Cook County Republican Bound for Texas Sells in Wilmette
List Price: $829,000
Sale Price: Not available
The Property: Roger Keats, the Republican candidate who lost last fall’s election for president of the Cook County Board, has pronounced himself sick of corruption in Illinois and sold his Wilmette home to move to Texas. “I am tired of subsidizing crooks, and I don’t want any more of it,” he told the Wilmette Beacon a few weeks ago.
Keats’s wife, Tina, who managed his campaign, added that Illinois voters seem unfazed by the state’s enormous budget deficits and pension liability. “Even states like California and New York know they have to do something to get their house in order,” she said in the same article. “This state has not accepted that.”
The couple, who say that they have family in Texas, put their six-bedroom house on Sheridan Road up for sale in January and had a contract to sell by early March. Their agent, Lori Neuschel of @properties, would not disclose the final price before the sale’s closing later this week. Roger Keats did not respond to a request for comment, and the buyers’ names have not yet appeared in public records.
Built in 1929, the 10-room house—just a short walk from Lake Michigan and Gillson Park—has three bedrooms on each of its two upper floors, Neuschel says. The living and dining rooms have crown moldings, and built-in bookcases flank the living-room fireplace. The kitchen, while in good shape, “hasn’t been done in a while,” Neuschel says, “so [the buyers] will probably come in and update it.”
According to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds, Tina Keats and her former husband paid $420,000 for the house in 1988. The place had already been on the market during the first nine months of 2009. But in July of that year, Roger Keats, who had served 16 years in the Illinois Senate before losing his seat in 1992, emerged as the likely Republican nominee for president of the Cook County Board. The prior for-sale listing on his house expired that September.
Keats was a quixotic candidate; the last Republican to serve as president of the Cook County Board was Richard Ogilvie, from 1966 to 1969. In the November 2010 election, Keats even lost in his home township, as the NBCChicago.com columnist Edward McClelland noted.
Price Points: When they first listed the house for sale in January 2009, the Keatses were asking $1,148,500. They reduced the price twice, the second time in July 2009, to $995,000. When they put the house back on the market in January 2011, they were asking 72 percent of what they had wanted two years earlier. That’s why it sold so quickly this time, according to their agent. “Buyers are savvy now,” Neuschel says. “When the right value comes onto the market, they have looked at so much [property] already that they’re not afraid to make a decision quickly and pay close to the price, or pay above it if there are multiple offers.” She said that there were multiple offers on the Keatses’ home, but she wouldn’t say whether that pushed the ultimate selling price above the asking price. (I’ll update with that information when the closed sale is recorded.)
Listing Agent: Lori Neuschel of @Properties; 847-226-5794 or www.lorineuschel.com