Photo: Dennis Rodkin
List Price: $819,000
Sale Price: $875,000
The Property: On a recent Sunday, 15 eager suitors came courting for this international beauty. One even brought a handwritten love note and home-baked cookies. But in the end, 14 admirers got sent home disappointed. The winning paramour was the one who proposed to pay 6.8 percent over the asking price, all in cash.
“I know we broke some hearts,” says listing agent Harry Maisel of the former two-flat, built in 1893 and converted to a single-family home a decade ago. “People really fell in love when they saw the house.”
It’s easy to see why. The home, in Ukrainian Village, is a dreamboat, starting with a classic 19th-century Chicago facade ornamented with brick and limestone frills and topped with a copper cornice. Inside, the renovation created daylit, open rooms and used decorative accents from around the world: mantelpieces from Italy, doors from Argentina, light fixtures from France and the Czech Republic, and a kitchen island that incorporates an antique candy counter brought over from somewhere in Europe, according to Maisel. There’s also a touch of New Orleans, he notes, in the custom wrought iron balcony off the master bedroom that looks down into a secluded garden.
The building was still a two-flat in March 2002 when, according to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds, James Kaletta paid $415,000 for it. Kaletta and his wife, Lori Rush, commissioned architects Morgante Wilson for the rehab, which according to Maisel entailed removing virtually everything “down to the shell.” The single-family home that emerged from the work retains stained glass in some front windows, and a few walls of vintage exposed brick. The elegant interior includes wide-plank oak flooring, four bedrooms, and three full baths. Part of the basement was laid out as a separate in-law suite, but Maisel says it was re-incorporated into the general floorplan before the home went up for sale.
Kaletta died last year. The house went on the market June 10, and Maisel says that in the first week, he showed it about 50 times and received one offer, which was later withdrawn when it became clear the house would go for more than the asking price. Offers—15 of them—were accepted June 16, and the winning one turned into a contract the next day.
The sale consummated August 28. The names of the buyers aren’t yet in public records.
Price Points: Maisel says that of the 15 offers, most were over the asking price and 13 were financed, meaning the buyers needed to obtain a mortgage. Only two were for cash, and because one of them was also the highest offer, that’s the one that prevailed, he says.