A Lost Decade, in Bannockburn

List Price: $1,349,900
Sale Price: $1,025,000
The Property: This 14-room Georgian home on four acres in Bannockburn was sold on December 10th for precisely the same amount it fetched ten years earlier…


A 14-room Georgian home in Bannockburn, Illinois

List Price: $1,349,900
Sale Price: $1,025,000
The Property: This 14-room Georgian home on four acres in Bannockburn was sold on December 10th for precisely the same amount it fetched ten years earlier.

The people who paid $1,025,000 for the house in July 2000 lost the property in foreclosure on a mortgage of about $2.1 million that they took out a few years after buying the home, says Basel Tarabein. A ReMax agent, Tarabein sold the house this month for American Chartered Bank (the buyer is not yet identified in public records). It had lingered on the market for almost three years, its asking price starting out at $2.1 million and coming down in steps as different agents took over the task of getting the house sold.

Set apart from woodsy Telegraph Road by tall wrought-iron gates and a stone bridge, the house was built in 1920 by the architect and developer William Aitken, who founded Bannockburn and named it for a historic place in his native Scotland. Aitken envisioned a genteel country town of estates on lots of at least one acre (the requirement is now two acres). And he was no stranger to economic setbacks: Aitken’s plans for a market square–style town center just a quarter of a mile from his home fell apart in the Great Depression.

The classical symmetry and tall Italianate windows across the front of the house set the stage for what’s inside: large, gracious rooms with high baseboards, crown moldings, and extensive millwork. A sunroom addition to the south and a family room addition to the west extend the house out into its leafy setting. A two-horse barn with a paddock and a stretch of private wooded trail are nearby.

Price Points: Tarabein says that, after foreclosing, American Chartered Bank gave the house “a nice facelift. They had contractors come in and bring it up to date, so when they [put it] on the market, it was in A-plus condition.” The facelift occurred before Tarabein became the home’s agent, so he did not know how much it cost. Nevertheless, subtracting whatever amount went into the upgrades from the sale price would mean that, in essence, the home actually sold for less than it had ten years prior—making it, by my count, the ninth home in 2010 to join what I’ve dubbed the year of the half-price mansion.

Listing Agent: Basel Tarabein; 847-255-1000

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