U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Illinois > Chicago Suburbs
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
 
Old 12-31-2011, 03:28 PM
 
65 posts, read 115,135 times
Reputation: 52

Advertisements

I am looking for somewhere to live where I can get a 3 bedroom condo or townhouse for not too far over $100k, but where I will not be in a complete wasteland far from any exciting events or big city amenities. So some of the Chicago suburbs appeal to me, and I'd like to start sending my husband's resume to Chicago companies as positions become available (we are not in a huge hurry and can move any time between now and 2013, but the sooner the better of course).

What we look for in a suburb:

*No more than 75%-80% white (we are white but want our kids to have friends and positive role models of other races)

*Train commute to Chicago. My husband likes to read, so he doesn't care so much about the length of the commute if the train station itself is easyish to get to.

*Affordable housing. Every house on the block doesn't have to be in my price range, so long as there will eventually be a deal on a condo that we can snap up (and the deal isn't because the place is crawling with mold or sinking into the earth).

*Access to health foods and yoga classes and the like (the one thing that rubbed off on me from living in CA is I am very health conscious now, especially when it comes to what I feed my kids.)

*I'd like it to be the kind of place I could live happily for 20 years if need be. I am not fond of moving and would like to put down some roots so a community that is mostly "here til we find something better" doesn't work for me. I would love a place where people have a real sense of community and care for the neighborhoods and their future.

Other random facts: my husband is a journalist/filmmaker/movie buff and I am a writer who enjoys gardening. We have a 2 year old, I am pregnant, and we may not be done having kids yet. We are both liberal-ish but I have some conservative leanings myself and am religious (Baha'i).

Suggestions?
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-31-2011, 06:01 PM
 
15,287 posts, read 16,833,735 times
Reputation: 15019
Train commute to where in Chicago? Where will he be working?
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-31-2011, 06:50 PM
 
65 posts, read 115,135 times
Reputation: 52
As it states in the OP, we don't know yet. Do the trains not service all areas of Chicago? I guess I'm being too new yorky in my thinking; it's the only place either have us have ever lived that uses mass transit to any real degree.

At any rate we don't want to build our decision around his place of employment because he will most likely not be there for as long as we will be living in our new house. Eventually I'll be earning most of our money from home, and there is a possibility he may be telecommuting as well. I am more concerned with the neighborhood etc. as we plan to put roots down there.

The situation is very complicated and atypical. Our main concerns are that there is some reasonable way for him to get to most places in Chicago via mass transit (in case he does have to do some work in the city), but that the place where we buy our home is worth staying in and raising our kids there.

Last edited by xmasevemom; 12-31-2011 at 07:09 PM..
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-31-2011, 08:09 PM
 
Location: Sugar Grove, IL
3,131 posts, read 10,269,037 times
Reputation: 1604
depends on what you are looking for. the western suburbs of chicago have metra access, a lot of single family and townhomes that are extremely low in price right now. we are friendly out here. you can get to chicago for the events etc, you just don't have the daily headaches of all the traffic. There are numerous opportunities for yoga classes, health food stores etc. plus, if you were to have a single family home with your own yard, you could grow your own veggies! there are lots of farmers markets each week throughout the summer, local festivals etc. I say, look in Kane County!
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-31-2011, 08:15 PM
 
65 posts, read 115,135 times
Reputation: 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by sgresident View Post
depends on what you are looking for. the western suburbs of chicago have metra access, a lot of single family and townhomes that are extremely low in price right now. we are friendly out here. you can get to chicago for the events etc, you just don't have the daily headaches of all the traffic. There are numerous opportunities for yoga classes, health food stores etc. plus, if you were to have a single family home with your own yard, you could grow your own veggies! there are lots of farmers markets each week throughout the summer, local festivals etc. I say, look in Kane County!
That sounds like heaven actually! I adore the idea of growing my own veggies and have never gotten to do that out here because we cant afford a darn yard. I will look into it more, thank you!
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-31-2011, 08:23 PM
 
15,287 posts, read 16,833,735 times
Reputation: 15019
Quote:
Originally Posted by xmasevemom View Post
As it states in the OP, we don't know yet. Do the trains not service all areas of Chicago? I guess I'm being too new yorky in my thinking; it's the only place either have us have ever lived that uses mass transit to any real degree.

At any rate we don't want to build our decision around his place of employment because he will most likely not be there for as long as we will be living in our new house. Eventually I'll be earning most of our money from home, and there is a possibility he may be telecommuting as well. I am more concerned with the neighborhood etc. as we plan to put roots down there.

The situation is very complicated and atypical. Our main concerns are that there is some reasonable way for him to get to most places in Chicago via mass transit (in case he does have to do some work in the city), but that the place where we buy our home is worth staying in and raising our kids there.
The trains (metra) primarily are commuter trains similar to the LI Railroad. The *el* which is like the subway in NYC only serves certain portions of the town and you need to use buses to connect depending on the area.

I am partial to Evanston since that is where I raised my kids. It's a college town (Northwestern) and very family friendly, but homes can be expensive. I loved being within walking distance of the lake. Also, from Evanston, there are 3 metra stops, plus the *el* on the east side which has an express service during regular commute times. At other times, you change trains at Howard.

There is some question from people about the Evanston Public Schools, but my kids both got a great education there. There is some political junk that goes on and the schools do have their problems, but for the most part they seem very good even nowadays to me.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-01-2012, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Chicago
2,883 posts, read 3,842,668 times
Reputation: 2743
Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
The trains (metra) primarily are commuter trains similar to the LI Railroad. The *el* which is like the subway in NYC only serves certain portions of the town and you need to use buses to connect depending on the area.

I am partial to Evanston since that is where I raised my kids. It's a college town (Northwestern) and very family friendly, but homes can be expensive. I loved being within walking distance of the lake. Also, from Evanston, there are 3 metra stops, plus the *el* on the east side which has an express service during regular commute times. At other times, you change trains at Howard.

There is some question from people about the Evanston Public Schools, but my kids both got a great education there. There is some political junk that goes on and the schools do have their problems, but for the most part they seem very good even nowadays to me.
I don't think you are keeping the OP's budget in mind. Depending how far over 100k they are willing to go will make a big difference, but I wouldn't have thought much family sized housing would be available at that price, even now.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-01-2012, 10:24 AM
 
65 posts, read 115,135 times
Reputation: 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by knitgirl View Post
I don't think you are keeping the OP's budget in mind. Depending how far over 100k they are willing to go will make a big difference, but I wouldn't have thought much family sized housing would be available at that price, even now.
Yeah, we definitely don't want to go too far over 100k. Depending on how much my husband's bonus is this year, we may not be able to go over 100k at all. We are basing our home budget on the down payment we will have available, because we want to build equity as fast as possible. If we could get a house for 100% cash we would.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-01-2012, 10:58 AM
 
2,581 posts, read 3,141,406 times
Reputation: 6694
Quote:
Originally Posted by knitgirl View Post
I don't think you are keeping the OP's budget in mind. Depending how far over 100k they are willing to go will make a big difference, but I wouldn't have thought much family sized housing would be available at that price, even now.

This was what I thought too. 100k for a 3 bedroom, and now you are thinking a yard would be nice too... and you want all the crunchy hip amenities and diversity and convenient commute to Chicago and I assume good schools (since kids are coming and you want to live there 20 years)...... that doesn't seem realistic. But I will leave it to others to give recs on some of the more distant from Chicago suburbs, which seems to be the most likely option. No way they could afford Evanston.

I would recommend you come here and rent for awhile first, until you find the kind of community that works for you. To think you can find a house now under 100K in the perfect community that would be perfect for the next 20 years seems hard. Not sure where you are from, but things are more expensive around here, and property taxes can be very high too.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-01-2012, 11:10 AM
 
65 posts, read 115,135 times
Reputation: 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfcambridge View Post
This was what I thought too. 100k for a 3 bedroom, and now you are thinking a yard would be nice too... and you want all the crunchy hip amenities and diversity and convenient commute to Chicago and I assume good schools (since kids are coming and you want to live there 20 years)...... that doesn't seem realistic. But I will leave it to others to give recs on some of the more distant from Chicago suburbs, which seems to be the most likely option. No way they could afford Evanston.

I would recommend you come here and rent for awhile first, until you find the kind of community that works for you. To think you can find a house now under 100K in the perfect community that would be perfect for the next 20 years seems hard. Not sure where you are from, but things are more expensive around here, and property taxes can be very high too.
A yard would be nice but is not required, good publicschools would be great but I can homeschool if need be, and I am fine with being an hour train ride from Chicago (convenient doesnt always mean short; sometimes it means being able to read a book and not being stuck behind the wheel). I have no idea what "crunchy" means and I am 36 years old with kids and wear clothes from Target so "hip" is not an issue.

And we will of course have to rent briefly first, as he will have to present a couple of paychecks to get a mortgage, but I would prefer to rent as close as possible to where we are going to buy, thus doing the research first. Trulia shows dozens of condos and even single family homes available in Chicago suburbs for under 100k, so please someone tell me what about the big picture I am missing! This is why I am asking you fine local folks, because the data look right but the data are not the whole picture.


We are from L.A., by the way,so costs in your area will be a relief.

Last edited by xmasevemom; 01-01-2012 at 12:02 PM..
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Illinois > Chicago Suburbs
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top