List Price: $3.85 million
The Property: A cobblestone drive leads over a bridge and past a waterfall to the front door of this 15-room country manor in Downers Grove. “This is our resort that we don’t have to travel to,” says Joel Anderson, the Downers Grove homebuilder who created the place for himself, his wife, Maggie, and their children in 2008.
The home’s foyer, living room, dining room, music room, and library are trimmed with woodwork, including over-size fireplaces, built-in sideboards, and hand-scraped hickory floors. “There’s a lot of warm treatment in the millwork and on the walls so you feel comfortable the minute you come in the door,” Anderson says. The wood detailing extends to the cabinetry in the large kitchen. Also on the first floor is the master suite, a set of rooms that features a bedroom fireplace, a morning kitchen, and a bathtub in a nook overlooking the yard.
The second floor has three children’s bedrooms, each with its own personality shaped by the Old World roofline and each with its own bath; two of the bedrooms open into a large second-floor family room. The basement contains a movie theatre, a full pub, and a high-tech golf simulator—and the home has its own elevator. Outside are separate terraces for lounging and dining, as well as a vast rear lawn, a conservatory with a stone fireplace, and a swimming pool with a grotto. The home’s green features include a high-efficiency heating system and tight windows, framing, and insulation. “You only get one chance to do those things—when the house is [being] built,” Anderson says.
Schools are nearby. “We’re one block to the grade school, two to the junior high, and three to the high school,” says Anderson. Now that their children are grown or nearly grown, the couple decided to put the property on the market early this year.
Price Points: This is the highest-priced home now on the market in Downers Grove. The next two priciest are homes also built by Anderson (though they are being sold by their owners, not by him); one is priced at $1.799 million and the other at $1.579 million.