If you did an in-fill build, how did you find your lot?

chicagoansMarch 29, 2012

If you bought a home to tear down and build a new one (common here as small homes make way for new, large ones) I'd like to know what you looked for in a listing and/or how you found your lot.

My folks have put their house on the market. The 82 year old home has some beautiful features like leaded glass windows, but it's a small house on a large lot in a desirable location (walk to town, train, excellent schools) so I'm pretty certain it will be sold for a tear down. (Yes, I'm sad, but I won't go into that now.)

The MLS listing shows pictures of the yard in addition to interiors and lists the lot size. Is there other information you would look for or highlight? e.g., should I check with zoning and have the agent add something like "this lot could accommodate a #### square foot house"?

I've contacted a couple builders who approached them in the past, but as we all know times have changed in the last few years.

Any thoughts? I know I can post this on the buying/selling forum, but I'm interested if any of you who have built an in-fill house have advice.


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We are preparing to build on an infill lot. We looked long and hard for the right opportunity. We ended up buying an older house on a double lot. We are fixing up the old house to sell and will build on the vacant lot.

That being said, I looked at a number of possible teardowns and possible renovation/addition properties. If it were me, I would look long and hard at the price, location and attractiveness of the lot. If your market is individual buyers, I would talk a lot about the location, proximity to amenities, school district, etc. The lot we will build on is very very small, but the location is excellent.

As with pretty much any house sale, if the price is right, you shouldn't have too much of a problem finding a buyer.

Is this property in Chicago? If so, can I ask which suburb?
Another possibility you may want to consider is subdividing the lot and selling it as two separate parcels. Our lot added very little to the price of our house, but is worth substantially more as a stand alone property.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 10:19PM
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Thanks supergrrl! They're in Clarendon Hills, a western suburb of Chicago. (Hinsdale Central school district, which is ranked very high.)

I'm not sure they can subdivide; they have a lot and a half rather than a double lot; it's about 1/3 acre.

The listing says "in the heart of the village" or some such thing, but perhaps I should have the agent explicitly add verbiage like "walk to school, town, train."

I appreciate your feedback, and good luck with your build!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 9:15AM
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I've been building infill since 1988-89. As long as the property is on MLS, don't worry about builders not knowing about your property.

If you want to know the zoning and possibilities of severance/rezoning go to the municipal office and ask. It's that simple!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 10:11AM
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"should I check with zoning"

This is part of the buyers due diligence.

Stay away.

You do not want to introduce ANY liability for the info.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 11:18AM
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Great feedback everyone. Thank you very much. They had one offer (just OK) after it was listed for 2 days, so we'll see what happens.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 1:49PM
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Awwww... Chicagoan, I grew up in Clarendon Hills! We lived on Blodgett and I went to Hinsdale Central! :o) Totally off-topic but it warmed my heart to see my home town here!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 9:06PM
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dutty that's so cool! I'm a Red Devil grad too. Moved out, loved city life for many years, and actually by chance ended up back in town! (After swearing I'd never be a suburbanite again.) It's still a great place to live.

small world...

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 6:07PM
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I'd move back in a second but I'm stuck in Florida for my husband's work. We actually moved back for two years and lived in Downers and work dragged us back kicking and screaming. LOL. The area is still a fantastic place to live.

I have 5 older siblings who were Devils, too and we range from class of 81 to class of 92... so I'd bet we've crossed paths at some point. Yep... small world!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 7:47PM
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