Bargain Hunting Among Chicago's Mansions

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Chicagoans break out your wallets: The prices of several area mansions are dropping.

Some of the nation's most-prized real estate properties are on the the sales block in The Windy City, led by a 26-room, 27,000-square-foot mansion, which even after a $4 million drop in price, is still the area's priciest.

Built on more than two acres in the affluent North Shore suburb of Winnetka, the chateau-style estate became the city's highest-priced residence when it officially went on the market this week, according to The Chicago Tribune.

The price is $28 million, down from the $32 million the owners were asking while informally shopping the property in 2009 - that's a nearly 13-percent price cut right out of the gate.

No other luxury listings in Chicago can compare price-wise to the limestone chateau, dubbed La Grand Reve, which features a two-story rotunda and Tiffany dome.

Other top dollar Chicago listings include the $14 million city penthouse and $14.5 million Lake Michigan estate of Bill Wrigley, Jr., chairman of the famed gum-chewing empire; and JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon's $10.5 million Gold Coast estate.

For most people in Chicago, where the median home value is $193,213, these multimillion-dollar listings are a far cry from reality.

But homeowners in this city and across the country can relate to the steep drop in home values since the real estate bubble burst. Chicago's home values have plummeted more than 18 percent the past year, according to RealtyTrac.com.

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