Chicago Luxury Homes: Buying Guide

Chicago Luxury Homes

The windy city is filled with beautiful homes from penthouses to sprawling estates to historic mansions. When you begin your search for the right Chicago luxury homes, you need to know what you’re looking for. A luxury real estate agent in Chicago will be able to help you find the type of luxury home for sale in Chicago you desire.

This buying guide will help to introduce you to the types of luxury homes in Chicago, Illinois, along with some of the top suburbs and neighborhoods for Chicago luxury homes. You’ll also find a handful of top tips for buying luxury homes in Chicago within this guide.

Types of Luxury Homes For Sale in Chicago, Illinois

Chicago luxury homes are usually defined as any home priced at $1 million or more. Some buyers will define homes priced from $750K and up as luxury homes in Chicago, as well. Regardless of the definition, you’ll likely know a luxury home when you see one.

Most of the luxury homes in Chicago share similar characteristics including high-end fixtures, more square footages, larger yards (except condos), and customizations throughout. When you’re ready to buy one of the Chicago luxury homes for sale, your search will likely start with choosing the type of home you prefer most. Let’s look at the many types of luxury homes in Chicago to choose from.

Luxury Single-Family Homes in Chicago

A very common type of luxury homes in Chicago, single-family homes come in a variety of styles, sizes, and price points. Chicago luxury homes falling in this category are likely found in a neighborhood with a large number of these homes located in the most affluent suburbs of Chicago.

Usually, these luxury homes in Chicago were custom-built and offer more square footage compared to other single-family homes. It’s common to find single-family homes falling into the luxury category on larger lots and with custom features and fixtures throughout.

Single-family luxury homes don’t quite fall into the mansion category and may be found on the lower end of the luxury homes price range. However, some luxury single-family homes may hit higher price points, depending on size, location, and features.

Chicago Mansions

Chicago Mansions

A mansion is defined as a home with at least 8,000 square feet, in most cases. Chicago is filled with these types of homes and they can be found in many popular neighborhoods including:

It’s not uncommon to find mansions in Chicago for sale near Lake Michigan and the Ravenswood Manor neighborhood will occasionally have a beautiful Chicago mansion for sale, as well.

Many of the most popular mansions in Chicago are found in the North Shore area. You’ll also find some in Naperville, Hinsdale, Oak Brook, St. Charles, Wayne, Barrington, and Burr Ridge. Whether you want to live in a luxury home in Chicago or in one of the suburbs, you’ll find plenty of mansions to choose from throughout the city.

The downtown area of Chicago provides some of the most amazing Chicago historic mansions, especially throughout the Gold Coast neighborhood. It’s not uncommon to find historic mansions in Chicago as Greystones or in a contemporary home style.

Finding one of the mansions in Chicago for sale may not be the easiest task. These properties don’t hit the market often and when they do, the price tag is usually rather high. Some of the features you will find throughout these Chicago luxury homes include:

  • Very vertical, especially mansions found closer to downtown
  • Elevators, especially in newer mansions
  • Two stairways, especially in vintage Chicago mansions
  • Larger lots for suburban Chicago mansions, with some sitting on multiple acres
  • Lakefront
  • Between 8,000 and 10,000 square feet with some offering as much as 20,000 square feet
  • A theater room, wine cellar, or piano room
  • Six or more bedrooms
  • Swimming pools
  • Library or study
  • Forman reception room
  • Chef grade kitchens and second prep kitchens

Most of the mansions in Chicago for sale are set up for entertaining and hosting events, along with daily living.

Luxury Condos & Penthouses in Chicago

Chicago Penthouses for Sale

It’s very common to find luxury penthouses for sale in Chicago. With so many luxury condo buildings in Chicago, it’s not difficult to find this type of luxury home in Chicago on the market.

Luxury condos in Chicago can be found in several neighborhoods and they start at a lower price point compared to other types of Chicago luxury homes. However, luxury condos in Chicago can still top the $5 million price tag.

The penthouse unit is often the largest unit found in a luxury condo building in Chicago. Luxury penthouses for sale in Chicago are the crème de la crème and often provide two or three times the square footage of other units in the building. Some penthouse luxury condos in Chicago will even provide multiple floors and a private elevator.

Many of the best luxury penthouses for sale in Chicago are found in Lake View, Streeterville, Bucktown, Gold Coast, Lincoln Park, and the Downtown neighborhood. Penthouses will start at more than $500K in these areas and some will easily top the $5 million mark.

Chicago penthouses come in several different types including:

  • 3-or-4-Flat – 1,300 to 1,600 square feet and known as a standard penthouse unit
  • Wide-lot 3-or-4-Flat – 1,600 square feet with a wider lot size for more horizontal space
  • 6-to-8-Flat – 1,600 to 1,800 square feet, often featuring a private roof deck
  • Duplex Penthouses – 1,600 to 1,800 square feet with high ceilings and private decks
  • Small Building Penthouses – Often found in masonry buildings with high ceilings, high-end millwork, and hardwood floors
  • High-Rise Penthouses – Maybe the most sought after of the penthouses, the high-rise penthouse in Chicago offers high ceilings, plenty of square footage, outdoor space, tall ceilings, and panoramic views.

The 6-to-8-flat and the high-rise penthouses are two of the most coveted types of luxury condos in Chicago. Many penthouses are found on the top floors of the building, which provides better views, more space, and privacy.

While penthouses are the largest and most expensive of the luxury condos for sale in Chicago, there are other luxury condo options other than penthouses. Some condo buildings offer only luxury condos, such as:

  • 1550 On the Park
  • Vista Tower Luxury Condos
  • Superior House
  • Lincoln Park 2550
  • The Legacy Chicago Condos
  • Trump Tower
  • The Ritz-Carlton Residences
  • 30 W Oak
  • The Pinnacle
  • 600 N Lake Shore Drive
  • The Palmolive

Many of the top high-rise condo buildings in Chicago only offer luxury condos for sale. These condo buildings offer units with higher ceilings, better views, high-end fixtures and finishes, luxury amenities, and more. It’s not uncommon to find a great high-rise building with luxury condos as a part of the Chicago Skyline.

Chicago Luxury Townhomes

Luxury townhomes in Chicago are not as common as luxury condos or single-family homes. However, there are several new townhomes in Chicago falling into the luxury category.

Many of the best townhomes in Chicago will start at $800K and go up from there. These properties are highly desirable due to the width of the home, along with the ceiling heights. It’s possible to find luxury townhomes in Chicago in a gated community, which just adds to the desirability.

Townhomes in Chicago are found in many neighborhoods with some of the best luxury townhomes found in Lakeview, Streeterville, Old Town, Bucktown, Gold Coast, Lincoln Park, and Wicker Park. Some of the top luxury townhomes in Chicago include:

  • Altgeld Club
  • Greenview Passage
  • Sutton Place
  • Seminar Court
  • Tuxedo Park
  • City Commons
  • Terra Cotta Village
  • Park Lane Townhouses
  • Bissell Townhouses
  • The Pointe

Many other great luxury townhouses are found throughout the top neighborhoods in Chicago.

While there may be a few other types of luxury homes in Chicago, such as Greystones or lofts, these are the most common Chicago luxury homes you will find on the market. When you hire a Chicago real estate agent specializing in luxury homes in Chicago for sale, you’ll be able to choose the right type of property for you. Whether you desire a high-rise penthouse or a historic mansion in Chicago, the right real estate agent will help you find the perfect luxury home type for your needs and desires.

Top Choices for Luxury Homes for Sale in Chicago Suburbs

Chicago Luxury Homes in the Suburbs

Choosing to live in a Chicago luxury homes doesn’t mean you have to live in the downtown area. There are several great suburbs you can call home and some are actually known as some of the richest towns in the country.

When you start your search for luxury homes in the Chicago suburbs, you’ll want to search for homes in the following suburbs:

  • Winnetka
  • Glencoe
  • Lake Forest
  • Inverness
  • Hinsdale
  • Long Grove
  • Oak Brook
  • Hawthorn Woods
  • Lake Bluff
  • Wilmette
  • Western Springs

All of these Chicago suburbs were listed on America’s 100 Riches Places from Bloomberg.

Glencoe offers a beautiful suburb found on Lake Michigan with luxury golf courses, amazing scenery throughout, and plenty of great attractions nearby. Another very popular suburb for Chicago luxury homes, Wilmette provides a small-town feel with a highly ranked schooling system.

If you prefer a suburb with a traditional Midwest feel, Western Springs offer exactly what you’re after. It’s known for great public and private schools, along with plenty of beautiful luxury homes throughout.

Winnetka has been known as a prestigious place to call home for many years. The high quality of living here offers residents plenty to get excited about. As one of the top suburbs in Chicago, Winnetka offers a location on the shores of Lake Michigan, along with great schools, and many beautiful luxury homes.

A Lake County suburb with plenty to offer, Long Grove is one of the best spots if you enjoy history and annual events. It’s known for unique shopping and offers plenty of great dining options.

All of these suburbs offer plenty of luxury homes in Chicago, Illinois. When you begin your search for your Chicago dream home and you decide you prefer to live in one of the suburbs, start your search with this list.

Top Neighborhoods for Chicago Luxury Real Estate

Of course, the suburbs are not the only place for Chicago luxury homes. Many of the best luxury homes in Chicago are found in the top neighborhoods within the city. Let’s look at a few of the best Chicago neighborhoods for luxury homes.

Gold Coast Luxury Homes

Gold Coast Luxury Homes

Deciding to buy one of the Gold Coast luxury homes will put you in an incredible location close to upscale shopping, fine dining, and plenty more. Million-dollar homes are common here since the Gold Coast is one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the entire country.

While you may find the perfect luxury single-family home here, you may also discover one of the beautiful luxury condos or penthouses fits your needs. Some of the top luxury condos in Chicago are found in the Gold Coast neighborhood and offer incredible views from floor-to-ceiling windows.

You’ll also discover beautiful vintage townhomes here and some of the most sought-after luxury properties in the entire city. Many unique homes for sale in Chicago are located in Gold Coast including plenty of great options lining the lakeshore.

Lake View Luxury Homes

The Gold Coast neighborhood isn’t the only place you will find Chicago luxury homes. Lake View offers plenty of luxury homes including condos, single-family homes, historic mansions, and more. It’s one of the oldest neighborhoods in Chicago and home to the famous Wrigley Field.

Lake View homes for sale include vintage walk-ups, Victorian greystones, single-family homes, high-rise condos, penthouse units, and townhomes. Just about any type of Chicago luxury home you’re dreaming of can be found in the Lake View neighborhood.

Lincoln Park Luxury Homes

The Lincoln Park neighborhood is one of the top choices for luxury condos in all of Chicago. It’s known for lakefront high-rises, high-end vintage brownstones and greystones, luxury townhomes, and even some beautiful luxury single-family homes. It’s not uncommon to find luxury condos for sale in Lincoln Park and plenty of penthouse units are found here, as well.

Choosing one of the Chicago luxury homes in Lincoln Park will put you close to some of the best attractions, nightlife, shopping, and dining. It’s one of the most desirable neighborhoods to call home with some of the finest luxury properties in the entire city.

3 Tips for Buying Chicago Luxury Real Estate

Buying Chicago Luxury Real Estate

When it comes to buying Chicago luxury homes, the best thing you can do is hire a real estate agent specializing in luxury homes in Chicago. Not all real estate agents know how to find the perfect luxury home for you. However, the right agent will match you with the right type of luxury home, along with the right neighborhood to fit your specific needs.

Whether you plan to live in Chicago full-time or for just part of the year, a few tips for buying luxury homes in Chicago will help.

Understand the Search Process

Finding a luxury home in Chicago for sale isn’t always the easiest task. Many homes with higher price tags don’t get listed due to privacy. Sellers don’t always want their properties out there for just anybody to find.

However, they will hire a luxury real estate agent in Chicago to get their home sold. Usually, this agent will have connections and will be able to sell the home without listing on the MLS. As a home buyer, you must hire a real estate agent with the right connection for finding Chicago luxury homes may be a bit more difficult.

Take the Photos with a Grain of Salt

Many larger homes won’t show well in photos, especially of the front of the home. It’s necessary to see some of the luxury homes in Chicago for yourself to really appreciate the home for what it’s worth. While some of the pictures may be incredible, larger homes are not very photogenic when it comes to the outside of the home or some of the larger rooms inside the home.

Consider the Future

When you decide to buy a luxury home in Chicago, Illinois, you want to look at the future for the properties around it. Could another condo building go up blocking your view? Will something be developed in the area that you won’t be happy about? Make sure you consider future developments in the area before investing in a Chicago luxury home.

The most important thing you can do when you want to buy a luxury home in Chicago is to surround yourself with local experts. Your Realtor may not make your final decision, but the right Realtor will help to ensure you’re protected throughout the process by providing sound advice. It’s important to hire smart, reliable advisors as a luxury home in Chicago is a large investment and you want to make the right decision.

Start by hiring a local luxury real estate agent with plenty of experience in the top luxury neighborhoods in Chicago. With the right real estate agent helping you with your luxury home search, you’ll be able to move forward knowing your decision is the right one.

There are plenty of great Chicago luxury homes on the market today. If you’ve been searching for a wonderful luxury property in Chicago, whether you prefer a condo, penthouse, townhome, single-family home, or mansion, I am here to help. As a Global Luxury real estate agent, I specialize in Chicago luxury real estate. Contact me today and find out how I can help match you with the right luxury home and neighborhood in Chicago.