Chicago House Hunting: The One that Got Away

This is the house I’m still kicking myself over: a mid-century split-level priced at $314,900.

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For those of you who don’t live in Chicago: mid-century houses are really rare here, especially in our part of the city. This is a pre-1930s bungalow town. Per the Historic Chicago Bungalow Association: “With more than 80,000 bungalows still standing today, the housing style represents nearly one-third of the city’s single-family housing stock.” Bungalows are great, but I prefer a more modern floor plan. And vaulted ceilings? I would do unspeakable things for vaulted ceilings.

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We saw this house at the beginning of our house hunt, back when we were young and naive and stupid. It needed a lot of work — the roof, windows, and electrical all needed to be replaced immediately — and it simply seemed like too much for us to bite off with the funds we had available. We hesitated a day too long and by the time we decided to make an offer, it was too late. I felt heartbroken.

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Pristine hardwood floors under the terrible carpet!

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Glorious closet space.

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I later learned more about renovation loan options and determined that the house would have been within our means, which made me feel worse. The only consolation is that it ended up selling for $345,500. So, even if we had made an offer, we would have been scared off by the escalating bids.

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At night when I can’t sleep I still think about how I’d decorate this bar…

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