Lake Forest mansion trades for $7.8M to reignite luxury market

A waterfront Lake Forest mansion was just snagged in a deal that marked the priciest deal of the year in the tony northern suburb.

Buyers of undisclosed identities paid $7.8 million for the seven-bedroom, 7,500-square-foot home at 1421 Lake Road, Crain’s reported. Compass agents Katie Hauser and Meg McGinnis represented the sellers, David and Kristin Keenan, who bought the property for $3.25 million in January 2020.

It’s the most expensive home sale in Lake Forest since roughly a year ago, when the 11,800-square-foot home at 263 North Mayflower Road traded for nearly $13 million. Excluding that deal, the recent transaction stands out as the priciest home sale in Lake Forest in at least five years, and it’s the sixth-largest sale in the Chicago area this year.

The transaction underscores the rejuvenation of the Lake Forest housing market and the enduring appeal of historic, architecturally significant properties.

The broader real estate landscape in Lake Forest has experienced a resurgence, fueled by a pandemic-driven housing boom and low-interest rates. Homes in the area are now selling in 57 days on average compared to 179 days in 2019, the outlet reported. In addition, the median sale price in the suburb has surged by almost 28 percent in 2023 compared to the same period in 2019, reaching $932,000.

The Lake Road property’s more-than-doubled sale price since 2020 can be attributed to the Keenans’ strategic updates to the property along Lake Michigan’s shoreline, including renovations by architecture firm Morgante & Wilson, a new cedar shingle roof and climate system installations. The home’s lakefront location, featuring a cove-shaped beach with a newly added staircase, likely contributed to its desirability.

The mansion, with its distinct L-shaped design inspired by Dutch colonial homes in South Africa, sits on 2.25 acres and underwent various modifications over the years, including the removal of a coach house.

— Quinn Donoghue

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