List price: $569,000
Sale price: $569,000

041607sotwThe Property: This newly built 11-room, five-bedroom house set the sales record for Oak Lawn when it was sold on April 6th. It is on the same street as-and within two blocks of-this southwest suburb’s two previous top sales. The developer Timothy Desmond of Leeside Builders built all three of those high-priced houses, which each replaced smaller homes more representative of Oak Lawn’s modest housing stock.  Kathy Walker, Desmond’s real-estate agent, points to some of the appealing amenities that the developer includes in his homes: wrought-iron stair rails, Bosch appliances, and jack-and-jill baths (a bathroom shared by two bedrooms). But the real key to Desmond’s success, says Walker, are the large lots. Whereas most Oak Lawn lots are 50 feet wide, Desmond has succeeded in “finding these wide lots-60 feet wide-where you can put a three-car garage,” says Walker. “A three-car garage is hard to come by in Oak Lawn.”

Price Points: While most houses in Oak Lawn sell for between $220,000 and $320,000, the suburb has had a spate of new-home sales whose price tags topped $500,000 (there have been 32 of them since the first sold in August 2005, according to the Multiple Listing Service of Northern Illinois). They are sprinkled throughout the town, but the biggest concentration is west of Central Avenue. Walker believes many of the town’s higher-priced homes have drawn value-hunters from outside the immediate area-which is no surprise. With access to highway and train transportation, a fine library, and lots of shopping along revitalized 95th Street, this little suburb tucked a short distance southwest of Midway Airport is a good place to look for housing bargains.

Buyer: Though the buyer of this house has not yet been identified in public records, Walker says Oak Lawn’s three top-priced houses went to people from Chicago’s North Side, Naperville, and another suburb. “In any of those places, these houses would have cost $750,000-at least,” she figures.

Sales agent: Kathy Walker, Century 21 Pro-Team