Chicago Tribune

Why Americans are shunning new homes and opting to stay put, renovate instead

CHICAGO - When John Gedwill's family outgrew its suburban Chicago home, he didn't consider looking for a bigger place.

His memory of the housing crash a decade ago was still too fresh.

"Real estate isn't the greatest investment," said Gedwill, an electrician who lost money on a condo during the crash and watched many people go through similar experiences.

So instead of shopping for a new house, Gedwill decided to build what he calls "a man cave" in the basement of the three-bedroom home he bought eight years ago.

"If you can stay in the

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