Home Buying in 60622>Question Details

Sara Buyer, Both Buyer and Seller in 60622

Experience with Smart Tech homes in Chicago?

Asked by Sara Buyer, 60622 Sat Feb 4, 2012

I have noticed listings in Chicago for empty lots where the listing information and photos are for a "Smart Tech" house. Does anyone know anything about these homes?
- Does the price include the lot?
- Is the construction good quality?
- What are the main "gotchas" with the listing price?


Help the community by answering this question:


If you are referring to properties that have been coming up in the East Humboldt Park area and South Logan sections, listing for around $350k-$425k, then I can give you an opinion. Nothing more than that. Just opinion.

The developer building these is streamlining costs by building all of these properties in almost identical fashion, passing those savings on to the buyer. Hence, these are not built to spec.

For a buyer looking to get out of the generic new construction that plagued Chicago over the last decade, this is the latest trend to hit the city. Not quite sure if it's a plague or blessing.

The homes have modern open layouts. The finishes are of the sleek Ikea mindset, and they have basements with massive ceilings, ideal for entertainment megaplexes, photo studios or jungle gyms.

I've poked around several of them, and have found the quality of construction, in terms of mechanicals and exposed piping to be of a higher than average quality. It's too early to tell how they will hold up over the long term.

As far as "green" goes...they are basically highly insulated homes, with quality (no plastic wrap in wintertime) windows, energy efficient furnaces and tankless hot water. They aren't geothermally cooled or built with recycled materials. But you'll still save on energy costs versus a typical vintage, non-rehabbed home.

What's the gotcha? Aesthetically, you'll have a similar home to a lot of people as they continue to build more of these. But otherwise, you are getting a decent price because the developer is taking advantage of low land prices, locating in the 'border' areas just outside the last development craze, and streamlining their building costs by building the exact same house.

I'm a cynic, but I find clients who are tired of vintage Chicago, are craving these places. And I've come around to see their side. Ask to wander the models. You might be a convert too.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 9, 2012

I'm wondering if you have had any updates on how these have held up since 2012?
Flag Tue Aug 4, 2015
Thank you, Seth! Your response matches our findings on a walkthrough. Glad to see a pro validate our gut feel.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 18, 2012
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