List price: $2.195 million
The Property: This rugged stone and cedar retreat hidden away on nine wooded acres is just minutes from downtown St. Charles. The place has a bulky exterior-a massive pyramidal wood shingle roof and deeply recessed window and door openings-but inside it lightens up, with an open floor plan, soaring ceilings, and an outsized skylight. Built in 1978, the 6,259-square-foot residence has four bedrooms, five-plus baths, and five fireplaces; the place also has a tennis court and a pool. “That big a house was unheard of [in the 1970s],” says Jeff Jordan, the Re/Max Excels agent listing the house for its sellers. While he declined to name them-and Kane County records do not identify them-Jordan says that they have been in the house for about twenty years, and that they updated the kitchen in 2005.
Price Points: Last October, the sellers listed the house for sale only with its immediate four acres, at $1.75 million. They would have sold the rest to developers, as they have with 36 adjacent acres they used to own. But as Jordan notes, St. Charles has a glut of homes in the $1-million to $2-million price range. (According to the Multiple Listing Service of Northern Illinois, nine homes in St. Charles sold for $1 million or more over the last six months; currently, 99 houses are listed for sale in town priced in that range.) So in May the sellers tossed in the remaining land and upped their price to $2.195 million. The added land is zoned as three buildable lots. It’s an unusual tactic-raising the price when the house doesn’t sell-but Jordan believes it will put the house in a more exclusive bracket and make the property a better investment. “You can buy the property and hold those lots until down the road, when the market is faster, and sell them then,” he suggests. In 2006, three St. Charles houses sold for over $2 million, according to the Multiple Listing Service; so far, in 2007, there have been none. “That part of the market is very slow right now,” Jordan admits.
Listing Agent: Jeff Jordan, Re/Max Excels, (630) 262-4370