If you believe everything you hear on the news, you would think that hardly a single home sold in all of 2008, but that is simply not the case. Not only were there sales, but there were some pretty significant ones at that.

The highest price paid in Chicago in 2008 was for a single-family home on a double lot on historic Astor Street, 1425 N. Astor, which closed on December 30th for $13 million.

In two of Chicago’s most prestigious neighborhoods, the Gold Coast and Lincoln Park, 12 properties closed in 2008 with a sale price in excess of $5 million. Six were condos located near Michigan Avenue, and the other six were single-family homes, including three in the Gold Coast and three in Lincoln Park.

I was the real estate agent representing the seller for one of these big sales. I received a call on New Year’s Eve from real estate writer Dennis Rodkin saying that he planned to feature my sale at 1845 N. Orchard as his first Chicago MagazineSale of the Week” for 2009.

As you can see from the photos and descriptions in the above links, 1845 N. Orchard is a masterpiece of a home. Built by preeminent residential developer Melrose Partners, this home sits on a 30 foot wide lot and includes approximately 7,400 square feet of living space plus a 1,000 square foot attached, heated garage.

As the Chicago Magazine article points, moving a property of this caliber isn’t easy. In today’s economic climate, many buyers may have the net worth to acquire such a property, but few are cash-rich enough to make such a purchase with credit now tightened on jumbo mortgages. Nonetheless, after some necessary price cuts, buyers recognized that this house had become an exceptional value, and we were able to spark a bidding war. Most importantly, the victor had the resources to make the deal happen and was able to close before year end.

While 1845 N. Orchard is no longer available, for those who are interested in this kind of home, good things come in twos. 1841 N. Orchard, also by Melrose Partners, will be coming on the market later this month. For more details, feel free to call (312) 440-7525 or send an email to jenny@jenniferames.com.

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