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'Girlfriend' Kathy O'Malley moves back from downstate Princeton

Kathy O'Malley, right, has listed her house in downstate Princeton.
Kathy O'Malley, right, has listed her house in downstate Princeton. (E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune)

WGN-AM 720 radio host Kathy O'Malley has decided it's time to return to the Chicago area.

About 10 years ago, O'Malley — one half of WGN's "Girlfriends" talk show along with longtime on-air partner Judy Markey — bought what she called a four-bedroom, all-brick "weekend house" on 5 acres in downstate Princeton, about 120 miles southwest of Chicago.

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Now O'Malley, 70, has placed that 1,800-square-foot house, built in 1867, up for sale for $289,000 and has moved to a ranch-style house in Glen Ellyn.

"I had a (show) sponsor that was out there (in Princeton), and I had been out there and I thought, you know, it's a pretty little town," O'Malley told Elite Street. "I started to look at house values, and oh my God, what you can buy out there for next to nothing. So I went online, found this house and bam! I was in love. It was a great 10 years, and a sweet little adventure for me."

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O'Malley, whose show with Markey airs Saturday mornings, said it's time to be closer.

"I was two hours away from my kids, from my (siblings), and I just kinda thought, 'This is stupid,'" she said. "I was too far away from everybody. I think I saw some other people who were in houses that were way too big for old people, and I thought (to myself), 'You had a great time out here and now go back and be closer to your family.'"

O'Malley said she made improvements to the house, including a new roof, tuckpointing the brick, redoing the wood floors, performing a gut rehab of the kitchen and opening up an enclosed staircase. O'Malley's favorite aspect of the house, however, has nothing to do with the structure.

"The coolest thing about the house is the sky," she said. "I'm out in the country, and you see sky like you see out in the mountains. It's breathtaking."

O'Malley said she's "not desperate" to sell the house, and that she can afford to wait for the right buyer.

"Sometime, somewhere, somebody's going to find it and love it like I did," she said.

You can see the house at yourhouseinthecountry.com.

Bob Goldsborough is a freelance reporter.

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