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Old 08-22-2012, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Greensboro, NC
31 posts, read 19,275 times
Reputation: 20

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We're considering a move to a suburb with a 30 minute or so commute to Oak Brook, where my husband will be working. Right now he telecommutes from North Carolina. Schools aren't an issue, we're empty nesters. We would like an older home, in good shape, in a safe suburb. Charm and walkability would be a big plus, we're not really looking for a cookie cutter ranch development. We'd like to spend under 200K. Would greatly appreciate any input!
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Old 08-22-2012, 11:20 AM
 
340 posts, read 337,995 times
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Downers Grove sounds like a great option for you, right in the downtown area. Though most of the homes are expensive (over 400k), they do have a few fixer-uppers for around 200k and you will have to make some compromises. But it's a great area---very walkable with charm. You can walk to the train, library, restaurants, schools, shops, movie theater, etc. Plus, it's right off of I-88. Oak Brook is right next door.


4608 HIGHLAND Ave, DOWNERS GROVE, IL 60515 | MLS# 08132815 | Redfin

4929 WHIFFEN Pl, DOWNERS GROVE, IL 60515 | MLS# 07961670 | Redfin

Wheaton may also be a good fit---but again, you will have to make compromises because of budget.
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Old 08-22-2012, 11:21 AM
 
1,984 posts, read 2,315,588 times
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There are many suburbs that are within easy driving distance of Oak Brook. Unfortunately for the price you quote you will be hard pressed to find a house in a good area, or any house for that matter. Perhaps a condo might suffice. Places to look would be Elmhurst, Downers Grove, Oak Park, Westmont, Villa Park, or Lisle. I mention the last three because they are a little cheaper than the others and you might be able to find something there. You might also try looking at Berwyn. Prices are reasonable there and there is solid housing stock and I think it will have a resurgence at some point.

P.S. I do agree with divakat. Downers grove would be a good place and maybe you could find a small home or a fixer upper. Redfin requires you to sign up free before you can look there.

Last edited by ToriaT; 08-22-2012 at 11:29 AM..
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Old 08-22-2012, 11:22 AM
 
21,804 posts, read 37,445,831 times
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Default Under $200K and 30 minutes from Oak Brook? Yikes...

You generally are going to have dig hard to find a bargain like that. The only "out" is you don't need to worry
about schools. That does open some possibilities.

About the only town west of Oak Brook that is going to have anything to meet your needs would be Villa Park and even there the most charming homes are out of your price range...

Westchester has lots of solid brick ranches but there are also some more charming tudors and such that could fit your needs. Probably 10 minutes or less east of Oak Brook.

Another area to look at would be Lyons, handfful of nicer four squares or even an"octagon bungalows" might be in your price range. A little further east but still under 30 minutes ...


Best bet might be Berwyn which has an outstandingly solid collection of brick bungalows in your price range. Surface streets should be under 30 minutes to Oak Brook.

Forest Park has a few dozen homes in your price range too, though most are oddly clustered along that town's eastern edge wherre frame cottages are the norm. Not a whole lot of charm...



Quote:
Originally Posted by dogsandart View Post
We're considering a move to a suburb with a 30 minute or so commute to Oak Brook, where my husband will be working. Right now he telecommutes from North Carolina. Schools aren't an issue, we're empty nesters. We would like an older home, in good shape, in a safe suburb. Charm and walkability would be a big plus, we're not really looking for a cookie cutter ranch development. We'd like to spend under 200K. Would greatly appreciate any input!
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Old 08-24-2012, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Volker, Kansas City, MO
12,062 posts, read 19,307,026 times
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I really like the Berwyn suggestion, but would also second looking in Westmont, which would provide a very easy commute. Their schools are less highly regarded, which should allow you to get a decent discount off of Downers Grove prices.
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:04 PM
 
21,804 posts, read 37,445,831 times
Reputation: 10768
Default Charm / "cookie cutter" issue...

First I don't mean to be critical of aragx6's suggestion at all. She is correct that historically the reputation of Westmont's high school was not a good as those in other nearby towns. Although the OP states they are empty nesters the fact that projects to improve both the curriculum and physical environent of high school are underway / completed for this coming school year; it is my belief that these efforts could result in increased demand for housing from those with families, which ought to a long term plus.

That said there has been a bit of "boom" in buying as others feel that the nicer parts of Westmont may experience renewed demand. This has already resulted in reduced supply of the most charming homes in the most walkable /charming parts of Westmont.

What is left is some of the not so charming homes in some of the more fringe areas. Westmont has a bit of a fragmented history of development -- parts of town when downright "rural" as recently as the 1980s or so. These are the polar opposite of "cookie cutter": some of these areas have of bit of "wildcatter" feel with tiny depression-era homes literally on the back of deeper lots where nicer homes have been built. This lack of uniformity is a deterent to small scale re-development as the "nicer" homes comand a bit too much to make them tear down material and the smaller homes often have "built without plans" messiness...

Still worth a look, as it is VERY close to Oak Brook (shares common border...) but probably a bit more speculative than some folks want to get involved with.
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Old 08-25-2012, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Greensboro, NC
31 posts, read 19,275 times
Reputation: 20
Thank you to everybody for the information!
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