Spike and Karen O’Dell built this ten-room house in Aurora’s Stonebridge Country Club in 2006 on the site of their former home.
List Price: $619,900
The Property: Last week, Spike O’Dell, the morning host at WGN-Radio for the last eight years, confirmed on the air that he will leave the station in December when his contract expires. With their kids grown and “everything we wanted to do done,” O’Dell told me, he and his wife, Karen, plan to retire to Nashville, where they already have a home and where relatives live. (Disclosure: I talk about residential real estate on O’Dell’s show each week, and WGN and Chicago magazine are both owned by Tribune Company.)
The O’Dells built this ten-room house in Aurora’s Stonebridge Country Club in 2006 on the site of their former home, a 1990 model that was destroyed in an accidental fire. That gives this four-bedroom residence a best-of-both-worlds advantage: it’s set among established houses and trees, but has all the newest stuff, such as a large master bath, a new kitchen, and in-wall wiring for plasma TVs. Designed largely to replicate the earlier house, it has a two-story-high family room with a stone fireplace; a three-room master suite that includes a loft area overlooking the breakfast room; a sunroom with views out across a pond to a golf course; and a third-story retreat—once the children’s computer room—with its own full bath. Out back there is a big deck and patio, much of it shaded by retractable awnings.
When building the new house, Karen O’Dell chose double-layer cove ceilings for the living and dining rooms, dark-stained kitchen cabinetry, some second-floor sunburst windows, and other features. For his part, Spike picked out the five wall-mounted plasma screens, all of which will remain with the house. Because relatives visit often, O’Dell has dubbed the place the O’Dell Hotel.
The couple bought the first house on this site, when it was under construction in 1989, for $319,000. Even that middle-market price seemed wild to the modest O’Dells, who recall covering up the price on a listing sheet they mailed to Karen’s frugal parents in Tennessee.
Price Points: The asking price of $619,000 is “down about $100,000 from what we would have been asking a couple of years ago,” O’Dell says. “We know we can’t ask that kind of money anymore.” Munn says that the majority of the three-dozen current listings in Stonebridge are priced from the mid-$500,000s to the $600,000s. “This one is priced right where it needs to be,” says Munn.
Listing Agent: Lois Munn, of Coldwell Banker, (630) 494-5476; firstname.lastname@example.org