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Old 04-29-2015, 08:07 AM
 
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A commute from St Charles to Oakbrook Terrace or O'Hare will take upwards of an hour or more during rush. With no direct route, and possible bridge crossings, it'd truly be a brutal commute. There are many towns much closer to work that are analogous to St Charles in look and feel. You can get a nice home for ~$450k in Geneva, Batavia, Warrenville, Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Naperville, Downers Grove or Elmhurst. Even Clarendon Hills if you're lucky. Depending how big of yard you want, you might be able to throw Western Springs and La Grange into the mix. IMHO any would be a better option than St Charles.

I live in Wheaton. Our downtown district is wonderful and serves as the hub for the Illinois Prairie Path. Wheaton's schools have an outstanding local reputation and regularly earn high marks. We're the safest city in Illinois with a population over 50,000 and have even been cited as the 31st safest city in America. We've got some of the best golf courses in the state, including the oldest 18-hole golf club in America, plus museums, nature preserves, formal gardens, an equestrian center, a well-stocked library, a living history farm, and even our own little zoo. And to top it all off, Wheaton has two Metra stations that can have you in the heart of Chicago in as little as 40 minutes. Oakbrook Terrace is <20 minutes, O'Hare is typically <35 minutes.

Last edited by holl1ngsworth; 04-29-2015 at 08:16 AM..
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Chicago
3,260 posts, read 4,504,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frank1234 View Post
I should have mentioned I would only be in Oak Brook once a week and traveling via Ohare throughout the midwest twice a month.
So does that mean you are going to be in Chicago the rest of the time?

Here's the thing about St. Charles... It is a great town and offers a high quality of life. I lived in St. Charles for high school and during breaks in college. The schools are good and your money really goes far in terms of housing. The downtown is really nice. That's the good.

The bad is commuting. St. Charles isn't close to any major expressways, so getting around the region by car is a pain in the butt. It just takes forever. If you're going downtown daily, then you'll want to take advantage of Metra. But, you really need to appreciate that it will take you 2 hours each way to make that commute. We used to live in the Royal Fox subdivision. Between driving to the train station, walking from the parking lot, waiting for the train, the train ride and then walking to the office it was about 2 hours each way. That really adds up. I did that commute daily at two points in my life; when I first graduated college and again 2 years ago when my husband and I were waiting to close on our current house and lived with my parents. It is just brutal and feels like a huge waste of time every day.

So, while I personally love St. Charles and would live there again in a heartbeat if it made sense for our commutes, I couldn't do it now with my husband and I both working downtown. It's just too much of a time waster. I think the only way I could live that far west is MAYBE if I could find a house that was walking distance to the train station in Geneva. But, even then, the commute still takes a long time.

Edited to add: There are just too many wonderful towns in this region to set yourself up with such an awful commute, IMO. If your job was in Batavia, then St. Charles would of course be on the top of everyone's lists of towns to check out. But, it doesn't sound like that is the case.
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:33 AM
 
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Here's a listing in Wheaton that is quite convenient to I-88: 804 Dorset Drive WHEATON, IL 60189 | Redfin

The home is also walking distance to three different parks. The largest, Seven Gables, includes basketball courts, walking trails, baseball diamonds, tennis courts, multipurpose fields, picnic areas, an enormous playground, and a large pond for fishing and ice skating. I think you'll find the taxes more affordable too... compared to similarly priced STC homes.

Last edited by holl1ngsworth; 04-29-2015 at 08:45 AM..
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Long Island, NY
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Adding a little more and thanks for all the great input.

In the city of Chicago maybe 2 times a month
Driving to Ohare 2 times per month
Driving to Oakbrook 3 times per month
Working from home the rest of the time.
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:41 AM
 
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With that configuration you can go anywhere… I think its going to come down to favorite town in either North Shore or the West. You need to visit both ends and check out the best each has to offer then decide…

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Old 04-29-2015, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frank1234 View Post
Adding a little more and thanks for all the great input.

In the city of Chicago maybe 2 times a month
Driving to Ohare 2 times per month
Driving to Oakbrook 3 times per month
Working from home the rest of the time.
OK, given that, I don't think St. Charles is a bad choice. I could live with the commute from St. Charles 7 times per month, personally. Would you even drive yourself to O'Hare, anyway? I've never once driven there myself, I've always used a limo/taxi, especially for business trips.
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:55 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikitakolata View Post
OK, given that, I don't think St. Charles is a bad choice. I could live with the commute from St. Charles 7 times per month, personally. Would you even drive yourself to O'Hare, anyway? I've never once driven there myself, I've always used a limo/taxi, especially for business trips.
Yeah, I don't know. I think I'd still pick something that made it easier to get to the Loop, O'Hare, and Oakbrook Terrace. Six trips a month doesn't sound bad, but even daily commuters make only about 20 trips per month. It's still about a third of the time.

I'd still look at closer-in Western suburbs, or even northwestern suburbs like Arlington Heights. If you think the inner suburbs are too packed together, I wills say that things really start to loosen up once you get in to Central DuPage County. There are more open spaces between the towns, less congestion, and larger lots available.

In this case I don't think it makes a lot of sense pay the premium for "walk to train", so you could get a very nice house in the towns that have been recommended.
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Tri-Cities
495 posts, read 571,321 times
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http://www.realtor.com/realestateand...5-10309?row=18

Look at this house in Batavia. This house is approximately ~5 minutes from I-88. I live near here and my commute to O'Hare is relatively painless, even in rush hour (some may balk, but I do it fairly consistently).

However, if you are interested in moving closer-in, that is your prerogative. St. Charles is nice, but it is in an inconvenient location for commuting. Within my Fox Valley bias, I too have a Batavia bias.
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:57 AM
 
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Even the commute from St. Charles to O'Hare is too long.

I would aim for a town much closer to Oakbrook Terrace. If you don't mind a home that needs a bit of work you can find something in your price range in Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Western Springs, Clarendon Hills or LaGrange. Schools are superior, commute is significantly better (to either Oakbrook Terrace or O'Hare) and overall "community feel" is going to have some pluses.

First I have to say that in a general sense there are parts of St. Charles that are quite nice but in my experience the mix of subdivisions and traditional neighborhoods tends to tilt toward the "planned communities" and in such developments certain kinds of families tend to be all "gung ho" on the HOA while the more reserved families get alienated. In contrast the more traditional towns tend to have less of that sort of thing and more families that really do like to walk to the parks, libraries and low-key little shops in town tend to actually see MORE of the neighbors / classmates so that there is less isolation.

Now these are not ironclad rules but given that the OP stress that their children are quite shy it certainly makes sense to consider the situation most likely to help them educationally / socially. My experience as both a former teacher, former real estate relocation / sales agent, and dad really make me appreciate the value of being able to find a home where kids can walk to school vs enduring a lengthy bus ride. I am sure there are handful of spots in St. Charles where that is possible but given the distance factor to work / airport it probably makes sense to focus on towns where such convenience is the norm not the exception...
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:59 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
Even the commute from St. Charles to O'Hare is too long.

I would aim for a town much closer to Oakbrook Terrace. If you don't mind a home that needs a bit of work you can find something in your price range in Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Western Springs, Clarendon Hills or LaGrange. Schools are superior, commute is significantly better (to either Oakbrook Terrace or O'Hare) and overall "community feel" is going to have some pluses.

First I have to say that in a general sense there are parts of St. Charles that are quite nice but in my experience the mix of subdivisions and traditional neighborhoods tends to tilt toward the "planned communities" and in such developments certain kinds of families tend to be all "gung ho" on the HOA while the more reserved families get alienated. In contrast the more traditional towns tend to have less of that sort of thing and more families that really do like to walk to the parks, libraries and low-key little shops in town tend to actually see MORE of the neighbors / classmates so that there is less isolation.

Now these are not ironclad rules but given that the OP stress that their children are quite shy it certainly makes sense to consider the situation most likely to help them educationally / socially. My experience as both a former teacher, former real estate relocation / sales agent, and dad really make me appreciate the value of being able to find a home where kids can walk to school vs enduring a lengthy bus ride. I am sure there are handful of spots in St. Charles where that is possible but given the distance factor to work / airport it probably makes sense to focus on towns where such convenience is the norm not the exception...
Great assessment, Chet.
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