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Old 11-07-2011, 07:24 PM
 
59 posts, read 137,517 times
Reputation: 28

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So here's the rub. I'm clueless about Chicago and need some help!! My wife and I don't see eye to eye on what our priorities are so naturally she wins. You know the saying, "If momma ain't happy, nobody happy." Yeah, thats my deal. So here are my (I mean her) requirements:

Budget: 525,00 - 650,000
Single Family
Best Schools Taxes can Buy. Education is a top priority for us although we don't have kids
Would like a young family neighborhood - We are 29 and don't know anyone from the area. (Would help to make friends)
Some excitement meaning fun places to eat or a good place to grab a drink
Would like to be within 20 min of downtown
We have a little dog so a small yard would be great unless somehow my budget buys a single family home in downtown (My request, not my wife's)
Nearby park would be a good addition.

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Avondale (Chicago, IL)
83 posts, read 382,809 times
Reputation: 57
Where will each of you be commuting? This is probably the biggest item. Next, what are your interests and priorities in housing? Do you want to be close to the lake, parks, etc? Do you want a big house on a small lot, older more vintage. Also, where are you coming from? That might help to make some comparisons.
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:08 AM
 
1,293 posts, read 288,534 times
Reputation: 1121
Glenview has everything you want. Fabulous schools, about 1/2 drive to city, not far from all expressways, airport, and many more amenities. You could get a nice house for that. If you were willing to go into a townhome, you could buy in the Glen, which is an old naval air station that was developed into a nice little community with homogeneous homes, which is rare for the Chicago area. If you have any more questions, please ask.
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:52 AM
 
28,383 posts, read 67,903,744 times
Reputation: 18189
There are many towns that will have some good options in your price range.

If you truly are looking for the best performing schools it would be hard to argue with the objective data on the New Trier High School District. Its feeder elementary districts are all quite good. There would be similarly be little argument that any district with as many middle schools and elementary schools as D181 which serves Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills would not be a top choice.

If your desire for "meeting new people" includes those without kids you may be better off inside Chicago itself,which does tend to have far more dining / drinking establishment than even the most hip / desirable suburb. That said the byzantine process of actually getting a child into one of the top performing CPS schools is daunting, though if you do not have kids you have PLENTY of time to learn the ropes...
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Oak Park
215 posts, read 448,880 times
Reputation: 116
From what suburbs can you get downtown in 20 minutes? Very few...
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:58 PM
 
28,383 posts, read 67,903,744 times
Reputation: 18189
BNSF trains move very quickly --

Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Schedule
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Old 11-08-2011, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
11,544 posts, read 25,070,616 times
Reputation: 6183
You might like the Village of Oak Park. There is something about the big mature trees and green lawns that reminds me of the south; the only thing missing is the moss. It a diverse commity in both culture and history with beautiful parks, walkable areas, restaurants and a wide variety of community events. for children, adults and families. You'llf find good K-8 schools both public and private as well as a variety of churches.

it is a bit unique in that it offers every kind of city transportation available including the zip car. You will also find Trader Joe's and Wholefoods as well as a hospital. Generally speaking unless you really want to go into the city when you are not working there really is not need.

The Regional Housing Center is non-profit. With a little luck they maybe be able to find a short term rental while you learn more about the city, its suburbs and where you ultimately want to live.
OP is not a poor village by any stretch of the imagination. It is not the Gold Coast, but you can certainly by a million dollar home. There is always a caveal.

OP is more than 20min from the Loop by train or bus or car. You will eventurally become accustomed to living with 10M people. And you will eventually become accustomed to learning the distance between point A and B in terms of time rather than miles. Cook County is nearing 1000 sq miles in size. Also winters can be brutally cold. Currently the highschool is struggling with some issues; hopefully they will be resolved by the time your children are ready for 9th grade. If not there are other options. And of course there are some excellent colleges and Universities in the area. OP is no. different than anyother town in America. There are neighborhoods you want to avoid. Members can tell you where they are.

Here is a link to the OP housing center and OP in general. OP is also the 3rd best neighborhood in America.

-> Oak Park Regional Housing Center

Frank Lloyd Wright (slow loading)

-> Frank Lloyd Wright in Oak Park, Illinois (1889-1909)
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Old 11-08-2011, 01:25 PM
 
28,383 posts, read 67,903,744 times
Reputation: 18189
The general direction of public schools in Illinois is, to be blunt, not good. Like incomes and many other traditional measures of success an increasing polarization is unlikely to be reversed.


In a town like Oak Park, that has had serious issues in the gap between the achievement of students from various races for a very long time the various forces of political correctness and fiscal imprudence will likely not have a good resolution. Large numbers of folks with mid-priced homes have seen declines in value far beyond the norm for other desirable homes in the regions. I believe this is due to a growing dissatisfaction with the trade-offs that fewer and fewer people are willing to accept to live in an area that seems somewhat out of touch with the times.

While I too do love the tree lined streets and spectacular Wright homes from a "where would I live if I wanted to settle in" perspective the pluses of either a truely desirable neighborhood in Chicago or a suburb with more consistent school performance seems to neatly avoid the problems of Oak Park.
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Oak Park
215 posts, read 448,880 times
Reputation: 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
BNSF trains move very quickly --

Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Schedule
Looks like the 6:18 train from Berwyn can get you there in 17 minutes.
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Old 11-08-2011, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
11,544 posts, read 25,070,616 times
Reputation: 6183
If OP is so bad why does it continue to reap awards? Why do millionaire bachelors live in OP? Why do professionals live there?

Last edited by linicx; 11-09-2011 at 04:18 AM..
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