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Old 04-27-2015, 01:09 PM
 
13 posts, read 26,913 times
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The area around Chicago is so massive, that I'm having a hard time assessing the feasibility of transferring there with the restrictions we have as a family.

Summary:

My job would be near Romeoville.
My husband is a software engineer that would need to find a new job. He has 10 years of experience in the field.
We have three kids, the oldest of which will be starting Kindy in the fall.

Obviously, good schools are important to us.

Questions:

1. How feasible is it that we could purchase a property somewhere between Romeoville and Chicago? We are looking at around $500k or less though we could stretch a bit more. With decent schools, lower crime, etc.

2. What kind of commute would we be looking at in areas with affordable housing? I know "Chicago" is broad and I don't know if there's a concentration of tech in one part of the city. But just assuming access to most of downtown?

3. Given how large Chicago is, I imagine the job market for a software engineer is decent. Best I can tell by looking at job listings, anyway. Is this true (from your experience)?

Thank you. I know my questions are fairly general, but I am trying to assess multiple locations and I have about a week to do so. I also don't know the Chicago area, really at all, and it's probably the most difficult of the areas I'm evaluating to get a good feel for.
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Old 04-27-2015, 01:19 PM
 
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There's a good chance your husband could land a job in Chicago itself or along the Illinois Technology and Research Corridor in the western burbs. Many western towns are a short commute to Chicago, Romeoville and all other points along the corridor.

With $500k to spend, you'll have the pick of the litter among many of Chicago's most desirable suburbs. You won't have to worry about safety or school quality. If you want to poke around on Zillow or Redfin, I'd suggest searching around the juncture of 88 and 355. Look at Downers Grove, Wheaton, Glen Ellyn and Naperville. All four are excellent towns and would provide easy access to both Romeoville and Chicago, as well as any possible job locations along the corridor.

And overall I'd describe the job market as strong, but I don't know what your point of reference is...
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Old 04-27-2015, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Chicago
3,260 posts, read 4,507,084 times
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I'd say the job market for software engineers is pretty strong. That's my husband's field and he is contacted by recruiters regularly. Many of the companies can't find people who they consider qualified enough. If your husband is good at what he does he shouldn't have trouble finding a job.
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Old 04-29-2015, 07:55 AM
 
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Naperville would be your best choice in terms of commuting. Wheaton or Glen Ellyn would be feasible but a bit longer drive. All have good schools.
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:43 AM
 
28,384 posts, read 67,936,355 times
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Default Well...

Quote:
Originally Posted by holl1ngsworth View Post
There's a good chance your husband could land a job in Chicago itself or along the Illinois Technology and Research Corridor in the western burbs. Many western towns are a short commute to Chicago, Romeoville and all other points along the corridor.

With $500k to spend, you'll have the pick of the litter among many of Chicago's most desirable suburbs. You won't have to worry about safety or school quality. If you want to poke around on Zillow or Redfin, I'd suggest searching around the juncture of 88 and 355. Look at Downers Grove, Wheaton, Glen Ellyn and Naperville. All four are excellent towns and would provide easy access to both Romeoville and Chicago, as well as any possible job locations along the corridor.

And overall I'd describe the job market as strong, but I don't know what your point of reference is...
Pick of the litter? Not really. Sure there are some quite nice homes to be had for under $500k even in towns with median prices higher than that but generally speaking the most desirable parts of the nicest towns are not going to be available at that price unless the home "needs work". That may still make the most sense for the OP good access to Romeoville is going to require being close to 355 or other major thoroghfares and the majority of good paying tech sector jobs are similarly concentrated in Loop and the towns that have good access to 294 corridor...

Depending on what sorts of commute both can tolerate they may have to compromise on a home that is far removed from "pick of the litter" but is located in an area that does make for nice transfer.
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:56 AM
 
1,500 posts, read 1,607,025 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
Pick of the litter? Not really. Sure there are some quite nice homes to be had for under $500k even in towns with median prices higher than that but generally speaking the most desirable parts of the nicest towns are not going to be available at that price unless the home "needs work". That may still make the most sense for the OP good access to Romeoville is going to require being close to 355 or other major thoroghfares and the majority of good paying tech sector jobs are similarly concentrated in Loop and the towns that have good access to 294 corridor...

Depending on what sorts of commute both can tolerate they may have to compromise on a home that is far removed from "pick of the litter" but is located in an area that does make for nice transfer.
294 tech corridor? Like in Rosemont? Or would that be down near Justice and the canal?

The majority of suburban tech jobs are located along the 88 corridor, starting at the DuPage-Cook line and extending westward to Aurora. The corridor passes over 355, which is the best route to get to Romeoville. If the OP and spouse need commutability to Romeoville plus a future job in either the city or along 88, the best spot to start looking would be the juncture of 88 and 355.

I know decent homes for $500k are getting fewer and further between, but there are still several lingering in the towns I mentioned. Centrally located ones at that.

Last edited by holl1ngsworth; 04-29-2015 at 09:05 AM..
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Old 04-29-2015, 02:25 PM
 
28,384 posts, read 67,936,355 times
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Microsoft has one of their largest datacenter adjacent to 294 in Northlake IL, not a huge staff, but vitally important to the online services.

There are tens of thousands of technology jobs located from roughly Oak Brook all the way into Wisconsin along the Tri-State corridor. Most are not the super sexy startups, but the work is challenging and the pay reflects that, whether one in working for a retail pharmacy chain, diversified insurance firm, credit card firms, manufacturers / consumer products. wholesalers, etc...

Employment is much thinner along 88 or 355. Really, that was not always the case, but shifts, especially dramatic ones related to AT&T and their spinoffs, has dramatically altered the composition of tech jobs in the heart of DuPage Co...
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Old 04-29-2015, 02:32 PM
 
1,500 posts, read 1,607,025 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
Microsoft has one of their largest datacenter adjacent to 294 in Northlake IL, not a huge staff, but vitally important to the online services.

There are tens of thousands of technology jobs located from roughly Oak Brook all the way into Wisconsin along the Tri-State corridor. Most are not the super sexy startups, but the work is challenging and the pay reflects that, whether one in working for a retail pharmacy chain, diversified insurance firm, credit card firms, manufacturers / consumer products. wholesalers, etc...

Employment is much thinner along 88 or 355. Really, that was not always the case, but shifts, especially dramatic ones related to AT&T and their spinoffs, has dramatically altered the composition of tech jobs in the heart of DuPage Co...
A datacenter is a warehouse stuffed with computers. A datacenter is not a jobcenter. The jobs are on 88:

Microsoft Midwest District: Downers Grove | Microsoft Company Information

294 is a blue collar corridor, north and south of 88. Logistics, warehousing, small manufacturing and the like. Tech, research, and related corporate fields have a strong and growing presence along 88, west of 294.

Last edited by holl1ngsworth; 04-29-2015 at 02:41 PM..
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Old 04-29-2015, 02:40 PM
 
11,972 posts, read 26,853,926 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holl1ngsworth View Post
Microsoft Midwest District: Downers Grove | Microsoft Company Information

294 is a blue collar corridor, north and south of 88. Logistics, warehousing, small manufacturing and the like. Tech, research, and related corporate fields have a strong and growing presence along 88, west of 294.
After it joins up with I-94 to the north again, though, it is a powerful White Collar job center in Lake County. Not long ago I read that it was the second largest concentration of employment in Chicagoland, after the Chicago's CBD--though I'm not sure if this is still the case.
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Old 04-29-2015, 06:07 PM
wjj
 
621 posts, read 659,826 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lookout Kid View Post
After it joins up with I-94 to the north again, though, it is a powerful White Collar job center in Lake County. Not long ago I read that it was the second largest concentration of employment in Chicagoland, after the Chicago's CBD--though I'm not sure if this is still the case.
Even before that. Starting at Willow Road with Allstate, Astellas, CVS, etc. all the way up to Route 137 with Abbott, Abvie, and all the large healthcare companies north of there on Waukegan Road, that corridor along 294/94 is a high paying corporate powerhouse with numerous global headquarters companies and Americas regional headquarters of foreign companies. Given all the new large companies moving along that corridor, I am sure it is second only to Chicago as an employment center and far larger than the I88 corridor.
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