Walk trough the "starter home" with views of the beach and Lake Michigan.

Bench seats near the balcony entrance overlooking the internal courtyard.

List price: $2.25 million
The Property: A three-bedroom condo on the sixth floor of an elegant building overlooking Chicago’s Oak Street Beach, this is what the listing agent Mitch Serrano calls “a starter home on East Lake Shore Drive”—though, given the place’s price tag, he accompanies that remark with an ironic chuckle.

Irony aside, Serrano is absolutely right. Other than studios and other small spaces in the Drake Tower, there is not much nearby that’s going to sell for less than this condo’s $2.25-million asking price. Standing in the condo’s living room or master bedroom, it’s easy to see understand East Lake Shore Drive’s appeal: the views of the beach and Lake Michigan are exquisite. (You can enjoy those views by proxy in my video tour.) And the view in reverse, from the beach back toward the string of seven classic mid-rises built between 1912 and 1929, is just as breathtaking. This building, at 219 East Lake Shore Drive, is a prime contributor to the display, with its limestone tablets and stately broken-pediment entry door beneath a sheer wall of red brick.

This 2,200-square-foot condo has a formal foyer, handsome wood floors, and abundant molding (baseboard, wall panel, and crown). In addition to views of the beach and the lake, the residence has other windows and a balcony that overlook an internal courtyard between buildings.

Two retired doctors from Hyde Park, Janet Burch and Joel Guillory, bought the condo in 2001 (I couldn’t determine the price they paid from public records). They remodeled the place, updating the kitchen and eliminating a small third bathroom in order to enlarge the master bath. At first it seemed like just enough space. “Then we got a dog and that tipped the scales,” says Burch. Last year they bought a larger condo in the same building and remodeled it. They listed this condo in May.

Price Points: Serrano notes that many sales in the building are private, meaning they don’t get recorded with Midwest Real Estate Data. The two most recent sales in the building recorded with MRED were $3.17 million in September 2006 and $3.71 million in June 2007. Both spaces were 4,500 square feet or more, and they went for $691 per square  foot (the 2006 sale) and $824 per square foot. The asking price for this one comes out to $1,022 per square foot.

Listing Agent: Mitch Serrano of Baird & Warner, 312-981-2562