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Old 11-13-2017, 06:21 AM
 
9 posts, read 6,846 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kluch View Post
We're not set on Elgin or the surrounding areas but it's tough finding a (decently updated) move in ready home around 225k (with 5-6k in taxes), a suburb with an ok commute into the city, and decent schools. Schools aren't important at the moment but they might be in the next few years (we have a 2yo and an 2 month old), assuming we don't do an option like home schooling. Originally our budget was closer to 250k but staying around 225k would be ideal. My work is at the intersection of west huron street and North franklin street. The L stops right in front of it.
You are not going to find that in Illinois unless you are very far away from Chicago which means a pain in the ass commute.
Elgin on the surface looks good but in reality after living there 8 years we couldn't wait to get out. We moved to Northwest Indiana 2 years ago and have no regrets.
In fact I just saw this a couple days ago: Elgin proposes new gas tax, other tax hikes in 2018 budget
Taxes just continue to rise all across Illinois and our income declined by 20% before we moved.
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Old 11-13-2017, 07:14 AM
 
Location: Elgin, IL
699 posts, read 528,667 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExElginResident View Post
You are not going to find that in Illinois unless you are very far away from Chicago which means a pain in the ass commute.
Elgin on the surface looks good but in reality after living there 8 years we couldn't wait to get out. We moved to Northwest Indiana 2 years ago and have no regrets.
In fact I just saw this a couple days ago: Elgin proposes new gas tax, other tax hikes in 2018 budget
Taxes just continue to rise all across Illinois and our income declined by 20% before we moved.
So I completely understand this. Originally my plan was to move us to northwest indiana. Without a doubt there's a much better financial picture there. Only one issue. Our main reason for moving is to be closer to family and my wife's family lives out near sycamore/dekalb. Living in Munster (about as close as you can get) means an hour and a half commute to see family... doesn't make much sense when the idea was to be close to family for free babysitting, and getting a night out once or twice a week. Elgin was on our radar because my wife's cousins live there and they love it... but they don't have kids. The idea is to live relatively close to dekalb/sycamore (for family purposes) and relatively close to the city for commuting purposes... all the while trying to find a somewhat affordable area. Believe me, if we were just moving to chicago for my job we'd be moving to NWI.
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Old 11-13-2017, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Crook County, Illinois
3,437 posts, read 1,547,408 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kluch View Post
So I completely understand this. Originally my plan was to move us to northwest indiana. Without a doubt there's a much better financial picture there. Only one issue. Our main reason for moving is to be closer to family and my wife's family lives out near sycamore/dekalb.
How about Geneva, then?

It's quite similar to Elgin in terms of layout: it was built on Fox River, it has a quaint downtown surrounded by suburbia, there's a Metra station, etc. It's smaller and safer, and has good access to the city by both road and rail. At the same time, it has an almost direct connection via I-88 to DeKalb and Sycamore. I even remember reading about Metra's proposal to extend its UP-W line to DeKalb, but that's a long-range plan full of political roadblocks. The only catch is that Geneva is a lot more expensive, on average. Because schools.

Last edited by MillennialUrbanist; 11-13-2017 at 07:47 AM..
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Old 11-13-2017, 07:45 AM
 
9 posts, read 6,846 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kluch View Post
So I completely understand this. Originally my plan was to move us to northwest indiana. Without a doubt there's a much better financial picture there. Only one issue. Our main reason for moving is to be closer to family and my wife's family lives out near sycamore/dekalb. Living in Munster (about as close as you can get) means an hour and a half commute to see family... doesn't make much sense when the idea was to be close to family for free babysitting, and getting a night out once or twice a week. Elgin was on our radar because my wife's cousins live there and they love it... but they don't have kids. The idea is to live relatively close to dekalb/sycamore (for family purposes) and relatively close to the city for commuting purposes... all the while trying to find a somewhat affordable area. Believe me, if we were just moving to chicago for my job we'd be moving to NWI.
Closer to family is nice except one problem. Its hard to see your family if you have no money. Driving a car isn't cheap and at the end of the day your finances are top priority. All you have to do is look around to see what happens when people don't prioritize their finances. We easily save $5,000+ a year living here and based on what you are looking for on your property taxes that alone is nearly $4,000 extra in your pocket a year. Add another thousand dollars or 2 in sales, excise, income, utility, and red light/speed camera's savings. Imagine the vacation trips you could take your family on with that kind of money or save up for kids college, your retirement and so on.
Plus my brother lives in the northwest burbs and unless traffic is really bad the drive isn't that long. 294 is a breeze mostly.
At the end of the day you will have to make some compromises and decide is being financially secure more Important than saving 15-20 minutes on a drive to see family.
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Old 11-13-2017, 08:09 AM
 
Location: Elgin, IL
699 posts, read 528,667 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MillennialUrbanist View Post
How about Geneva, then?

It's quite similar to Elgin in terms of layout: it was built on Fox River, it has a quaint downtown surrounded by suburbia, there's a Metra station, etc. It's smaller and safer, and has good access to the city by both road and rail. At the same time, it has an almost direct connection via I-88 to DeKalb and Sycamore. I even remember reading about Metra's proposal to extend its UP-W line to DeKalb, but that's a long-range plan full of political roadblocks. The only catch is that Geneva is a lot more expensive, on average. Because schools.
We like Geneva a lot. Only issue is, like you said, affordability. It's not out of the question though. I just noticed there were some very affordable homes in the hanover park area (that could cut down my commute). I'm wondering if the schools there aren't as good? Just surprised at the number of homes under 250k.
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Old 11-13-2017, 08:15 AM
 
Location: Crook County, Illinois
3,437 posts, read 1,547,408 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kluch View Post
I just noticed there were some very affordable homes in the hanover park area (that could cut down my commute). I'm wondering if the schools there aren't as good? Just surprised at the number of homes under 250k.
You're mostly correct. Hanover Park's schools aren't bad, but could be better. Which keeps the prices low. As for town itself, it's as suburban as suburban gets: wide roads, no sidewalks, not much visible history, no real downtown to speak of, hard to walk to places, massive strip malls, and a Metra station that appears to be added as an afterthought. If you want something with a sense of urbanity, Hanover Park ain't it. It also gets quite a few unsavory nicknames: Hangover Park, Bendover Park, etc.

Last edited by MillennialUrbanist; 11-13-2017 at 08:25 AM..
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Old 11-13-2017, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Elgin, IL
699 posts, read 528,667 times
Reputation: 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by ExElginResident View Post
Closer to family is nice except one problem. Its hard to see your family if you have no money. Driving a car isn't cheap and at the end of the day your finances are top priority. All you have to do is look around to see what happens when people don't prioritize their finances. We easily save $5,000+ a year living here and based on what you are looking for on your property taxes that alone is nearly $4,000 extra in your pocket a year. Add another thousand dollars or 2 in sales, excise, income, utility, and red light/speed camera's savings. Imagine the vacation trips you could take your family on with that kind of money or save up for kids college, your retirement and so on.
Plus my brother lives in the northwest burbs and unless traffic is really bad the drive isn't that long. 294 is a breeze mostly.
At the end of the day you will have to make some compromises and decide is being financially secure more Important than saving 15-20 minutes on a drive to see family.
At the end of day, you're right, some sacrifices will have to be made. I'm just trying to get ideas for different areas that could work. i.e. If we can find a beautiful home in a great price range and close to my wife's family but my commute is longer then it could be worth it. We're still months out from moving so I'm trying to consider all the options. Unfortunately NWI is out of the picture at the moment. Yes, I agree finances ARE important but there are other things that are a high priority for us as well, and a couple of those priorities (not mentioned here) we didn't see in NWI.
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Old 11-13-2017, 08:22 AM
 
Location: Elgin, IL
699 posts, read 528,667 times
Reputation: 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by MillennialUrbanist View Post
You're mostly correct. Hanover Park's school's aren't bad, but could be better. Which keeps the prices low. As for town itself, it's as suburban as suburban gets: wide roads, no sidewalks, not much visible history, no real downtown to speak of, hard to walk to places, massive strip malls, and a Metra station that appears to be added as an afterthought. If you want something with a sense of urbanity, Hanover Park ain't it. It also gets quite a few unsavory nicknames: Hangover Park, Bendover Park, etc.
Good to know, thanks. Another area I had thought off was west chicago (which I've heard somewhat similar things about). Seems more affordable and close to st. charles area.
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Old 11-13-2017, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Crook County, Illinois
3,437 posts, read 1,547,408 times
Reputation: 4302
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kluch View Post
Good to know, thanks. Another area I had thought off was west chicago (which I've heard somewhat similar things about). Seems more affordable and close to st. charles area.
You heard right. Although, West Chicago is slightly more urban than Hanover Park: one stretch of Turner Ct. will make every hipster melt like an ice cream cone in July . (https://goo.gl/maps/xP7aH1VTjDL2). But the rest of the town is very much suburban, albeit with sidewalks and easier walking. Schools are meh; it's a bit sketchy as well.

Last edited by MillennialUrbanist; 11-13-2017 at 08:47 AM..
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Old 11-13-2017, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Elgin, IL
699 posts, read 528,667 times
Reputation: 394
Quote:
Originally Posted by MillennialUrbanist View Post
You heard correct. Although, West Chicago is slightly more urban than Hanover Park: one stretch of Turner Ct. will make every hipster melt like an ice cream cone in July . (https://goo.gl/maps/xP7aH1VTjDL2). But the rest of the town is very much suburban, albeit with sidewalks and easier walking. Schools are meh; it's a bit sketchy as well.
Haha! That's great. We'll be moving from Hipster Nashville so we'd fit right in LOL. thanks for the link.

Ok, a realtor did suggest naperville to us (specifically because it runs by 88 which goes by dekalb) and I've been considering that area as well - I know I'm all over the place, but I did say I'm considering ALL options.

I've found it somewhat strange that taxes seem to be lower in such areas which are a bit closer to the city as opposed to suburbs farther out like the tri-cities. Naperville seems like an ok option all things considered, not as bad a commute by train I would think...?
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