Each day at Curbed we blow by many of Chicago's most affordable single-family properties because they don't twinkle, aren't in desirable neighborhoods, or are ramshackle piles of vinyl and lumber. Our Under $300K Club feature only teases out a handful of starter homes, most of which are at or near the $300K mark and represent relative bargains in hotter neighborhoods. But what about places like Beverly, Chatham, Morgan Park, Grand Boulevard, or Belmont Cragin? There are mountains of fine homes in those areas for less than $200K, and a fair number under $100K. It's this bottom rung of real estate that brings us to today's feature: 10 cheap and serviceable finds from the peripheral neighborhoods. On with the show!
The Place: 1738 W 99th Place
The Price: $85,000
The Picture: Beverly flaunts some picturesque oversized housing. This is nothing of the sort. Still, this classic three-bed 1920s bungalow gives you a solid location near shops, Metra, and the verdant residential blocks that define the area. Short sale.
The Place: 1749 E 71st Place
The Price: $99,000
The Picture: This South Shore three-bed has a little 1950s mod thing going for it. Looking awfully dainty from the curb, the home is actually a decent 1,700 square feet and comes with a solid backyard and two-car garage. Ignore the boarded up windows and you have a pretty attractive rehabbing with bright hardwoods, new kitchen, finished basement, and fireplaces.
The Place: 2924 N Nagle Ave.
The Price: $75,000
The Picture: Cheapest on the list, this cutesy Belmont Cragin 4/2 is "perfect for related living", meaning that there are kitchens and baths on both levels so grandma can anchor the first floor with her doting children above. The house is scootched to the back of the lot, "nestled among the trees", and although livable you'll probably want to pick up the rehab already underway.
The Place: 3074 N Elston Ave.
The Price: $99,900
The Picture: This could've also made a list of smallest single-family homes, at 660 square feet. Call it the old school micro-dwelling. Pitched as a starter home, we can't argue with that. With three beds and two baths, it does have the floorplan to host families. And hey, there's also a back deck and a small wedge of a front yard. Listed as a short sale, Avondale seldom gets this affordable.
The Place: 8310 S Drexel St.
The Price: $97,125
The Picture: Down in middle-class Chatham, bungalow stronghold, this darling 1920s four-bed gives good bang for your buck. The interiors are in great shape with lots of updates. There's a yard, two-car garage, and unfinished basement that, if improved, would hoist living space well over 2,000 square feet.
The Place: 7753 Cregier Ave.
The Price: $94,900
The Picture: The nicest abode on our tour of far-flung Chicago real estate, this South Shore brick bungalow has four bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, two-car garage, and one of the wackiest fireplaces we've encountered in awhile. The hobbit-esque masterpiece holds down the living room, its stalagmite formation rising and tapering toward the roof. There's also some kind of cylindrical wall of glass blocks. Seems like it might be worth the price of admission.
The Place: 4858 S Langley Ave.
The Price: $99,000
The Picture: This one's not too far from the action, comfortable embedded in Grand Boulevard close to Kenwood. The seller of this 4/2.5 fortresslike turreted home is letting go with rehabbing still to be done on a large portion of the interiors. That being said, the tangible improvements point to a contemporary vision with floating staircase, exposed brick, and jacuzzi tubs. It could evolve into a minor masterpiece. Go on, carry her home!
The Place: 10115 S Wood St.
The Price: $96,000
The Picture: All we really know about this place is that it sports a superb Beverly location, and a ton of mystique hiding behind those big oaks. The pictures attest to a fine canvas awaiting repairs. Listed as a short sale, the four-bed home is being sold as-is.
The Place: 10707 S Church St.
The Price: $75,000
The Picture: Just south of Beverly in Morgan Park, a 3,600-square-foot Victorian house is up for grabs. The optimist says it's "waiting for your ideas and finishes", while the pessimist says "in need of immense TLC". The absence of photography drives us to pessimism.
The Place: 11422 S Saint Lawrence Ave.
The Price: $97,000
The Picture: If Pullman is your place, there are loads of good prices to be had. Lowest among them is this 3/2, 1,100-square-foot historic row home with many intact vintage details, newer roof, hardwood floors, eat-in kitchen, backyard, and parking spaces. And what's this?! Realtors have begun advertising proximity to the new Walmart. Funny world we live in.