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Old 01-26-2015, 12:05 AM
 
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Hello All,

We are a married couple (no kids) in our late twenties relocating from Lexington, KY to Chicago. I will be working in Franklin Park (abt. 5 min. from the airport) and my wife will be going to school in downtown. We are looking to rent and our budget is around $1300. Prefer a 2 bed apt. but a 1 bed would work as well.
My main priority is commute and safety. Based on suggestions by a few friends, I have looked at rentals in Schaumburg, Palatine and Arlington Heights that fit into my budget. But, I am a little apprehensive about the commute to Franklin Park during peak hours. Would 30 -40 min. be the expected travel time to Franklin Park from any of the above neighborhoods? The wife would be taking the Metra which should take just under an hour to get to downtown .
I am also curious about Oak Park since it is closer to the city and would cut in half the travel time to downtown for my wife. Would it also be easier for me to drive into Franklin Park from Oak Park as opposed to any of the NW suburbs ? Also in terms of safety, is Oak Park the same as any of the aforementioned suburbs. I understand that based on my budget Oak Park might result in getting a smaller place but if its a easier commute for both of us, I don't mind compromising on the space.

Any advice or suggestions are greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-26-2015, 06:55 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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Oak Park is a lot more urban than the suburbs you mentioned, which I personally think is a good thing. Of the other 3, I'd live in Arlington Hts or Palatine, both of which have cute little downtowns. Schaumburg is much more bland, could be anywhere suburbia.

There is an app and website called Waze that gives you real time travel times. I used it all summer and it was pretty accurate. The nice thing is if conditions change, it will change your route and steer you away from accidents. Play around with it a bit to get an idea of the times you would encounter.
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Old 01-26-2015, 07:42 AM
 
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I would give serious consideration to Elmhurst. It has an extremely well developed traditional rail centric core with excellent Metra service to the Loop. In addition to the shopping and dining options of Elmhurst's downtown it has a magnificent public library that is adjacent to the attractive campus of Elmhurst College. This campus is also surrounded by a massive municipal park that is home to several nice museums and a unique conservatory.

Living anywhere in Elmhurst would afford one a short drive to Franklin Park (probably under 20 minutes), an extremely high level of safety, and a really high quality experience. There are likely some nice rentals available in your budget.

Travel times between Oak Park and Franklin Park are likely longer than between Elmhurst, and Oak Park is not as uniformly low in crime. If you are not accustomed to understanding the patterns of segregation that make the portion of Chicago adjacent to Oak Park among the most crime ridden in the region it may not be the best choice for your situation.

Franklin Park is western suburb and really is not particularly convenient from the NW suburbs like Schaumburg, Arlington Heights, or Palatine.
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Old 01-26-2015, 08:00 AM
 
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La Grange has the new Luxury apartments being built – right downtown and next to Metra, design focused on young professionals that want prox to city and vibrant town… Express metra commute from LG is 19Min to Union.


La Grange trustees approve Uptown La Grange upscale rental complex | The Doings La Grange But this is probably a year out…

Feel out/visit LG and Elmhurst (these are the most vibrant/Fun/safe) towns that I think you will enjoy most and are are still commute friendly.

Last edited by JJski; 01-26-2015 at 08:20 AM..
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Old 01-26-2015, 08:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knitgirl View Post
Oak Park is a lot more urban than the suburbs you mentioned, which I personally think is a good thing. Of the other 3, I'd live in Arlington Hts or Palatine, both of which have cute little downtowns. Schaumburg is much more bland, could be anywhere suburbia.

There is an app and website called Waze that gives you real time travel times. I used it all summer and it was pretty accurate. The nice thing is if conditions change, it will change your route and steer you away from accidents. Play around with it a bit to get an idea of the times you would encounter.
@knitgirl. I have used Waze frequently but didn't think of using it to get the estimated travel time. That's a great idea !!
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Old 01-26-2015, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Chicago
3,260 posts, read 4,507,084 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
I would give serious consideration to Elmhurst. It has an extremely well developed traditional rail centric core with excellent Metra service to the Loop. In addition to the shopping and dining options of Elmhurst's downtown it has a magnificent public library that is adjacent to the attractive campus of Elmhurst College. This campus is also surrounded by a massive municipal park that is home to several nice museums and a unique conservatory.

Living anywhere in Elmhurst would afford one a short drive to Franklin Park (probably under 20 minutes), an extremely high level of safety, and a really high quality experience. There are likely some nice rentals available in your budget.

Travel times between Oak Park and Franklin Park are likely longer than between Elmhurst, and Oak Park is not as uniformly low in crime. If you are not accustomed to understanding the patterns of segregation that make the portion of Chicago adjacent to Oak Park among the most crime ridden in the region it may not be the best choice for your situation.

Franklin Park is western suburb and really is not particularly convenient from the NW suburbs like Schaumburg, Arlington Heights, or Palatine.
I would second Elmhurst. I have a couple family members who work in Franklin Park and it's close enough to Elmhurst that they go to my house in Elmhurst every single day for lunch. It takes about 8 minutes to get there, they say. Getting downtown from Elmhurst is also easy; my husband and I both do it every day. I don't think you'll have trouble finding an apartment in your budget, either.
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Old 01-26-2015, 08:36 AM
 
25 posts, read 24,465 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
I would give serious consideration to Elmhurst. It has an extremely well developed traditional rail centric core with excellent Metra service to the Loop. In addition to the shopping and dining options of Elmhurst's downtown it has a magnificent public library that is adjacent to the attractive campus of Elmhurst College. This campus is also surrounded by a massive municipal park that is home to several nice museums and a unique conservatory.

Living anywhere in Elmhurst would afford one a short drive to Franklin Park (probably under 20 minutes), an extremely high level of safety, and a really high quality experience. There are likely some nice rentals available in your budget.

Travel times between Oak Park and Franklin Park are likely longer than between Elmhurst, and Oak Park is not as uniformly low in crime. If you are not accustomed to understanding the patterns of segregation that make the portion of Chicago adjacent to Oak Park among the most crime ridden in the region it may not be the best choice for your situation.

Franklin Park is western suburb and really is not particularly convenient from the NW suburbs like Schaumburg, Arlington Heights, or Palatine.
@Chett. I had initially considered Elmhurst but did not find anything that I liked and fit my budget. Might need to look harder.

I have read that Austin has a high crime rate and there sometimes could be a spillover into Oak Park.
But that most of the crime was property related (I could be wrong though). It seems to be a lot more urban
like knitgirl mentioned so I would definitely expect crime to be higher as opposed to Elmhurst or any of the NW suburbs.

Out of the 3 NW suburbs mentioned is Arlington Heights easier to travel to Franklin Park or are all
of them equally cumbersome.
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Old 01-26-2015, 08:50 AM
 
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@nikitakolata. Thanks for that suggestion. Looks like I need to really explore Elmhurst more.
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Old 01-26-2015, 08:54 AM
 
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@JJSki. Never considered Lagrange as I thought it might take make the commute to Franklin Park tedious. Now I really need to have a good look at Elmhurst
as an option
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Old 01-26-2015, 09:03 AM
 
649 posts, read 601,898 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikhilkas View Post
@JJSki. Never considered Lagrange as I thought it might take make the commute to Franklin Park tedious.
Looks like I really do need to explore Elmhurst a lot more.
La Grange is 9 miles while elmhurst is 5 - both are straight and simple shots for you and the most exciting town cores in the west... We looked very closely at both (Elmhurst/LG) when we relocated here.

Can your wife walk from the stations in Big City? if yes, I would advise focusing on walkable metra for her. it will make her life MUCH EASIER and make her happy...

we got lucky and got walkable metra (now realize) walkable Metra is critical/must have here. city traffic is beyond painful...
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