Sale of the Week—River Forest Tudor

List Price: $2.5 million
Sale Price: $2.5 million

The Property: This 80-year-old Tudor set a sales-price record for River Forest when it was sold on September 10th. The closing came 16 months after the agreement to sell, an unusually long time span. Typically, most deals close after 30 days or so.

Here’s what happened. Back in May 2006, the sellers, Henry and Carolyn Lang, were building a ranch in Texas, but they wanted to hang on to the River Forest house until they moved, says their agent, Lynn Scheir. No wonder: Designed by the Chicago architects and Prairie-style votaries Vernon Watson and Thomas Tallmadge, the 11-room house sits on nearly a full acre in a distinguished neighborhood. Built in a more traditional Tudor style after Prairie houses had fallen from fashion, it still has distinct Prairie echoes, such as the sharp horizontal demarcation between the lower brick level and the stucco upper.

Inside, says Scheir, the house has lots of millwork—much of it never-painted walnut—and many leaded glass windows that look out on the park-like lot. There are five bedrooms, three-plus baths, and a three-room apartment in the coach house.

In no hurry to move, the Langs, who were second-generation owners of the house, told Scheir that their asking price and closing schedule were firm. James and Monica Pruyn, already living in River Forest, heard the house was for sale and agreed to those strict terms. The Pruyns did not respond to a request for an interview, and through Scheir, the Langs declined to comment.

Price Points: The Pruyns—he has a trading firm at the Chicago Board of Trade—agreed on a price to buy the house before the local real-estate market started sagging. Had they waited until 2007 to agree to buy, they might have paid less. But Scheir suggests the price would not have been significantly different. “Our upper-end homes [in River  Forest] haven’t gone down as much as [those] in the $400,000 to $700,000 range,” she says. Indeed, even in these price-cutting times, River Forest’s recorded its first $2-million-plus house sale in August and its second, this record-setter, in September—or in May 2006, depending on how you look at the deal. (Privately conducted sales may not be reflected in the records of the Multiple Listing Service of Northern Illinois, which provided the data about house sales in River Forest.)

Buyers:  James and Monica Pruyn

Listing Agent: Lynn Scheir, F.C. Pilgrim & Co., (708) 383-8300

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