Maybe you’ve been inspired to take on a DIY project because you follow Cheap Old Houses on Instagram or love to watch home renovation shows on HGTV. Fixer-uppers are a great option for buyers looking for flexibility in the design of their future home but are also prepared to put in the work. In real estate vernacular, the term fixer-upper is used to refer to what is usually a run-down or outdated house in need of repairs that’s suitable for a buyer who is willing to make the investment. These are homes that sometimes need more than just a little TLC. But they are great for homeowners looking for and celebrating the potential of older residential structures, no matter what condition they’re in while also building equity. So let’s take a look at some fixer-uppers currently for sale.

23532 W North Ave, Lake Villa, $219,900

Located 50 miles north of Chicago near the Wisconsin border, Lake Villa is a town that has long been part of the popular outdoor recreation area known as the Chain O’Lakes. Constructed nearly a century ago in 1925, this five-bedroom, two-bathroom home has lake rights to Cedar Lake, which comes with its own private beach and use of a private dock. Being “sold as-is,” the wood paneled and wallpapered house might not fit with today’s trends — but it has a lot of potential with its vaulted ceilings in the family room and the walkout basement with fireplace and bar. 

18900 S Leila Dr, Mokena, $299,900

This one-story residence in suburban Mokena has hit the market for the first time since it was originally built in 1959 by its only owner. The three-bedroom, two-bathroom house is being “sold as-is” at the price of $299,900, which means the new buyer can bring their own design ideas to the table. There are plenty of options as it already has an open floor plan. If you’re looking for more space — and it fits your budget — the decent-sized backyard may be an opportunity for building an addition to the house.

510 S 16th St, St Charles, $250,000

If location is more important than the style of a home, this split-level with a sub basement might be the perfect renovation project for anyone interested in living in the Fox River Valley. The reason for the low asking price of $250,000 is pretty obvious when you click through the photos. Yes, there is a lot of carpeting and an outdated kitchen, but the possibilities are endless for the imaginative buyer. The backyard with its brick paver patio, perennials ,and large shady trees are a great selling point for this fixer-upper.

4800 Pershing Ave, Downers Grove, $325,000

On the market for the first time in 35 years, this 1920 craftsman bungalow in suburban Downers Grove has a striking wood and stucco exterior and welcoming front porch. But once inside the three-bedroom, one-bathroom home, you can see that it needs some help. The decent-sized living room has a wood-burning brick fireplace flanked by lovely built-in bookcases. Once the carpeting is removed to expose the original hardwood floors underneath, this could be a really amazing space. The same is true for the kitchen with its vinyl flooring, wallpaper, and old-fashioned cabinets. This old house would make a great restoration project.