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These Affordable Suburban Ranches Are Straight-up Time Capsules

Snap up one of four delightfully retro houses filled with midcentury finishes and charm.

An untouched midcentury Ranch house in Skokie is seeking $325,000.   Photo: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices | KoenigRubloff

The classic Ranch house is one of the most widely recognized styles of American residential architecture. Fortunately for fans of these vintage homes, there are some perfect, untouched examples for sale throughout the Chicago suburbs.

Built en masse during the decades post-WWII, the low-slung single-story homes are characterized by their long, narrow forms, large front windows, and interiors filled with pastel colors. Homebuyers seeking this specific type of residence won’t have to look too far, but the best preserved, time capsule-quality examples are most plentiful in inner-ring suburbs such as Skokie, Niles, Park Ridge, and Des Plaines. Prices aren’t typically too steep either — but be prepared for remediation and updating important mechanicals such as plumbing and wiring.

Keep an eye out for these delightfully retro homes before they’re gone — many Chicago-area Ranch houses have been updated, but there are still plenty of vintage gems waiting for a buyer.

 210 Cambridge Road, Des Plaines, $349,900 

Photo: VHT Studios

A classic suburban Ranch isn’t complete without a proper basement recreational space. Below the surface of this quaint, single-story brick home in Des Plaines is a basement that boasts a wood-paneled bar, a lounge area, and floor shuffleboard. A vintage jukebox and some neon bar lights would really drive home the funky vibe.

4552 Keeney Street, Skokie, $324,500

Photo: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices | KoenigRubloff

Brick and stone-clad facade? Check. Wood paneling? Check. Pink plastic bathroom tile? Definitely. Here’s a truly untouched, preservation-worthy Ranch that appears to have received very few (if any) changes over the decades. There’s even a room outfitted with Formstone walls, boosting its midcentury credentials and integrity.

1332 Prospect Avenue, Des Plaines, $264,900

Photo: Century 21

Here’s another totally untouched gem that is still outfitted with its original finishes. Highlights include the time capsule-quality kitchen and bathrooms, but the greatest feature may be its basement rec area. Asbestos tile aside, it’s clear that this home has been lovingly maintained over the decades.

8722 N. Ozark Avenue, Niles, $259,000

Photo: American Realty & Associates

What has linoleum flooring, eggshell blue appliances, wood paneling, and thick purple carpet? If you guessed this three-bedroom Ranch in Niles, then you are absolutely correct. Featuring a rather nondescript exterior, this unsuspecting home in north suburban Niles is really a blast from the past. The quality of the fit and finish appears to be rather outstanding, making this a solid option for vintage lovers.

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