Property Q&A in 60618>Question Details

LK, Home Buyer in Chicago, IL

I am considering adding a dormer to the second floor of my 1922 bungalow in Avondale, but I would like to know if it's worth the investment?

Asked by LK, Chicago, IL Thu Jan 24, 2013

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You would need to ask an architect first. He/she would have to check if its possible under the zoning and building codes to do so. They would also check and see if it works with the existin design of your home and is worth the money. I consult on these matters regularly as I am an architect who specializes in City of Chicago.
Jesse McGrath
Founder
McGrath Architects, P.C.
jesse@mcgratharchitects.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 24, 2013
email me at jmichaels@remax.net and I will send you what I have on upgrades in that area
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 26, 2013
Work with a Realtor who will be able to provide you with an Analysis of the homes that are for sale and have sold in your area. This will give you a good idea as per what your finished home should be worth.
Web Reference: http://www.BJDHOMES.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 24, 2013
Absolutly it;s worth the investment. Avondale is a destination for many first time buyers and once these buyers have invested all their money to buy a property they don't always have money left over to do such an improvement. With most dormors adding substantial square footage the value is absorbed immediately by prospective buyers resulting in higher perception of value compared to what might be on the market...then you need to weigh in where you are in your homeownership and mortgage balane if any...let's chat more on this !
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 24, 2013
Only if you plan on living there for a very long time. I think it may be tough to get the full amount back.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 24, 2013
The timeline for ownership is as much a part of this as anything else. If you need the space, like the area and are considering this as an alternative to moving, you can do the math on this better than any of us. The longer you enjoy nd benefit from the added space, the better the return on the investment.
If you can get the finished product in other ares you like, and the total price is less to move, there is one answer. If the cost to you is the same or more, then you have to add in the real and soft costs of a move, a sale of your house and what value you place on the home you will have by staying.
Practical, functional, flexible space added to a home is a good investment in a neighborhood you and others want to live in.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 24, 2013
Thanks everyone. We would be adding one bedroom and a bathroom (there is already one bedroom on the second floor), making it a 4 bed/3 full bath in about 2,500sf. It is just south of Addison and east of Pulaski (just outside The Villa). I'm not sure how to research the viability of real estate in the area, but I know that is potentially the most important factor in determining whether to make the investment.

Thanks again, I appreciate the thoughts!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 24, 2013
Those few blocks have been undergoing a nice rebound. Being that close to the blue line el also helps. You may be able to poise your property as a great Villa alternative given the scarcity there. The improvements to your home would have to be top-notch.
Flag Thu Jan 24, 2013
Dear LK,

I agree with Jesse. Moreover, are you adding the dormer to increase the number of bedrooms? If that is the case you will need a broker to run a CMA to determine what the new market price might be. Another factor is as the Chicago house economy has picked up is your geographic area one of the ones on the good rebound or it lagging behind . You will need to look at the entire picture to decide if it is a worthwhile investment or not.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 24, 2013
If you plan to live there for a while and you need/want the space then 'probably', but it might depend on the cost. You do not want to over improve your house so it has a higher cost basis than the rest of the neighborhood as you might not get that money back for a long time if/when you sell.
If you plan to sell within 5 yrs I doubt it would be worth it, but impossible to know what the market might be then.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 24, 2013
I don't know how much it's going to cost to build up there and what you're thinking of putting - more beds? more baths? office/den?

I can, however tell you what will add more value to the home:
If it is a 2 bedroom home, adding one or two more bedrooms will change the marketability of your home significantly.
It is a one bath home, adding a 2nd bath will also have a significant impact.

Any other improvements may be a wash as to the return on your investment.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 24, 2013
Hi Loyda, thanks for your reply. We would be adding one bedroom and a bathroom (there is already one bedroom on the second floor), making it a 4 bed/3 full bath in about 2,500sf. It is just south of Addison and east of Pulaski (just outside The Villa).
Flag Thu Jan 24, 2013
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