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View Poll Results: Hinsdale or Glencoe?
Raise your family in Hinsdale! 15 60.00%
Raise your family in Glencoe! 10 40.00%
Voters: 25. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-23-2015, 11:48 AM
 
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Hello All,

I would love to hear the current thinking on Hinsdale vs. Glencoe for raising a family with a 3 and 7 year old given the recent major investment in New Trier, the Hinsdale Central top(ish) ranking, and the changes going on curriculum-wise in Hinsdale grade schools. The thread on this currently hasn't seen much use in 6-8 months, and a lot has happened. Given freedom to choose and focused on best education and best community for raising the kids. Please share your opinion. Thank you so much!

Best,
Glen
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Old 07-23-2015, 12:12 PM
 
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I like Glencoe a lot -- lots of attractive homes, good access to Lake Michigan, long history of community minded people that supported quality schools / nice parks etc. Home prices range from YIKES to OMG, and that fosters a certain kind of isolation as even very very well off folks tend to value their privacy. That is also reflected in much of the layout of Glencoe, it is not "gated access" but it is not geared toward just strolling around...

Hinsdale lacks access to Lake Michigan but in every other category is probably a better choice -- easier access to more potential employment centers, more walkable spots to eat / shop in town for families and kids, wider range of activities from not just the municipal parks but also well supported Community House and great range of offerings nearby, true "community hospital" right in Hinsdale can be a big plus for everything from childbirth to minor injuries that kids are prone to encounter, to on-going health care needs for folks with more serious conditions, better commuter train service to THREE stops in town make for very efficient rides to the Loop, bigger group of "newcomers" makes for more opportunity to get to know neighbors / feel like part of the community...

Things for ALL the public schools in Illinois have been a bit disrupted by the state's participation in Common Core / PARCC, with the tests administered last spring unlikely to be available until well into the fall of the coming school year, but the trends for Hinsdale have been mostly positive -- wacky extremists were defeated in the race for D86 Highs School and a more education-minded majority regained control, plans to build a new middle school in downtown Hinsdale (that would mirror the sort of neo-traditional structure in adjacent Clarendon Hills that also served D181 families) will be a positive in replacing the "70s era" structure that has no supporters, there were healthy debates and good turn out in the spring elections with a mostly education oriented board being elected.

Unless you really really want to be close to Lake Michigan (and have the extraordinarily deep pockets to find a decent home...) I whole heartedly recommend Hinsdale.
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Old 07-23-2015, 01:01 PM
 
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Thanks so much Chet!!

I've heard not such good things about the Community House programs... Seems weird to have a community house AND a park district often offering similar activities (I grabbed both activity guides when I was out there looking at houses). Am I missing something?

One nice thing about both towns is that there are homes that will work for us in all price ranges so expense is not really that big a factor. Does that change your opinion at all?

Thanks for the great info!!!

Glen
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Old 07-23-2015, 01:26 PM
 
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While I know there are always complainers, I really can't fathom why folks would not be happy with the range of activities that offered through Hinsdale's Dept or Park & Recreation along with the wonderful array of additional opportunities through the Community House. The later is a "foundation" that serves a huge range of community needs -- Mission & History | The Community House I further know Hinsdale has a wonderful range of specific sports activities that range from AYSO AYSO Philosophy Page and Little League Hinsdale Little League Sponsors to literally dozens of competitive travel sports clubs for nearly every kind of athelete...

There are some terrific homes on the market in Hinsdale right now, and activity has been quite strong even at rather high price points, my hunch is people see the relatively modest taxes and that contributes the to the value -- https://www.redfin.com/IL/Hinsdale/2.../home/18033263

The taxes for a house that is admitted more grandiose and close to the Lake are signficantly higher -- https://www.redfin.com/IL/Glencoe/39.../home/13790323 Frankly that sort of expense is hard to justify...
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Old 07-23-2015, 01:48 PM
 
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Glencoe has the lake, Hinsdale has a vibrant downtown district.

Unless you have or plan to have a boat, I promise you won't use the water as much as you think you will. Conversely, I'd wager you would utilize the eateries, watering holes, boutiques, parks, library and other amenities of a polished downtown district on a more-than-weekly basis. Hinsdale's core acts as a central gathering place for residents, and really cuts down on the suburban mundanity found in other towns, like Glencoe.
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Old 07-23-2015, 01:53 PM
 
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Thanks so much everyone! Sounds like Hinsdale is getting the majority vote so far. Any Glencoe endorsers?
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Old 07-23-2015, 02:14 PM
 
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I second holl1's opinions - unless you luv boating, best and most vibrant core always wins in my books...
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Old 07-23-2015, 02:18 PM
 
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Either choice is a good one. I can't imagine one being better than the other. Unless you are going to live close to downtown in Hinsdale, there won't be much difference in the amenities available to you as Glencoe is a very short drive (and within walking distance for some of Glencoe) of either Hubbard Woods in Winnetka (southern edge of Glencoe) or Highland Park to the north.

The western burb people all seem to have this sense that people don't use/enjoy the lake, but many of us do, and if we don't our kids do. My teenagers have been to the beach more than a handful of times this summer.

I would certainly give the edge to Hinsdale in terms of park district offerings as it has twice the population of Glencoe. Winnetka and Highland Park park districts are strong.

If it were me, I'd pick the town with the house you liked best. In fact, if I were starting over I probably wouldn't choose either, I'd choose Winnetka.
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Old 07-23-2015, 02:29 PM
 
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I tend to agree that once go above $2M it is silly not to pick the home you find you fits your needs best, that said the range of homes in any of the desirable towns is still not going to be universally dreamy --- the older homes that have been updated are still going to have some quirks (especially when it comes their mechanical systems), the newer homes may be kind of daunting with their array of higher end electronics. Everything ends up being something of compromise. And don't forget, you really buying into a community, especially if your kids will be in public schools -- that kind of carries its own set of challenges. Lots and lots opinions as to whether it is preferable to have kids walk to school vs ride a bus or get dropped off, come home for lunch and brown bag it, and then the various need / desire to volunteer at school. Toss in personal feelings toward hanging out with other parents, getting involved in athletics / fitness for yourself, and the other sorts of recreational activities that you / your spouse are going to feel comfortable with and LOTS of decisions really bombard you VERY quickly...
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Old 07-23-2015, 02:30 PM
 
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Both are great communities, but Glencoe is more desirable.

There are more good downtowns around Glencoe than around Hinsdale, so not sure why people are bringing up downtowns. Downtown Hinsdale is tiny and is no comparison to Highland Park, Evanston and the like. Even Winnetka and Wilmette have more impressive downtowns.

Both are obviously desirable communities, though, and you can't go wrong with either.

One big difference- Glencoe might be the most Jewish town in Chicagoland. Hinsdale is more WASP in feel.

And people definitely use the lake on the North Shore. That's kind of the whole point.
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