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Old 10-23-2011, 08:00 PM
 
Location: NJ on the way to Chicago!
342 posts, read 1,594,433 times
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Good Evening Everyone,
We recently found out that we will be relocating from NJ to the Chicago area. (As a former MidWesterner, I am very happy.) My husband's office will be in Northbrook. We would like to be as close to his office as possible. It is very apparent in looking online at housing prices, that the further west you go, the cheaper the real estate. I am ignorant in regards to communities and commute times. We have seen several properties we like in Long Grove, Vernon Hills and Arlington Heights. My questions are as follows: 1.) Approximately how long will it take to commute from Long Grove to Skokie Blvd. in Northbrook? (I see that Hiway 68 runs there.) How about from Vernon Hills?

2.) What communities nearest Northbrook have "newer" construction homes?

We are currently living in one of the highest taxed counties in the US, but see that we will most likely be paying almost as much there. (So much for that whole, "saving money" dream.) Well, at least the state income tax is less.

Thanks to everyone in advance who provides any constructive help. I truly appreciate it.
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:09 AM
 
28,385 posts, read 68,046,709 times
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I have friends that have relocated to the area from both northern & southern NJ and in general the range of housing costs is pretty similar, after all the salaries for insurance people in Philly suburbs or investment people in NY suburbs are pretty much inline with their counterparts on LaSalle St or Cook/Lake Co...

If you are looking for a full blown "brand new subdivision" you probably have to go all the way out to Kildeer, Deer Park or Barrington areas for that -- drive is not terrible, but limited capacity on arterial streets can make for pokey speeds / backups. There are some subdivisions in Long Grove that still have an occasional new housing start but many of the original sales in the bigger developments happened in the 90s or earlier.

There are a pretty nice mix of older homes and tear downs in towns like Arlington Heights and Northbrook as well as Northfield, Glenview, Deerfield, Lincolnshire, Riverwoods, and the true North Shore towns to the east (though prices are higher closer to Lake Michigan, it is essentially an island sea and prices get pretty "Hampton-like" within sight of the water) -- with a well executed teardown you get the benefits of walkable town core, manageable density, livable home with modern appliances / fixtures / systems.

Vernon Hills was mostly developed at a time when tear downs were not on anyones radar and many of its subdivisions are in the odd age range where they are no longer "shiny and new" but no where near old enough to have "vintage charm"...
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:06 AM
 
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I always advise against new construction, it's usually very shoddy.
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:18 AM
 
Location: NJ on the way to Chicago!
342 posts, read 1,594,433 times
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Thanks for the input. My experience has been that the quality of the house depends on the builder, not whether or not it is "New Construction." We aren't looking for brand new necessarily, but would like 2000 and or thereafter.

My main question is for anyone that could give a rough guessitmate of commute time from say Long Grove to Skokie Blvd. in Northbrook? Like I said, I am clueless in this and my husband would really like less of a commute than he is enduring now, (hour each way.) Thanks again all.
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:20 AM
 
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Drive from most points inside Long Grove to Skokie Blvd in Northbrook will go through congested intersections like Rt 53 or 83 & Lake-Cook Rd. Figure 10 miles at average speed of about 25 mph. Just under 30 minutes unless there is snow or road construction and speeds drop by 50% or so...

As to construction quality it really depends on several factors. Of course if some "insider" gets a deal on land owned by the City of Chicago and the various inspections that are supposed to be performed never are because of "friends in high places" it is no surprised when the lack of proper waterproofing results in crummy concrete block three flats turning into nightmares of mold and rot.

Quite different when a high quality building code (of which Chicago on paper has one of the most detailed) is followed, inspections performed with deligenance and everything goes by the book.


In some suburbs the desire to "be attractive to new development" has resulted in scaled back building code /inspections. The inevitable result in our climate of extremes is housing that deteriorates at an accelerated rate.

Generally smaller builders that work in established neighborhoods have a harder time cutting corners. The folks out walking their dogs will see the shoddy workmanship and when it comes time to sell a poorly built spec house the neighbors will often complain to the local zoning board. In contrast a mass development has far less oversight.

At some price points even fairly large builders are forced to put a lot of quality into new homes -- people with the money to spend on top of the line appliance and A/V equipment tend to also like to have top quality windows, doors, insulation, flooring et cetera. There are also a fair number of well off people that spend the time to research "emerging technologies" that reduce indoor pollution, increase energy efficiency and generally result in a higher quality home than can be built with "lesser" materials... Folks that are less able to do their homework tend to accept whatever "builder grade" junk comes with a place.

Rule of thumb: you get what you put into the process. If you are satisfied with "surface glitz" salespeople will see you coming a mile away. If you have the experience to poke into the details of how a home was built and what choices were made by the builder you will not be hoodwinked. A top notch buyers agent and a team that includes a detail oriented home inspector make for a tough to out-smart one-two punch...

Last edited by chet everett; 10-24-2011 at 11:31 AM..
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Old 10-24-2011, 05:08 PM
 
Location: NJ on the way to Chicago!
342 posts, read 1,594,433 times
Reputation: 155
Chet,

Thanks so much for the detailed info. This is exactly what I was looking for. His journey currently is a grind, as for most. He wants less commute time. I can't say that I blame him. The upshot, is that it looks like we will need to be as close to Northbrook as possible. Thanks again.
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Old 10-24-2011, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Lake Arlington Heights, IL
5,481 posts, read 10,069,183 times
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Going east in the AM and west in the PM on roads like Dundee (Rte 68), Lake Cook, Deerfield Pkwy, Rte 22 and palatine/Willow Rd is slower than trying to go north south. From Long Grove, 30 to 40 minutes is my guess. From my home in Arlington Hts near palatine/Rte 83 it takes 15-20 minutes to get to Willow/294. The biggest slow down is between Rte 21/Milwaukee Rd and Sanders Rd.
Why not look in Northbrook, Northfield or Glenview? Great schools and shorter commute.
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Old 10-24-2011, 06:29 PM
 
28,385 posts, read 68,046,709 times
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I agree with cubsoxfan advice -- east-west road capacity is more constrained than north-south. Minimize time spent moving e-w and your commute time falls... Towns he listed would be top of my list too.
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Old 10-24-2011, 07:39 PM
 
Location: NJ on the way to Chicago!
342 posts, read 1,594,433 times
Reputation: 155
Thanks to both of you for the great advice. He was already putting a "5 mile radius" limit on his commute, as he is currently burned out of driving towards NYC everyday. Thanks again and we can't wait to get there!
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Old 10-24-2011, 07:49 PM
 
11,909 posts, read 14,390,999 times
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The general rule of thumb is to try to be within ten miles of the office, or on a Metra (our equivalent to NJT) line with good connections to your office. Yes, in the North suburbs East-West traffic is impeded by the Des Plaines River, even though it is nowhere near as wide as the Hudson. Most suburbs near Northbrook are fully built out so new construction may not be feasible.
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