Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, and now, home-sellers and developers are cutting their prices too. To say nothing of the pandemic, winter is always a slack season for real estate, as people stay home from open houses to nest through the holidays and cold weather. This year, that’ll only be compounded.
Of the Chicago properties that have seen price cuts this month, some were simply too expensive; others are a little unconventional and maybe harder to move.
But that makes them fun to browse. And you might hit the right niche, from the starter home’s starter home in Midlothian to a swinging-‘60s idea of Southern charm on a Lake Forest golf course.
3743 West 112th Place, Chicago (-$15,000 to $399,900)
This Mount Greenwood optical illusion just took a $15,000 price cut, bringing it down to $399,900 worth of cantilevered goodness. (It’s not a huge price cut, but how could I not include this? In exchange, here’s a $485,000 bungalow in the West Town/Smith Park area that’s down $44,000. It’s… fine, but the location is great.)
But back to the property at hand: The galaxy-brain popup, which is somewhere between genius and madness, adds a large master suite with vaulted ceilings, a big whirlpool tub under a skylight, and a 100-square-foot walk-in closet.
Unconventional proportions aside, the addition’s fine materials suggest what the interior is like: much more conservative than its curbside appeal would indicate.
1280 Knollwood Court, Lake Forest (-$250,000 to $1.35 million)
Oscar Mayer built this golf-course estate for his son in 1967, and it’s still got the feel of something off the set of Dallas. The Southern Colonial look carries through to the main living area — especially that grand double staircase — but different rooms hearken to other eras and styles. There’s exposed beams on the sunporch, dark wood paneling in the den and library, and ‘90s McMansion hardwood cabinetry in the kitchen. With a $250,000 price cut, all six beds, nine baths, and 7,500 square feet can be yours for $1.35 million.
912 Dorset Drive, Northbrook, (-$50,000 to $499,900)
Built in 1968, this five-bed split-level ranch has been seemingly well-preserved since the Johnson administration. That includes the array of bold wallpapers covering most of the house, and the white wrought-iron porch furniture. The split-levels are beautifully handled inside, with a sort of mezzanine living room beneath that lofted living area. The second-floor porch looks over a patio next to the well-landscaped lawn. And of course there’s a gazebo; just look at the house. Over the past month, the price has come down $50,000 to $499,900.
235 Sylvan Road, Glencoe (-$79,000 to $550,000)
For $550,000, down $50,000 in the last couple weeks and $79,000 since August, you don’t get a lot of space: 2,000 square feet with three beds and three baths, all perfectly tasteful if a bit contempo-gray.
What you do get is green: forest wrapping around three sides, with floor-to-ceiling windows in a living area that looks out over a ravine. Enjoy it from that wood-burning fireplace. After all, you don’t need much space if you’ll never leave that spot all winter.
15039 Hamlin Avenue, Midlothian (-$7,990 to $79,500)
You may find yourself living in a shotgun shack; you may find yourself in… Midlothian.
It admittedly doesn’t look like a lot, and it’s not: one bedroom, 1.5 baths, and 789 square feet — probably the same dimensions as when it was built in 1929. But it’s well-kept, has a pleasant exterior, and most importantly costs $79,500, down from $87,490 earlier this month. With a 20-percent down payment of $15,900, you’d be hard-pressed to find an apartment that size for the mortgage payment of a few hundred bucks. Think of it as a big tiny house. And it’s something of a rarity: a modest workingman’s home that’s stayed just what it is for 90 years.