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Old 01-21-2015, 12:45 PM
 
847 posts, read 640,843 times
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Originally Posted by JJski View Post
The lots we were finding were all tear down homes - all of them were 250k+ even in Elmhurst. But we were very picky of the location, wanted .25 Miles max of town core... Desired home size was 3K Sqft+, open floor plan... We luv older homes and the character but hate the older layouts, too many rooms...
Do you think if we are less picky in terms of location and desire a smaller home it would make much difference in price or do you think regardless we are still looking at more than $800k?
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:55 PM
 
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yes - If you are willing to go 1.5 mile outside of towns core... but then other newer properties become available which make buying an existing (newer) home much more appealing...
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Old 01-21-2015, 01:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JJski View Post
yes - If you are willing to go 1.5 mile outside of towns core... but then other newer properties become available which make buying an existing (newer) home much more appealing...
The area we like in Elmhurst south of st charles and north of butterfield near lincoln and bryan schools is certainly more than 1.5 miles from downtown Elmhurst. So maybe there is hope...
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Lookout Kid View Post
If every house were replaced with an $800,000+ house, we'd see a collapse in prices (assuming today's dollars). Most people in Glen Ellyn and Wheaton can't afford a house at that price point. There are surely a lot of people who can, but I can't see a real estate market where these high-end buyers can support those prices on every block of every nicer suburb. The median detached single-family house in Glen Ellyn sold for somewhere around $540,000 the last period I saw data for... That's what the market is supporting at this time.

Granted, it would take a very very long time for the entire housing stock of Glen Ellyn to be replaced or gut-rehabbed. There are still plenty of nicer 1920's houses in that $500k-$700k range that are mostly updated (but not entirely), and that are just too expensive to warrant a teardown in all but the most choice locations/best lots. We are not Hinsdale, as much as some residents would like us to be.
Those 1920s houses may be in decent condition now but give them another 50 years and there's a good chance they will require significant structural upgrades. At that point there may be no other choice but to tear them down or complete some sort of significant structural upgrade which may not be worth the cost.
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Old 01-22-2015, 12:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by My Kind Of Town View Post
Those 1920s houses may be in decent condition now but give them another 50 years and there's a good chance they will require significant structural upgrades. At that point there may be no other choice but to tear them down or complete some sort of significant structural upgrade which may not be worth the cost.
That's really not how it works. A well-maintained building could theoretically last for hundreds of years, and the grade of lumber and materials used in the 1920's is actually quite a bit more durable than what is used today. Structural problems don't just pop up over time in something that was built properly, though foundation issues are probably the most common things that do pop up with an older house that wasn't altered in some stupid way. Keep a roof in good shape and keep the water out, and a 1920's house may even outlast something built today.

And using that 50 year timeframe, ANY house will need significant upgrades that far in to the future. This idea of "disposable houses" is really unique to America. You don't see this in other western cultures to the same degree.
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Old 01-22-2015, 01:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Lookout Kid View Post
That's really not how it works. A well-maintained building could theoretically last for hundreds of years, and the grade of lumber and materials used in the 1920's is actually quite a bit more durable than what is used today. Structural problems don't just pop up over time in something that was built properly, though foundation issues are probably the most common things that do pop up with an older house that wasn't altered in some stupid way. Keep a roof in good shape and keep the water out, and a 1920's house may even outlast something built today.

And using that 50 year timeframe, ANY house will need significant upgrades that far in to the future. This idea of "disposable houses" is really unique to America. You don't see this in other western cultures to the same degree.
Foundation issues = structural. If you have issues with the foundation, you are going to have issues with the structure/home itself. Foundations consist of concrete. Concrete is not constructed to last indefinitely. Over time, concrete cracks under adverse conditions experienced here in the Chicagoland area (i.e. freeze/thaw/moisture). This is inevitable and the primary reason I would stay away from homes approaching or exceeding 100 years in age. A home's longevity generally has very little to do with the type of lumber used in framing. This isn't what typically fails first. Every structure has a life cycle before major modifications are required. Just ask Tom Ricketts
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Old 01-22-2015, 03:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by My Kind Of Town View Post
A home's longevity generally has very little to do with the type of lumber used in framing. This isn't what typically fails first. Every structure has a life cycle before major modifications are required. Just ask Tom Ricketts
I'm an architect, and I'm telling you that your idea that a house built in the 1920's is just going to be torn down eventually is really, really silly. Your 50 year timeline given is even sillier.

You mentioned "structural issues". I brought up that the older houses are actually quite a bit more solid structurally, aside from the foundations, unless someone cut a beam out when remodeling a bathroom or wall or something. They use a harder, dryer lumber compared to today's "seasoned" Douglas Fir Larch. Plaster and lathe walls are bomb proof compared to dry wall. The woodwork and casings are all quite a bit more solid. Of course, this all makes it harder to rip out plumbing and wiring, but most houses in nicer Chicago suburbs have addressed those issues long ago.

Foundations in older houses can be problematic, but they rarely collapse. They come from an era before basements were expected to be dry and finished with family rooms (they were just storage/mechanical spaces), but most of them are still in good shape structurally. There's no guarantee that a poured concrete foundation from 2015 will outlast a block foundation from the 1920's. And if you haven't noticed, the foundation companies like PermaSeal do pretty well in the Chicago area, often fixing houses a lot newer than you would expect. Differential settlement affects newer properties too.
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Old 01-22-2015, 07:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Lookout Kid View Post
I'm an architect, and I'm telling you that your idea that a house built in the 1920's is just going to be torn down eventually is really, really silly. Your 50 year timeline given is even sillier.

You mentioned "structural issues". I brought up that the older houses are actually quite a bit more solid structurally, aside from the foundations, unless someone cut a beam out when remodeling a bathroom or wall or something. They use a harder, dryer lumber compared to today's "seasoned" Douglas Fir Larch. Plaster and lathe walls are bomb proof compared to dry wall. The woodwork and casings are all quite a bit more solid. Of course, this all makes it harder to rip out plumbing and wiring, but most houses in nicer Chicago suburbs have addressed those issues long ago.

Foundations in older houses can be problematic, but they rarely collapse. They come from an era before basements were expected to be dry and finished with family rooms (they were just storage/mechanical spaces), but most of them are still in good shape structurally. There's no guarantee that a poured concrete foundation from 2015 will outlast a block foundation from the 1920's. And if you haven't noticed, the foundation companies like PermaSeal do pretty well in the Chicago area, often fixing houses a lot newer than you would expect. Differential settlement affects newer properties too.
Well it may not necessarily be torn down in 50+ years but there is a greater likelihood of encountering significant structural issues in this time for a structure that is already 100 years old. At some point, it will no longer make financial sense to dump significant money into an aging structure when you will be able to achieve a greater cost/benefit ratio by starting over.

As Chicagoans we live in a rather unforgiving environment. Between moisture/humidity levels, high ph soils, and freeze/thaw cycles, these factors are continually working against the integrity of the structure, primarily the concrete foundation and secondarily against the wood frame if there are moisture/humidity issues.

http://www.cement.org/docs/default-s...n.pdf?sfvrsn=4

I can't speak to the type of lumber that was used in prior generation homes but I doubt the structural capacity of the older lumber used is that much greater than what is used currently. Plaster/dry wall is not intended to be load bearing (it's just a way of finishing a wall or ceiling) so I'm not sure why it matters that plaster is "bomb proof" compared to dry wall in a structural context.

Foundations do not need to "collapse" to fail. A foundation has failed once it can no longer support the loads it was originally designed for. One of the main reasons PermaSeal does so well in this area is due to the factors noted above. While there is no guarantee that a foundation from 2015 from one site will outlast one constructed in the 1920s on another site, it absolutely should if all else is equal. The primary reason it would not is if the Contractor has cut corners in their preparation of the subbase/subgrade prior to pouring the foundation. If the subbase and subgrade are properly compacted prior to pouring and if appropriate concrete material requirements (cement/water ratio, air voids, cure time, etc.) are met, there is no reason the 2015 foundation shouldn't significantly outlast the 1920s foundation.

Aside from the increased likelihood of structural issues in an older home compared to a new home, there are a whole host of other reasons why I would prefer a new home over one from the early to mid 1900s. Energy efficiency, environmental hazards, and safety issues just to name a few.

It's always fun when architects and engineers debate...
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Old 01-23-2015, 08:09 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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How many people buying a home these days plan on living in it for the next 50 years? I have an 1880 house that needs some mechanical work done, but the foundation is fine.
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Old 01-23-2015, 08:21 AM
 
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Trust me I just bought a 80 year old two flat that is all brick with steel reinforced rods that is like a fortress. It will be there long after I am gone. Yes there is maintainance on a building but not "structural failure". Regarding new home building, I"ve talked to a builder recently and you can get a new home like you are asking about in Wheaton for the mid 700's. If you are willing to go out to Geneva past Randall Rd it will be slightly cheaper. From what I see you can't really get a new home in Wheaton for less than this price point. Plenty of nice homes below that though already standing. If you deal with a reputable builder that has experience, you will see how the process works. What is put in the homes is what people expect at that price point. For example, you don't put formica counters in a 700 k home. That would be folly.

Here are a few examples. Some are spec homes. Meaning already built but new.

https://www.redfin.com/IL/Glen-Ellyn.../home/18131699
https://www.redfin.com/IL/Wheaton/41.../home/17548089
https://www.redfin.com/IL/Wheaton/20.../home/18137335

Last edited by ToriaT; 01-23-2015 at 09:08 AM..
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