Bill Rancic Made Millions on This Hinsdale House, But the New Sellers Just Took a Huge Loss

Few people can flip a property like the winner of The Apprentice.

The last two sellers of this Hinsdale house had different returns on the investment, to put it mildly.   photo: courtesy redfin

List Price: $4.299 million

Sale Price: $3.65 million

The Property: A 17-room house in Hinsdale that reality TV star Bill Rancic rescued, rehabbed and then re-sold in the course of abut 18 months has just sold again, at nearly a million dollars less than Rancic got for it in February 2011.

The house was a flooded, unfinished mess in late 2009, when I first wrote about it. Rancic later turned out to have been the buyer who paid $1.4 million for the property, plus an unspecified amount to clean up the liens on it. It was one of a series of Chicago real estate deals that Rancic, who in 2004 became the first winner of the Donald Trump reality show “The Apprentice,” was involved in. He bought, renovated, and sold a Gold Coast townhouse and picked up a foreclosure in a high-end highrise.

By February 2011, Rancic and his wife, Giuliana had completed the rescue of the place, and then they showed it off for the Tribune. Part of the re-do seems to have entailed re-apportioning the floorplan from 27 rooms, which original listing materials said it had, down to 17. Among the finishes they chose for the place were a double front sidewalk flanking a series of fountains, built-in iPads for controlling lights and other systems, a cigar and Scotch room, a backyard Bocce court, and stylish wallcoverings, many of them seen in the most recent listing photos.

“It’s one of the nicest houses I’ve ever sold,” says Coldwell Banker agent Dawn McKenna, who represented the home both when the Rancics sold it for $4.6 million in 2011, and when those buyers turned around and re-sold it April 19. The agent for the buyers in that latter sale says the Rancics did such a stellar job on the house that the next sellers “couldn’t have done anything more to it to increase the value.”

But that doesn’t mean they didn’t try to sell it for more: Those owners, whose names I couldn’t determine from DuPage County records, first listed the home for $4.995 million last August. Had they gotten that, they would have reaped an eight-percent profit after owning the home for only about a year and a half. They cut the price to $4.299 million in February, and went under contract a few weeks later. The deal closed April 19 at $3.65 million, a loss of 20 percent from their February 2011 purchase price. Even so, it’s the highest price paid in Hinsdale since this epic $4.5 million property sold in late 2011.

Price Points: While it’s common these days for people to lose money on their home sale but then make it up on the purchase of the next one, the buyers here may have made out on both ends. Their agent, Steve Jurgens, of Chicago Home Estates, says that the city home they’re selling is going for $500,000 more than they paid for it in 2010. That deal hasn’t closed yet, but the owners listed it for $3.3 million a few days after closing on their Hinsdale purchase. Jurgens said it went under contract quickly and closes May 6, though until it closes, he can’t specify the amount. The sellers had paid $2.625 million for it in June 2010, according to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds.

Listing Agent:Dawn McKenna  of Coldwell Banker, 630-789-8280, dawn.mckenna@cbexchange.com.

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