Home Buying in 60607>Question Details

Kimberly Fil…, Home Buyer in Chicago, IL

I love where I live, is it wise to buy and combine the connecting townhouse?

Asked by Kimberly Filan, Chicago, IL Sun Dec 2, 2012

What should I be aware of and what percent of the combined cost should I put into gutting and reno.

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The economics just don't make sense, nor do the building issues. If you're outgrowing it, are there other options nearby (another complex of larger townhomes, or a small single family) that might work instead? As others have said, even if you got permission from the homeowners association to make the modifications, you'd wind up with a strange space with costs that are out of line for the marketplace.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 3, 2012
Debbie in NJ brought this up and I agree. Townhomes usually require a fire rated barrier between units. Based on the configuration, it may be difficult to combine two units and have it meet code requirements. I would pay special attention to this when considering the project.

Erik Sachs
RpV Realty and Development
Cell 773/368-5515
Email esachs@rpvinc.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 3, 2012

If you love where you live and plan to stay for a while, then go for it. Consult your contractor and architect before you make an offer.

All the best,

Ivan Sagel
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 3, 2012
I have never heard of anyone ever combining 2 town houses. The problem with combining any to units, ususaly condos, is that the traffic flow does not end up good. The new unit tends not to have a good 'feel' and value rarely doubles. If you need more space perhaps just find something else that is bigger in that area. That is what most folks do.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 3, 2012
A most interesting question....that most certainly should be driven by your personal and specific needs. If you are considering an extended family living arrangement, it may be a good consideration.

However, from a pure investment perspective, there are most likely much better real estate ventures to consider.

Good luck,

1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 3, 2012
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 2, 2013
yes..being unique works in Chicago
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 4, 2012
Without being in area it would be hard for me to say yes or no. What I would suggest is that you explore all the different options. IE selling and buying something bigger before making your decision. Make sure that you have established your goals and your budget before moving forward and then do what makes sense for you and your family.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 4, 2012
It is best to get a contractor involved first to get a estimate of combining then weigh out your decision based on those figures
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 4, 2012
Cindy sums it up best, don't do it. Make a list of what you love about where you live, and look for something bigger and better to replace it!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 3, 2012
Even if you get the approval from the association and the city to combine the units, you must be comfortable with your fixed costs - namely Assessments and Taxes that will double and likely never decrease.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 3, 2012

This is all depending on how long you plan to live in this property. If you love it then it's a good choice for you however you will have to look at all the costs, combined total taxes you will be paying for both properties, etc to see what the outcome may look like down the rd.

Sohail A. Salahuddin | Group Founder

Innovative Property Consultants Group | Sales and Leasing


Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty

425 W. North Ave. | Chicago, IL 60610 

O: 312.335.3230 | C: 312.437.7799 | F: 847.805.6030

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0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 3, 2012
Probably more risk than reward from an investment/value point if view. Unless this is going to be a dream home that you will stay forever in I wouldn't do it. Purchase and Reno costs will see you back not to mention increased taxes, hoa fees and maintenance.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 3, 2012
IMO - I wouldn't do it - you're going to wind up with a white elephant that will be difficult to sell down the road. Your taxes and maintenance will be double that of every other unit.

That being said...you need to check not only with the homeowner's association for permission, but also the town's building codes.

Someone in my complex actually did that many years ago.....the town found out,(I believe it was against some fire safety code) and made him close up the opening he created, and restore it back to its original condition........

Why not just look for a larger unit, as the cost to completely remodel/renovate/redesign this place will be prohibitive.
I don't think you will get a good return on your investment, but maybe that doesn't matter to you if you're planning on staying there a very long time................but thats just my opinion. - and I know nothing about the price range or level of luxury of the complex.

Best wishes.............
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 2, 2012
You can combine it as long as there isn't any rules about combining units in the complex.

As to costs is tough to say. You should hire an architect and get some quotes. On an investment standpoint, when you combine a unit it costs a lot. You have the purchase price of your unit, the other unit, and then the costs of combining them. Sometimes it's difficult to get the money back from the investment.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 2, 2012
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