Western Springs home of former football coach Gerry DiNardo

List Price: $1.5 million
Sale Price: $1.25 million
The Property: Two years ago, this 13-room house in Western Springs seemed like a good fit for the former college football coach Gerry DiNardo, who was moving with his family from southern Indiana to Chicago, where he had a job as an analyst with the Big Ten Network. Built in 2006, the house had five bedrooms, a home theatre, a wine cellar, and a three-car garage.

There was, however, one small problem. “I underestimated the commuting time to my son’s school,” DiNardo says. His son is enrolled at Mount Carmel High School, 23 miles away in Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood—which meant the family was spending a lot of time on the road between home, school, and classmates’ houses.

DiNardo and his wife, Terri, started scouting houses in Beverly, and through a chain of friends they discovered a family there who was making the same type of school-related commute, only in the opposite direction. “Their house was on the street that Terri had said she wanted to live on,” DiNardo says. It turned out that those people had had their home on the market about a year before but had taken it off. Ultimately, the two families agreed to swap houses. “Nobody will have to drive so much, so they’re all happy as clams,” says the DiNardos’ agent, Sharon Sodikoff.

The DiNardos’ new home in Beverly

The DiNardos’ new house, approximately one third the size of the Western Springs house, was built in the 1940s in West Beverly and backs up to the Ridge Country Club. I could not reach the people with whom the DiNardos swapped houses, identified by the Cook County Recorder of Deeds as Sean and Miriam Tierney.

Along with his broadcast work, DiNardo is a consultant in the sports practice of an executive-search firm. The DiNardos also own a restaurant in Bloomington, Indiana, where Gerry was the head coach of Indiana University’s football team for three seasons. He had previously worked as the head coach at Louisiana State and Vanderbilt; during his own college years, he had played for Notre Dame.

The DiNardos first moved to Western Springs because Gerry had a brother in Hinsdale, the suburb next door. As it happens, Western Springs and Beverly were two of the communities I listed earlier this year as among the best places to live in metropolitan Chicago.

Price Points: The DiNardos paid $1.35 million for the Western Springs house in July 2008, according to the recorder of deeds. The home that they swapped for is worth markedly less; information from the recorder shows that it last sold in 2002, for $435,000. “Terri’s more of a down-sizer than I am,” DiNardo says, adding that they intend to add on to the house.

Listing Agent: Sharon Sodikoff of Prudential Rubloff; 630-780-1212 or ssodikoff@rubloff.com