house hunting help - chicago area

Discussion in 'General' started by Rico888, Feb 27, 2021.

  1. Rico888

    Rico888 Well-Known Member

    A good friend of mine is moving to the Hinsdale area outside of Chicago....
    He sent me photos of this house that he is enamored with....
    Looks to be Beaux-Arts inspired, and although there is no build date associated with the listing, my guess is that it may have been built in the early 1900's or around that time...

    I am in SoCal so the only reference I have to working on older historic homes is Craftsmen Style homes in the San Diego thing I can say about the older Craftsmen Style homes here is this.....they are a money pit when it comes to restoration and maintenance....would never own one myself....

    My question to you guys who build in the Chicago area or thereabouts is this...What the heck would an annual maintenance budget be for a house this old?

    For starters, I'm seeing some masonry on this house that would take someone who knows what the heck they are doing when repairs are required....

    What are some smart questions regarding associated ownership costs he needs to take into consideration when it comes time to perform his due diligence?
    Off the top of my head are...
    Structural soundness/perhaps a history of any repairs...
    Heating/Air systems...age/efficiencies....
    Electrical systems upgraded to current standards...
    Grounds maintenance/annual budget...
    Definitely a seasoned inspector who is familiar with this type/vintage home...

    Personally, I see a money pit, not a house I would own...
    Any help/advice you local construction guys may have is appreciated...

    Attached Files:

  2. skidooboy

    skidooboy supermotojunkie

    tell him to look at the cost of living and the over taxation of the area, including toll roads. Chicago is being vacated by residents at record pace for a reason. tell him to run far, run fast. that is the best advice, you can give him. seriously! Ski
    kangasj, ducnut, Ducti89 and 4 others like this.
  3. TurboBlew

    TurboBlew Registers Abusers

    $400 will buy a real good home inspectors time
    beac83 likes this.
  4. auminer

    auminer Renaissance Redneck

    Damn, that's purdy.

    But I have two schools of thought:

    One, a dude looking at a 1.7 million dollar house can afford a bit of upkeep.

    badmoon692008 likes this.
  5. auminer

    auminer Renaissance Redneck

    Razr likes this.
  6. lazlo

    lazlo Stand up guy who corners low.

    Almost impossible to estimate upkeep. Sure is a beautiful house! One thing that will affect his maintenance or him living there in general is if it is in a historic district. Almost like having a HOA. I believe historic districts are primarily concerned with what the outside looks like, but it's worth checking on. For the Chicago peeps, I live in Berwyn, Ogden and Oak Park avenue. A garage in Hinsdale is worth more than all of my property.
  7. Razr

    Razr Well-Known Member

    That's definitely a beautiful place, I love the brick. The bad on old masonry.....their mortar sucked! The masonry industry finally figured mortar out around 1900They brick were pretty indestructible, but the motor was the weak link. I will say that if you re-laid those old brick with new mortar, you would have one fantastic wall. Can you imagine the cost to remove all that brick (the brick are easy to clean, the mortar is dust) then re-install? $200, 300k? And anything that broke will be unobtainable, unless you know someone that can make those pieces. Maybe that house was protected and the masonry is fine.

    Tell your buddy I'll give that house an exterior inspection for free. I won't be able to get to the top of those chimneys (unless he rents a lift) but can check out most of the masonry. I love those old estate homes. I'm 2 hours from Chicago.

    I built a retaining wall on a place similar to this about 15 years ago in downtown Indy. The house was so large that it was turned into 24 individual apartments back in the 80s. The new owner brought it back to the original style, one family home. Took him 10 years to finally find every little detail piece, but he did it. I built a 135' long, 12' tall brick wall as a privacy fence between 2 feuding neighbors. It's 1.5 miles from the circle downtown just off Meridian St. It was built in 1865 and had a small matching carriage house out back. That carriage house held the kitchen, stable for horses, and bunks for the help to sleep on. It's all sits on probably an 1/4 acre lot.
  8. Sabre699

    Sabre699 Wait...hold my beer.

    All that money and they couldn't line up the front entry with the center arch ??
  9. Banditracer

    Banditracer Dogs - because people suck

    Bet it's a bitch to heat but I guess if you can spend 2 million on a house heating costs aren't a worry.
  10. Rdrace42

    Rdrace42 Almost Cheddar

    This. That said, the 2018 taxes on that house was $23k, which for where and what it is, really isn't bad. I used to live out in the NW suburbs, and was paying $10k on a house half that size, on well and septic, with no really city services. Jumped the border, and my cost of living is 1/3 of what it was. Not just taxes. Everything. Spectacular looking house though. Hinsdale has some HUGE houses, so this isn't really considered a 'mansion'.
  11. D-Zum

    D-Zum Alex’s Ohvale Maintenance & Transport Service

    $23,000/year in property taxes and I’m sure that’s going to increase?

    OH HELLS NO!!!
  12. Rdrace42

    Rdrace42 Almost Cheddar

    That's nothing. There's a house for sale there with taxes of $80k+ I'd have to take a mortgage just to pay that.
    D-Zum likes this.
  13. RRP

    RRP Kinda Superbikey


    fixed again.
    Ducti89 likes this.
  14. auminer

    auminer Renaissance Redneck

    That's what I said... :moon:
  15. beac83

    beac83 Done

    That is certainly a beautiful looking classic mansion.

    A lot of the questions you asked cannot be answered without a solid and through inspection. Some owners just live in these places, some have invested in restoration and modernization of the core of the house - plumbing, electric, insulation & HVAC. Impossible to tell that from the outside pics.

    As someone said, a good inspector, familiar with historic homes would be a wise investment.

    Ignore the naysayers. The Chicago metro area has a lot to offer.
  16. Mongo

    Mongo Administrator

    The only pervasive issues in Chicago that would keep me out is weather, politicians no matter which hood you're in, and weather.

    That house is gorgeous.
  17. L8RSK8R

    L8RSK8R Well-Known Member

    Looks awesome.
    I just checked out some incredible homes out there (online).
    Then remembered my mum's uncle James lived out there, on Lakeshore Drive. I'd love to be able to find/checkout his old home.
    He was Annette Nitti's (Nitto) lawyer.
    James A. O'callaghan.

    Loadsa friends left Ireland after highschool to
    work construction in Chicago...the weather would wreck me.

    Sure is a beautiful auld home your friends considering.
  18. ClemsonsR6

    ClemsonsR6 Well-Known Member

    Can't add anything that hasn't already been said above, especially the historic commission piece. They are like an HOA full of Karen's, run by Karen's, on crack to the 10th degree.

    House is absolutely amazing though!
    BigBird likes this.
  19. RRP

    RRP Kinda Superbikey

    this. 100%.
  20. Rico888

    Rico888 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the info everyone...

    Looks like he’s going to pass based on the conversation I had with him this morning...’s interesting if looking at it historically...
    I reminded him it is still a house that happens to be 100+ years old and will still have the maintenance that goes along with a house that old...

    Market hasn’t appreciated much for these large, old homes in the area since 05, and I would think selling down the road, say in 10 years time, is not going to be any easier than it is today....

    Told him to rent first...then he can take his time to figure out what the local mkt is...find a local builder who has a great reputation and see what it would cost to build a new 2500-3000 sq ft custom home that fits the area architecturally...
    If he was willing to spend 1.6M for the area, he might be able to go smaller and get a new house for close to the same $ with better resale down the road...

Share This Page