What's Your Chicago Style?

So, tell me what you want, what you really really want...in your first home.

So, tell me what you want, what you really really want...in your first home.

Who are you? Not to add to the quarter-life crisis, but it's important to figure out what you want in your home.    

The Walk up

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It may seem obvious, but this is a building without elevators. This is your most typical style with regards to Chicago's condos. These include 2 flats (2 unit buildings), 3 flats (3 unit buildings). Many people associate "greystones" and "brownstones" with these guys. 

The Courtyard Building

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Also self-explanatory--the courtyard building. The distinct U-shaped building was built around green space (read: courtyard). With a front entrance stairwell shared with only about 5 neighbors, a large back staircase, and a design that allows for good cross ventilation, these buildings make for great city living. 

The Elevator Building

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Spoiler Alert: these have elevators in them! Similar to a walk-up, but these buildings typically have more secured entries (buzzers, key fobs or doormen) and maybe a few more amenities. 

The Bungalow

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Chicago has so many of these (100,000+), we have a "Bungalow Belt." These are characterized by their one-and-a-half stories, brick construction, street facing verandas, and full basements. The typical interior layout consists of a living room, dining room, and kitchen on one side of the building, while the other side contains a series of bedrooms and a bathroom. 

The Worker's Cottage

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The worker's cottage is the OG of Chicago homes. Typically, they are either one or one-and-a half stories in height, and have gabled roofs that face the street. You can find these in brick or wood framed.

So, Which Condo Style Are You? 


Condos are a whole nother animal. With many styles to choose from, you'll likely come across one of these in your condo search.

The Loft

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Most controversial is the loft--you either hate it or love it. Lofts are the ones with few internal walls and exposed concrete, ducts or timber. You'll usually find these in old commercial or industrial buildings that have been converted into residential buildings.

The High Rise

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I think we all know what I mean by high rise buildings--you know, the big ones that make up Chicago's skyline. You'll typically find the most building amenities featuring gyms, pools, doormen & the like. 

The Vintage

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Probably as old as your grandparents--maybe even older, these units offer architectural charm that just doesn't compare to some of the new stuff, like elaborate crown-moldings, real wood floors and exposed brick walls. 

The New Construction & The Rehabs

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The new kids on the block. You'll find stainless steels appliances and renovated everything.

The Duplex

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These units are great when you want more space since they're more than one floor. Plus, you'll love the defining staircases that often come in them.

Decide who you are yet? Don't get overwhelmed, you'll know the right style of home for you once you walk into a place. It will just fit. Sometimes you'll even find your home in a style you originally thought you hated. House hunting is full of surprises.