This Sale Kilt a Two-Year Orren Pickell Dry Spell
List Price: $3.618 million
Sale Price: $3.1 million
The Property: A 13-room house built in 2008 by Orren Pickell Designers & Builders as the model home in what was to be an enclave of country mansions in Bannockburn has been sold—but for only 64 percent of what the company had initially asked for it.
The home is situated at the front of the 27.7-acre subdivision that the company called Tarns of the Moor (roughly translated as “little lakes of the bog,”) and is known as the Scottish Manor. Its rusticated exterior encloses an expansive interior that, while lavish, exudes an old-world charm with its warm tones, hand-adzed wood beams, seven fireplaces, wide-plank floors, and a full Scottish pub in the basement.
In 2008, Pickell’s daughter, Lisa, described the house to me as her father’s tribute to the ancestral home of his mother, who was descended from Clan Maclean. (Disclosure: in summer 2008 the home was part of a promotional partnership between Pickell and Chicago and Chicago Home & Garden magazines.) Lisa Pickell told me that the company’s lead architect, Kent DeRuse, had designed the 9,000-square-foot home to feel “like parts of it were collected all over Scotland and reassembled here.”
The sale closed December 27th to buyers whose names are not yet in public records. Lisa Pickell says that it was one of three sales that the 36-year-old company notched in the last few months of 2010—after having sold nothing since December 2008. The other sales were a lot in Highland Park that sold for $525,000, down from a list price of $580,875—it had originally been on the market as a package that would have included building a new Pickell home—and a lot in Tarns of the Moor that went for $853,000, or 75 percent of its $1.125 million asking price. That buyer will have Pickell build on the lot, Lisa Pickell says. Five Tarns of the Moor lots have sold since 2007, with five still on the market.
Pickell says that, after a dry spell of two years, the trio of sales looks to her like a sign that luxury-level buyers are recognizing “that we are at the bottom [on prices] and interest rates are going up, so they’re making their moves because their time may be running out.” Several other real-estate agents have also told me that December and January have been markedly busier; I will be watching to see what other deals close in the near future.
Price Points: At the time today’s house debuted in 2008, its asking price was $4.825 million. Pickell dropped the price to $3.6 million in February 2010 as part of a round of price cuts on its homes and lots. The $3.1 million sale price is 85 percent of last year’s price, and just under two-thirds of the original price.