List Price: $5.9 million
Sale Price: $5.3 million
The Property: A 10,000-square-foot mansion that was put through an extensive, elegant rehab with flipping it in mind sold Oct. 24 for less than it had gone for in 2005, years before the rehab.
It’s a very refined home, from the stone of its facade and curving garden wall through to the many crisp light wood interior finishes selected by the flipper, Carole Segal. A co-founder of Crate & Barrel, Segal walked me through the house in the spring of 2012, describing the large, daylit kitchen she had designed as the one “I’ve always wished I had” at her home, which is in the neighborhood.
We also talked about how she had literally flipped the house, exchanging the front for the back to create a sense of arrival at a lovely walled courtyard.
Flipping it in the other sense of the word—turning it around to another buyer at a profit—wasn’t quite as successful. Segal wanted $6.899 million in 2011, when she first put the redone house, which she and husband Gordon had purchased in 2008, on the market. A year later, when she showed me the house, the asking price was down to $6.499 million.
The final selling price is 76 percent of what Segal originally wanted for the house, and 89 percent of the last asking price, $5.9 million, which she set in February.
The buyers are not yet identified in public records. Bremen declined to comment, and I could not reach Segal.
Price Points: The deep discount doesn’t necessarily mean that Segal lost money on the project. The Cook County Recorder of Deeds reports that the Segals paid $4.475 million for the property in April 2008. When we did our video tour, Carole Segal and her real estate agent both declined to say how much the rehab cost on top of the purchase price. So I don’t know the Segals’ total investment in the house. If they spent less than $825,000 on the rehab, they might have pocketed a profit. That would be $82.50 an interior square foot, not counting any landscaping. High-end rehab tends to go in the range of $200 a foot.
The sellers from whom the Segals bought had paid $5.493 million for the property in 2005 and had taken out a $9 million mortgage. Segal told me those owners had talked about demolishing the house and splitting the land into two buildable lots. They lost over $1 million when they later sold to the Segals.