List Price: $1.849 million
Sale Price: $1.7 million
The Property: This 13-room house is across the street from Blaine Elementary, one of the city’s best-performing grade schools and an anchor for families who want to be in the Southport Corridor zone of hipness.
The bank that took back the six-bedroom, 6,300-square-foot house in foreclosure in April 2012 sold it on January 31. The $1.7 million sale price was about 8 percent below what the listing agent, Millie Rosenbloom, estimated the house would have gone for if it had been a conventional, nondistressed sale. The house is in good condition, Rosenbloom said, and only needs some interior painting and new carpet, as well as a few maintenance fixes.
Photos that accompanied the listing depicted the house as being in nearly pristine condition, with abundant crown moldings and other high-end finishes, a big, well-outfitted kitchen, and architectural flourishes that include a cut-out in the dining room ceiling that reveals a staircase landing above.
According to Rosenbloom, it’s difficult to find a foreclosure in a prime location, with ample square footage and no major defects. Given the good condition of today’s property, there was no way it was going to sell at a steep discount—the 35 percent and greater reductions that banged-up foreclosures often come with. “[But] don’t laugh at $150,000,” said Rosenbloom, referring to the difference between the list price and the sale price. “That gets you a lot of paint and carpet.”
Rosenbloom said that when she put the house on the market in late November, she had three offers, all from people who were looking to buy in the Blaine district. The house went under contract in nine days; the buyers are not yet identified in public records.
Price Points: It’s not clear what the foreclosed homeowners had paid for the property. The Cook County Recorder of Deeds shows them buying the site in early 2005, the year the house was built, for $1,912,500, and taking out a $2.9 million mortgage. Rosenbloom thought that those amounts covered two lots—this lot and the one next door. I wasn’t able to verify that in the public records. There is no other indication of what the owners paid for the house. In 2009, they had it listed for sale at $1.99 million.