Barndominum in Illinois Is America’s Favorite House, but Sits in Bad Area

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A “barndominum,” a home built from a barn, storage house or similar structure, has become a popular architecture for new houses. Some proof of that is the most searched home at this past week falls into that category. The home at 17901 Unsicker Road, Groveland, Illinois, sits on five acres about 10 miles from Peoria and has a list price of $375,000.

Based on the size of the home, the listing appears to be a bargain. It has five bedrooms and two full and two half baths, in under 3,670 square feet. Most of the advantages end there. The house sits on a huge, industrial-looking lot, without trees and a normal lawn. It is accessible via a dirt and stone road. The inside of the house is not entirely finished and is cavernous enough to trigger concern about the cost of heating.

Groveland is an unincorporated community in Tazewell County. The nearby Peoria metro area was recently listed at number one in the 24/7 Wall St. list of the worst cities for black Americans:

  Peoria, IL
> Black population: 9.3%
> Black median income: 46.5% of white income
> White unemployment: 5.4%
> Black unemployment: 15.3%

The poverty rate among black residents in Peoria is more than four times the white poverty rate of 8.2%. Multiple social and economic factors contribute to the significant discrepancy.

Black members of the workforce are far more likely to face difficulty in finding a job than their white counterparts. The black unemployment rate in the metro area is 15.3% compared to a 5.4% white unemployment rate. High incarceration rates also play a considerable role in contributing to regional inequality. Black Peoria residents are nearly nine times more likely to be incarcerated than white residents.

Peoria also made the 24/7 Wall St. list of the 50 worst cities to live in, ranked at number 36:

  Peoria, Illinois
> Population: 117,288
> Median home value: $124,300
> Poverty rate: 21.3%
> Pct. with at least a bachelor’s degree: 37.0%

Like a number of the worst cities to live in, Peoria’s workforce once relied heavily on manufacturing. As early as 1990, 37,000 area workers were employed in the industry. As of April 2016, the industry employee count was 23,700. Despite its decline, the city still relies on the industry for employment. The sector still employs 13.9% of the workforce, a higher proportion than the national share of 10.3%. Like other cities with relatively large manufacturing industries, Peoria’s economy is struggling. The unemployment rate peaked at 13.7% in July 2009. Still at 7.4% as of this past April, the city’s job market has not completely recovered.

Not much of a house, and not a very nice neighborhood.

The listing:

5 bedroom home on 5 acres in Morton schools! Unique barn style home, with a 2 story great room, view of your own private pond, and attached 2500 sq. ft. pole barn, ideal for a business or shop. The warehouse/shop has heated floors & 2 offices. This custom built home has an open floor plan w/ a 2 story great room, Eller cabinetry in kitchen & laundry, heated concrete floors, zoned heating and cooling, tankless hot water heater & plenty of closet space. All bedrooms have walk in closets. The master has 2 walk in closets and it’s own door to the backyard. Plenty of space to live, work & play!