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House with $800,000 in Upgrades for Under $1.5 Million, in Lake Forest

List Price: $1,795,000
Sale Price: $1,475,000
The Property: Tucked into a secluded setting, this 17-room Lake Forest house sold July 8 for 38 percent of the $3.895 million that its sellers wanted for it back in 2007.
But that’s not all…

List Price: $1,795,000
Sale Price: $1,475,000
The Property: Tucked into a secluded setting, this 17-room Lake Forest house sold July 8 for 38 percent of the $3.895 million that its sellers wanted for it back in 2007.
But that’s not all: not only did the sale price drop below the $1.7 million that the sellers paid for the house in 2001, but it also fails to recoup the amount they invested in it after 2001 for a sizable addition and renovations that the sellers’ agent says cost “at least” $800,000.

The red-brick Georgian—the original part of it was built in 1930—sits (along with an old barn) on 5.85 acres of land in northwestern Lake Forest that neighbor a pastoral 21-acre horse farm and other estate-sized lots. “It’s a beautiful view all around,” says Lori Baker, the agent for the sellers, Richard and Nicole Lindholm.

Richard Lindholm, a builder whose firm is Richard Marc Custom Homes, added a north wing that contains a 594-square-foot great room with ample windows framing the oak-shaded view and remodeled the third floor into an 882-square-foot media and entertainment room nestled among 10 dormers. He also renovated some dated bathrooms and other rooms and built a three-car garage to supplement the existing two-car garage.

The buyers, who Baker says acquired the property as a short sale (where a buyer pays less than the seller owes on the mortgage) before the lender continued with foreclosure, are not yet identified in public records. Baker, who would not disclose their names, says “they got probably the best buy anybody will get this year.”

Price Points: Baker says that in 2007, when the Lindholms were preparing to move out of state, the house was appraised at $3.85 million, “so they felt sure they would be able to sell it for that.” As time went by and the property sat unsold in a drooping market, they cut the price at least five times.

While the Lindholms were understandably disappointed that the house ultimately sold so low, Baker says they came to accept a key lesson of this downturn. Citing personal finance guru Suze Orman, Baker says that “they saw that you have to look at what you have, not what you had, and move on.”

Listing Agent: Lori Baker of Coldwell Banker, 847-735-7637; lori.baker@cbexchange.com
 

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