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Old 11-04-2011, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Michigan
3 posts, read 5,746 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello All,

I am in desperate need of help with the in and out of living in Chicago Suburbs. I have narrowed my search to Oak Park, River Forest, La Grange, Oak Brook etc.

#1. I am looking for the BEST school district. #2. an area where my child can still participate in football, choir, etc. He is 9. #3. affordable apartments with 2 bedrooms. #4. what areas have before/after school care, AND will take your child on those half days/no school days.

I would work downtown, so I would want an easy commute. Something where I can get home quickly, or to my child in case of emergency. I don't want too much to change for him. I know I may be asking for a tall order. However if there is ANYONE out there that can just provide me with details, tid bits, and a more of a direction I should look at.... I would give you my 2nd child

Best Regards- Mommy in MI headed to CHI.
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Old 11-04-2011, 02:28 PM
 
28,383 posts, read 67,903,744 times
Reputation: 18188
Default Hard to meet the whole list...

I am going to reformat and post inline for ease:

Quote:
Originally Posted by hursecar View Post
Hello All,

I am in desperate need of help with the in and out of living in Chicago Suburbs. I have narrowed my search to
Oak Park -- Kind of urban, schools are far better thn Chicago but really, in comparison to top tier suburban school, not that impressive. Easy cue to Loop via UP-W line or CTA EL/ bus
River Forest -- Far more expensive than Oak Park, elementary schools are less diverse, shares HS with OP. Commuting not as easy
La Grange -- Slighty more affordable than RF. HS is arguably better. Fast Metra service on BNSF.
Oak Brook -- No commmuting options. Multiple school districts. Extremely expensive. Tiny number of rentals. Unusually low number of children, less range of organized groups / sports


etc. -- ??? West? Add Western Springs (LaGrange's wealthier cousin) As well as Hinsdale/Clarendon Hills and towns like Downers Grove and Naperville along BNSF. Also towns like Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn, and Wheaton along UP-W line. Northshore? Willmette, Kenilworth, Winnetka, Glencoe, Highland Park. All along UP-N line. Mid-North? Northbrook, Glenview, Deerfield South? Homewood/ Flossmore. NW? Park Ridge, Mt. Prospect, Arlington Heights, Barrington on UP-NW line

#1. I am looking for the BEST school district. -- Elementary probably Hinsdale. High School, New Trier, serves all the Northshore towns I listed except for Highland Park
#2. an area where my child can still participate in football, choir, etc. He is 9. --NOW THIS IS REALLY HARD!!! Honestly I think the that this is one of those things that very few people have a handle on -- in so many towns it is VERRY HARD to just "jump in" and that is one of those areas where towns with a long history of transferees being happy win out -- Naperville is probably TOPS on that list
#3. affordable apartments with 2 bedrooms.ANOTHER REALLY HARD ONE!!! Apartments with two bedrooms in pretty much every town I listed are not going to be cheap. In many towns you can BUY a older three bedroom house for less than it costs to rent. Downers Grove might have the sot affordable of apartments but even there you are looking at overr $1200 for a moderately up-to-date place
#4. what areas have before/after school care, AND will take your child on those half days/no school days. Pretty much all the towns have some day care. It might cost A WHOLE LOT of money in some towns, but it is available and it is high quality

I would work downtown, so I would want an easy commute. Something where I can get home quickly, or to my child in case of emergency. I don't want too much to change for him. I know I may be asking for a tall order. However if there is ANYONE out there that can just provide me with details, tid bits, and a more of a direction I should look at.... I would give you my 2nd child

Best Regards- Mommy in MI headed to CHI.
Good Luck!
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Old 11-04-2011, 08:51 PM
 
39 posts, read 76,785 times
Reputation: 25
I'm also moving from Michigan to the Chicago area for work. I was absolutely shocked at the prices for apartments. For a nice 1 bedroom, I was looking at between $950-$1,000. After much thought, I decided to buy a condo. My total payment including taxes, insurance and association fees are less than they would have been by renting.

If you have the money for a down payment, now's the time to buy. Many properties are FHA approved meaning that they only require a 3.5% down payment.
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Old 11-06-2011, 03:04 PM
 
183 posts, read 271,941 times
Reputation: 164
Have you considered Evanston? Close in north suburb, decent schools, pleny of 2 BD apts, take the Metra commuter train in downtown with a 30 minute ride. Other than Oak Park, the suburbs you list will not give you an easy commute. What sports does your son play? What price range for apts? What can you pay for afterschool care?
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Michigan
3 posts, read 5,746 times
Reputation: 10
Wow! Thank you all for the great ideas/suggestions. Chet - you gave me some areas that I never even thought about. I will surely broaden my search, and open up to more areas. JMZ - I have been thinking about buying, but I wanted to first get settled and figure my way out and around before committing to a location. You are absolutely right in regards to the rental prices. That is high way robbery! Themag - I have not looked at Evanston as of yet. I was trying to keep the commute down, since I know there will be rush hour and I want to get home and to my child as quickly as possible. My son is 9 and plays football, and participates in the choir. We (in MI) have a lot of things for him to do that keeps him busy enough. I am most fearful of changing everything for him where he will feel as though he don't have a resemblance from where he is leaving. My price range for apts, after looking will be tops $900, and I figure in $300 monthly for before/after school care. I will be over there this Saturday, so I will check some of these places out. Thanks so much everyone. You surely gave me a plethora of knowledge to arm me with the transition. Now I just have to print this and take it with me.... :-)
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:00 AM
 
183 posts, read 271,941 times
Reputation: 164
900 tops for a 2 BD will be very challenging in any of the areas you mention, but here's one I found in Evanston and includes heat Nice 2BR Avail 11/1, Heat Incl, New Kitchen (http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/apa/2680768575.html - broken link) This is a decent area right near a hospital. Football for your son's age group is not big up here. Don't think there will be a football team at your son's school, for ex. Soccer is more the thing for 9 year olds. If you lived in that apt., your son would attend Dewey Elementary Dewey Elementary School You could call the school and ask what parents do for afterschool care. I moved to Chicago as a single parent 10 years ago, and would be happy to continue answering any questions you have about safe areas or schools. Good Luck.
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Old 11-07-2011, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Michigan
3 posts, read 5,746 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks ever so much TheMag- I truly and sincerely appreciate the help. I looked at the apartment. Looks nice to me. I will surely keep your contact info near, I may need to pull on your ear again. I am grateful to get the responses that I have. I was just throwing darts at the map.
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