Chicago home prices are generally much lower than those found in cities on the east or west coasts, but savvy homebuyers who are willing to put a little elbow grease into their residence can get an even better deal. And just like its many neighborhoods, all kind of residential architecture can be found in Chicago.
Want a stately old greystone to fix up? Head towards Bronzeville. Want a classic bungalow to make your own? Look no further than Portage Park.
If you're not exactly settled on a style but just looking for a solid fixer upper with good bones, then have a look at one of these homes and you may find that diamond in the rough.
There's no doubt that this old mansion will require quite a bit of cash to get it looking presentable, but it's got very nice bones and could certainly be a very lovely house one day. However, unless a buyer steps up to the plate to give this one an extreme makeover, it would not be too surprising to see this once proud mansion meet the wrecking ball. It's currently asking $199,900.
Here's a stately old greystone mansion on the famous Drexel Boulevard that could use some attention. This home's condition is completely livable, but it could use a proper makeover with the help of an architect. Many of the old homes in the Kenwood area have been gutted and rehabbed at some point, but a lot of them are missing the historic character that made them truly special. The 10,000-square-foot home has been on the market for a few months now and is seeking $1.07 million.
If you're looking for an investment property, this multi-unit in Lincoln Park has some potential. The interiors are mostly rental grade, and considering that the building is close to the DePaul campus, there's not much of a surprise there. With two three-bedroom apartments and a garden studio, this one could start making money almost immediately.
Here's a Humboldt Park property with some character. Long before there were mandates on building parking in new developments, and long before the advent of the transit-oriented development ordinance, it was common for builders to put up structures like this on the corner of busy intersections. You'll got a shop on the ground level and then six rental units surrounding it. This building could use some work but has heaps of potential at $975,000.
There are no interior shots of this one, but judging by the listing notes, this one may need a lot of work and patience from the new owner. However, it's a red brick home located very close to the center of Logan Square, making it desirable for rehabbers and investors. It's listed at $312,000 but is only accepting all cash offers.
Unfortunately, this cute old foursquare in Old Irving Park is being marketed as a teardown. However, those who are persistent may be able to wrestle this one away and restore it to its previous grandeur. There's no doubt this one will need a lot of work if it is saved. This home is seeking $524,900.
Looking for an Uptown home to fix up and make your own? Here's an older frame house located within a few blocks from Uptown's theater district and the Lawrence Red Line station. The price? $418,000.
You can get a lot for your money in the Albany Park area, but be prepared to apply plenty of elbow grease to your new home. This brick two-flat is currently $365,000 and good be a solid investment. The pictures show a cluttered house and aren't exactly flattering, but it does appear that the bones are there and that the current owners have made some updates to the building's mechanicals at some point.
The bungalow is one of the staples of Chicago residential architecture. Thousands were built in the early decades of the twentieth century as modest, affordable, middle class homes. They are still quite affordable even today and can be found in all sorts of conditions. Those looking to save some money by rehabbing their own home can easily find a decent bungalow in the Portage Park area for $300,000 or less. This four bedroom could use some attention and is seeking $309,000.
Looking for the absolute least expensive property to makeover? This old two-story frame house in the New City area can be had for just $16,900. It's in very rough shape, so get ready to roll up your sleeves and get dirty. This house dates back to 1875, making it quite old for Chicago.