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List Price: $2.5 million
The Property: Elaborate carvings on its rough sandstone façade and an elegant renovation of its interior make this 19th-century Gold Coast house very appealing. But Tricia Fox, the listing agent for its seller, Joseph Aldeguer, noticed one drawback: it was difficult maneuvering a large luxury car into the garage from the narrow alley. “You can fit a Lexus into the garage,” she says. “It’s getting in from the alley that’s a problem.”

Fox hatched a unique solution: sell the house with a tiny, easy-to-turn car included in the deal. So now the listing price includes the cost of a new Mini Cooper, which is worth approximately $25,000. The seller isn’t offering a Mini he already owns, but will order one to the buyer’s specifications. Buyers even get to pick the color—or they could opt to skip the car and take $25,000 off the house’s price.

On a photogenic Gold Coast block of townhouses—some of which may have been built by Potter and Bertha Palmer, who developed many homes in the neighborhood—this one stands out for its extra-ornamental façade. All that is original, but inside, Aldeguer, the head of The Mortgage Exchange, worked a thorough revamp of the four floors (including the basement). Ebony-stained and diagonal-laid oak floors, three carved limestone fireplaces, and eight-foot wood doors blur the line between antique and contemporary. There are four bedrooms, (including a spacious master suite that occupies the full third floor), four-plus bathrooms, 12-foot ceilings, an elevator, and a deck or balcony off each of the three aboveground floors.

The house’s furnishings, from Ambiance Design in New York, are also included in the sale price. Without them, Fox says, the price comes down “about $150,000.” But you sure couldn’t carry a new couch on top of the Mini.

Price Points: Aldeguer bought the house in November 2003 from the estate of a longtime resident who had let it decline “pretty seriously,” Fox says. He paid $1.375 million. Fox says he did not intend to move in, but wanted to renovate it as a project and then either use it as a corporate guesthouse or sell it. She would not estimate the cost of renovations, but noted that they entailed finishing the basement and installing an elevator and all new baths and kitchen.

Listing Agent: Tricia Fox of Keller Williams, 312-446-7373;

Program note: See more of the house on CLTV’s HomesPlus show on Saturday, February 14th, at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., and on Sunday, February 15th, at 9 a.m.