Photo: Dennis Rodkin
List Price: $1.499 million
Sale Price: $1.47 million
The Property: Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte purchased a 6,000-square-foot home on nearly five wooded acres in a secluded part of Mettawa last fall. Forte’s name is not on documents related to the house, but last week I confirmed with multiple sources that he’s the purchaser who paid $1.47 million for the five-bedroom home in October. That was just a few months after he signed a four-year, $32 million contract with the Bears, for whom he has played since 2008.
“He’s a really smart guy,” said Penny Silich, the ReMax agent who represented Forte. “He could go buy a $5 million house, but that’s not how he lives his life. He wanted a house where he could raise a family.” Forte and his wife, Danielle Daniels, have one child.
Silich also represented Forte on the sale of his former home, in Vernon Hills. That sale closed earlier this year at $735,000, a 16 percent loss from what Forte had paid for the 3,600-square-footer in 2008.
Silich said the Mettawa home offered more privacy and is closer to Halas Hall, the Bears’ practice facility in West Lake Forest. She said the home offered “nice amenities for him. It has nice bedrooms and bathrooms and a home theater. It’s very upscale.”
Listing Agent Joanna Koperski declined to comment on the purchaser, but described the home as “gorgeous, with rosewood flooring throughout and a kitchen that was a joy to show.” She says the backsplashes were made of an imported granite that has numerous fossils embedded within. The black granite of the center island has blue, opalescent stones in it. “In certain lights, it all glows blue,” Koperski said. There is a four-car garage, a pond, and a hot tub.
Although we ordinarily link to the listing, in this case we’re not, to keep Forte’s address from being disclosed. The property is reached via a gravel road, and the house is not visible past the big front gates (seen in my photo). A video that Koperski posted in 2011 when the property was on the market shows a turreted brick and stucco Normandy-style exterior, a curved main staircase lined with wrought-iron railings, a beamed living room ceiling, and a stone-and brick-walled grotto-style pub.
The home’s sellers, listed in Lake County property records as Adam and Bernadetta Cwickla, had it on the market fully furnished. Koperski says they were moving to a home they had in Wisconsin that was already furnished. She and Silich both confirmed that the sale to Forte included the furniture.
Price Points: Lake County records show that the Cwicklas bought the lot in 2003 for $509,000. The house was completed in 2005. They first listed it for sale in June 2010, asking $1.65 million. There was a series of price cuts, the last in May 2012, to $1.499 million. Silich said the price appealed to Forte. “It was a great value,” she said, “a great deal.”