DeKALB – The historic home at 901 Woodlawn Drive once used by several Northern Illinois University presidents could soon have a new owner. Castle View Real Estate Agent Mary Nelson confirmed Monday a potential buyer has made an offer.
"We had a really really good offer the day after the open house," Nelson said. "It didn't take very long at all."
The 6,000 square-foot home was listed at $295,000, and sits toward the back of the corner front yard on Woodlawn Drive only five minutes from NIU’s campus and sits on 1.3 acres of land. Nelson hosted an open house Feb. 18 to showcase the historic building, and said she was surprised at how quickly the offer came: the next day.
"We've had a lot of showings on that house, quite a bit of interest," Nelson said. "I was a little skeptical because it's a modest house, but I can see why they did it."
Nelson said the potential buyer has never been to DeKalb, but the house seemed to fit his preferences.
"He has parameters for the house that he wanted, and it met them," Nelson said. "He walked through it. He loved to entertain, doesn't have a family, so this house is perfect for entertaining."
She said the offer was "pretty solid," and that they've scheduled a home inspection this week.
"I feel pretty good about it," she said.
Nelson has said the house was built in 1952 by DeKalb residents Roy and Lillian Skorberg. Lillian sold it to NIU’s then-newest president, Rhoten Smith, in 1968, who gave the house to the NIU Foundation in 1970.
In 2018, NIU appointed its current president, Lisa Freeman, who opted to remain in her own home, and 901 Woodlawn became surplus property. In November, the NIU Board decided to put the house up for sale.
Illinois law requires that any proceeds received by the university from the sale of the house must go toward campus facility improvement.
According to a news release from NIU, “It will be used to revitalize classroom spaces and address other maintenance needs, such as roof repairs and a variety of other building improvements.”