Home Buying in Chicago>Question Details

CDNBlue, Home Owner in Chicago, IL

Tear Down in Old Town or Lincoln Park?

Asked by CDNBlue, Chicago, IL Tue Jul 10, 2012

We are looking to purchase a "tear down" in the Old Town, Lincoln Park area on streets like Mohawk, Cleveland, North Park, Sedwick and want to know if there any restrictions to doing this in these areas?

Help the community by answering this question:


I've done a pretty generic search for both vacant land and tear downs and there are definitely options BUT it just depends on other preferences to know if it'll work for you and your family.

The least expensive piece of land is a 25X100 lot offered at $390,000. This land has been on the market for over 500 days and I believe the reason for that is because it's not a deep lot so building a home isn't as ideal and the lot also backs up to the 'el tracks. Prices then jump up to $699,000 for a larger piece of land but this one also backs up to the 'el tracks. Other prime pieces of land then start at $700,000 and, of course, go up in price. I've even checked recently canceled or expired listings (in the hopes of finding a prime piece of land and to potentialy reach out to that old list agent or the Seller directly) and I found two smaller lots that back up to each other with no alley separating them. This could be a unique option however both lots were advertised at $750,00 each.

It's all about preferences and price points for these homes. Also, if you're concerned with buying a lot and building your dream home but in the end realizing you've spent more money than what the home is worth then we would need to have a conversation about that as well.

Know that I am here to help and give you even more information or advice as I would be grateful to work with you in taking this next step!

Jeff Stewart
REALTOR®, @properties
3101 N. Greenview Avenue, Chicago, IL 60657
309-269-3499 CELL | 773-305-0480 FAX
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2012
You're welcome and sounds great. I had assumed this would be more of a build and live in for many years situation rather than build to sell. I'm available via email or by cell at any time.
Flag Tue Jul 10, 2012
Wow. Thanks for the excellent answer. I appreciate the work you put into responding appropriately. If we do decide to work with someone, you'll be my first call. We're willing to spend market price for the land and then just build for whatever cost it takes. It will our home not something we're looking to sell for a profit. In 15 or 20 years when we sell we'll deal with whatever the market looks like at that time.
Flag Tue Jul 10, 2012
Buying the tear down in any area is not the problem..... It is the rules the city has when it comes to
rebuilding a property..... so you can tear down a building that is not worth rehabbing but you may not be able to put on the lot what it is that you think you would be able to, and then the initial purchase price may not look so good anymore.

So I think the very BEST you can do is connect with an area Realtor, to research lots that fit your building needs and if you are working with a local contractor builder they should be familiar with or
able to contact the city zoning and building department to find out with an address and hopefully an
available survey to find out what they can and cannot build on that property before you even make an offer on a property.

You have selected neighborhoods that have some rather expensive properties and some that need
a lot of rehabbing work....

You need to look at a) the financial, what is it that you have available for purchasing the lot
b) amount for the tear down and removal
c) total building cost for new property of .....sq.ft. and garage

And you will have to discuss your loan options for either or both of the above....

Once the above has been done then we can search for the right piece of land for you.... and then
yes location location location and width and depth of property will determine what the city will allow you to build...

Hope this helps, let me know if I can do some regular research on available tear downs or pieces of land in those areas of interest for you and e-mail them to you....

Talk to you soon.'''

Sincerely yours,
Edith YourRealtor4Life & Chicago and Northern Illinois Expert
Working always in the very BEST interest of her clients, Buyers, Sellers and Investors alike....
Covering for @Properties the city of Chicago, all N and NW suburbs, the fine homes on the
North Shore, and many of the W and SW suburbs, and with her trusted Partner Agents all of
the US and worldwide properties. Edith speaks French, German, some Spanish and other.....
@Properties, 30 Green Bay Rd, Winnetka, Illinois 60093 ----

EdithDoesItRight@yahoo.com or EdithSellsHomes@gmail.com
Check out my website at htttp://www.tinyurl.com/MeetEdithHere
get to know me better and learn about my experience, expertise, services available and letters of recommendation of former clients..... Also you can sign up on my site to search for properties in my expanded service area. HAVE THE MOST WONDERFUL DAY :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2012
Check out these websites and have the address handy:



If it is listed as a landmark or is in a landmark zone it cannot be torn down. If it is "red" or "orange" you might be able to tear it down - at this point you need to consult with an attorney that specializes in this type of work.

Please let me know if you would like me to set up a search for you. I recently helped a client build a $4.5 Million home on Willow. Many builders will have lots that they own or have an option to buy; these lots will not be listed on the MLS. I have a few reputable builders I can bring to the table.

Erik Sachs
RpV Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2012
There are some Landmark areas around there that could an issue. Once you find a property you need to go to the building department and check things out. I assume you have a contractor to work with so he should also know about this and other issues.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 10, 2012
Thanks Philip. We haven't hired a builder yet. We figured we'd do that after we found our tear down. I'll go online to find the landmark areas now.
Flag Tue Jul 10, 2012
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