You can build a home for $90-125 per square foot, depending on the finishes and the cost of the lot, etc. Homes this size to renovate are going to be fewer and far between. Typically you can update a home for $30-50k, including some repairs, if necesary. Costs of homes of this size in the Palos Hills area are $175-300k. So that is about $80-90 per sf. So, with prices out there now, it could be more economical to find a home to renovate. They key with this would be finding the size you are looking for.
I can certain give you some recommendations around that area. Timing is also a factor. Building takes about 4-5 months. Renovations can take about 2-3 months, so there is definately a time savings.
One more consideration is financing, as building loans are harder to find. Still possible though as you can work out a deal with a contractor.
If you would like to discuss your options in more detail, I would be happy to help you. I built homes for 20 years and have renovated homes. I can give you some good estimates and recommend some builders or contractors who would work with you. I also know some good candidates for renovation homes at good pricing.
Give me a call if you are interested. If you are considering either option, you really need help from someone who knows the ins and outs of both.
Independent Broker Owner