Buying vs. Building in So. Suburbs

Asked by Bruce, Chicago, IL Mon Apr 7, 2008

I'm not very impressed with my options of buying a first home in the Tinley Park/Mokena area. Most houses in my budget are very old and outdated but so expensive. 2 br 1 ba on a slab going for 200 PLUS and in need of lots of work. It's ridiculous. I'm considering buying land and building a simple home in this area - is it even possible to buy land and build a modest house? Who do I go to to find land? I mean, I know there are double lots all over subdivisions, home builders may sell an empty lot and even farmers may sell portions of land too. Who do I go to that knows where to find all of this info? And do I really need utilities ran to site or is it more cost effective to buy cheap land and run utilities to site? I know... lots of questions. Any advice would be appreciated!

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Joyce Adair, Agent, Orland Park, IL
Mon Aug 9, 2010
The example you stated seems way too high. A house like that would probably be around 100,000. It's really not possible to build a modest house in a municipality in the Tinley area. The building codes are strict and there are restrictions on size, use of building materials, etc. It would be quite costly to run your own utilities. It's possible now to find a home going for less than it cost to build. Today in the MLS in Tinley Park, Frankfort, Mokena and Orland Hills there are 50 houses available under 200,000. The lowest is 99,000.
There have been 144 houses sold in the last 12 months in those 4 towns. 12 under 100,000. 30 more are under contract right now. Unbelievable, isn't it? If you like, I can set up a search for you so you can get an idea of whats available. I'd love to help you out with your search!

Joyce Adair
Buyer Specialist
SFR- Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource
The Jenner Group @ Baird & Warner
0 votes
Colleen Dahl…, , New Lenox, IL
Wed Jun 10, 2009
Hi Bruce,

I do know of a recent rehab condo conversion for $145,000 in Tinley Park. The units are beautiful, with Granite Countertops, 42" Maple Cabinets, Stainless Steel Appliances, Pergo floors in Living Room and Brand New Carpet in Bedrooms.

While the homes in your price range may look a bit worn out, there are a lot of condos & townhomes that would look modern & updated.

Let me know if you'd like to go out and see some Today! You can Call / Text me at 815.370.9683 or email me at

Colleen Dahlstrom, REALTOR Broker/Owner
Brookside Residential Brokerage
62 Orland Square Drive # 002
Orland Park, IL 60462


Visit my website for Today's Interactive Market Snapshot!
0 votes
William Chu, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Elmhurst, IL
Tue Mar 10, 2009
Bruce, here is my attempt to answer your question and provide some initial advice.

First approach, start a conversation with a reputable builder to ask how they can help you build on land which you might own for them to deliver a new construction home. The builder might ask if you have researched, applied and committed to construction draw financing. Assuming you buy the land first yourself, you are the owner of record of the land and are simply relying on the builder as a contractor to deliver a new home on your land. In separate post, I will try to forward you a link which explains construction draw financing.

Second approach, start a conversation with a reputable builder to help you locate land and deliver a new construction home on this land. Ask the builder if they can finance the project (land acquisition, build permits and new construction build). The builder, of course, will require a sizable deposit from you to confirm you have "skin in the process". This because the builder does not want to be stuck with a "custom" home built for your needs and in the end you walk away from the project.

Regardless of either approach, I encourage you to start a conversation with an experience mortgage professional who knows, understands and can explain how mortgage financing is a key factor to accomplishing your goal successfully.
0 votes
Scott Sanders, Other Pro, Brookfield, IL
Mon Apr 7, 2008
Andy, I agree with you that there seems to be a big hole in the market here in the suburbs. Either you buy a existing house in so so condition, a new production house out in the exurbs, or build a mansion on a lot somewhere close in. I am in the process of researching building a smaller house 1800-2200 sf on an infill lot in the south suburbs. Let me know if I can help with anything.
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more