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What $300,000 Buys in Little Village

From renovated worker cottages to brick three-flats, a couple hundred thousand goes a long way in La Villita.

Photo: RE/MAX Loyalty

Little Village is a community ever on the move, noted for its bustling 26th Street commercial district (dubbed Chicago’s Mexican Magnificent Mile by the Reader) and for its inventory of sturdy brick worker cottages and flats.

In recent years, the area has climbed in the ranks of Chicago’s much-hyped neighborhoods, as buzzy new tenants like Lagunitas Brewing and Cinespace attract attention and investment from speculators.

With rapid changes underway in neighboring Pilsen, Little Village may be on the precipice of its own battle over gentrification (and the rise in housing costs it brings). The process has been repeated for decades in Chicago — in Logan Square, Humboldt Park, and other areas — with predominantly working-class and immigrant enclaves feeling the pressure of high demand for housing in adjacent neighborhoods.

For now, though, Little Village remains affordable, flush with attractive multi-unit buildings and homes primed for restoration. Here’s a look at a handful of properties currently for sale in the area for less than $300,000.

2120 South Christiana Avenue, $194,900

Photo: New Avenue Realty

Everything is brand new and shiny in this quaint worker cottage on Christiana. Even after an extensive gut rehab and update, the house is listed under the $200,000 threshold, making it an appealing opportunity for the budget-minded buyer who doesn’t want to compromise on quality.

2710 South Homan Avenue, $224,000

Photo: RE/MAX Loyalty

If you’re prepared to roll up your sleeves, this old brick two-flat on South Homan could be transformed from a diamond in the rough into a polished gem. The property has already taken one price cut (albeit miniscule), indicating that the owners may be ready for a competitive offer.

2242 South Central Park Avenue, $239,000

Photo: Century 21 S.G.R.

Buyers who bump up their budgets to $250,000 can nab this well-maintained two-flat with an Italianate cornice. You shouldn’t expect upscale finishes, but considering the monthly mortgage would total around $1,300 after closing, it’s an enticing deal for families and young buyers looking to build equity.

2823 South Drake Avenue, $295,000

Photo: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff

For less than $300,000, it can be rare to find even a condo in Logan Square or Humboldt Park anymore. But head south to Little Village and you’ll find that a beautiful brick three-flat is within reach. With three units in this particular building, buyers could build up equity quickly — that is, if you’re prepared to be a small-time landlord.

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