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Old 02-03-2015, 01:27 PM
 
653 posts, read 609,630 times
Reputation: 322

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I am comparing close to detroit - cause out here only options are close to big city. else you are truly in farm country... MI has more spread out hot spots, like GR...

Being westofD MI – you really only have Plymouth/Northville unless you really head west to ann arbor (if you were to take Evanston and Naperville combined you might come close to an ann arbor). We live in La Grange 1 of the many, many charming towns. The biggest Adjustments is traffic and cost of living. Traffic is far worse than you can imagine, houses cost a LOT more and taxes are so much higher than even the most expensive parts of MI – when looking at houses pay close attention to taxes… It took us time getting used to having so many people – it is much more densely populated then us MI folks are used to.

What’s Worse:
1.) Traffic
2.) Home Prices
3.) Taxes
4.) Roads smaller and so many more people
5.) Complicated roads, tolls (I still need GPS and get lost all the time)

What’s Better:
1.) Easy Access to world class destination city
2.) Lake access (this is not a beachy Traverse city like but still scenic)
3.) Public transportation/Metra/CTA (suburbs are connected to big city and each other in a way we are not used to, imagine a people mover between Northville, Plymouth + 50 other fun towns)
4.) If you are near Metra, walkable big city access is a breeze.
5.) Tons of events all the time (for example Detroit concerts are on Tuesdays most of the time) here its weekends…
6.) Tons of restaurants, everything you can imagine
7.) Tons of shopping, everything you can imagine
8.) Vibrancy in suburbs (just so many like Plymouth/Northville) but you pay for it…

*** we felt super overwhelmed for a while - but now really like the energy and options here...

Last edited by JJski; 02-03-2015 at 01:39 PM..
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Old 02-03-2015, 01:44 PM
 
61 posts, read 62,703 times
Reputation: 15
Thank you! Is there any way to understand how bad traffic is?? I just keep hearing that and I have no comparison. Atlanta traffic is awful...any comparison? Is is bad all the time and horrible during Rush? Or horrible constantly? Horrible in burbs or just to and from city?
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Old 02-03-2015, 02:17 PM
 
28,394 posts, read 68,290,779 times
Reputation: 18212
The degree to which your commute will be negatively impacted is largely of function of where you are coming from but it is also impacted by specific routes and weather...

The places that have lots of offices and shopping of course have more traffic but some notable choke points exist in the whole system of roadways. Among the more notorious such choke points is the loss of a lane on the Eisenhower as it leaves Chicago and heads into Oak Park. That reduced capacity thus creates a multi-mile bottleneck that extend nearly 20 miles out to nearly the DuPage-Kane border. An additional choke point exists in Hillside with the Eisenhower forks into I-88.

Similar choke points can be found along the Kennedy where it intersects with the Edens, this junction also lacks a full interchange so traffic may be forced to utilize surface streets.

In contrast to these well known nightmares of political roadway design, the sheer volume of traffic that goes around / through the junction of IL-53 and the Jane Adams /NW Tollroad near Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg makes this yet another notorious area of slowdowns.

The South / SW suburbs are chronically underserved by expressways and it is routine for the Stevenson I-55 to be one giant "parking lot" of traffic from Chicago to well past Bolingbrook 30+ miles away. {As an aside the less desirable suburbs along I-57 have among the least congrested roadways, but this is as much a function of lower population densities / lack of employment...}

The added nightmare of folks utterly ignoring all lane markings and making the road as many / few lanes as they care / dare is a notable side effect of the less than wonderful result of heavy snows in the region. There is currently about 19" inches of snow on the ground that thankfully fell mostly Saturday night & Sunday so road crews were mostly able get things under control but there have been many instances where such a snow event has hit during rush hour and trips that generally can be completed in 30 minutes or so may have stretched into something that is 6x times more time consuming -- no matter how nice a car you have / have good the sound system is spending 3+ hours in fear that some moron will slide into you is quite a horrible experience.

For the most part folks that can rely on Metra for rail transit from a nice suburb to the Loop avoid most of this but there are a few times when switches ice over or similar problems make a sub-30 minute into some horribly delayed multi-hour slog...

The indifference with which the various officials respond to these situations adds insult to the hugely annoying injury of system of roads and transit designed more for the political power brokers than the users / citizenry...
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Old 02-03-2015, 02:17 PM
 
653 posts, read 609,630 times
Reputation: 322
From what you are used to in MI it will be bad most of the time… at least not like California, I have no Atlanta experience so can’t draw a comparison there. but remember public transportation is amazing here so best to utilize this route for pleasure and work if possible... Monday thru Friday commuting(driving) to city is horrific and even between burbs is busy. business hours is bad even if you are royal oak/ferndale close to city. La Grange is about Ferndale close and commute still bad, luckily we can metra ride it in 17Min… you want to live close/walkable to town core + Metra station. Walkable core + Metra should be top of your wish list for desirability when looking here especially for resale val if buying…

PS if I can add one more pro its CST – after you get used to the time zone its really nice cause you are central to everything time wise!
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Old 02-03-2015, 02:30 PM
 
61 posts, read 62,703 times
Reputation: 15
Thanks! Hubby would have to drive for work no matter where we live, but half of his commute would count as work hours. He would be driving to all areas around chicago, so it sounds like the traffic would just vary according to where exactly he was going that day? And that working non-peak hours like 6-2 might help? He used to live in Cali so he would understand that as a comparison. It sounds like being quite near a metra for family/date exursions would be very helpful otherwise. What about stay at home moms? Is it common for them to utilize metra during the day for activites or does everyone still drive their SUVs and minivans like they do here?
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Old 02-03-2015, 02:53 PM
 
28,394 posts, read 68,290,779 times
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There are a handful of stops on the BNSF that have some nice "mom & kids" type destinations -- downtown Naperville is home the DuPage Children's Museum, Downtown Aurora's terminus is technically walkable to SciTech, the Hollywood stop is walking distance to Brookfield Zoo, of course lots of fun things to do in Chicago are accessible via Metra...

Along the UP-West line there are a few spots in Elmhurst that are worth a trip, notably the Wilder Park Conservatory, the nearby Lizzardo Lapidary Museum, the Elmhurst Historical Society Museum, and the Elmhurst Arts Museum -- http://www.elmhurstartmuseum.org/

Elmhurst, IL - Official Website - General Museum Information

Wilder Park Conservatory | Elmhurst Park District

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art


No shortage of SUVs and minivans...
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Old 02-03-2015, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Chicago area
8,210 posts, read 12,501,875 times
Reputation: 14805
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lookout Kid View Post
That expense also figures in to rents. Landlords just pass on their taxes through higher rents.
Yes but with apartments at least you usually have more people per dollar of taxable property so that dilutes it somewhat.
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Old 02-03-2015, 03:22 PM
 
11,972 posts, read 26,938,736 times
Reputation: 4548
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSchemist80 View Post
Yes but with apartments at least you usually have more people per dollar of taxable property so that dilutes it somewhat.
I believe we're talking about renting a single-family house straight up. We thought about doing this when we moved to the suburbs, but we found that rents were often higher than our mortgage payments would be, and that there was very little rental inventory to choose from that met our standards. With the 3.5% 30-year fixed-rate mortgages we were qualifying for, we always came out ahead buying--assuming we don't have another crash in prices. But our kids are in school and we have no desire to uproot them any time soon. We have no plans to move.

Also, for those who are tempted to pay $3,000 a month to rent a house, you get no tax deduction on that. BUT, you can get up and go without selling a house, and that to me is the principal advantage.
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Old 02-03-2015, 04:01 PM
 
61 posts, read 62,703 times
Reputation: 15
Yes, renting a single family home we pay about $4000 a year for taxes here on our $275000 home. I'm wondering how much the larger tax burden influences tax deductions...hmm. At least you'd see some of it back over renting.
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Old 02-03-2015, 04:37 PM
 
1,231 posts, read 1,336,642 times
Reputation: 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by JJski View Post
I am comparing close to detroit - cause out here only options are close to big city. else you are truly in farm country... MI has more spread out hot spots, like GR...

Being westofD MI – you really only have Plymouth/Northville unless you really head west to ann arbor (if you were to take Evanston and Naperville combined you might come close to an ann arbor). We live in La Grange 1 of the many, many charming towns. The biggest Adjustments is traffic and cost of living. Traffic is far worse than you can imagine, houses cost a LOT more and taxes are so much higher than even the most expensive parts of MI – when looking at houses pay close attention to taxes… It took us time getting used to having so many people – it is much more densely populated then us MI folks are used to.

What’s Worse:
1.) Traffic
2.) Home Prices
3.) Taxes
4.) Roads smaller and so many more people
5.) Complicated roads, tolls (I still need GPS and get lost all the time)

What’s Better:
1.) Easy Access to world class destination city
2.) Lake access (this is not a beachy Traverse city like but still scenic)
3.) Public transportation/Metra/CTA (suburbs are connected to big city and each other in a way we are not used to, imagine a people mover between Northville, Plymouth + 50 other fun towns)
4.) If you are near Metra, walkable big city access is a breeze.
5.) Tons of events all the time (for example Detroit concerts are on Tuesdays most of the time) here its weekends…
6.) Tons of restaurants, everything you can imagine
7.) Tons of shopping, everything you can imagine
8.) Vibrancy in suburbs (just so many like Plymouth/Northville) but you pay for it…

*** we felt super overwhelmed for a while - but now really like the energy and options here...
So true. There are no signs telling you where to go and when there are signs, they can often be misleading, like I-94 W/ I-94 E actually goes north and south. Especially, by O'hare the roads are very confusing. Also, some main roads like Sheridan up north and Archer down south, have random curves and all of the sudden, you're on a different street when you thought you didn't turn at all. If you're going somewhere you've never been to, map the route out on Google Maps or use a GPS.
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