woman standing in front of her brick craftsman home in this chicago illinois best old house neighborhood
Photo: Jim Tye
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Best Place for Bungalows and First-Time Buyers

North Mayfair, Chicago, Illinois

Like Polish sausage and deep-dish pizza, the Craftsman bungalow is both ubiquitous and beloved in Chicago. And one of the few places you can still score one for a reasonable price is North Mayfair. Here you'll find block after uniform block of sturdy, tree-shaded brick bungalows occupied by an affable mix of old-timers, many of German and Swedish descent, and new residents. But what we like is the neighborhood's stubborn determination to maintain its historic character through the North Mayfair Improvement Association, founded in 1929. The group just succeeded in its effort to get part of the neighborhood listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is adamant about keeping out-of-scale building developments at bay.

The Houses
Brick bungalows with Craftsman-style built-ins and stained glass.

Why Buy Now?
Property-tax freezes are available for those looking to restore older homes. Prices are (temporarily) down. Though rare, we found a fixer-upper bungalow for $218,000.

Among the best for: City Life, Cottages and Bungalows, Families, First-Time Buyers, Fixer-Uppers, Midwest
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