Evanston Home Sells Despite Gruesome Discoveries

February 20, 2010

In today’s Chicago real estate market, it’s rare to see a house sell in less than a week, but one Evanston home did just that despite housing dead bodies for decades.
For years, Margaret Bernstorff lived in the two-story home with the corpses of her three dead siblings; a sister who passed in 2008, a brother who died in 2003 and another sister who passed away in the 1970s.
The decayed bodies were discovered in 2008 and the nonagenarian owner was moved to a nursing home facility. Police determined that each sibling died of natural causes.
The Victorian-style home, located in the 1200 block of Judson Avenue, had been owned by the Bernstorff family since the 1920s. Built in the 1890s, it hit the market last November and was snatched up by an Evanston couple within the week.
The 2054-square-foot estate includes five bedrooms, two baths, four fireplaces and leaded glass windows. According to the listing, the home is in need of “complete renovation.”
Representatives at Weichert Realtors-Lakeshore Partners declined to reveal the names of the buyers or the purchase price but said that most homes in east Evanston sell for more than $700,000 and many go for as much as $2 million. The deal is expected to close next month.

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