List Price: $995,000
Sale Price: $950,000
The Property: For 20 years this 13-room Highland Park house belonged to Dave Duerson, who was on Super Bowl–winning teams with the Chicago Bears and the New York Giants. But Duerson recently lost…

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Sale of the Week—In Highland Park, Bad News for a Bear

List Price: $995,000
Sale Price: $950,000
The Property: For 20 years this 13-room Highland Park house belonged to Dave Duerson, who was on Super Bowl–winning teams with the Chicago Bears and the New York Giants. But Duerson recently lost…


Sitting on two and a quarter acres, the red brick house sold for $600,000 less than hoped.

The new owners may opt to replace one of the property’s four brick gateposts, one inscribed “NFL 22”


List Price: $995,000
Sale Price: $950,000

The Property: For 20 years this 13-room Highland Park house belonged to Dave Duerson, who was on Super Bowl–winning teams with the Chicago Bears and the New York Giants. But Duerson recently lost the house in a foreclosure. It sold June 12th for $950,000, about $600,000 less than he first hoped to get for it last year—though the agent who sold the house for the bank says that the house likely fetched a price very close to its market value. (I tried but was unable to reach Duerson for a comment.)

Sitting on two and a quarter acres, the red brick house has a four-car garage and an outdoor pool. Inside there are about 8,000 square feet of space on three levels, with five bedrooms, four-plus baths, and three fireplaces. Duerson bought the house when it was new in 1987 (I could not determine what he paid for it).

Duerson played safety for the Bears (from 1983 to 1989), the New York Giants (1990), and the Phoenix Cardinals (1991 to 1993). The year he bought the house, he won the NFL’s Man of the Year award, which recognizes community service as well as on-field performance. After his football career, Duerson owned three McDonald’s restaurants in Kentucky before launching his own business, Duerson Foods, which was a major supplier of sausage to the Burger King and Olive Garden chains.

In late 2006, Duerson sold the company’s assets because, he said, a vendor’s slowness had caused his plant to open late, crippling its chances for success. The next year, a judge ruled that he owed $500,000 that he had borrowed against the house to support the business; also in 2007, Duerson’s 24-year marriage ended in divorce. Last July, facing foreclosure on the house, he listed it for sale at $1.599 million, and later dropped the price to $1.399 million.

After Associated Bank took possession and Duerson vacated the property, the house went back on the market on May 15th as a bank’s sale with an asking price of $995,000. “Several people were interested,” says Heidi Grumley, the Prudential Preferred Properties agent tapped by the bank to sell the home. Twelve days later she had a contract at $950,000. “When you price something right, it goes fast,” she said.

The house will need updating. Photos on the listing sheet show a dated white-and-pine look inside, and Grumley says it will need a new kitchen and baths, as well as “some maintenance that hadn’t been done for a while” (she wouldn’t be more specific). The new owners may also opt to replace one of the property’s four brick gateposts—the one inscribed “NFL 22”—“unless it’s their lucky number,” Grumley joked.

Price Points: The house is on a short street with several homes, all built at about the same time and roughly comparable in size and finishes. Since 2005, three other houses have sold on the street, all between $1.1 million and $1.275 million (that last amount represents the most recent sale, which came in January). There is another house on the street currently listed for sale, at $1,199,900; it is represented by Janet Borden of Coldwell Banker. Grumley believes that once the new owners have updated Duerson’s former home and done the needed repairs, their total expenditures, including the purchase price, will put this residence in the same range of what neighboring residences are worth. She doesn’t think the new owners—whom she would not identify and whose names have not yet appeared in public records—got a fire-sale bargain, “but they did get a good price.”

Listing Agent: Heidi Grumley, Prudential Preferred Properties, 847-234-2500.

 

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