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Live Like a Brontë in These Storybook Victorians

With sprawling porches and charming bay windows, these 19th-century stunners are worth their price tags.

Perhaps no building style shoulders more quirky charm than the Victorian. Decorative, grand, and often colorful, these 19th-century homes come with storybook details like large porches, turrets, and bay windows. And while they remain pictures of a bygone era on the outside, many Victorians around Chicago come with charming updated interiors.

The most affordable Victorian currently on the market might be the vivacious fixer-upper at 556 North Central Avenue in Austin, which has been seeking a new owner since September. The very pink-and-white residence, originally listed for $290,000, is now going for $160,000. But if you’re seeking something a little less flamboyant — and have a much higher budget — here’s a glimpse at what else is available right now.

143 South Harvey Avenue, $589,900

143 South Harvey Avenue
Photo: @properties

This 3,179-square-footer in Oak Park is stylish, sophisticated, and unafraid to let its freak flag fly. There’s lots to love about the corn-colored exterior, from a spacious front porch with decorative balusters to the scalloped siding, but the interior is equally charming, boasting stained glass windows, hardwood floors, and an enormous third-floor loft.

4017 North Kildare Avenue, $649,000

4017 North Kildare Avenue
Photo: Coldwell Banker Residential

Ever seen those real estate listings written in all-caps? Emphatic shouting is actually fitting when it comes to this Old Irving Park two-flat. From the eye-popping red accents on its facade to the very funky wallpaper and trimmings that adorn its rooms, this residence is for someone with a colorful personality. It even has a walk-in sauna, for crying out loud. Sure, it might need some updates, but for the right owner, this baby might be a worthy investment. As the broker notes, quite clearly: “KEEP AS TWO UNITS (2000 SQFT EACH) ONE FOR YOU & BIG RENT FOR 2ND UNIT OR EASILY CONVERT TO YOUR 4000 SQFT DREAM HOME.”

1023 Wenonah Avenue, $799,000

1023 Wenonah Avenue
Photo: VHT Studios

Built in 1906, this historic home checks some impressive boxes. To list a few: decorative fireplace, coffered ceilings, eat-in gourmet kitchen, wine room, backyard fire pit, and Oak Park landmark status. The stunning restoration is the work of its last owners, who spent two decades on rehabs and expansions that retain the building’s old charm. Now, it’s move-in ready.

2549 West Logan Boulevard, $1,030,000

2549 West Logan Boulevard
Photo: Coldwell Banker Residential

For those with big budgets, here’s an opportunity to plant your banderole on the historic Logan Boulevard. This 19th-century, three-bedroom Victorian recently saw a $50,000 price reduction, and packs in a winsome array of details, like leaded glass windows, a corner turret, and a full-length front porch. Call it your own pistachio paradise.

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