Sue Fox, @Properties. Direct 773.816.1788

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Bungalow of the Month: An Irving Park rehab

filed under: Bungalows, Irving Park posted on September 15th, 2011

BUNGALOW BRIGHTENING: This newly rehabbed home at

BUNGALOW BRIGHTENING: This newly rehabbed Irving Park house was purchased as a foreclosure in April and quickly restored: a classic flip! But it has yet to sell, despite several price cuts since it hit the market in July. Now priced at $313,900, Kevin Hebert at Kale Realty has the listing.

Chicago real estate doesn’t generally bounce along like a perky episode of Flip That House, but now and then you still see a sparkly rehabbed house hit the market a few months after it was plucked from the netherworld of foreclosure. Such is the case with 3339 N Kolmar Ave. in Irving Park, a 5-bedroom checkerboard bungalow that has been completely renovated in the space of three months.

Back in April, this 1926 house was just another forlorn foreclosure, owned by a bank and being sold “as is.” But its interior was still in pretty good shape, although the kitchen needed updating. It sold for $152,000 after three months on the market.

The new owner got straight to work, but made sure to keep many of the charming features that make a bungalow a bungalow: the distinctive curb appeal with its low roof line, the exterior limestone accents, the gorgeous stone fireplace flanked by bookcases in the living room, the hardwood floors and wood trim. In this case, it looks like the original windows had already been replaced, as had the kitchen and baths (probably sometime in the 1980s, from the look of the photos.)

The new kitchen now boasts granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and what appear to be cherry cabinets. It looks shiny and new, but it also looks like every other generic kitchen built by a developer in thousands of condos (and houses) throughout the city. Sometimes I wish the owners of these historic homes would put a little more thought into how they restore them. There’s an entire book on how to renovate bungalow kitchens, the aptly-named “Bungalow Kitchens” by Jane Powell and Linda Svendsen. They also wrote “Bungalow Bathrooms,” and both books feature beautiful photos of updated rooms that preserve historic character without sacrificing modern functionality.


NOTHING MUCH TO LOOK AT: Before the renovation, the kitchen was outdated and unappealing. There wasn't much to save here, so the new owner installed a standard developer's kitchen, complete with granite countertops and track lighting.

But I digress! The bungalow at 3339 N Kolmar now features bathrooms redone with marble and granite, a renovated basement, and a huge deck in the freshly landscaped backyard. The bedrooms are scattered throughout the home, with two carpeted rooms upstairs, one with hardwood floors on the main level, and two others below grade (with wood laminate floors) in the basement.

The house is now priced at $313,900, down from $334,900 when it hit the market in July. These rehabbed single-family houses tend to sell quickly in Irving Park, but this one may need to drop its price just below $300,000 to attract the buyers in that range.

Let me know if you’d like to see this bungalow, or any other home! I’ll even let you borrow my bungalow books.

Written by Sue Fox //

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