The four-bedroom Aurora home

Photography: Courtesy of Baird & Warner

The four-bedroom Aurora home

List Price: $324,900
The Property: “My Hansel and Gretel house” is how Re/Max agent Kathy Brothers refers to this four-bedroom home whose storybook good looks start with a steeply pitched roof and stone chimneys outside and extend inside to arched doorways, big sunny windows, and cozy bedrooms with sloped ceilings. It’s about 42 miles west of the Loop in Aurora, several blocks west of the Fox River and the downtown area, in a mix of old and older homes.

For somebody who doesn’t need to get all the way downtown for work but to, say, Naperville or other west-suburban job centers, Aurora does’t seem so far out. On Metra’s BNSF line, it’s about an hour and ten minutes (or 50 minutes on an express train) from Union Station to Aurora’s station, 2.4 miles from the house.

But enough about commuting: this Tudor is a nice place to come home to. Built in 1929 and extensively updated in the past several years, it mixes a warm oldtime comfort with appropriate updates. The sellers have redone the kitchen and master bath with handsome finishes that suit the home’s vintage. There’s a nicely finished basement, ample storage, and a sizable deck off the back of the house. And Brothers notes they’ve also done one of the home’s costliest maintenance tasks: replacing the roof, which she says cost about $30,000 because of its steep pitch and numerous dormers and secondary peaks.

The sellers paid $330,000 for the home in 2006, according to Kane County records. Brothers would not say how much they’ve spent on their upgrades, but it’s at least the $30,000 roof cost. So assuming only that—that is, we’re not even counting the unknown amount they spent on the kitchen and master bath—their asking price is 10 percent off their investment in the home.

The Oak Park condo building
The condo building in Oak Park

Bonus Property For buyers looking closer to the city: I spotted a potential bargain, but I can’t fully endorse it because I haven’t managed to either get inside or see interior photos so I could determine the condition of the home.

The sellers of this two-bedroom condo in the lively, architecturally significant heart of Oak Park are asking less than it has gone for the past two times it has sold. They want $175,000; in 2007, they paid $218,000, and in the previous sale, in 2005, it went for $200,000. That’s a considerable discount, but because the listing agent hasn’t helped with interior views—either via photos or in person—the best I can do is suggest that bargain hunters check into it.

Listing Agent (for the Aurora home): Kathy Brothers of Re/Max Town & Country, 630-201-4664 and

See More Steals: Wednesday morning, I’ll feature this steal-priced house and several others in the city and suburbs on Windy City Live!, around 9:20 a.m. Tune in to see the steals, and then come back here for links to all the properties’ agents.