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Old 01-04-2012, 12:45 PM
 
2 posts, read 3,593 times
Reputation: 10

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Just like many other posts before me, I have to ask about where to live in Chicago. I couldn't really find a situation identical to mine so I wanted to start a new thread.

I'll be working in the loop (la salle & adams) but travelling (continental US) 20-60% of the time. That means ideally I would like an easy commute to the loop as well as to the airport. I'm more concerned about the loop commute and would like to keep it around 30 mins if possible. I can live with longer since I can keep myself entertained while on the CTA / Metra. The bus doesn't appeal to me and I'd rather not have to switch trains/lines if I can avoid it.

The plan is to rent for awhile. I'd say my budget is around $2,000/mo rent but obviously if I can find something for less that is still nice, I'm good with that. The key thing to me is a predominantly white neighborhood with easy access to public transportation (not bus). Ideally we'd be renting a house with a yard and driveway but I'm not opposed to condo/apartment if it is nice.

I've lived in the suburbs my whole life (Cincinnati) and want to keep my car, so downtown living is pretty much off the table.

So far I've heard good things about Oak Park and La Grange but haven't done much research. Where else should I look? What places do I avoid?
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Old 01-04-2012, 03:26 PM
 
28,384 posts, read 67,954,698 times
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Are you single? While LaGrange is a very nice suburb (that is perfect for a commute to either the Loop or Midway or O'hare) it is not exactly a hot spot for the unattached... Oak Park is probably better for being very centrally located, though given the relative access options to O'Hare & Midway it is not a time saver to those locations.

If you have a partner either LaGrange or Oak Park has enough things to keep them busy in your absence. If you have kids the schools and general ease of child centric activities probably give LaGrange the edge.

Renting a house for $2K a month is not going to get you the best section of ether town, though it ought to get a very nice apartment /condo or perhaps a decent townhouse (which tend be located a little closer to train than most folks with little kids feel good about...).
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:28 PM
 
73 posts, read 267,405 times
Reputation: 41
Oak park sucks on parking. There are not too many spots where you are entitled to a designated assigned spot. Usually you have to pay and it means your vehicle is on the street and that is not good in snow because a plow blocks you in and your left shoveling. La Grange has more available street parking, more apts and or condo units usually have a parking lot or assigned space and metra bnsf service to the city is fast. Access back to midway by car is moderate just take ogden to first ave and back to archer (just about 15-20 mins to midway) and mabey more on the lines of 35-45 by car to O'hare if you take Manheim by car to river rd. Bnsf metra service has a couple of stops near lagrange and lots of parking. Oak Park is ok, kinda scarce with street lighting and a lot of drifters walking around at night usually by the green line which is also side by side metra service. Better spot is La grange, Oak park is overrated.
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:35 PM
 
73 posts, read 267,405 times
Reputation: 41
a year ago a person was attacking women in Oak Park and im not sure but i believe it stopped but never read anywhere that the person was ever caught. East oak Park by Austin is shady because Chicago's Notoriuos West side begins there. Just the Other day, a Chicago Policeman was killed at a store on Austin and Division which is right across the street from Oak Park. Homeless drifters that ride the train usually are forced off at Oak Park Harlem stop because thats the end of the line. Blue line service to Oak Park has some questionable characters on it most of the day. I never felt safe on that train only at early rush hr or evening rush but if you use that service from like 11am to 3pm or after 8pm, watch your back. Some people im sure are calling me a racist but im trying to warn you that Oak Park is not quite a utopia of some sort.
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:07 PM
 
Location: Chicago
423 posts, read 775,269 times
Reputation: 183
First place that came to mind for me was Park Ridge. 25 minute Metra ride into city via Express train, a little longer otherwise. Close to O'Hare.
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:37 AM
 
Location: "Chicago"
1,867 posts, read 2,247,746 times
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I like to recommend Elmhurst in that its surrounded by expressways, close to O'Hare and has Metra service.
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:41 AM
 
2 posts, read 3,593 times
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Thanks for the responses. I appreciate the insight into Oak Park and La Grange and will give Elmhurt a look too.

I have a girlfriend who is not so subtle in her reminders that she doesn't have a ring yet So no, I'm not worried about finding a place good for singles.

You're probably right about the house. I've started looking on domu.com and others and I'm actually pretty amazed at the quality of apartments/condos in Chicago but not downtown. Maybe I need to take this to the Chicago proper forum because I'm not finding much by way of rentals in the suburbs that fit my price range & amenity requirements.
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:58 AM
 
28,384 posts, read 67,954,698 times
Reputation: 18189
Rentals are far more numerous in Chicago. The overbuilding that resulted in a boom of condos has now resulted in a whole lot of underwater property owners trying to recoup some of their mistake by playing landlord. Make sure you are clear on the terms of the rental,me specially should the landlord default and trigger a foreclosure...
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Old 01-06-2012, 02:11 PM
 
3,785 posts, read 5,532,335 times
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There are tons of rentals in the city and the suburbs at all price points. Some condos are being rented out now too that never used to be able to be rented. Keep in mind downtown means the central business district... more or less the loop. Lots of suburbanites call anything in the city downtown. Not so. There may be other chicago city neighborhoods you might want to explore. Not true you can not have a car in the city many do. I would skip Oak Park in favor of Park ridge or elmhurst.
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