square-foot home, originally built as a three-bedroom ranch in 1958. A series of additions included two more bedrooms and a two-story atrium that encloses a lap pool, an illuminated dance floor, a motorized movie screen, and a complete bar and catering kitchen. A private courtyard is tucked between wings of the house, and extensive woods take up the rear half of the property.
The Asking Price: $3.3 million

The sellers, who have owned the house since 1980 and made all the additions, listed it for sale at $3.1 million in 2004. Then they took it off the market and redid the kitchen. The property was again listed last spring with Beth Burtt of Brush Hill Realtors in Hinsdale.  Deal Estate toured the house and 3.7-acre grounds with three real-estate agents and asked them to make their best (hypothetical) offers.

Jaime Adams
Adams & Myers Realtors
“They built their own private resort, with a lot of fun play spaces. It’s fabulous, but it was done in a very personal way that the next owner may not love. A lot of the personalization will have to come out.” She believes most buyers would remove the dance floor and disco built-ins.
Her best offer: $2.875 million


Photos: Chris Guillen

Jorie Peirce
Era Jensen & Feinstein
“We have a large inventory of homes for sale in the upper price range in the Burr Ridge–Hinsdale–Oak Brook area right now, so buyers can afford to be very picky. This unique home requires a unique buyer-someone who wants a secluded estate and likes the California style of the house.”
Her best offer: $2.9 million

Diane Salach
Coldwell Banker
“When you drive up it’s very unpretentious, but it’s like a resort inside. But the additions show. It looks like it has two front entrances, and it’s all very eccentric.” She notes that the indoor pool is attractive and arranged so the chlorine smell does not permeate the house, but safety concerns will turn away buyers with young children.
Her best offer: $2.75 million

Wind Sprint
A celebrity trainer races to move from his sky-high Mag Mile condo

North Michigan Avenue

List price: $1.45 million
Sale Price: $1.33 million

Last summer, Chicago fitness guru Jim Karas spent nine weeks in Africa and Europe getting actor Hugh Jackman into shape for his role in the movie X-Men 3. Karas was on his way home in August when he learned about another rush job: he had just three weeks to move his family out of their recently sold condo at One Mag Mile. The buyer wanted a quick closing for the 44th-floor apartment, which Karas and his actress wife, Ellen, had listed for sale in March after living there for nearly nine years. “We had to get out fast,” Karas says. “So we rented a place [in Lake View]. We’re looking for a place to buy.”

A Wharton School of Business grad who has been a trainer for almost 20 years, Karas is the author of the 2001 book The Business Plan for the Body, and 2002’s Flip the Switch: Discover the Weight Loss Solution and the Secret to Getting Started. A contributor to Good Morning America, he charges clients $10,000 a week for his services. The couple bought the six-room condo with views of Oak Street Beach in 1996. With two kids, Karas says, “two bedrooms and a den isn’t enough.” His office is also in the building, but that will move, too, he says. Karas, a Glenview native, says he’ll stay in Chicago, most likely downtown. “I already feel like I’m in the suburbs up at Belmont,” he says.

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