11 Different Types of Chicago Real Estate To Choose From

Eleven Different Types of Chicago Real Estate To Chose From

There Are Several Types Of Chicago Real Estate

Even if you're from Chicago, the variety of property types available in the city might feel a bit overwhelming. From two-flats to co-ops to rowhomes and townhomes, the diversity in real estate is one of the things that makes Chicago such a unique place to live—but as a buyer, you certainly want to know exactly what you're looking for before you hit the market. Here, you'll be able to narrow down what property type is right for you with a detailed overview of the most common types of Chicago homes you'll come across.

A flat is an apartment that occupies an entire floor of the building. A two-flat then, is a two-story building with one apartment per floor. Two and three-flats are the most prevalent form of housing in the city. Victorian two-flats will often have an additional garden or basement apartment.

High-Rise or Mid-Rise
This essentially translates to many apartments in one building. The building is usually divided into tiers, which means various floor plans can be found on one floor, but identical floor plans will be stacked on top of one another. These buildings always have an elevator and often include any list of amenities like a doorman, swimming pool, health club and parking.

Loft spaces are perhaps the ultimate urban dwelling. These homes have been carved out of older commercial buildings like warehouses, factories, offices and even schools and churches. Quintessential loft features include high ceilings, open floor plans, exposed ductwork, original beams and oversized, industrial-esque windows. They are filled with architectural character, thanks to open, unique living areas, minimum room partitioning and their use of original features like staircases and sky lighting.

These charming homes originated in the 1890s, and many that you'll find in Chicago are from this time period. With rowhouses, the facades all form a continuous row, but are divided internally so there are common walls between the units. Many rowhomes have richly detailed exteriors and renovated interiors, giving them all the charm of a vintage property with the functionalities of modem living.

Made popular in the 1960s, townhomes are similar to condos in that the homeowner owns all of the space within his or her unit. Townhome communities are often compact but well planned, and might include private yards and garages and common courtyards and walkways. Owners sham common vertical walls, but exterior walls, roofs, and garages are often considered common elements; a monthly assessment goes toward maintenance and repair of these shared features. While the assessment fees are an added costs, this structure can make townhome living significantly less expensive than a single-family home, in which the owner is responsible for maintaining everything on their lot.

Condominiums, or condos, are one of the types of "multiple ownership" properties you'll find in cities across the country. When you purchase a condo, you (the homeowner) are the titleholder to the apartment or townhouse itself—the interior space. You also own an interest in the building or complex's common elements—think the grounds of the property, the exterior walls, stairways, elevators, etc.

Also known as co-ops, these buildings are similar to condominiums, with the main difference being that the homeowner is a shareholder in the corporation that owns the building, When you purchase a co-op unit, you purchase stock that represents the ownership both of your apartment and a proportional share of the building's common elements. Because this is a shared ownership, co-op buyers must be approved by the corporation (aka the board) that owns the building, so your potential new neighbors must sign off on well, you, before the sale is approved.

In its simplest form, a duplex is a two-story apartment. Whether a walk-up vintage guiding, a high-rise or a loft, a duplex apartment might be a duplex up (inclusive of the floor above) or a duplex down (inclusive of the floor below.

Single-Family Homes
A single-family home is a stand-alone property on a standard-size lot of 25 x 125 feet. But lot size for these homes can vary widely, and the larger the lot, the more premium the property. Some single-family homes were built to be just that, but others have been converted from two- and three-flats.

Vintage buildings dates to pre-World War II. Many have undergone renovations since then, but these buildings are still beloved for their original features like high ceilings, hardwood floors, fine woodwork and plaster moldings.

New Construction
In Chicago, the denser a neighborhood is, the more expensive a new construction condo will be. Less dense areas of the city might be considered if you need to adhere to a certain budget, since these properties are usually less expensive than those in more developed areas. And, as an area grows and becomes more populated, it’s highly likely that your property will raise in value and earn you a higher return on your investment.

READ MORE: Chicago Luxury Real Estate Resource Center

Want to learn more about the different types of real estate in Chicago?
For more information or to see them in person, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.