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Old 09-12-2006, 06:28 AM
20 posts, read 69,001 times
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Good morning.
My husband may be getting a job in Lake Forest. We can't afford that community, but would like some information on a great family community near that. Are there any towns with a more older/new england feel to them? (i'm gonna miss my part of the world) We can probably spend 550-600 for a home. I do want a yard-4 bedroom and a nice neighborhood for the kids. Thanks for any information.

Also, I'm pretty nervous about this move - how would you all rate life out there on a scale of 1-10?
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Old 09-12-2006, 09:54 AM
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Mary Ellen, you are out of luck, the only place like New England is, well, New England, the classic architecture, the cobblestone streets, the history, THE LOBSTER!... It can't be recreated anywhere else.

the Chicago area was not even on a map until around 1860 when the railroads came (thanks Abe!). Railroad Towns like Lake Forest, Lemont, Blue Island, were the first on the maps, in essence having bigger populations than Chicago itself. So older architecture and older streetscapes are definately in the area, but more like Mayberry instead of Boston.

Check out Libertyville, farther from chicago, they have a quaint downtown only about half hour drive to lake forest and with plenty of choices in your price range. The problem you'll run into in just about every area of chicago suburbia is the quaint downtown suburb is surrounded by interstates and 6 line highways and cookie cutter post war housing. It's just part of the chicago lifestyle.
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Old 09-12-2006, 10:05 AM
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Thank you, that is what I thought! Do you like living there?
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Old 09-12-2006, 10:21 AM
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I don't live in the northern suburbs, I live on the far! south side of Chicago. I have worked in Lake Forest and Libertyville very WASPy. Not a bad thing, just middle of the road, roll up the sidewalks at 10pm, that sort of thing.

My area of Chicago is nowhere near Lake Forest otherwise I would recomend it to anybody.

Which brings to mind the only place in the Chicago area that would resemble New England whatsoever would be a neighborhood close to me, Bridgeport on the south side. Home of the World Champion Chicago White Sox. It's about an hour drive to lake forest however.

google a new development called bridgeport village if you have any interest in living in the city.
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Old 09-13-2006, 08:02 PM
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Default Lake Forest

Hi, I don't have much time but feel this may help. I live in Lake Bluff a shared community with Lake Forest. You may find a nice home around the price range you are looking in Lake Bluff that has a lot of character.Lake Forest has a great look but the prices you are looking at will get you a small but cute home. Just west of Greenbay road off of Route 176 is a unincorporated area of Lake Bluff called Knowlwood. This area will get you a larger home with about a half acre of land.Taxes range from 3K to 6K but you can get a great looking new construction home around the 550K range. You still get the Lake Bluff Grammar schools and Lake Forest High Schools which are very good schools. Just west about three miles is Green Oaks. Houses are a bit larger and you get even more land for your price. Many homes even keep horses giving it a great country feel.Prices range I think from 450K to over 1MM.I think they use Libertyville schools.
Now this is not the East coast you are seeking but I do feel you will love what it has to offer.Most move here but not many move away. I hope this helps.

Last edited by traderbel; 09-13-2006 at 08:05 PM.. Reason: Spelling
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Old 09-14-2006, 08:32 AM
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Thanks for the information. How is Libertyville? Are there any "older" homes around there? Also, how are the real estate taxes? I think I heard they are pretty high...
Thanks again.
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Old 09-14-2006, 10:54 AM
Location: Turn Left at Greenland
17,698 posts, read 34,856,102 times
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Libertyville is in Lake County, and yes, their taxes are very high. As you are looking at homes, ask your realtor what their tax bill was. We lived in Grayslake just north of Libertyville. Libertyville is lovely (and the home of the late great Marlon Brando). Nice downtown and yes, some older homes. There are a couple neighborhoods that are interesting that you may want to check out Prairie Crossing is technically in Grayslake, but most people did their business in Libertyville and Vernon Hills. In Vernon Hills (the next town over from Libertyville) there's a neighborhood called Centennial Crossing that is somewhat similar, modern homes, that look very classical, east coast farmhouse-y. I haven't lived there for a long time (the taxes and our desire to be closer to family after our first child was born), took us out of Illinois. I don't know if anyone is familiar with the two neighborhoods I mentioned ... maybe someone could tell me how they are doing.

I know that Libertyville schools are very very good.
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Old 09-19-2006, 03:35 PM
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Hello Mary Ellen - I'm actually from Boston/New England originally and moved to Chicago in 99 so I've been here just over 7 years. My wife and I are moving to Grayslake, IL in about a month - leaving the city! We have a 1 year old and did a lot of research about surrounding suburbs, schools, etc. I, also, wanted a similar environment to where I grew up just outside of Boston (a small suburb). For the money, you can't go wrong with Libertyville or Grayslake. Both have quaint centers and a great quality of life and schools. We were able to get a nice home with everything we wanted within the 400's range. We originally wanted to move to the Evanston/Wilmette/Winnetka area, but much like Lake Forest it is too far from our price range, and I'm not looking to compromise on what we want in our home (i.e. I don't want a "tear-down" or "great rehab" home, I want a sweet house with everything! I'm very satisfied with the choice we have made, and every visit we make out there just confirms our decision. Great schools, lots to do, beautiful homes, and a conscience effort to preserve the open land. Someone did make a comment about Pleasant Prairie (in Grayslake) and that is also a great sub division as we checked that out. It has a farm type feel with some unique homes in your price range. Hope this helps..
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Old 09-19-2006, 06:40 PM
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I'm from Chicago and currently live in Evanston. I have spent a good amount of time in New England and am thinking about moving out there soon. Mary Ellen, I'm sorry to say that you won't find New England in the Midwest, but many of the Chicago suburbs have their own charm that you will grow to love. I suggest staying on the North Shore - from my experience it is the closest you will get to what you are used to. And I believe that you can find a home to your liking in your price range . . . the taxes are another issue.

As Eric mentioned, look in Evanston and Wilmette primarily (the further East the better) - Winnetka starts to get more expensive but it's worth a look also. And don't get discouraged by some of the prices - there is a huge range of prices in real estate right now, especially in Evanston. In fact, my folks have their home in Evanston on the market and it's in your price range . . . and it's a 4 bedroom + office!

Good luck! If I can help, feel free to PM me.
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Old 09-27-2006, 03:19 PM
Location: Libertyville
2 posts, read 7,843 times
Reputation: 10
Having lived in Libertyville and also sell real estate in the area, I would say this is a great place to live. There are options out there in not only Libertyville, but also Lake Bluff and maybe Lake Forest. The closer to the lake and closer to Chicago you go, the more money and less you get for it. If you want something maintenance free and really nice, Merit Club in Libertyville is excellent with newer built homes.
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