The Meadowdale subdivision in Carpentersville began in 1955 when local farmer Leonard Besinger built small, affordable homes for returning veterans and their young families. He sold 700 houses in the first two years and strong sales continued.
Today, through Homes by OTTO, many of these homes are being completely rebuilt to village code with all new materials and amenities. Tom Roeser, president and co-owner of Otto Engineering, has led the charge by buying 193 foreclosed homes, rebuilding them and selling or renting them at a discount, often to employees of his company, the largest employer in Carpentersville.
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Listing sheetPrice range: $119,000 to $165,000
Age of homes: Built beginning in 1955, some rebuilding has occurred in last five years
Schools: Meadowdale, Golfview, Parkview and Perry Elementary, Lakewood and Carpentersville Middle and Dundee-Crown High schools in Community Unit District 300. (A small pocket of homes attend Barrington schools).
Parks: Dundee Township Park District
"With the recent economic downturn and resulting foreclosures, many homes had fallen into disrepair," said Russ Morehead, Realtor with Realty World Fox Valley. "Roeser completely rebuilds the homes with new electrical, heating and plumbing systems, new roof, windows, wood flooring, cabinets and appliances. Everything is new.
"When buyers purchase an OTTO home, they pay the mortgage and don't have to worry about unexpected repairs where they might need to use a Visa or MasterCard," said Morehead, who lives in Carpentersville and in the past has served for 13 years as an elected official.
Some homeowners are also making improvements on their houses, joining the effort to help preserve the value of the neighborhood.
"This spring I think we'll see a lot more activity in the neighborhood. The village is redoing the streets and sidewalks," Morehead said. "There's a lot going on here."
Scott and Amanda Camp bought a home with three bedrooms, two baths, full finished basement and two-car detached garage through Homes by OTTO almost two years ago.
"It's wonderful. We love it," Scott Camp said.
"We've become friends with the neighbors in our circle, and my son and daughter are always outside playing with their friends. We couldn't have found a better neighborhood."
Scott and Amanda were looking for a nice area for their family and knew Carpentersville was becoming a better community, which piqued their interest. "We searched through a lot of neighborhoods, but you're never sure about the condition of a home," Camp said. "We know we have a trouble-free house and we won't need to replace the roof or anything else for many years."
The couple also likes the convenient location near Routes 68 and 25 and its proximity to Golfview Elementary School.
Roeser's company has at least $10 million invested in the homes. Typically, he buys a foreclosure for around $40,000 and puts $100,000 to $120,000 into gutting and rebuilding it and getting the house market ready. He then sells the homes through Homes by OTTO for about $160,000. He does not expect to profit.
In recent years, the complete remodeling of older homes in existing neighborhoods is a growing trend, and the Meadowdale neighborhood is a good example of how the buyer and the community benefits. The plumbers make money, the electricians make money, everybody makes money and the people get a new home at cost.
Roeser also provides financing for buyers with low credit scores and gives $10,000 discounts for returning war veterans.
Spring Hill Mall nearby offers a variety of stores for regional shopping while smaller strip malls provide banking and other services.
Residents of Meadowdale enjoy recreation through the Dundee Township Park District, which operates the Dolphin Cove water park with indoor and outdoor pools. The district also maintains two golf courses, a recreation and fitness center, senior center, extensive bicycle paths, petting zoo and farm.
Also, the park district organizes many sports leagues and has a naturalist on staff offering a choice of nature courses, walks and trips. Adult special interest programs are a priority along with hundreds of children's classes and activities.