It Took 2 Face-Lifts to Get This Lincoln Park Foreclosure Sold
List Price: $950,000
Sale Price: $949,900
The Property: When I wrote about this Lincoln Park house in October 2009, Brickyard Bank, which had foreclosed on it, had just put the home through a face-lift to make it more marketable. It turned out that wasn’t enough, and this year Brickyard Bank upgraded the house again.
This time it worked: On July 10, the bank closed the sale, a little more than four years after it started foreclosure proceedings against former Channel 2 reporter Mary Nissenson. The home was listed for just four days in June before going under contract.
The most visible second-round change is a new all-brick exterior in place of painted stucco. When I toured the home in 2009, the stucco was gray. In the video from that tour, @Properties agent Steve McEwen says it had previously been purple and gray, but Nissenson called me after the video posted and said the only exterior feature ever painted purple was a gate. She did not say what color or colors the house was painted when she owned it.
Why hadn’t the house been reclad in brick—a substantial change—in the first round of improvements? “The bank isn’t in the redevelopment business,” McEwen told me. “They just wanted to fix it up and get it sold. But most of the people making lower offers were going to do that—tear off the stucco and put in a higher grade of appliances—so ultimately the bank decided to do those things so they wouldn’t take a significant loss.”
McEwen says the second-round upgrades also included a new roof, new high-end kitchen appliances, a longer kitchen island and improved backsplash, and enlarged garage doors “to make sure that two SUVs can fit in there.” He would not say how much Brickyard Bank spent on either of the two rounds of improvements.
The doubly improved house went back on the market on June 7 and by June 10 was under contract to the eventual buyers. The Cook County Recorder of Deeds identifies them as David Gaito Jr. and Heather Zimmerman.
Price Points: In 2009, the bank wanted $1.2 million for the house. It had dropped the asking price to $799,000 before pulling the home off the market for the second round of improvements. At $799,000, McEwen says, the offers coming in were in the $600,000s and low $700,000s.
It’s not clear how much the bank had invested in the house. The foreclosed mortgage was $1.04 million, but the outstanding balance at the time the bank took possession of the house is not public information. In addition, I don’t know the bank’s carrying costs over four years or the price of either of the two face-lifts.
Nevertheless, with the final sale price of $949,900, McEwen says, “We got what we needed.”