List Price: $1,399,000
Sale Price: $1.300,000
The Property: This new 13-room brick and stone house in Skokie’s Devonshire Highlands neighborhood has many custom perks. Among them: motorized lifts on the chandelier and the staircase light fixture (to make cleaning easier); a built-in hutch in the dining room; handsome library shelving; and insulated windows with operable blinds installed between two panes of glass.

The house is the work of a rare builder who actually does much of the construction with his own hands. Anthony Youseph, who has been…

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Sale of the Week—Hand-built House in Skokie

List Price: $1,399,000
Sale Price: $1.300,000
The Property: This new 13-room brick and stone house in Skokie’s Devonshire Highlands neighborhood has many custom perks. Among them: motorized lifts on the chandelier and the staircase light fixture (to make cleaning easier); a built-in hutch in the dining room; handsome library shelving; and insulated windows with operable blinds installed between two panes of glass.

The house is the work of a rare builder who actually does much of the construction with his own hands. Anthony Youseph, who has been…

List Price: $1,399,000
Sale Price: $1.300,000

The Property: This new 13-room brick and stone house in Skokie’s Devonshire Highlands neighborhood has many custom perks. Among them: motorized lifts on the chandelier and the staircase light fixture (to make cleaning easier); a built-in hutch in the dining room; handsome library shelving; and insulated windows with operable blinds installed between two panes of glass.

The house is the work of a rare builder who actually does much of the construction with his own hands. Anthony Youseph, who has been building houses and condos for almost 20 years, works on the site every day with his crew of two (plus a few extra workers brought in for the big-crew stages of construction). “I do it all—electrical, plumbing, framing, carpentry, because I like doing those things,” Youseph says. “I don’t consider myself a builder. I consider myself somebody who has a hobby that he enjoys.” And that he does full-time.

In several of his houses, Youseph’s company,  A. Anthony Builder, has built a kosher kitchen that would accommodate the needs of Orthodox Jews; it has double sinks and dishwashers to keep separate the utensils and dishes for meat and dairy. (The second refrigerator is in the basement, in a second kitchen.) In this house, Youseph went one better: there are three sinks in the kitchen. The third has no religious rationale. “You just seemed to need another sink in the island,” he says.

The house went on the market in October while still under construction. The buyers, who are not yet identified in public records, contracted to buy in early January and closed on their purchase February 1st. But they won’t move in until mid-March, after Youseph and his crew have finished painting and installed the granite countertops (the buyers selected the paint colors and the countertops). “His houses always sell when they’re still in the drywall phase,” says Barry Benveniste, Youseph’s agent on this and two prior houses. “People can see that they’re done to perfection.”

At a time when countless builders around Chicago are sitting on unsold inventory, Youseph has no such problem because he only builds one house at a time. “I don’t want to have ten projects going on,” he says. “I just have the one that I’m building.” And though he loves building houses, Youseph doesn’t live in one of his own homes. “They’re too expensive for me,” he says.

Price Points: This is the highest-priced home sold in Skokie in at least the past three years, according to data from the Multiple Listing Service of Northern Illinois. The next-highest sold in August 2006 for $1.25 million, and before that you have to go back to 2005 to find other sales in the $1.2 million range. Interestingly, of the 12 Skokie homes that have sold for $1 million or more in the past three years, eight are on streets whose names start with the letter K, including this one.

Listing Agent: Barry Benveniste, RE/Max 1st Class, (847) 674-9797; louie.kritikos@century21.com.

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comments
6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

I have seen this house from the outside and would of love to see it from the inside. This should of been as a showcase of new homes with tours or something brought to us by village of skokie...it would of been nice...The company that work on this project I guess being AA Anthonys is there a contact number for them? I live in the area and would really like to see what else they offer or future projucts...please contact me at the email giving..thanks
Zach...

6 years ago
Posted by JimF

The contact details for AA Anthony's and Anthony Youseph are as follows:

AA Anthony's Incorporated
4416 North Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60640

Phone: 773 230 1062
Fax: 847 982 9038
E-mail: homes@aa-anthonys.com

6 years ago
Posted by plbg711

I am a good friend of Anthony Youseph and have known him for 26 years. He had worked for me doing plumbing and when he started building homes (doing nearly all the work himself including plumbing), it was like an art; he does it to the fullest. Michelangelo created art and Anthony Youseph creates art by building houses.
I would like to relate just a couple of incidents that illustrate Anthony's commitment to quality and excellence:
While building a house, a worker had put some shims between the foundation and plate; however, he did not use treated wood. Anthony was unsatisfied and instructed him to change them to treated wooden shims because that is what a builder is supposed to use.
A gutter man was installing gutters on a house being built by Anthony, and Anthony directed him to install the gutters in a certain way. The gutter man said, "Anthony, you're not leaving any work for the future." Anthony's reply was simply "I know."
Houses built by Anthony's hands are built to last. Families who live in Anthony's houses do not encounter the multiple problems that many buyers typically come across after buying a new house.
In one lifetime, Anthony can only build so many. Whoever is fortunate enough to live in such a house will be so thankful.
P.S.: Thank you Anthony for everything.
Perry Bateman, 7-11 Plumbing

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