What’s the Deal with Project Palermo?

Here’s the deal: we’re house hunting! Those of you who follow me on Instagram likely already know this.

booksMore apt: Remodel the House You Don’t Yet Own to Get the Home You Can’t Afford

We plan to buy a single family home in Chicago. In fact, we’re actively trying to buy a single family home in Chicago. While there is always room for improvement in an apartment, I decided to put the brakes on projects done in our rental – it’s money that is better spent on a down payment. That’s why the blog has been laying fallow.

I miss writing this blog, though, so here’s the plan: I’ve got a lot of posts in mind and I swear on a stack of bibles [This Old House magazines], that I’ll stick with it.  I hope they’re helpful for people who may be in a similar boat, or at least somewhat interesting for people who aren’t but just want to follow along. If nothing else, they’ll be really affirming for people who don’t live in a major metropolitan area – you lucky fools with your $250,000 move-in-ready houses, sub-$4,000 property taxes, and non-systemic corruption.

This is what $389k will get you in some of the neighborhoods we’re considering: 1,200 squirrel feet.


I hereby vow to post:

  • What we’ve seen so far, and what we learned from each.
  • Then you’ll be brought up to date and, moving forward, I’ll post houses we see in real-time. If it’s a house we plan to make an offer on, however, I’ll keep that in my pocket because it’s unwise to publicize a good find.
  • Money. It may be gauche, but I’m going to be pretty transparent about this after we do finally close on a house. When we first started this process, savings, mortgages, down payments, etc. were this huge unknown. I’ll share what we saved, how much we put down, and how that will shake out with monthly payments. I’m not an expert (nowhere close) but I’m hoping our experience will at least provide some anecdotal information that may be helpful for others.

washtenaw-barThis is the one that got away. Details to come!

In the meantime, I’ve been neglecting the backend of this blog – I’ve got outdated plug-ins and widgets and server backups to see to. So, if it gets weird on the front end or I clog up your Feedly pages: sorry, sorry.

Talk to you soon!

4 thoughts on “What’s the Deal with Project Palermo?

  1. Yea!!! Can’t wait to hear more. We had a “one that got away” house too. The one we ended up in is probably better in a couple ways but I still think about that one.

    Also, I think 1200 squirrel feet is the perfect size for lots of . . . DEEZ NUTS!

  2. Long time no see! I understand the want to have a place of your own. We have been renting for about 6 or 7 years now. I’d love to buy a place of our own here, but being military there is no guarantee that this will be our last duty station and we are already stuck with a place in North Carolina that we can’t not get rid of. The market here is rather ridiculous too. If you want something under $300,000 it seems it has to be a townhouse which we don’t want or under 1200 sq. ft, which we definitely don’t want. Don’t forget to take area taxes in mind when you make your purchase. Here they have some rather unusual taxes, such as rain taxes, where they tax ever square foot of concrete surfaces on your property and tax you for rainfall. I don’t remember the percentage right off hand. Craziness. As much as I hate apartment living, it will have to hold just until our son graduates from high school in 2016. :( Good luck in your quest for a place to call your own!

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