Braun is looking to downsize, but remain in Hyde Park, her spokesperson Renee Ferguson told HousingWatch. But apparently, she also needs to pay off two of her four mortgages on this home, as she's already renegotiated the terms at least once when she couldn't meet a balloon payment deadline, reported the Chicago Sun-Times.
The 1916-built home, with unpainted woodwork, high ceilings and leaded glass windows, has been quietly on the market since March. It does not have a for sale sign in the yard, but has had several open houses. "It is a lovely home, but it's a very large home. It should have a family with kids running around in it," Ferguson said.
Braun, who made history in 1992 when she became the first and only black woman elected to the United States Senate, bought the house with the idea that her son Matthew was going to live here with her.
"After I moved in, he said, 'No self-respecting 30-year-old man lives with his mother," Chicago Magazine reported.
Sitting on a street near the University of Chicago known as Professor's Row, the home is secured through four mortgages, reported the Sun-Times, and she appears to have fallen behind the original repayment schedule on two of the loans. One is a loan from First Midwest Bank for $97,025, according to records on file at the Cook County Recorder of Deeds, and the other she owes to a millionaire TV station owner who is one of her past campaign contributors.
To help fund her coffees, teas and spices company, Ambassador Organics, Braun in August 2006 borrowed $250,000 from Joseph Stroud, the owner of Jovon Broadcasting / WJYS-Channel 62, which fills its airtime with paid religious programming, health shows and infomercials. Stroud, who owes more than $6 million in penalties, interest, back pay, punitive damages and attorneys fees for after being found guilty of retaliating against an employee, probably could use the money Braun owes him.
Braun originally promised to repay Stroud "in full" by Aug. 28, 2009, and to repay First Midwest on Jan. 5, 2009, according to mortgage records that indicate neither loan has been discharged.
Braun, whom Clinton had named an ambassador to New Zealand, said the terms of both loans have been renegotiated and that she is current with her payments under the new terms, according to the Sun-Times. She also said she's up to date on her two other mortgages, which total $1.53 million.
What the woman who ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for president in 2004 may miss most about this 1916 redbrick house, said Ferguson, is "her beautiful backyard."
Another lasting memory she'll have is the time in April 2007 when she was attacked near her front door by a mugger who emerged from the bushes. Braun suffered a broken wrist after she fell to the ground during a struggle when the culprit cut the strap to her purse with a knife. The mugger, who had been chased off by passersby, was later found and charged with the crime and was sentenced to 20 years in prison, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The home is listed by Diane Silverman of Urban Search Realty.