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Why That Fixer Upper Isn’t Such a Steal

  • October 1, 2020

Why That Fixer Upper Isn’t Such a Steal

In any given community, the price of existing on-the-market properties will almost always sit below the cost of newly built homes. Comparatively, that 15-year-old home on a cul-de-sac lot seems like a steal. But dig a little deeper and the value of a new Gallagher and Henry home – both in dollars and cents and quality of life – begins to shine through.

Consider this example:

A New Home at Covington Knolls: $495,000

At Covington Knolls in Lemont, the Briarcliffe, a 4-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom home covering 2,732 square feet, starts at $495,000. The home includes:

• An open-concept floor plan that includes an oversized kitchen island, dinette area, and spacious family room
• A luxurious en suite that includes two walk-in closets and a bathroom featuring a soaker tub, walk-in shower, and water closet
• A flex room buyers can adapt to their specific household’s needs
• A formal dining room that can be used for entertaining or converted into a home office
• Three second-floor bedrooms with walk-in closets
• A second-floor laundry room
• A three-car garage, mudroom, and full basement
• Face brick on all four sides of the home
• A large suburban lot with a concrete driveway
• Central air conditioning, copper water lines, and gas-forced air heating
ENERGY STAR certification, which Gallagher and Henry achieved by employing high-quality construction practices, installing energy-efficient appliances, and using energy-efficient materials, such as Andersen low-e windows, insulated patio doors, 10-inch thick, insulated concrete foundations, and cellulose insulation
• A limestone address block
Interior selections made by YOU, including flooring, countertops, wood cabinets, tile, and more

The Existing Home in Lemont: $500,000+

Now, let’s explore the cost and potential expenses of an existing home in the same southwest suburban community. As of March 2020, Zillow’s Home Value Index pegs the median value of a four-bedroom, single-family home in Lemont at:


Want to remodel the outdated kitchen? According to Home Advisor, the average national cost of a kitchen remodel is $25,273. Expect to eat takeout for weeks and see your home investment climb to:


What about remodeling a bathroom? That runs $10,563 per bathroom. Let’s keep it to the en suite for now, though. The first-floor powder room and second-story hallway bath will have to keep their outdated vanities and gaudy tile for now. Renovating a home to your tastes, after all, can be expensive. Your new investment:


Ah, the home’s flooring is outdated – a $2,936 project – and the walls need a fresh coat of paint to the tune of $1,803. The mustard yellow living room walls just weren’t cutting it for you. The investment:


Older homes come with ongoing maintenance costs, too. The furnace, air conditioning unit, and water heater are all 15+ years old. Your utility costs climb with the outdated mechanicals struggling to operate at peak efficiency. All three will need to be replaced. A new furnace runs $4,399. A new air conditioning unit sets you back $5,623. And a new water heater costs $1,062. The tally is rising and your investment is now:


The Verdict

To bring this existing four-bedroom Lemont home up to par with the aforementioned Briarcliffe, you’ve now spent nearly $500,000 – more than the cost of the new, never-before-lived-in home Gallagher and Henry was offering in the established Covington Knolls community. In addition, you’ve spent time tracking down contractors and corralling estimates, turned your home upside down with projects, and endured the stress renovations inevitably bring.

By investing in a new, move-in ready home, you escape the frustration, inconvenience, and expense of remodeling and immediately inhabit a home created in your image. You can also expect 10-15 years of minimal maintenance costs, as a newly constructed Gallagher and Henry home includes new mechanicals, a one-year home warranty, and a track record of quality craftsmanship that spans nearly seven decades.

So, as it turns out, the real steal isn’t the fixer upper; it’s the new home.