Mario and Sarah have been together for three years.They’re now engaged and ready for their first home together. They both currently live in small rentals in Chicago. This will be the first time living together, and it will involve a lot of compromises, because they seem to have very different home design styles.
Mario and Sarah have a $400,000 budget.
Mario and Sarah both want a condo with at least two bedrooms and two bathrooms.They want lots of storage and closet space. Mario and Sarah also want a nice outdoor space for a future dog.
His: Mario wants a move-in ready industrial loft. He also wants his new place to have a dark kitchen, a fireplace, and covered parking.
Hers: Sarah wants a vintage home that’s a fixer upper. She wants a separate dining area, to host big family gatherings, and a white kitchen. She also wants in-unit laundry.
House #1, $285,000
This vintage style home is located in the Logan Square area of Chicago. It has two bedrooms and one bathroom. The place comes with a low HOA of $195 a month. The place has a very charming exterior, but the interior is modernized, which makes it lose a bit of character. The home doesn’t have a formal dining area, but it has space for a dining area. It’s a mainly open concept unit.
The kitchen needs some updating and the one bathroom is a bit small. The bedrooms are a decent size, nothing too grand about it. It also comes with a small closet and no parking space. It also doesn’t have a fireplace, but it has in-unit laundry, even if it’s oddly placed.
House #2, $399,000
This modern loft is located in Printer’s Row. It has a high HOA of $575 a month, but it does have inside parking…at an extra $30,000 cost. The home has lots of industrial character, like exposed pipes and high ceilings. It’s the perfect place for Mario, but not so much for Sarah. The home has an updated kitchen but it’s very dark and has a plastic backsplash.
The master bedroom has a great view of the city and access to a small deck. It has no separate dining space. It also has a washer and dryer unit, two bedrooms, and two bathrooms. This place also comes with a ton of extra closet and storage space.
House #3, $275,000
This Lincoln Park condo has the exact vintage charm that Sarah loves. It’s a one bedroom, one bathroom place with no parking. However, Mario and Sarah have the option to get permit parking on the street. Despite only being a one bedroom space, it has plenty of room.
The home lacks an in-unit laundry area, but has a port where it can be installed. The kitchen needs a lot of renovations, $20,000 plus worth of them to be exact. The home has a fireplace, formal dining area, and hardwood flooring. It also has a lot of storage, a big bathroom, and a decent size outdoor space.
Decision Time: House #3 was the most vintage-charming house but it needed the most renovations. House #1 seemed stripped of all character, but it had the most items from their wish lists. House #2 came with a lot of great luxury features like in-unit laundry and parking, but it was way out of their budget. Also Sarah clearly hated the design.
Mario and Sarah picked…House #1.
They ended up paying the $285,000 asking price. They’ve already begun working on remodeling the kitchen. Mario also is now okay with no designated parking space.