Get a Pilsen Vintage 4-Bedroom Raised Ranch For Just $139,900: 717 West 19th Street

This 4-bedroom raised ranch at 717 West 19th Street in Pilsen recently came on the market.

Built in 1880 on a smaller than standard Chicago lot measuring 24×100, it has small bedrooms which were common at that time.

The listing says a den is being used as a pantry.

There is also a second kitchen in the back of the house along with a family room.

There’s a full basement with exterior access which has a full bath.

There’s no central air (window units only) and no parking.

But the house is east of Halsted and is near the galleries and restaurants on Halsted in both Pilsen and University Village.

Could this be a good condo alternative for someone who isn’t afraid of putting in some sweat equity?

Jennifer Liu at Jameson Sotheby’s has the listing. See the pictures here.

717 West 19th Street: 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, no square footage listed

  • Currently listed for $139,900
  • Taxes of $3393
  • No central air- window units
  • Full basement with “good” ceiling heights
  • Bedroom #1: 12×8 (main level)
  • Bedroom #2: 8×7 (main level)
  • Bedroom #3: 8×7 (main level)
  • Bedroom #4: 10×7 (main level)
  • Family room: 16×12 (main level)

21 Responses to “Get a Pilsen Vintage 4-Bedroom Raised Ranch For Just $139,900: 717 West 19th Street”

  1. If that’s a “raised ranch”, then I’m the Pope’s Uncle.

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    Rating: +2 (from 4 votes)
  2. Seems like it’s perfect for a tear down.

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    Rating: +4 (from 8 votes)
  3. haha. Do a satellite view. Awesome neighbors.

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  4. Hi, this is Goshen, Indiana calling. We seem to be missing a trailer.

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    Rating: +10 (from 10 votes)
  5. This is a very sad house. The neighborhood is also questionable. Once you get past the train tracks, the area quickly becomes scary (this is coming from someone who lives only 4 blocks north).

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    Rating: -4 (from 8 votes)
  6. I believe $50K is about right for this, based on what a friend of mine says he hopes to get for comparable properties in comparable neighborhoods. He has a number of rental cottages like this, in rather better condition, and he wishes he’d never paid a dime over $40K for any of them. They’ve each required at least $40K worth of work to be barely habitable and keeping them rented is a major challenge. He has Section 8 tenants so he can charge high rents, but he must maintain the places according to HUD codes, which means completely redoing the place and replacing almost everything in it every time someone moves.

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    Rating: -5 (from 9 votes)
  7. I’ve tried to make this comment twice and both times it has disappeared so maybe the third time will be a charm…

    I’d think in this area of Pilsen it would be better to be between Halsted and Ashland than squished between Halsted and the Dan Ryan. It is not a pretty area!

    I would think with the tiny rooms, two kitchens, no a/c, no parking and a small lot this would take a lot of work and $$ to make it better than a nearby condo.

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  8. I wouldn’t pay 140K for this frame cottage, but it is clean and in decent condition.
    The houses selling in the 40K range are unliveable and require a complete rehab or teardown.

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    Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)
  9. I think the area is fine.
    I didn’t think it was unsafe.
    Living so close to the expressway is more of a bummer.
    As is not having an L stop close by.
    I went to a couple of galleries close to this house on Pilsen’s “2nd Friday” and there were plenty of nice people there.

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    Rating: +2 (from 4 votes)
  10. Regarding Section 8:
    I hate it, have lived next to it and will never do it again.
    However, I’ve heard the rules have become stricter and if you destroy property you can be removed from the program for life.
    I don’t have first hand experience of this, but if someone knows, please write in.

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    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  11. I think this is overpriced and poorly built, but . . . I think the neighborhood is quite good (no gang problems that I know of if you are east of Halsted). I’m in this area nearly every day–lots of artist galleries, a few cafes, etc.

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  12. I would think in this part of Pilsen, I’d rather be between Halsted and Ashland than squished between Halsted and the Dan Ryan which is a particularly non-pretty area.

    This house is close to Nightwood which is a great restaurant and some other interesting stuff. Definitely more going on than you would think.

    Either way, I think with the many tiny rooms, two kitchens, no a/c, no parking and small(ish) lot this house would need a lot of work and $$ to make it better than a condo in the area.

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  13. This is a tear down and over priced for the neighborhood. As far as the tear down aspect; well, that ship has long passed.

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  14. You can see a 7-part walk around East Pilsen on this YouTube playlist:

    http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0493F9D82D5D6DF7

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  15. 6-min walk to Nightwood is a major plus.

    On the other hand, it’s rather close to the Dan Ryan.

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  16. “Raised ranch” may refer to the fact that some Pilsen houses were built *before* the streets were raised.
    Look at the homes next to & across the street from this property.

    Here’s Garry Wills’ riff on Chicago’s raising the streets:

    “Late in the 1850s, the city [of Chicago] came up with the typically bold (if partly mad) expedient of laying sewer pipes on the surface and jacking the buildings up above their height. A famous lithograph of the time shows hundreds of men turning winches to raise the Briggs House while patrons on the hotel’s balconies look down. This literal ‘upgrading’ of the town went on for two decades, and its last phase is still evident in Pilsen, the former Polish section, where some buildings, instead of being raised, just opened a new ground entrance on what had been their second floor.”

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/1993/oct/21/chicago-underground/

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  17. Does anyone know if Paulie’s at 18th & Union is still open for business?

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  18. And besides the art galleries etc. you’re just a short bus ride south on Halsted to the Sox, and a cosiderably longer one north to the Cubs.

    Sorry, but Opening Day is hear and it’s hard not to have baseball on the brain!

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  19. “The neighborhood is also questionable. Once you get past the train tracks, the area quickly becomes scary (this is coming from someone who lives only 4 blocks north).”

    Stop spouting nonsense. Just because you are terrified of minorities and neighborhoods that arent predominantly white doesn’t mean anyone else is. Pilsen East of Racine is nice, safe area.

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  20. “Pilsen East of Racine is nice, safe area.”

    Generally true, apart from the two people shot near Morgan between 18th and Cullerton in the past 2 weeks. East of Halsted used to be a Bishops stronghold, but is very quiet these days, though one has to keep in mind the number of scrappers in the general vicinity as fast as burglaries are concerned.

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  21. Simplysexysue on March 31st, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Put a fork in me, I’m done with Section 8. I had it before and it was just fine. Really just fine, I had to change the locks, make it safe, just anything I would do for a market rate tenant. Then my building gentrified and the Section 8 people moved on. But I tried it again last fall and it was so much bullshit. They actually nabbed me for not having a carbon monoxide detector in the laundry room. I also had an outlet, hidden behind the fridge, that had a little chip on the outlet cover that they nabbed me for that too. I told them to go to hell and keep their lousy tenants.

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