List Price: $1,299,000
Sale Price: $820,000
The Property: The builder who replaced an older home with this house did not complete it before his lender ended up selling it in November—for less than the builder had paid to buy the lot in 2005. The new owners are not only completing construction, but they are re-doing some of what the builder did. They will rip off and replace the front entry and change the roofline on the right-hand side of the façade.

The 7,500-square-foot house stands on four-tenths of an acre in Skokie Ridge, a neighborhood of luxurious homes, most priced well over $1 million, near a golf course and a swath of forest preserve in Glencoe. Inside, the builder, whom I could not locate, left the 11-room house with no flooring, light fixtures, or kitchen appliances, and with the kitchen cabinets pushed into the room but not installed. He had not yet paved the driveway, either.

When the builder defaulted, the bank offered the house for sale unfinished and as-is. On August 8th, it had a contract to sell for 36 percent off its asking price. The deal closed November 25th (bank sales tend to have extended closing periods, because of the institutions that are involved). The buyers are not yet identified in public records of the sale.

Price Points: In September 2005, the builder paid $880,000 for the former house on this lot. He tore it down and started building a new residence, in a style that doesn’t quite flatter the neighborhood. When the bank listed the unfinished house earlier this year, it was asking $1,299,000; it ultimately settled for $820,000, or 7 percent less than the builder had paid for the land. Pickell Builders is now working at the site for the new owners; Todd Wilkins, an executive vice president for the company, says the re-do will cost “north of” half a million dollars. This is one of four projects that Wilkins calls “construction bailouts,” and he believes there are more on the way. “Banks are taking back these products, but they don’t know how to get them finished,” he says. “We’ve been in remodeling for 30 years.”

Listing Agent: Not available