A Winnetka new construction price misjudgment

I walk through and report on many homes during the course of a year, but rarely express an opinion on price. Saying anything useful would require greater familiarity with the comparable sales and buyer preferences than I generally have.

Back in June of 2008, when I was intimately familiar with new construction homes on the North Shore, I opined that two newly-built Winnetka homes “easily rank among the best values in their price range.” Neither home has since sold, an indication that Winnetka home buyers thoroughly disagreed with my opinion.

The 4-bedroom, 4 ½ bath home at 436 Linden in Winnetka was priced at $1,739,000 at the time of my post. The price was reduced several times before the home went into foreclosure. It’s currently bank-owned and listed at $1,399,000 with Coldwell Banker’s Debbie Perelman. You can see Part 1 and Part 2 of a video walk-through of the home with the developer at YouTube.

The second home, 339 Linden, had originally been priced at $4,189,000 when I first visited it in 2006. It was selling for $3,349,900 at the time of my post. When I stopped in at a party in early October of 2008 developer Michael Hughes suggested that he’d throw in two mint-condition vintage 70s Corvettes for a full price offer on the home.

339 Linden lingered on the market until January 10 of this year, when the listing was cancelled.

The takeaway: be skeptical of price opinions you see on Web sites, no matter how confidently they’re phrased. The only price opinions that matter are expressed in the form of a written offer by a ready, willing and able buyer.

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