Saturday, September 26, 2015

The future's better than what it used to be

I've staged plenty of for-sale houses with real estate agents, but this was the first time a client asked me to not make a site look better. Welcome Home Chicago Properties is doing residential construction a bit different than most: To make their final product look great, they tear the starting materials out.

Reconstruction has begun at 3029 N. Menard Ave.
Welcome Home turns used houses into new houses through a system that nears demolition: They work with Simmons Home Construction to shear the building down to its frame. Rickety old staircases and weather-worn roofs have to go. Once the slate is nearly blank, they install new everything; when that is complete, they partner with the specialists of Team Lighthouse at real-estate firm Exit Strategy to market the final product.

A heavy tarp protects the currently topless 4859 W. Patterson Ave.

We traveled from site to site in style — via Second City Trolley
They brought me along for one of their "rehab tours," during which investors, buyers and other interested parties see what the Welcome Home process looks like. We examined a just-purchased home that had not been gutted yet, then saw other sites in progressive steps of dismantlement and reconstruction...

The tour group got the view from the roof — and up to it — at 2904 N. Nagle Ave. 

...Until we got to 4341 N. Meade Ave., where we looked at a Welcome Home final product. When we arrived, the firm had a home-made lunch ready for us, including meats grilled by managing partner Adam Barrera. The organizers even knew that two people in our trolley had celebrated birthdays earlier in the week, and everyone got cake.

"Welcome home" to a couple that will soon be property owners