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Old 02-02-2015, 10:26 AM
 
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For those of you who seriously considered moving to Oak Park, but ended up elsewhere, why DIDN'T you choose Oak Park (details please?) Also was River Forest a contender. Thanks!
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Old 02-02-2015, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Chicago
3,263 posts, read 4,521,973 times
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Originally Posted by Fullyoak View Post
For those of you who seriously considered moving to Oak Park, but ended up elsewhere, why DIDN'T you choose Oak Park (details please?) Also was River Forest a contender. Thanks!
I considered Oak Park, but could not find a house that I liked with a reasonable tax bill.
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Old 02-02-2015, 11:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by nikitakolata View Post
I considered Oak Park, but could not find a house that I liked with a reasonable tax bill.
That was our issue as well. Every house we saw that looked good online had some hugely obvious flaw once we saw it in person... Or it had a huge property tax bill of like $15k. If we had found the right house, we very well might have moved to Oak Park.
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Old 02-02-2015, 11:17 AM
 
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Same, in order to get a few really nice architectural details walking distance to metra we would have had to been at the top of our price range and at that point taxes were way too high and drove us further west, also briefly looked in River Forest but soon realized that top of budget was a fixer with no money left to fix.
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Old 02-02-2015, 11:21 AM
 
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I'll add that some people are willing to make sacrifices to live in Oak Park because they truly love it and can't even imagine living anywhere else, but we were not. We felt we could get a lot of what we liked about Oak Park in other nearby suburbs.
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Old 02-02-2015, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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Originally Posted by Lookout Kid View Post
I'll add that some people are willing to make sacrifices to live in Oak Park because they truly love it and can't even imagine living anywhere else, but we were not. We felt we could get a lot of what we liked about Oak Park in other nearby suburbs.
That is also how I felt.

I should add, we had the same experience with Evanston. My husband and I met in Evanston and we both really love the town, but the cost/benefit just didn't pan out for us. Plus, it's much easier to get around the region from Elmhurst anyway.

Oak Park is a nice town, but it's not so much nicer than other towns to me to make it worth paying a lot more in taxes.
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Old 02-02-2015, 11:40 AM
 
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Too gritty for us, CTA was tagged (spray paint all over) - and for amount in taxes every part of downtown should have looked like Marion St. IMO...

Also when we looked there were no bars/still dry ordinance, so not really much to do...

We really liked RF but still the OP downtown core was just not for us.

Last edited by JJski; 02-02-2015 at 12:43 PM..
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Old 02-02-2015, 03:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nikitakolata View Post
That is also how I felt.

I should add, we had the same experience with Evanston. My husband and I met in Evanston and we both really love the town, but the cost/benefit just didn't pan out for us. Plus, it's much easier to get around the region from Elmhurst anyway.

Oak Park is a nice town, but it's not so much nicer than other towns to me to make it worth paying a lot more in taxes.
It's not any one thing but a combination of things. Taxes are high but you have top-notch schools, a progressive town, libraries/public services, proximity to city, multiple public transit options, good housing stock. Frankly, Oak Park is an incredibly interesting town. Guess it all comes down to the home buyer's life needs and values. I can definitely seeing property taxes scaring people away though.
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Old 02-02-2015, 03:53 PM
 
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Default Some of the same reasons

We found a house we really liked in North Oak Park, a lovely colonial that needed some updating, but not too much. The taxes were way too high, though, the distance to public transportation too far, and the proximity to Austin's crime in the end was the thing that took us west to Western Springs. I have never regretted not moving into Oak Park or River Forest, since they seem like islands in the middle of higher crime areas. I do think that they are fascinating with great architecture and a central location, but the minuses just outweighed the pluses.
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Old 02-02-2015, 06:59 PM
 
1,002 posts, read 1,420,535 times
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Originally Posted by Justabystander View Post
We found a house we really liked in North Oak Park, a lovely colonial that needed some updating, but not too much. The taxes were way too high, though, the distance to public transportation too far, and the proximity to Austin's crime in the end was the thing that took us west to Western Springs. I have never regretted not moving into Oak Park or River Forest, since they seem like islands in the middle of higher crime areas. I do think that they are fascinating with great architecture and a central location, but the minuses just outweighed the pluses.
I believe there are suburbs around Chicago that will satisfy every kind of person looking to move out of the city, but the whole "islands in the middle of higher crime areas" is a misrepresentation, unless you consider Forest Park, Berwyn, Galewood and Elmwood park to be "higher crime areas"… Which they are not. The type of crime that's most prevalent are crimes of opportunity, like when you leave you're garage open and someone steals your snow blower, however there's very little violent crime, so even though it butts up against Austin, the violent crimes that happen there do not pour into the village. Much of the fear comes down to misperceptions, not reality.

I'd agree that taxes are high, but you get a lot for your taxes too, so it's a trade off and something Oak Parkers are willing to accept. If people merely want a quaint village with a something of a downtown, than yes, there are other towns, but generally speaking that's only part of the reason why people move to Oak Park.

Amongst other things that attract people to move to Oak Park are things like proximity to the city, integrated diversity (racial, economic, sexual orientation and religious)… If those things don't matter to a family, then places like Western Springs or some other suburb out there would sure fit the bill.
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