Walk through the home with Dennis and see what is hidden behind this “comtemporary Arts and Crafts” style home. Click here for a larger version.

From the front, the homes sit on a fairly noisy street.

From the rear, the homes’ combined backyards create a park-like setting.

List Price: $799,000
The Property: While Jersey Avenue on Chicago’s Northwest Side is fairly noisy with traffic, this house and its five same-style neighbors create a wall that hides the quiet, leafy treasure that lies behind them: a long stretch of parkland that runs along the banks of the Chicago River’s North Shore Channel.

Built in an updated Craftsman style, the house has decorative shingle patterns and banded trim on the outside, tapered pillars and inviting nooks on the inside. It’s a spacious 4,000-square-foot layout, thanks in part to the lot’s 30-foot width (25 is standard in the city). There are four bedrooms, three-plus baths, a butler’s pantry next to the formal dining room, a living room and oversized family room, a rubber-floored exercise room in the basement, and hefty seven-panel wood doors throughout, including seven in the master suite alone. The living room and two family bedrooms, which face Jersey Avenue, experience a normal level of city noise, but the rest of the rooms, set far back on the lot, share the tranquility of the green space behind them.

The six owners of the string of two- and three-year-old homes collaborated on a smart touch that enhances the parkside atmosphere: rather than cordoning off their individual backyards with fences, they fenced all six yards as one, essentially creating a private park at the edge of the public park. Outside their gate lies the public greensward, which has a playground about 50 yards south and, about 40 yards east of their fence, the high shore of the channel. At this house, the sellers, Curtis Reed and Joann Quinif, installed a stone patio and planters that draw you out of the family room to sit and hear the birdsong out back.

Price Points: Reed and Quinif bought the house from the developer, CA Development, last June for $745,000 and, according to their agent, Scott Stavish, spent “at least” another $75,000 in upgrades, including the rear landscaping and tasteful paint choices. They moved to Omaha because of a job transfer and initially listed the house, in mid-March, for $850,000. In April they cut the price to $799,000. Because the house is nearly identical to its five neighbors, and because they are all new, finding comparable sales is easier for this property than for most residences these days. Between January 2006 and June 2007, the six sold at prices ranging from $691,610 to $843,348 (a neat palindrome of a price!). The last to sell was this one, and its purchase price was the third highest of the bunch. Figure in the improvements, and this house seems like a very smart buy.

Listing Agent: Scott Stavish of @Properties, 773-879-4444; scottstavish@atproperties.com