Elgin’s long history as a factory town has brought it wealth and a well-worn reputation — namely for the fine timepieces produced at the old Elgin Watch Company. And though this business ceased operations in the 1960s, growth in the riverfront city has never stopped. Not only does Elgin boast a diverse range of housing and architectural styles, but its 30-day median sale price of $217,000 makes it an attractive affordable option for buyers.

A housing boom at the turn of the last century saw the construction of modest Victorian homes near Elgin's city center; later, the midcentury modernist era ushered in stylish minimalist houses. No matter your preferred flavor of residential architecture, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find it in Elgin.

Here are just some of the fine residences for sale in this quintessentially Midwestern city (with a quintessentially Midwestern story). 

161 Franklin Boulevard, $145,000

Photo: RE/max suburban

Not only has this classic worker home been thoroughly updated, but its interiors are also nicely appointed and ready for another hundred years of use. And with four bedrooms and two full bathrooms, this vintage home is practical for a growing family. Nearby amenities include a pair of pocket parks, the main public library branch, and the Fox River Trail.

465 Douglas Avenue, $174,995

Photo: re/max horizon

If you're a fan of the Cheap Old Houses Instagram account and covet all the homes it posts, this modest-yet-stately Victorian will certainly scratch the itch. Although it awaits a proper renovation, the 2,300-square-foot home features incredible original architectural details and a spacious yard. Boasting a hodgepodge of architectural styles and shapes, it’s a unique building that would clean up quite nicely. And with a recent price reduction, it’s all the more enticing.

800 N. Spring Street, $255,000

Photo: vintage home realty

Imagine stepping back in time to experience a classic Victorian home as it looked and felt, at the peak of its life. This one is really that nice. Every detail you could want is here: the original fireplace, the ornate hand-carved staircase, the kitchen built-ins, and even some stained glass windows. There's even a finished attic and sweet-as-pie matching garage.

1201 Nottingham Lane, $309,900

Photo: premier living properties

Skipping forward a few decades, we end our list with a classic midcentury Ranch-style home with Prairie-style, modernist flair. From the outside, the low-slung home appears to blend in with its environment, while the interior is filled with warm hardwood and a stone fireplace and mantel that bring the natural theme indoors. There’s a lot of potential here, available at a price that would be tough to find in other Chicago suburbs.