How Much House Does $500,000 Get You in Chicago?

Part three of our bang-for-your-buck series: Check out five Chicago properties you can pick up for around half a million dollars.

There was a time before the insanity of the 2000-2008 flip-this-house-fever when spending half a million dollars was an unofficial entry port to the luxury side of housing. Prices have reeled back to calmer waters, but $500,000 is a little over three times the median price for homes in Chicago. So what does this buy us today? Here’s five properties in the third installment of our four-part bang-for-your-buck series that make a leap into luxury. (Missed part two? Check out our roundup of Chicago homes for $250K.)

Photo by: Baird & Warner Front of 308 Signe Court in Lake Bluff. The agent lists this as an investment property. If rental property is your business, or you’re inclined to become a landlord, you’ll have a tenant until June of 2014 (the home is occupied). That’s more than a year of guaranteed rental income.

Lake Bluff: $509K 

An hour by car from the Loop, this city has a glamorous reputation as a booze-smuggling gateway during prohibition. With a median household income of $114,521, homes in this North Shore village have an average listing price that tilts over a million – at $1.127M. So we expect a bit of dazzle, or at least substance. And we get it. Built in 1979 (a personal project by a builder), this 5-bedroom, 2.5-bath Colonial sits on more than an acre in the woods. And wood is the operative word. The 308 Signe Court property has an open floor plan, 2,554 square feet of living space with wooden windows, doors and trim. Last sold in 2000 for $402,000, repped by Laura Henderson of Baird & Warner with an ask price of $509,000. Perk: Sunrise Beach.

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