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Old 04-18-2015, 09:27 PM
 
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Hi all, due to my job it looks like I may have to move to Illinois. Unfortunately I'm not very familiar with this state other than downtown Chicago which I have been to plenty of times. With that being said what are some good areas to live in for a family, big needs would be excellent schools and be within an hour of commute to downtown Chicago. House price range would be 500-650, more if it's a fantastic area and what would I get for that kind of money? Thanks!
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Old 04-18-2015, 11:44 PM
 
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Thumbs up Belleville Illinois is a great place to be

Belleville Illinois is a great place and area of Illinois.... It is an easy place to be. It is warm there and can be a little chilly but most of all they have some really nice houses there that would be perfect for you
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Old 04-19-2015, 01:21 AM
 
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What you can get for a home varies between suburbs. Some people like to sacrifice sq ft to be in top ranked schools while some people want to live somewhere where you can get bang for your buck while still being in a good school district. I'd say on average, you'll be able to get around a 3500 sq ft home. However, some of the very desirable suburbs you can get a home in the upper 2000's to lower 3000's in sq ft and the most affluent areas like the north shore (Winnetka, Willmette, Glencoe, Lake Forest, etc.) you'll only be able to get around 2000 sq ft. There are also areas with good schools where you can get 4000 sq ft with your price range.
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Old 04-19-2015, 02:06 AM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
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UAW 974 retiree here. If you did not want to live in Chicago I would say to look downstate. Peoria is a union city that costs half of what it does to live in Chicago. However, and this is my opinion only, l think politics plays a big part in how happy one is where they live. some of of the suburbs, and even a few of the 'hoods have a strong political affiliation, but not all do.

If you come from a place that is racially and culturally diverse with a variety of church and city activities for families and singles you will probably like the walkable, quirky, historic, Village of Oak Park for a number of reasons. It is racially and socially diverse. It is an inner ring suburb that is nearest to Chicago as it shares a border street with the city. Trains run between OP and the Union Station all day. AT 8 miles out, the trip by train into the city is roughly 20 minutes +/- in good weather. K-8 schools in Illinois provide a good basic education. OP schools are well regarded by parents. All the high schools in America have the same problem: they are filled with teenagers. Oak Park and River Forest are smaller communities that share a high school. Oak Park housing stock is diverse from Victorian and Prairie structures to Frank Lloyd Wright, to modern 21st century. Oak Park is a desirable address with many of the same perks Chicago residents enjoy, but it does not have a major college as does Evanston. I believe it is the next nearest inner-ring suburb community to Chicago. It has a large college campus and it is a little further ride into Union Station.

Welcome to Illinois!
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Old 04-19-2015, 10:05 AM
 
15 posts, read 17,554 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4122 View Post
What you can get for a home varies between suburbs. Some people like to sacrifice sq ft to be in top ranked schools while some people want to live somewhere where you can get bang for your buck while still being in a good school district. I'd say on average, you'll be able to get around a 3500 sq ft home. However, some of the very desirable suburbs you can get a home in the upper 2000's to lower 3000's in sq ft and the most affluent areas like the north shore (Winnetka, Willmette, Glencoe, Lake Forest, etc.) you'll only be able to get around 2000 sq ft. There are also areas with good schools where you can get 4000 sq ft with your price range.
OK thanks, any specific exmaples?

Quote:
Originally Posted by linicx View Post
UAW 974 retiree here. If you did not want to live in Chicago I would say to look downstate. Peoria is a union city that costs half of what it does to live in Chicago. However, and this is my opinion only, l think politics plays a big part in how happy one is where they live. some of of the suburbs, and even a few of the 'hoods have a strong political affiliation, but not all do.

If you come from a place that is racially and culturally diverse with a variety of church and city activities for families and singles you will probably like the walkable, quirky, historic, Village of Oak Park for a number of reasons. It is racially and socially diverse. It is an inner ring suburb that is nearest to Chicago as it shares a border street with the city. Trains run between OP and the Union Station all day. AT 8 miles out, the trip by train into the city is roughly 20 minutes +/- in good weather. K-8 schools in Illinois provide a good basic education. OP schools are well regarded by parents. All the high schools in America have the same problem: they are filled with teenagers. Oak Park and River Forest are smaller communities that share a high school. Oak Park housing stock is diverse from Victorian and Prairie structures to Frank Lloyd Wright, to modern 21st century. Oak Park is a desirable address with many of the same perks Chicago residents enjoy, but it does not have a major college as does Evanston. I believe it is the next nearest inner-ring suburb community to Chicago. It has a large college campus and it is a little further ride into Union Station.

Welcome to Illinois!
Thanks! One of my kids will be going into high school next year and the other is a freshman so high schools will be very important. Also any specific neighborhoods that would be good? I currently live in cherry creek if that's of any help and my kids go to Cherry Creek High school and middle school.
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Old 04-19-2015, 02:20 PM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
11,544 posts, read 25,113,118 times
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If you are required to live within the limits of the City of Chicago I would look at upscale, family orientated, Streeterville which is very near downtown. I know nothing of its schools.

Chicago has a 1000 'hoods that can vary from each other by the block, or across the street. As a whole the Chicago Public School system does not seem to be well regarded. Those who could move from city to the suburb for better schools most assuredly did. Those who could not move, put their children in private or religious schools. Chicago does have a top-rated university high school with a long waiting list. If your middle student is a good student now would be the time to apply - if you intend to live in the City.

You can find an enclave with million dollar homes that is rated the fourth wealthiest in America not too far from downtown Chicago. There are also communities of ex-pats, as well as communities of eastern Indians, Jewish, Polish, etc.. In this town where you live is a statement in itself. I lived and worked in the city three times. Mike Royko's version of city politics was a lot more fun to read than it was to live it, but I digress.

Given what I know from living most of my life in Illinois, and being a some time visitor to the City, I would recommend Oak Park. I believe you will find what you want, and that your dollar will be well spent. Let me clear up something while I think about it. Quirky is not my code word meant to scare you. In this case I was referring to the Church of Beethoven in Oak Park that meets once a month. Oak Park is the original diverse community. You will find most every religion represented. Residents represent the four corners of the earth. It is a community where everyone is welcome. The city is well regarded and well awarded. The library was awarded too. It is a city with mature trees and green lawns. It your like building designs it is an architects destination. The housing stock is very diverse in age and design. It is possible to buy and restore a historical home.

We have forum member who live in Oak Park and love it. WE have members who wanted to live in OP, but could not afford it. We also have members who hate it because it is too well liked and not arrogant enough because they can't afford it either. Neither can I, but I've liked it quite well since I first visited in the 60s, and I still do. The police are very much tourist guides, yet they do a good job of maintaining civil obedience.

Most of the crime here is minor. If you leave your car door unlocked you will lose your iPhone. Leave your garage open and you may lose a bicycle and tools. The police will tell you where the less desirable areas are located. There is a relocation center in OP that will help you find a short term lease while you hunt for a home.

Regardless of where you move you want boots on the ground for at least six months before you purchase any home.
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Old 04-19-2015, 11:38 PM
 
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Here are typical homes for your price range in certain areas:
A typical home in the suburbs within your price range: 1555 Crowfoot Cir S, Hoffman Estates, IL 60169 is For Sale | Zillow
A home in a more affordable suburb that's still safe: 219 Sky Hill Rd, Wauconda, IL 60084 is For Sale | Zillow
A home in a desirable area: 1210 E Waverly Pl, Arlington Heights, IL 60004 is For Sale | Zillow
A home in the north shore: 2940 Lake Ave, Wilmette, IL 60091 is For Sale | Zillow
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Old 04-19-2015, 11:53 PM
 
1,231 posts, read 1,327,476 times
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If you're looking for an area with great schools, but you don't want to sacrifice too much house, look at Naperville, Oak Brook, Downers Grove (parts that feed into North HS), possibly Arlington Heights if you're ok with what you can get for your money there, Palatine (parts that can feed into Fremd HS), Inverness, Barrington and all of the towns with Barrington in the name, Kildeer, Deer Park, Hawthorn Woods, Long Grove, Buffalo Grove, Vernon Hills, and Lincolnshire. Oak Park and River Forest are nice, but they are more expensive than Arlington Heights but less expensive than the north shore so you might have to sacrifice more house than you want to.
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Old 04-20-2015, 03:12 AM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
11,544 posts, read 25,113,118 times
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How long does it take to drive from Arlington Heights to Union Station? AH is cool. It has a million dollar horse track. Lot of horses, and horse trainers/owners and money in the immediate area.

When we talk about distance. . . Streeterville is the Chicago neighborhood nearest the Union Station. Oak Park is the inner-ring suburb nearest to Union Station. If you are not familiar with it Union Station in downtown Chicago is the Midwest regional rail hub for freight, passenger, and local rail. Union Station is to rail what OHare International is to flight, and the Port of Chicago is to commercial shipping by water.

The two communities are as close as you can get to downtown. Both are upscale and have desirable addresses. This is not to say others are not desirable, only to state this appears to be the shortest distance by surface street between your job and your prospective home. When the weather is foul do you want to be on surface streets for 90 minutes or 30? Chicago traffic is too busy and too dense to determine by miles. Therefore it is determined by time. Addresses, routes, speed limit, and the amount of commercial vehicles does make a difference in time.

Arlington Heights to Union Station is approximately 26 miles by surface streets. Naperville is 60 miles. Hoffman Estates is 36 miles, Willamette is about 20 miles, and Oak Park is 9 miles. Streeterville is probably 2 miles or less. Evanston I think is about 20 miles.

What you may not know is real estate taxes in Cook County and Chicago are 2 to 3 times more expensive than in the central section of the state. Your tax bill could conceivably be $25K or greater. It depends upon location, age, type of structure, and other considerations. I believe historic old homes that are purchased to renovate have lower taxes. If you intend to do such you should consult your county tax assessor for guidance before you buy. Your tax assessor can tell you the tax bill for 2014 for any property in Cook County.
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Old 04-20-2015, 09:38 AM
 
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Arlington Heights goes to Ogilvie and its a little under an hour by metra. Naperville takes around the same actually even though it's further mileage wise.
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