The house in Homer Glen that the state of Illinois seized from the rapper and convicted con artist Eric “Blaxican” Jaglicic sold on May 30th for $380,000—which is $30,000 more than the asking price. As readers may recall from my April 17th blog (which includes a video tour), this is the house with a shark tank in the dining room, an alligator pen in the basement, and a liberal use of black paint.
Blaxican had bought the house from a developer for $450,000 in 2006; he then spent about $100,000 tricking out the place with a swimming pool and hot tub, gargoyles on the roof, and a recording studio in the basement. He lived there only six months before the Illinois Secretary of State’s office seized the house as part of its case against Blaxican. The state alleged that Blaxican and a partner had scammed 14 friends and friends-of-friends out of $1.2 million by convincing them he was going to produce the next Adam Sandler movie. (Blaxican eventually pleaded guilty to theft and other charges; Brian Falatovich, his alleged partner, awaits trial and maintains his innocence.)
Although Blaxican had spent a total of about $550,000 on the place, the state wanted to unload the property fast after sitting on it for a year. Officials directed Christine Kempa, a real-estate agent with Kempa Group Realty, to put the house on the market with an asking price of $350,000. Because of the hurried removal of appliances and personal possessions, the residence was in less than perfect condition, and it needed extensive repainting to wipe out Blaxican’s fondness for black.
When she first put the 11-room house on the market, Kempa told me that she had had 37 showings in the first 72 hours. “In this market, with foreclosures and short sales, people thought there was an even better bargain here in a house that was seized by the government,” she told me Tuesday. “You wouldn’t be [negotiating with] an emotional seller.”
Within a week of putting the house on the market, Kempa says, she had collected ten offers to hand over to the Secretary of State’s office. “We could have had four or five more, but ten was sufficient,” she says. “We cut it off.” At least five of the offers were above the asking price, Kempa says, and a few of the potential buyers’ agents revised their bids upward when they learned about the crowded bidding field. “But nobody was close to that top bid we got,” Kempa says.
The sale, at $380,000, closed this past Friday, seven weeks after the house went on the market. Kempa would not disclose the names of the buyers, and they are not yet identified in public records. She said only that they were North Siders with boys who were excited about the house’s pool and mini basketball court.
All proceeds from the sale of the house—which the Secretary of State’s office estimates at $333,000—will be added to the money the state had collected by auctioning off Blaxican’s recording equipment, his Hummer, his shark tank, and his other belongings. The total amount, $387,000, will be distributed to the victims of the scam. The Secretary of State’s office reports that the “yield” is 32 percent—meaning that for every dollar investors put in, they will recoup 32 cents.
Debbie Kappel and her husband, Scott, who live in Mokena, were among Blaxican’s victims, having invested $25,000 from their son’s college fund in the scheme. Kappel told me Tuesday that she was pleased to hear of the over-price sale of the house, even though their share of the total proceeds will never make up for the money lost by her and her husband. The house “was bought with the money of the victims, so it’s the correct thing to do to sell it for us,” Kappel said. “At least he’s in jail now; that’s partial justice.”
Kappel also told me what she had learned from the experience: “If it seems too good to be true,” she said, “it’s too good to be true”—though the people who got this $550,000 house for $380,000 may disagree.