5250 Brown Ave. in Skokie, Illinois is a 4,800 square foot (plus a 2,700 sf built out basement) single family house built in 2009 for some good friends. The house is about to go on the market for $1.45 million. It has 5 generously sized bedrooms and 5 1/2 baths, with 2 master suites, one on each of the first and second floors. The exterior is built of stone, stucco and some stained cedar with copper gutters and a slate roof. The interior has wide plank walnut flooring and large format (2'x 4') porcelain with radiant heat underneath it in the heavily trafficked kitchen, family room and mudroom. Kitchen cabinets were fabricated in Europe and the rest of the cabinetry and wood paneling was custom built by craftsmen in Chicago. I could go on, but you get the idea.
This is a 100% custom house, impeccably designed with high quality finishes, designed and built by my firm. The landscape has matured beautifully and the house fits the site like a glove, with spaces oriented towards Lorel Park, the local neighborhood park. It has been meticulously and lovingly maintained, like new.
All that being said, they will not be getting close to what they should be getting for it. The house was built in a lovely, but lower valued area. Due to appraisal standards, evaluation of comparative property values can only be determined by sales that have occurred on public record. What this means is that if a custom house is built in the area, and the Owner's stay in the house for a period of time, it doesn't exist to the appraiser until it is sold. The seller of a custom house does not get the benefit of considering other custom houses in the area as "comps", thus lowering the appraised value of the sellers custom house. My friends, who knew that they were building above the value in the neighborhood, expected to be leaving the house "feet first", so it was more of a lifestyle decision that an economic one. Plans change, so the economic concern has become more relevant. Fortunately, they are sanguine about their position and although a little melancholy about leaving this wonderful house where they raised their children, but they are ready to sell.
The house is listed by Earl Ruthman and Mark Ahmad of Century 21 Affliated. This same house in other, more valuable North Shore Communities or some Chicago neighborhoods would sell for over $3 million. Having raised my own children in Skokie, I can tell you that it is a wonderful community with high quality public schools, unequaled public services, an award winning park district and a diverse demographic.
Its a steal!