A recently-sold Uptown house

List Price: $1.175 million
Sale Price: $1.2 million
The Property: In 2010, this quirky house built on three lots in Uptown in 1978 was on the verge of getting the interior updating it badly needed. Unfortunately, that’s when the doctor who had only recently bought it died. Now buyers who passed on the house in 2009 are going to take a crack at it. They bought the house from the doctor’s estate on February 2 for only 54 percent of the $2.199 million asking price for the home when they first saw it three years ago.

In this video of the house from April 2010, the selling agent, Brad Lippitz, and I talked about how a buyer could reconfigure the floor plan to create a bigger, brighter kitchen while making the home’s two-story atrium more central to the flow. Later that month, according to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds, Dr. Nathaniel Holloway bought the house. He had the architecture firm dSpace Studio draw up plans that would have hung a floating staircase in the atrium, opened up the rear of the house with numerous new windows, and installed a sleek Poliform kitchen, says Mark Jak, the Baird & Warner agent who sold the house for Holloway’s estate after the doctor died. Also in the plans were a large outdoor dining area, cabana, and bar atop the garage, as well as a swimming pool and hot tub in the backyard. Jak says that the renovation had been expected to cost about $1.6 million.

The house was the work of Marcel Freides, a former Chicago architect, who also did the interior renovation of this Lincoln Park residence.

The place is dated inside and in places a little kitschy. Some of the interior stained glass windows—brought over from a residence next door by the family who built this house in what was once their backyard—clash with the home’s hard-edged brick personality. The atrium allows in lots of sunlight, but in some cases the home’s small windows reflect the hard urban nature of Uptown in the 1970s.

But even unrenovated, Jak says, it’s a desirable house, in part because of its big rooms—the living room alone is 400 square feet. The living room, dining room, kitchen, family room, and study all surround the atrium on the first floor. “That’s nice horizontal living,” Jak says. “You don’t have those rooms divided up among two or more floors, s you usually do in the city.”

Jak listed the house for Holloway’s estate in July, asking $1.399 million, or 97 percent of the $1.43 million that Holloway had paid for it. When the price got cut to $1.175 million in January, Lippitz says, he circled back to some clients who had looked at the house when he first had it on the market three years ago. Lippitz said that they still hadn’t bought anything and were happy to get a second, lower-priced crack at this place. They are not yet named in public records.

Price Points: Jak says that his early January price cut sparked three competitive offers. The winning bidder offered $25,000 more than the asking price, but Jak says that another deciding factor was the all-cash offer. As I discussed in a recent DEQ segment, cash buyers appeal to sellers now because there is no mortgage contingency attached to the contract. In this case, Jak says, that meant the deal could close in two weeks.

 Listing Agent: Mark Jak of Baird & Warner; 312-330-2340