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Old 10-05-2007, 06:42 AM
 
Location: Chicago
108 posts, read 453,977 times
Reputation: 42

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Growing into a position at work where I'd be able to afford a home was quite an accomplishment onto itself, and now I sit here as frustrated as can be. See I have a family, a SAHM and a one year old, two beagles, and one on the way. Having been told that "As long as your renting, you'll stay poor", I've made the neccesary mental movements to prepare myself to sign a mortgage and accept even more an adult life.

Then, we got prequalified for a loan. $200k was the number we were given. Alright I thought, let's get to Schaumburg/Hoffman Estates/Palatine! (great travelling distance from my work and an area we enjoyed while renting). Well, as you can believe, that did not bring many options other than townhomes that quite honestly look like they would be more suited for west Detroit. Okay, let's broaden our search and look even further to the northwest. To this a realtor alerts us, don't even bother looking at anything under 210K and that'll be an hour drive to and from work everyday.

So fast forward a few days and I find some nice affordable places in Glendale Heights, and it's not too far from work. Jump on here and learn that people are actually using bold font to tell others not to move there. I see Streamwood has some houses, but have lost all steam in even bothering. Not to sound like a whiny, but how can anyone afford to live around here? Who is paying for these $700k homes? And did they start with a bungelow in rogers park ten years ago?

Essentially two questions, how is the Streamwood area as far as safety and what do you think the market will do on the area homes (as in will it appreciate or should we wait to buy until after the recession hits)? And, I have a chance to go down to North Carolina and make close to the same amount, and afford a 4brm with a good size lot down there. Should I just say *&^% Illinois and bust it down to live the slower life and rock away on a front porch with the kids while enjoying the lack of snow in February. And furthermore looking at trees instead of concrete or someone else's house.

What say you Illini natives? Should we stay or go?
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Old 10-05-2007, 06:59 AM
 
4,721 posts, read 13,552,785 times
Reputation: 4685
Have you been to the area in NC? You dont mention what area/town,and that makes a big difference. Some great areas there and yes,one does get more bang for the buck in housing. The schools in NC are often not up to par,but again,depends on the area.There is a huge exodus of people moving there. I like having the options of mountains/ocean. Moving away from family is tough,but sometimes taking a chance and going for a change is worth it.Streamwood is mostly just fine. A few "iffy" areas. Have you searched GH and Steamwood ? Does it feel good for you? Only you know whats going to make you happy,people on this forum offer advice,but one mans ceiling is another mans floor as the song goes. An area one does not care for,may be just the ticket for another.
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Old 10-05-2007, 07:17 AM
 
474 posts, read 2,290,710 times
Reputation: 113
Default Nc Is So Much Better !

Hello DSV1496:

If you have an employment opportunity in North Carolina, then snatch it up. And I am serious about this. That's because NC is so much better than Illinois.
I lived in Hickory, NC between 1961 to 1971.
Now, granted, that was a long time ago and I don't know the current employment conditions. But in your 'OP' you say that you have an opportunity (employment?).
However, I would avoid living in the Charlotte and Raleigh areas. That's because there are droves of displaced persons down there seeking the same things you are.
But the merit of NC is the fantastic scenery and recreation. In NC, you sit in a 9 to 5 job each day, and after work, you take your wife and kids to the beautiful mountains, ocean, or lakes of the Piedmont Plateau. Or wherever you choose to live in NC.
Today, Hickory is a somewhat large city and probably still one of the furniture marketing capitols of the world. People who have been raised in NC for most of their life are very friendly and gracious people - - if you will do your part in being friendly to them, too. After all, "It takes two people to tango".
So if you have any questions about the area between Asheville, NC to Hickory - - and then north or south of Hickory - - give me a buzz with an additional thread.

Carter Glass,
Wheaton, IL
(Formerly Hickory, NC)
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Old 10-05-2007, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Chicago
108 posts, read 453,977 times
Reputation: 42
We actually just returned from a trip to NC, where we visited the Raleigh area as well as Greenville. I could possibly have offers from each area. We didn't really "fall in love" with either area, as we had such a short trip (consumed with looking at a couple homes and three job interviews) and really all I came away from it all was with the overwhelming view of trees! Well, that and some amazing houses that it made seem so unreal. That we could afford a place that really looked like a "home". We can't seem to find that anywhere up here, and thats the number one issue.

Thats a good point about the 9 to 5 and then having all the outdoors at your convience. Though having the big city down the road also offers great things to do, well, 7 months out of the year anyway.
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Old 10-05-2007, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Chicago's burbs
1,013 posts, read 4,046,919 times
Reputation: 905
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsv1496 View Post
Growing into a position at work where I'd be able to afford a home was quite an accomplishment onto itself, and now I sit here as frustrated as can be. See I have a family, a SAHM and a one year old, two beagles, and one on the way. Having been told that "As long as your renting, you'll stay poor", I've made the neccesary mental movements to prepare myself to sign a mortgage and accept even more an adult life.

Then, we got prequalified for a loan. $200k was the number we were given. Alright I thought, let's get to Schaumburg/Hoffman Estates/Palatine! (great travelling distance from my work and an area we enjoyed while renting). Well, as you can believe, that did not bring many options other than townhomes that quite honestly look like they would be more suited for west Detroit. Okay, let's broaden our search and look even further to the northwest. To this a realtor alerts us, don't even bother looking at anything under 210K and that'll be an hour drive to and from work everyday.

So fast forward a few days and I find some nice affordable places in Glendale Heights, and it's not too far from work. Jump on here and learn that people are actually using bold font to tell others not to move there. I see Streamwood has some houses, but have lost all steam in even bothering. Not to sound like a whiny, but how can anyone afford to live around here? Who is paying for these $700k homes? And did they start with a bungelow in rogers park ten years ago?

Essentially two questions, how is the Streamwood area as far as safety and what do you think the market will do on the area homes (as in will it appreciate or should we wait to buy until after the recession hits)? And, I have a chance to go down to North Carolina and make close to the same amount, and afford a 4brm with a good size lot down there. Should I just say *&^% Illinois and bust it down to live the slower life and rock away on a front porch with the kids while enjoying the lack of snow in February. And furthermore looking at trees instead of concrete or someone else's house.

What say you Illini natives? Should we stay or go?
I don't know anything about North Carolina, but I can totally relate to your frustrations about Chicagoland. You aren't the only one out there! I am a stay at home Mom with a 1-year-old, my husband has a decent job (computer tech) and we have great credit, but since we are young, don't have much equity built up yet, and living on one income, we couldn't afford to drop $400K+ on our first single family home like so many on this board seem to be able to. But we really wanted to get into a single family home and find a nice place to raise our family, and our max budget was $250K. Sure, everyone on here will tell you to move to Naperville, Arlington Heights, Palatine, etc. but for young families that aren't making 150K a year or have tons of equity built up in a previous home to put down, those towns just aren't realistic unless you want a tiny condo. We did end up finding a really nice area we could afford, but the downside is my husband has a nightmare of a commute. He works up north, and we settled on West Joliet, near Plainfield and Shorewood. (A lot of people on here will also bash Joliet, but believe me, West Joliet is a world apart from the bad parts of Joliet which are on the East side.) Joliet actually annexed a bunch of land near Shorewood and Plainfield (which are also great, relatively affordable towns) and its full of young families with children, new construction everywhere and growing like crazy, shopping everywhere on route 59, and decent schools (stay out of Joliet's school district if you look into this area, most of this area is in Plainfield, Minooka, or Shorewood schools which are good.) But like I said, my husband has a nightmare of a commute but he preffered that in order to get into a single family home in a good area and plans to look for a new job closer to home in another year. So I don't know where you work, but maybe this is an area you would be interested in. We love it here, except for the bad commute.

Last edited by sbd78; 10-05-2007 at 08:18 AM..
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Old 10-05-2007, 10:01 AM
 
474 posts, read 2,290,710 times
Reputation: 113
Default More About North Carolina

Dear Friends:

The topography of North Carolina is layered. In the west area (i.e. Asheville) it is the mountainous terrain. Incidentally, our imaginary trip is via Interstate 40 going from West to East in the state of NC.
When you get approximately to Morganton / Hickory area, then you are on the Piedmont Plateau. Then approximately in the Winston - Salem area, it becomes farming land. That's because the Blue Ridge mountains are moving away from your imaginary trip on I - 40.
Housing is very expensive ANYWHERE in highly desirable areas. For example, very expensive in Asheville, Linville Falls, Blowing Rock and Boone, NC.
And many retired people, once choosing to live in Florida, now consider NC as 'THE' state to retire to.
A lot of electronics companies are located in the Raleigh area. I suppose Charlotte is the same way, although I don't have a 'feel' for the types of employment in Charlotte.
A very nice area north of Charlotte are the towns surrounding Lake Norman. But they are pricey just as the rule follows. What is the rule?
IF 'you' seek out a beautiful job, with good remuneration, good schools, good house (low price), and a low crime community - - then subody has already discovered it and will spend their lifetime at that location. Then the housing prices soar (supply and demand).
So to find 'your' nitch, you have to somehow buck the trends so you don't eat someone's dust in everyone's stampede. One way to do this is to write down all of your desirable requirements. Then choose one and rotate it 180 degrees. Through that method, you might find your Utopia.

Best Regards,

Carter Glass
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Old 10-05-2007, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Chicago
108 posts, read 453,977 times
Reputation: 42
Unfortunately Plainfield is 40 miles from my work, and I'm sure that wouldn't equate into a 40 minute drive when 294 and 55 are involved.

Any suggestions for somewhere to look with a commute to Elmhurst?
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Old 10-05-2007, 02:34 PM
 
4,721 posts, read 13,552,785 times
Reputation: 4685
Yes,how about Villa Park-Berkley- Lombard-Bensenville?
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Old 10-06-2007, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Chicago's burbs
1,013 posts, read 4,046,919 times
Reputation: 905
Unfortunately, most of the more established burbs around Elmhurst are expensive and don't coincide with a low $200's budget for a single family house. I think most of the people that can afford these really expensive homes bought years ago, before the housing boom made home prices skyrocket and therefore have a ton of equity built up. That's the only explanation I can find! But prices are tough on us first time buyers! Its like you have to choose between the newer areas that are much more affordable and deal with a long commute, or get some tiny not-very-nice place that looks nothing like the home with the white picket fence you envision raising your family in. It's frustrating, I know. I lived in Carol Stream most of my childhood, you may want to check that town out although I don't know if you will be able to find a single family home for low $200's. Streamwood and Glendale Heights are o.k. Sure, they aren't as nice as a lot of their neighboring burbs, homes tend to be smaller and older and they are a bit more diverse towns, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. But if you are finding homes there in your price range, they aren't terrible towns like people make them out to be. They just aren't as nice as a lot of their pricier neighbors. You can always look into townhomes and condo's too. At least then you can get into homeownership and start building up some equity, and move up to a single family home in the future. Like I said in a previous post, my husband and I made the decision to move to a newer, less expensive area in order to afford the house we wanted, and deal with a long commute. You always have that option, or you can buy something close to work that isn't your "dream home" build up some equity, and buy your "dream home" in the future. Or you have the NC option. Whatever you choose, I wish you luck!
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Old 10-07-2007, 08:38 AM
 
332 posts, read 1,380,871 times
Reputation: 167
I guess besides Streamwood you could also try Antioch(but it would be ruled out because of your particular commute) or places like Gilberts and Hampshire which are waaay too far from practically anything, but still somewhat affordable considering local prices.... but seriously, if you can get the same salary in the NC triangle(Raleigh/Durham/Cary/Chapel Hill), don't wait another second and go for it!! I've been scouting the area lately and visited several areas in NC over the years. If I could secure an adequate employment, I would move there in an instance. If you value what N/NW Chicagoland suburbs have to offer despite their dense urbanization pitfalls, then some areas of the triangle would fit you well. I would suggest Cary(an achronim for Containment Area for Relocating Yankees) which sort of reminds one of Schaumburg, scaled down somewhat though. Some of 15-20 year old homes are still within your range. For something that feels more like Gurnee or Grayslake try to search newer construction in north Raleigh. More adventureus transplants also settle in south Durham. You can afford a home or a very luxurious townhouse in both. Before an actual visit to Chapel Hills I imagined that it would be a lot like Arlington Heights, but in reality it seems like a Libertyville with a major university and a part of Mundelein attached.
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