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Old 12-06-2011, 07:05 AM
 
Location: West Loop, Chicago
3 posts, read 3,488 times
Reputation: 10

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My husband and I are looking to move to the suburbs know. We're getting sick of the city and want some room for our kids. We currently have 2 kids, a 3 year old boy and a 9 month old girl. We live in the west loop, my husband works in the medical district and I work in the loop. Together, we make about $235,000 annually. I may quit my job to become a Stay-at-home mom though, and if I did that together we would make $170,000. We know the obvious big towns like Oak Park and Naperville, but, we're looking for a town that's smaller than those two.
Since we have kids we really want good schools and safety too. For work, we want a town with a train stop or a town 20 minutes or less with driving distance.

Do you have any ideas?

Thank you?
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Avondale (Chicago, IL)
83 posts, read 382,849 times
Reputation: 57
Without knowing your housing budget and what are you looking for in terms of housing stock and general suburb feel - I will throw out Wilmette, Evanston and possibly Winnetka. Close to the lake, city, good public transport, and at least w/ Evanston - some urban feel. All three have good schools and a varying range of diversity.
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:01 AM
 
Location: West Loop, Chicago
3 posts, read 3,488 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Los Guys View Post
Without knowing your housing budget and what are you looking for in terms of housing stock and general suburb feel - I will throw out Wilmette, Evanston and possibly Winnetka. Close to the lake, city, good public transport, and at least w/ Evanston - some urban feel. All three have good schools and a varying range of diversity.

We are looking for a smaller town feel and smaller suburbs. But aren't those pretty far from the medical district?
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:17 AM
 
37 posts, read 57,888 times
Reputation: 15
Elmhurst. Find a home on the east side of Elmhurst, within the boundaries of good schools, and right by the highway. It will be a 20-30 minute drive, has great schools, and is truly a suburb.
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Chicago
423 posts, read 774,996 times
Reputation: 183
Riverside might work. Older suburb, large lots, but pretty quiet for the most part.
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:07 PM
 
28,383 posts, read 67,919,335 times
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Many folks that work in the Medical Center District choose the western Cook Co / eastern DuPage Co suburbs. In addition to Riverside, which has a unique mix of homes laid out along the historic designs of Fredrick Law Olmstead, famous for the landscape architecture of NYC's Central Park, homes in the portion of Brookfield that shares schools with Riverside are also attractive. The towns of La Grange and Western Springs are also quite easy to get to via any of the surface routes or expressways as well as having excellent Metra service via BNSF. Adjacent to the west Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills have the very well regarded schools. Linear distances along Ogden Ave are quite short (about 15 miles or so) and with off-peak schedules any phsycians can make the drive in less than 30 minutes, easily half that of a commute to further out, larger towns like Naperville. All these towns are also much more compact and uniformly well developed than towns like Oak Park.
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:11 PM
 
Location: Oak Park, IL
5,520 posts, read 11,970,918 times
Reputation: 3820
I've heard many different complaints about Oak Park, but too big? That's a new one to me.
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:20 PM
 
28,383 posts, read 67,919,335 times
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Default While it would not be my personal complaint...

...the size of Oak Park lends to the various parts of Oak Park differing substantially is cost / character and other key elements.

The southern portion, from east to west, is not nearly as attractive or as convenient to the core ammenties that require crossing the Ike.

The eastern portion suffers from the association with the higher crime areas inside Chicago.

The extreme northern portions of Oak Park tend to have less charm as many of the homes in that section were constructed in an era when builders were focused on the wrong aspects of durability/ease of construction over design.

These sorts of characteristics of the residential elements tend to result in similar clustering around the various schools, and can be reflected in the relative performance too -- more affluent portions of town tend to have better schools.

Generally the uniformly high performing school districts tend to have a high percentage of stable single family home owners than towns with a large number of rental units. In this regard the "core" of Oak Park is pretty similar to other areas. I suspect that had Oak Park been developed as towns of closer to 15k or so residents the portions farther away would now look at lot more like their less desirable neighbors...

When sifting through real estate listings in Oak Park or other larger suburbs it is rather easy to anticipate how charming a home may be placed solely on its street address. Of course there are exceptions, and when an unattractive home comes on the market just steps from a Wright gem the number of "drive bys" that the real estate experience soar. Too often when the opposite happens, and a charming home in a block of ungainly builder grade home hits the market, the showings do come and the "buyers" coo "if only it were just a little bit closer to xxxxx". Of course the homes that are close to the well performing schools, have visual appeal, and a short jaunt from transit options are also going to be priced to reflect all those pluses...

Quote:
Originally Posted by oakparkdude View Post
I've heard many different complaints about Oak Park, but too big? That's a new one to me.
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Old 12-06-2011, 08:01 PM
 
Location: Chicagoland
8 posts, read 16,187 times
Reputation: 12
May be a bit further south than you care for, but have thought about Frankfort, Mokena or New Lenox? The Rock Island train line runs through New Lenox and Mokena, or from either three of those towns, you could drive 20 minutes to Richton Park and take the IC downtown.

Frankfort, Mokena and New Lenox have really good schools, though the Mokena Public School teachers may possibly go on strike. Putting that aside, the high school is Lincoln-Way District 210 of Will County and a very good school district. Between the three towns, you've got almost everything you'd need, plus you're 20 to 30 minutes from either Orland or Joliet.
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Old 12-06-2011, 08:07 PM
 
28,383 posts, read 67,919,335 times
Reputation: 18189
Difficult thing about commute to/from Med Center area is that if you have irregular hours (gee do you think $170K might...) is you kinda need to drive. I doubt you could get to any place close to Mokena in much less than an hour -- Rush University Medical Center to Mokena, IL - Google Maps
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