Well folks, 2020 was quite a year. We were thrust into a global pandemic, most of us went through some form of lockdown or stay-at-home mandate, and the world transformed into a place that looks and feels much differently than it did a year ago.
One of the biggest changes in the Chicago area is the relatively strong real estate market. For the first time in five years, we’ve seen a marked increase in home values, with current numbers showing them to average about 8.5% compared with a year ago (and most of the rest of the time back to 2015). In some areas, those numbers are up double-digits, with 16% year-over-year increases in various micromarkets.
With more and more people working from home and looking for more space, there’s still strong buyer demand and not much inventory.
This is especially true with MCM and other modern homes, which have the added benefit of more open floor plans, large windows that blur the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces, and other features that make spending LOTS of time at home not only more bearable, but downright enjoyable.
As I was quoted as saying in Crain’s recently, if you have to be cooped up at home, you might as well do it in a house that doesn’t make you feel cooped up.
So let’s take a brief look back at some of the modern homes that I listed and/or sold for my clients in 2020.
3 Wood Rock Road – Barrington Hills
A mid-’70s home by noted architect Dennis Blair, this beautiful home winds up around a central 16′ x 16′ atrium, offering views through the atrium and out through large windows to the wooded 5 acre parcel outside. The sale closed at $685,000 just before the market started to take off. Read the story.
15 Barrington Hills Road – Barrington Hills
This stunning ranch by Michigan architect Red Warner was actually built in the ’80s, but felt much more like a late ’60s / early ’70s California ranch. Chicago Common brick construction, large rooms, plenty of built-ins and a lovely kitchen remodel made this a very popular house. It went under contract right away with multiple offers and sold at full list price ($825,000). I consider this to be the last of my listing sales before the market really started to increase. Read the story.
604 Onondaga Drive – North Barrington
This sprawling MCM ranch sits on a beautiful lot in the Biltmore area on the west side of Route 59 in North Barrington. Designed by architect Charles Sexton Catlin, the home has many desirable hallmarks of modern homes, including large windows, vaulted ceilings, built-ins and more. The home sold quickly with multiple offers and closed at $495,000, which was $20k over list. Read the story.
1463 Northwoods Road – Deerfield
Wow, this home made quite the splash! At over 4,000 square feet, completely re-done in the last few years, and featuring a beautiful piece of property, floor to ceiling windows, multiple courtyards and even a swim-in-place pool, it’s no surprise that it sold for full asking price in 1 day, closing at $1,550,000. If you haven’t seen it already, check out the video here. Read the story.
6402 Arrowhead Court – Indian Head Park
Architect Richard Marker’s name may not be as well known as some others in the Chicago area, but he designed many beautiful homes with large windows, great spaces and sited on beautiful lots, particularly in the west & southwest suburbs. This particular home features numerous skylights and bubble windows and sits on a beautiful, wooded lot at the end of a cul-de-sac. It closed at $641,000 after receiving multiple offers. Read the story.
2200 Stirling Road – Bannockburn
If ever there was a “unicorn” in the world of modern architecture real estate in the area, it’s this house. Designed by architect Don Wrobleski, who studied at IIT with A. James Speyer and Alfred Caldwell, this low, long ranch sits on a fantastic piece of property in one of the state’s most desirable school districts. Loaded with beautiful features and materials, and designed with a sensible, easy floor plan, the home has only ever been owned or lived in by Don and his mother. The home has never been remodeled and caused an instant frenzy in the marketplace, with over 60 showings scheduled in the first 10 days it was on the market. The house is currently under contract, having received many offers and multiple backup offers, and is scheduled to close relatively soon. Read the story.
This home has gone under contract with multiple offers and multiple backup offers
105 West Hillside Avenue – Barrington
Apparently, architect Dennis Blair loved his design for the house at 3 Wood Rock Road (see top of this page) that when it came time for him to build a new home for himself in the late ’70s, he used essentially the same design, with a few changes. About 1/3 smaller than the Barrington Hills house, and flipped so that the kitchen and living spaces are on the left with the bedrooms on the right. In addition, the path through the central atrium in this house leads down to the family room (rather than up into the living room as with the larger home in Barrington Hills). Tastefully remodeled and decorated by my client, the house was extremely popular and sold for $560,000 ($10k over list price) with multiple offers after about a week. Read the story.
4N151 Briar Lane – Bensenville
Homes designed by brothers & architects George Fred and William Keck (Keck & Keck) are always popular, but this home was extra special. Featuring a vast living room with expansive, exposed brick fireplace wall, multiple living spaces, an office, and of course the primary window line of floor-to-ceiling glass facing south toward a forest preserver, it’s no wonder the home sold right away with multiple offers, closing at over list price for $450,000. Read the story.
So what will 2021 bring? Well, hopefully, more vaccinations so that people can start to get back to some sort of normalcy, but I’m also hoping it’ll bring much more in the way of beautiful modern homes for sale. Right now, available options are few, and there are many buyers looking for modern homes. Take a look at my January article for more info about that.
If you own a modern home and are thinking of selling, now would be a great time to talk and to start planning on how and when you should come to market (hint: SOON!). You can call me at 312.907.4085 or send an email to me at email@example.com.
And thanks for following Modern Illinois!