“They are not going to sacrifice,” Spaniak said. “They don’t have the time to rehab. And they want something newer, with quality, that expresses who they are.”
That’s a tall order that often isn’t in line with the split-levels and Colonial Revival houses common in higher-end Chicago suburbs. The scarcity of polished, modern houses in established suburbs further drives up the prices of the few houses that do meet that narrow criteria, Spaniak said.
This is an issue facing many suburban communities and potential homebuyers:
- Many existing homes do not have the features, finishes, or architecture preferred by homebuyers now.
- More mature suburbs have a limited number of newer homes as new construction is limited to small developments or teardowns.
- The housing prices in more expensive and mature suburbs are not that low that it will attract people drawn by fixer-uppers. The people who can buy and rehab homes in the wealthier suburbs have enough capital to buy in and fix or teardown the homes for a tidy profit.
Roughly five years ago, we were in a similar position looking for a larger home. Homes within our price range often needed updating or had disagreeable and unchangeable traits. The style of homes available fit into what is described above: split-levels, raised ranches, ranches, Colonials, and a few older structures. We had time and flexibility so it all worked out but I could see how the available options and at the particular prices available would frustrate some homebuyers.