Worry-Wart Mom says Why Do This?
I haven't seen this house. DS and DIL are considering buying a home on the NW side of Chicago. (Built 1906; not 'historic'.)
Assessor says it's 1620 sq ft. Two-story with basement and large attic. Has maple floors, doors, interior trim, coffered DR ceiling -- wood would have to be stripped of paint. One bath upstairs, which prior resident ripped out to replace plumbing and never finished; four small BRs. I suspect there's clapboard under the current cedar shingles. Three bays, enclosed back porch the width of the house. Needs new windows, roof, HVAC, plumbing, electrical. Has original 'octopus' furnace in basement. Basement has shower bathroom (only functioning bath/toilet in the house).
House is on two standard Chicago lots: there's a 50-foot frontage. East is a single family stucco; west is a brick two-family. Down the street are some SF mixed with multi-family buildings (up to six apartments). There are some nicer homes within a few blocks, but not along this stretch of this street.
It seems to me that there's nothing to save except the woodwork and a stained glass window. What would make it worthwile for YOU to undertake this?
Background on family: DIL teaches in a Chicago school and is required to live in the city. DS is a paramedic and finishing his college degree to start training as a medical tech. They have a DS who is four and a half. Their current house isn't very different from the proposed 'remodel'. It's also on the NW side, on a double lot, but had been renovated when they bought it in 2001; they just completed a new open kitchen. The neighborhood is less attractive and the street, although also 2-lane, is busier. House is 1300 sq ft, mostly brick, w/finished basement. Plumbing, electrical, windows, HVAC etc. all up to date. Has 2 1/2 baths. No attic. Oversize newer 2-car garage, on alley. (Proposed has 1-car, on alley.)
MY idea for the proposed property is to investigate its land value -- selling its two lots to someone who wants to build a four-flat. The woodwork and stained glass window could be salvaged and put into a New Old House in a better location.
I can't imagine that renovating this house will cost less than building new. Your thoughts, please.