At the Heart of the Woods, in Oak Brook
For a closer look at the house, launch the photo gallery »
List Price: $2.999 million
The Property: Today’s house is named Woods End, but given its sylvan setting, it really ought to be called Woods Heart. It’s a series of steep-roofed pavilions, each containing a major part of the living space and topped with huge skylights. The rear of the house is walled with windows and wrapped with an elevated 175-foot-long deck. The view from virtually every room reveals nothing but trees, and a finger of the deck bridges a stream and ends at an enclosed gazebo room nestled among the trees. Built on a 2.4-acre site near the Fullersburg Woods Forest Preserve in 1982, the house was expanded in 2006 by its current sellers, Blair and Lauren Haarlow.
Inside the house (as you will see in the video), the living room features a tall stone fireplace wall beneath a wood-beamed ceiling that sweeps upward to the skylight. A wing off one side of the living room contains a library and a master suite—a big bedroom/sitting room combo that opens onto a secluded part of the deck, a well-organized dressing room, and a big bathroom with a tub that seems perched among the trees. On the other side of the living room line up the dining room—with its own pavilion ceiling and skylight—and, in the addition, the kitchen and a butler’s pantry, as well as a family room that echoes the stone-and-wood feeling of the original spaces.
There are four bedrooms on the ground level, which is a full-fledged living space, not a basement. Three of those bedrooms, as well as a family room, are in the original home, and one—with an adjacent sitting room—is in the addition, reachable only by a separate staircase.
Though the home lies within Hinsdale’s high-performing school districts, Roy Hawthorne, the Haarlows’ listing agent, says that it’s otherwise within Oak Brook’s taxing boundaries—and thanks to the presence of Oakbrook Center, the McDonald’s headquarters, and other businesses, Oak Brook has very low taxes. Annual property taxes on this property are about $22,000; Hawthorne estimates they would be twice that for a similar property within Hinsdale’s taxing boundaries.
Price Points: The property went on the market in August, at $3.2 million. The Haarlows dropped their price to $2.999 million in September. Hawthorne, who is also a developer, says that a home he built on the same street—smaller than this one, on a far smaller lot (three-quarters of an acre), and with a more standard (i.e., less wooded) look—sold for $2.5 million in 2009.