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Rating: 2 votes, 4.50 average.

Relocating within the suburbs due to divorce

Posted 05-25-2012 at 05:34 PM by chet everett

f your kids are school aged you really have some tough choices. The research that exists about the value of a supportive schools to children of divorce is quite clear: Schools and teachers make a BIG difference in how children overcome the challenges of divorce. Here are some starting points: http://extension.missouri.edu/p/GH6611 http://childrenanddivorce.bizland.com/rfep/id1.html

There are several dozen listings in LaGrange and Western Springs under $300k and I believe it is not unrealistic to consider that some may be purchased for close to your target. The key is understanding that the prime spots for tear downs are still commanding prices above $300k so you have to understand you are going to have to accept trade-offs -- think closer to a busier street instead of across from an elementary school or playground... You also ought to know that there are pre-WWII mansions in the area that routinely sell for many multiples of your target price, so those are out of your range. What is in your range are the well built but not particularly charming homes of the 1950s like split levels. There are also some older Cape Cods and bungalows that may not have the same kind of amenities that newer homes come with like master baths.

You can also find some good values along the BNSF in Brookfield, especially the section nearest the Zoo that shares elementary schools with Riverside. Very good commute options. Further to the east Berwyn has excellent housing stock though the school situation at Morton West prevents me from making a whole hearted endorsement.

Along the UP-W line Lombard is a good value, schools by objective measures are a step down from the performance of those in LaGrange. Further east there are few homes in Oak Park's most desirable neighborhoods in your price range though there are some that may be worth considering if you understand the trade -offs.

To the north / NW of Chicago there are homes in Skokie and Niles that have some of the same drawbacks as the 1950 homes of LaGrange and may offer the ability to combine public transit for a 40 minute commute. Palatine has a charming little core of attractive homes near its train station that may push the limits of your commute radius and won't be appealing for a Naperville commute.

The south suburbs, like Oak Lawn, do offer some surprising convenient commute times. The mix of houses in some areas is rather nice. Schools have a wider range of performance so neighborhood selection needs to be a little more deliberate. Of course distance to Napervlle could be a deal killer.

Bottom line, there are no "secret pockets" of cheap "nice-ish" homes that are magically close to employment centers...
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