With a maximum of $430,000 to spend, these first-time buyers searched for a 3 bed, 2 bath home near Portage Park. They wanted a home that offered metro access, minimal renovations, a finished basement, and the option of adding a wine cellar (because, obviously 😉). Here’s what they found:

Cam and Juan knew they were tired of renting, and came to us ready to begin their search for their perfect home in Chicago. With their jobs in the Education field, they knew a top priority was location – preferably in or near Portage Park. They also both share a love of wine, travel, and hosting – so wanted to make sure they found a house with enough space to entertain. 

The Type of House They Had In Mind

Cam and Juan had been dreaming of buying a home since early 2020, but it wasn’t until two years later that they had the savings and the plan in place. With their lease coming to a close in Spring of 2022, they met up with our agent, Liz, at Same Same in Roscoe Village for some great Thai food and lively house hunting conversations. 

When discussing their budget, the couple wanted to stay within $2,500/month while looking for potential homes. At that time, the market was highly competitive and properties were moving quickly, so we knew we needed to move fast!

Beginning Their Search For The Perfect Spot

To begin the search, we looked at 3 Beds, 2 Baths near or in Portage Park. The couple was extremely clear that they needed their home to be centrally located to Cam’s job at Oakton College and Juan’s job at DePaul University, with Portage Park as the clear choice.

Regarding the type of home, the couple was open to Cape Cod and Bungalow styles, but we mostly toured Bungalows within their budget. Ideally, they hoped to find one that didn’t need a lot of work (preferably move-in ready) with space for a wine cellar, an updated kitchen and bathroom, and a finished basement. They wanted somewhere that they were proud to host and entertain at, and where could see themselves for the long haul.

Now… Which Do You Think They Chose?

No 1.

Remodeled Brick Bungalow

Listing Represented by Phillip Tomaka, Hometown Real Estate Group LLC
Listing Represented by Phillip Tomaka, Hometown Real Estate Group LLC
Listing Represented by Phillip Tomaka, Hometown Real Estate Group LLC

This beautiful octagon bungalow was a spacious 5 bed, 3 bath with a two car garage and a big backyard. It also featured updated stainless steel appliances, a fireplace, skylights and a finished basement that would provide ample entertaining space. Despite being spacious, the kitchen and living room layout felt narrow, and the basement featured a puzzling full kitchen that would need to be removed. The asking price was $430,000, and taxes were $4,617 per year.

No 2.

Historic Brick Stunner

Represented by Katie Deeley, @properties Christie's International Real Estate
Represented by Katie Deeley, @properties Christie's International Real Estate
Represented by Katie Deeley, @properties Christie's International Real Estate

This all-brick Portage Park bungalow was not only meticulously maintained, but also qualified as a registered Chicago Historic Home! It featured 4 beds and 1.5 baths with a formal foyer, hardwood floors throughout the first floor, and plenty of natural light. The eat-in kitchen included oak cabinets, stainless steel appliances, and a large pantry (with plenty of space for a wine fridge!). The temperature controlled sunroom led to a beautiful 18×16 deck with the ultimate viewing of a built-in projector screen. Though the house checked so many boxes, Cam and Juan weren’t quite sure if the bedroom on the 2nd floor could work for them as a primary bedroom (the largest room in the home). While in excellent condition, the entire home would need to be updated in the future, and lacked a 2nd full bath. This property was listed for $422,000 and the taxes were $4,855.

No 3.

Portage Park Charmer

Represented by Ben Cline, Keller Williams ONEChicago
Represented by Ben Cline, Keller Williams ONEChicago
Represented by Ben Cline, Keller Williams ONEChicago

This bright and extra-wide Portage Park 5 bed and 2.5 bath bungalow was newly updated and move-in-ready. With hardwood floors, natural light and the original wood trim, it felt like a reflection of history. The newly remodeled kitchen included stainless steel appliances, a beautiful glass backsplash, bountiful counter space and more. The bathrooms were tasteful and the main bath included heated flooring. The spacious basement also held a separate living room and bedroom with a private entrance – perfect for out-of-town guests. The drawbacks? They weren’t huge fans of the basement’s layout (somewhat limiting for entertainment), and felt that the pool took up almost all of the backyard space. This home was listed for $424,900 and yearly taxes of $5,289.

Now for the fun part…



Which Would You Choose?

Which Would You Choose?

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Which Do You Think They Chose?

Which Did They Choose?

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And The Winner Was...

 No 2.

 

The Historic Brick Bungalow!

Cam and Juan found their perfect home in the “Historic Brick Bungalow”! They felt it was well-maintained and had so much potential. Additionally, the location was perfect, and they truly felt like they could see themselves living there for the long haul. The couple was excited for all of the new opportunities to host parties, enjoy backyard movie nights, and, of course, add in a wine cellar! They submitted a bid with their photo and a heartfelt letter… and while this gorgeous bungalow received TEN other offers, the seller felt she connected most with Cam and Juan! We’re beyond thrilled for their fairy-tale ending, and can’t wait for our invite over to check out that wine cellar 😉