With views of the placid Fox River and plentiful vintage homes, St. Charles offers the charm of small-town living without sacrificing proximity to the city. And though it's fair to describe the community as a suburb, its location 40 miles outside of Chicago places it on the outer ring where suburban sprawl ends and rural Illinois begins.

The St. Charles housing market is varied, with options wide-ranging in both price and appearance. You can find quaint, turn-of-the-century retreats or glamorous mansions built before the recession. Buyers seeking a home for less than $500,000 will find plenty of candidates to check out; the median sale price from the last 30 days is just $318,000, according to Redfin statistics.

For those who prefer the style and character of older houses, St. Charles may be the ticket. Here are just a handful of affordable vintage homes near the Fox River.

28 N. 12th Ave., $219,000 

28 N. 12th Ave. Photo: Courtesy of VHT Studios

This old, 1,250-square-foot farmhouse contains two bedrooms and one-and-a-half bathrooms — and though it's modest in size, it's rich in charm and curb appeal. Set on a near half-acre lot, the house comes with plenty of outdoor space for kids and pets. Originally listed at $245,900 in April, the property hit the market again last week with a sizeable $26,900 price reduction.

1102 S. 4th St., $389,000

1102 S. 4th St. Photo: Courtesy of VHT Studios

Located a short walk from the river’s edge, this three-bedroom bungalow boasts original Craftsman-era details and a lush, landscaped lawn. Highlights include a sunroom, the latest kitchen appliances, and a fully finished basement. Records show that the home last sold for $333,000 in May 2010.

633 Geneva Road, $475,000

633 Geneva Rd. Photo: Courtesy of RE/MAX All Pro

If classic Victorians draped in the stars and stripes stirs something within you, then you’re in for a treat with this four-bedroom home on Geneva Road. Among its stunning flourishes: a sprawling wrap-around porch, bay windows, gorgeous interior trim, and even a gazebo. Listed at $495,000 in May, this home has seen two price cuts since.

916 Ash St., $530,000

916 Ash St. Photo: Courtesy of eXp Realty

Built in 2007, this new construction fits in with the Victorians in the area but boasts contemporary interiors made for modern living. The home features four bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms spanning three levels. Out back is a cozy spot for a fire and a detached garage that matches the same vintage-inspired aesthetic of the main house.