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Old 04-30-2015, 06:14 AM
 
Location: Chicago, Illinois
46 posts, read 79,540 times
Reputation: 42

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My wife is really salivating for a move to Skokie when our lease ends in July. Currently we live in the Ravenswood neighborhood in the City in a 2-bedroom apartment. I'm not sure why she's enthralled with this area, but it is the first spot that gets named by her in our discussion of areas to look at for a rental when our lease ends. I'm not as enticed.

Every time we head out that way, I see suburban sprawl and strip malls. The housing looks generic and same-y. It also appears public transit options all but erode to minimal offerings. I know this just about describes most suburbs, but in contrast to nearby City of Chicago It just seems like such a steep drop off, and the area lacks any character. She doesn't mind these changes; but I do -

Despite these impressions, I'm trying to keep an open mind and not dismiss the idea of moving there. So for others who are in the know: what's it like to live there? Do you regret moving to the area after living elsewhere? We aren't really considering any areas too far from our work, so that rules out Far South, West, and Northwestern Suburbs (we don't want to expand our choices too much).

Living in the City of Chicago has been decent for both of us since we moved here about a year ago. My feelings are if we end up in the suburbs, I'd rather move back to Maryland where we moved about a year ago from Baltimore City. Yes, of course I'm aware Baltimore City is in the news a lot lately (in a negative fashion) - but even in Baltimore County, or the surrounding suburbs of Baltimore - it has much more to offer compared to what I've seen here in Illinois. Maryland is close to the Ocean, has mountains, is geographically situated between many dense urban centers, and has better weather than Illinois. More character to me, but more expensive for sure. However I'd rather pay more than live someplace long term that doesn't mesh.
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Old 04-30-2015, 08:39 AM
 
11,972 posts, read 26,849,693 times
Reputation: 4547
The answer is: It depends on the suburb.

The best thing about Skokie is that it's close to the city and close to Evanston. Evanston has quite a bit more going on, and a LOT more character and charm in most of it's neighborhoods. But of course, that comes at a significant price... Particularly in the Northern Suburbs.

There are several suburbs that offer walkable downtown cores, traditional tree-lined streets with older charming homes, and Metra service to the Loop. Dozens of them, even. But Skokie is mostly a post-war suburb with post-war development patterns, which means a more sprawly pattern of lots and streets and shopping that caters to automobile traffic.
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Old 04-30-2015, 08:54 AM
 
3,783 posts, read 5,528,400 times
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I would rather live in Evanston. The suburbs are not at all boring, many of them are but others are lively. Skokie at least in close to Evanston and other points on the north shore, and its easily accessible to Chicago.
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Old 04-30-2015, 09:45 AM
 
1,500 posts, read 1,606,428 times
Reputation: 550
Quote:
Originally Posted by DallasReeves View Post
My wife is really salivating for a move to Skokie when our lease ends in July. Currently we live in the Ravenswood neighborhood in the City in a 2-bedroom apartment. I'm not sure why she's enthralled with this area, but it is the first spot that gets named by her in our discussion of areas to look at for a rental when our lease ends. I'm not as enticed.

Every time we head out that way, I see suburban sprawl and strip malls. The housing looks generic and same-y. It also appears public transit options all but erode to minimal offerings. I know this just about describes most suburbs, but in contrast to nearby City of Chicago It just seems like such a steep drop off, and the area lacks any character. She doesn't mind these changes; but I do -
Wow, so many better options than Skokie if you want to avoid sprawly shopping mall laden suburbia. Schools aren't anything to write home about either. All it really offers is proximity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DallasReeves View Post
Despite these impressions, I'm trying to keep an open mind and not dismiss the idea of moving there. So for others who are in the know: what's it like to live there? Do you regret moving to the area after living elsewhere? We aren't really considering any areas too far from our work, so that rules out Far South, West, and Northwestern Suburbs (we don't want to expand our choices too much).

Living in the City of Chicago has been decent for both of us since we moved here about a year ago. My feelings are if we end up in the suburbs, I'd rather move back to Maryland where we moved about a year ago from Baltimore City. Yes, of course I'm aware Baltimore City is in the news a lot lately (in a negative fashion) - but even in Baltimore County, or the surrounding suburbs of Baltimore - it has much more to offer compared to what I've seen here in Illinois. Maryland is close to the Ocean, has mountains, is geographically situated between many dense urban centers, and has better weather than Illinois. More character to me, but more expensive for sure. However I'd rather pay more than live someplace long term that doesn't mesh.
My wife and I moved to the western burbs two years ago from the city. No regrets. We love the town we picked. We love the charm and walkability, we love shopping almost exclusively local, we love the friendliness of our neighbors, the easy access to nature, the lower price tags -- on everything, the endless amenities, the peace of mind the schools bring, the convenience and comfort of commuting on Metra, the ease of getting involved in community activities/politics, and the knowledge that the tax dollars we pay stay put.

Last edited by holl1ngsworth; 04-30-2015 at 10:20 AM..
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Old 04-30-2015, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Chicago
3,260 posts, read 4,505,593 times
Reputation: 3990
I'm not sure why your wife is singling out Skokie. It really has no appeal whatsoever in my opinion. If you want to stay close to the city, Evanston is by far a better option if you can afford it.

Last edited by nikitakolata; 04-30-2015 at 10:11 AM..
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Old 04-30-2015, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Chicago, Illinois
46 posts, read 79,540 times
Reputation: 42
From what I've seen, Evanston would be a much better fit. Agreed.
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Old 04-30-2015, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Chicago, Illinois
46 posts, read 79,540 times
Reputation: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikitakolata View Post
I'm not sure why your gf is singling out Skokie. It really has no appeal whatsoever in my opinion. If you want to stay close to the city, Evanston is by far a better option if you can afford it.
I think she is drawn to the ease in which you can access chain box retail stores (Kohl's, JC Penny, DSW, etc) compared to the city, for the most part. A woman must have her shopping options, but I'm presenting the idea that it doesn't have to be centered around those in particular.
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Old 04-30-2015, 10:13 AM
 
1,500 posts, read 1,606,428 times
Reputation: 550
Quote:
Originally Posted by DallasReeves View Post
I think she is drawn to the ease in which you can access chain box retail stores (Kohl's, JC Penny, DSW, etc) compared to the city, for the most part. A woman must have her shopping options, but I'm presenting the idea that it doesn't have to be centered around those in particular.
Please don't move somewhere for brick-and-mortar big box retail. That's a ghost on the horizon.
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Old 04-30-2015, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Chicago
3,260 posts, read 4,505,593 times
Reputation: 3990
Quote:
Originally Posted by DallasReeves View Post
From what I've seen, Evanston would be a much better fit. Agreed.
I lived in Evanston before I met my husband (then we moved to Chicago) and I loved it. We both liked Evanston a lot more than Chicago, actually. I would move there again in a heartbeat if we could find a house we both liked and could afford. The area around the Davis Street metra and L stops is ideal, IMO. You can walk everywhere, there are tons of bars and restaurants and I never felt unsafe.
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Old 04-30-2015, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Chicago
3,260 posts, read 4,505,593 times
Reputation: 3990
Quote:
Originally Posted by DallasReeves View Post
I think she is drawn to the ease in which you can access chain box retail stores (Kohl's, JC Penny, DSW, etc) compared to the city, for the most part. A woman must have her shopping options, but I'm presenting the idea that it doesn't have to be centered around those in particular.
Yeah, that is no reason to move to Skokie. You can still drive to those stores easily from another town (such as Evanston).

I would consider a lot of other towns before Skokie, personally. For example, if retail is important to your wife, then I'd try and find a place in downtown Naperville way before I considered Skokie.
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