An Italianate Victorian home in Naperville

List Price: $899,000
Sale Price: $825,000
The Property: From its rooftop widow’s walk to its lacy front-porch railings, this Italianate Victorian home in Naperville may look like a holdover from the 19th century—but its story is very much of the 21st century.

Built in 2003 a few blocks northwest of Naperville’s downtown, the house sold in 2004 for $1.4 million. Documents on file with the DuPage County Recorder of Deeds show that, over the course of a few months, the buyers took out two mortgages, for a combined total of $1,629,500—or 106 percent of their purchase price. In September 2007, Bank United, the lender on the larger loan ($1,312,500), had filed a notice that it was beginning foreclosure proceedings.

The bank did not receive title to the house until March 2010. “It had been abandoned for about a year and had mold damage that had to be remediated and plumbing damage,” says Keith Wolf, the Winfield realty agent who in January 2011 sold the property for United Bank. He believes the mold was the result of utilities being shut off when the house was empty; with the furnace not operating, water pipes burst, he says, and moisture collected in the basement.

In order to remediate the mold, Wolf says, United Bank’s contractors had to rip out much of the basement’s finishes, including a bar and entertainment center. “So where you used to have a finished basement, now you have unfinished space,” he says. The plumbing damage was not repaired; the house was put on the market “as is” in August. Wolf estimated the cost of repairing the plumbing at about $2,500. “It’s certainly not a turnkey, move in and you’re done [property],” he said.

The three aboveground levels of the house were largely undamaged, Wolf says. The house has 14 rooms, including five bedrooms and five-plus baths. The master bedroom has a balcony overlooking the backyard, and the house has three fireplaces. The neighborhood consists of mostly smaller, older homes, with a few large newer ones mixed in. The buyers, who are not yet identified in public records, closed on the sale on January 21st.

Price Points: In 2007, the property was listed for sale at $1.995 million by the owners who would be foreclosed; they later cut the price to $1.29 million. When Wolf first listed the property for the foreclosing lender in August, the asking price was $989,900; that was cut to $899,900 in October. The ultimate sale price is 41 percent of what the homeowners were asking in 2007 and 59 percent of the house’s 2004 sale price.

Listing Agent: Keith Wolf of Winfield Realty; 630, 262-5277