Our Steal: Colin Hebson of Dream Town Realty has listed 3126 W. Wallen Avenue, Chicago, Illinois for $2 million.

From world-class museums and epic shopping down the Magnificent Mile, to its Michelin Star restaurants and spectacular sports, there’s a lot to love about the Windy City. Which is precisely why we decided to take a closer look at Chicago real estate in our latest Splurge vs. Steal. Here we pin two exquisite properties against one another, each with excellent neighborhoods and amenities but with price points that are miles apart. Which one would you choose, the Lincoln Park Splurge or the West Ridge Steal?

(more…)

Does living on the top floor of most high-rises still feel like living in the basement?  Chicago’s 100-story John Hancock Center will change all that.  Whereas the tallest residential home in Dallas is a 42nd floor penthouse, the Hancock’s condos don’t start until the 44th floor and continue all the way to the 92nd floor.  Completed in 1969, the Hancock Tower is one of the most recognized buildings in Chicago and offers up some surprisingly inexpensive homes with incomparable city and Lake Michigan views.

Sure, Chicago winters are unkind, but the summers, when second home ownership has its privileges, offer a plethora of activities to shake off the cold and grey. The Hancock is in the thick of everything Chicago has to offer.  It’s right on Michigan Avenue in the thick of the city’s tony shopping. It’s a two-block walk to the beach and is a 10-minute taxi to Millennium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Sizes range from 550-square-foot studios to ~1,800-square-foot, three-bedroom units. Of course, with over 700 units, many have been combined for larger spaces. Prices are surprisingly affordable with studios starting just below $200,000 while three-bedroom units trade in the $500,000 to $800,000 range depending on renovation. Let’s look at both ends of the market and with 703 units, there’s always something great for sale.

(more…)

[Editor’s note: Merry Christmas! This week, we’re taking time off to focus on our loved ones, so we are sharing some of our favorite stories from this year. Keep an eye out for our top features from the archives as we rest and get ready for a brilliant 2018! Cheers, from Candy and the entire staff at CandysDirt.com and SecondShelters.com!]

I grew up around Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, so when I saw one of his homes on the market near my old stomping grounds, I had to share it with you.  It’s a type of architecture not often found in Dallas (one house and the Kalita Humphreys theater are all I know of) where prairie style means something completely different.

Often when I write about second homes, I’m writing about areas to consider. This time I’m dictating exactly which second home you must purchase.  I’m doing this because it’s one thing to impress your friends by owning a second home, but it’s a complete mic drop to add that it’s a Frank Lloyd Wright prairie-style home.

(more…)

Nine years before Sammy Hagar purchased nearly 10 acres on Maui, he helped pen Why Can’t This Be Love for Van Halen’s “5150” album, perhaps presaging the purchase. It was the band’s first album featuring Hagar, who had replaced David Lee Roth.  Oddly enough, it was about this time that I’d run into Hagar at the Versace store in Chicago.

A friend and I were upstairs in the men’s department trying on fabulous, though gawd-awful-expensive clothes we had no hope of buying. All the while, our salesman/friend plied us with (free) champagne from the store’s bar. A fun Saturday.  Hagar and entourage came in and set up shop at the other end of the room.  We were laughing and carrying on while another salesman helped them.  A very staid group, they kept looking over, we assumed wondering who the heck we were. Being more Eurythmics than Van Halen, we didn’t really pay them any mind.  Such was life at 24.

(more…)

Cary Grant

Cary Grant called this Palm Springs, California, compound “Villa Paradiso” for good reason.

He called it “Villa Paradiso,” and the pool house at this eight-bedroom, 14-bathroom, 15,000-square-foot compound in Palm Springs, was designed just for Cary Grant, who was just one of several old Hollywood royalty to vacation at the lush abode.

According to listing agent Marc Lange with Hom Sotheby’s International Realty, the nearly four-acre compound sits in the Old Las Palmas neighborhood, and has everything — an amazing backstory, hundreds of trees, well-manicured grounds, and “the most commanding panoramic mountain views in the entire desert.” (more…)

Dramatized in books and film such as Lonesome Dove and The Sons of Katie Elder, Wildcatter Ranch is a 1,484-acre resort ranch, steeped in Texas ranching history that dates back to the establishment of Fort Belknap in 1851 when the pioneer era began in Young County.

Located about seven miles southeast of the city of Graham, Texas, and about an hour and a half drive from Fort Worth, Wildcatter Ranch is the epitome of rustic luxury, developed and owned by Anne Street Skipper — the great granddaughter of the founder of Graham. It serves as a fully operational ranch resort with western-themed cabin suites, upscale amenities, and permanently unobstructed views of the Brazos River and North Texas Hill Country.

(more…)

 

In 1962, Jed Clampett and family moved from the Ozarks to Beverly Hills after oil was discovered on their land.  So started one of the most endearing television sagas of all time lasting nine seasons and 274 episodes.  In truth, the Kirkeby Mansion was built in 1933 by Arnold Kirkeby who built a chain of 16 upscale hotels. His first property was Chicago’s Drake Hotel and also included the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills.  The architect was Sumner Spaulding and has an 18th century French Neoclassical design ethos. Other movies using the mansion include Mame and Cinderfella.

(more…)

Often when I write about second homes, I’m writing about areas to consider. This time I’m dictating exactly which second home you must purchase.  I’m doing this because it’s one thing to impress your friends by owning a second home, but it’s a complete mic drop to add that it’s a Frank Lloyd Wright prairie style home.

Known as the F.B. Henderson home, this property is situated on roughly one-half acre in the Chicago suburb of Elmhurst at 301 S. Kenilworth Avenue. It was built in 1901 during Wright’s brief partnership with Henry Webster Tomlinson and is almost a mirror to Wright’s Hickox house in Kankakee, Illinois.  I like this one better because it’s much closer to Chicago. The home has 5,500 square feet with six bedrooms and four bathrooms. It’s been on and off the market for a couple of years (with a rental period in the middle) and is currently listed with Marilyn Fisher with L.W. Realty for $1.1 million, though she’s quoted in the Chicago Tribune as saying, “The price may come down.”

(more…)