Home Buying in Palatine>Question Details

AM1002, Home Buyer in Chicago, IL

Should I build or buy a home and renovate?

Asked by AM1002, Chicago, IL Sun Dec 16, 2012

My husband and I are looking to move from the city to the suburbs (Palatine/AH/Barrington area). We want a 4 bed 3 bath home with 3000 sq feet with the chefs kitchen etc. We have great credit and income (225/yr) and can put down about 125-150k max. What are our options? Do we have enough to build or are we better off buying an existing house and rehabbing it? Also how do we pay for the renovating? financing? Would love to get honest advice. We want a home that we will grow into, not out of..so square footage is key.

Help the community by answering this question:


Depending on your amenity details besides the 4 bedrooms and 3 baths (3 1/2) in the Arlington Hts
Barrington Area, any reason why you selected those aeas? I am just wondering, it could of course
be the commute to work, but there are other N. suburbs with a lot of home choices.

When looking at existing homes, you may actually find what fits your needs and your floor plan
wishes. If and when you work with a Realtor the search will include only those properties that meet
your needs and requirements like the number of bedrooms, and baths, garage size, lot size, by the
way is a large lot size important to you, or not essential just decent, like is 1/2 acre ok, or are you looking for 2 or more acres. I think the very best way for you at this time would be to get via e-mail
information about existing homes that could meet your needs, and also new construction offerings
where you have many choices you can still make when it comes to flooring etc.

Once you get that kind of information for a while, you will get a good feeling of what it is that you
finally want to do.

When it comes to finding land to build your own home, first of all it is a much longer process and
you need to be careful of what is already available as far as utilities go, sewer, water etc. then
you may be limited to what you want to build, or you have no influence on what the homes around
you will be in the future if other lots are vacant around you etc. And once one starts to work with
an architect the experience is that along the way changes will be made and the end price is usually quite a bit higher than originally expected.

So may be looking and new construction offerings and existing newer homes or very well remodeled homes is my first suggestion. And this can be easily done via e-mail, for various suburbs of your choice, and along the way you may change your mind and want to explore a
few other suburbs, and we can just make changes as you request them.

When you consider a home you want to grow into, you may want to consider looking at existing
homes newer or recently remodeled ones, with may be currently an unfinished basement which
you can down the road finish to your needs and growing family (just a thought) and may be
a little larger lot, so that you could add a great room down the road.... I think this is a great plan.

Besides the 3 suburbs you indicated in your question I have a few others I could suggest you should at least consider and look into. There are so many thoughts and suggestions that come
to my mind that there is not quite enough space here to convey them to you...

All in all it sounds like your having a great plan.... If you respond to me, let me know if you
will need to commute to the city for work, since you are currently living in the city of Chicago.
In that case you may want to consider some suburbs with easy access to the city via highway
and train. If you like to get more input just get back to me.

Good luck to you.

Hope this helps...

Most Sincerely yours,
Edith YourRealtor4Life and your Chicago and Northern Illinois
and Relocation Expert
Working always in the very BEST interest of her clients
at @Properties - Chicago - North Shore - N and NW suburbs
Edith speaks French, German, Spanish & more
Get to know Edith and her Services on her website:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 18, 2012
I was just noticing your question a year or so ago about building vs renovating and was wondering what you decided to do ...did you buy or renovate?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 25, 2014
There is a great IL Smart Move program available now available which requires only 1% Down.

You can take the remainder of what you expected to put down and use it for renovating (and be able to find some great deals).

Just let me know if you would like some help.

John Meyers, Managing Broker
Meyers Realty & Chicagoland Rentals
Park Ridge, Chicago & All Suburbs
c: (847) 533-7115
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 4, 2013
Best to sit down for an initial one hour complimentary initial consultation with us - as a lot depends on the many and varied priorities you have, which cannot be intelligently discussed on a forum such as this - without making assumptions. And we prefer to never assume or give advice, without knowing the full picture. Then things will become quite clear for you.

As an FYI - it is best to never buy through the listing agent of a property - as they are on the seller's side - so you'd get into a dual agency conflict of interest situation. Best to use an expert negotiator, and one who has no home showing biases - an Exclusive Buyer Broker (they and their companies never list property for sale - and are specialists - not generalists.) And a regular so-called "buyer agent" might push more of their own in-house listings on you - or their own listings. We never list (represent sellers) - so that we may be 100% on the buyer's side - 100% of the time. Buyers can trust our advice and representation, and be assured that there won't be any conflicts of interest, or have their information compromised by shared fax machines, file cabinets, overheard phone conversations, shared buyer feedback with listing agents, or in other ways. They also stand a much better chance of getting a lot better purchase price on their home, as well as loan savings. Feel free to call me at 847-566-7558 to schedule an appointment.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 29, 2013
My advice would be to buy and renovate. The houses are priced at rock bottom and you could get a great deal on 3000 sq feet home. You could go with a lower downdpayment and use the money for the renovation costs. If you need help looking for home email me and I will be happy to help.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 9, 2013
It all depends upon the site your are looking at. Since each site will require it's own differing Highest and Best Use concerning weather to renovate build or to build new. It is also possible to find a site that is improved with utilities yet ready to build. Yet you could find a small ranch where the cost to demolish is about the same as land value. Then build a nice new house.

Building a new house could enable you to incorporate more "green" principles that you may really appreciate whereas renovation may consider some "green" yet not to the extent a totally new house might.

So you will need a large enough lot to satisfy adequate land to building ratios so you have enough land to be comfortable with that size improvement. So if you know how much you could afford concerning the cost of the improvement leaving room for the land will give you some idea of what and where to search. Since you could find some great locations close to down town's trains schools and parks if that is what you want or some great land that is more remote with less density if that is what you want.

To answer your question it would appear you have adequate assets to pursue what you want yet you need some guidance on what you could afford with various alternatives. This is a project and will take some time. However, the rewards of this search certainly can be memories, trials and tribulations that could be worth more to you than the actual property investment.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 16, 2012
My professional advice is to buy and renovate. Existing homes are at rock bottom right now and the cost to build is much higher than it used to be. Financing is at an all time low. To answer your financing question I would need to know your price range for a home. That would tell me if you need the whole 125k-150k down payment or if you could use some of that for the renovation. Please email me the amount you want to spend at Kathy.Diegel@cbexchange.com

Kathy Diegel
Call or Text 847-707-8907
Coldwell Banker Residential
The Peggy Cobrin Team
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 16, 2012
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