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Old 02-14-2020, 04:10 AM
 
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I'm considering a job in downtown Chicago on Michigan Ave. So I am thinking about choosing a suburb that could shorten my commute to within an hour, and with great public school. We lived in suburbs in Boston before and NY now. It seems that there are a lot of good towns in Chicago suburbs. But if you are also familiar with either Boston or NY, could you please let me know which ones offers comparable school and neighborhood feeling like Wellesley/Lexington in Boston, or Scarsdale in NY?
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Old 02-14-2020, 08:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yusining View Post
I'm considering a job in downtown Chicago on Michigan Ave. So I am thinking about choosing a suburb that could shorten my commute to within an hour, and with great public school. We lived in suburbs in Boston before and NY now. It seems that there are a lot of good towns in Chicago suburbs. But if you are also familiar with either Boston or NY, could you please let me know which ones offers comparable school and neighborhood feeling like Wellesley/Lexington in Boston, or Scarsdale in NY?
Mwj119 will hopefully see your thread. He’s usually giving the good granular level info- especially vs Boston

FWIW, friends who have lived near Scarsdale/Rye settled in Glencoe and Winnetka, on Chicago’s north shore.
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Old 02-14-2020, 10:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damba View Post
Mwj119 will hopefully see your thread. He’s usually giving the good granular level info- especially vs Boston

FWIW, friends who have lived near Scarsdale/Rye settled in Glencoe and Winnetka, on Chicago’s north shore.
I need to save these comparisons offline. If nothing else, just to avoid inconsistencies in town vs. town comparisons!

OP- I can talk NY suburbs, specifically in Westchester, but I'll use Boston directly for this comparison.

I'll start off by saying, there is absolutely no need to look at any town with >40 minute train ride into the city. If you are coming from a Lexington, Wellesley, Rye, Darien, Scarsdale type of town, my assumption is that you have a large budget, and will not need to make any sacrifices in your search.

Do you prefer Wellesley, or Brookline? Lexington, or Newton? Concord, or Belmont? Arlington, or Winchester? That is to say, do you like towns with a more reserved/refined/remote feel, or do you want to be closer to the city with less land and more of a proper downtown/walkable core?

Wellesley gives me a Winnetka/Hinsdale feel.. Established, ultra affluent, pervasive use of brick, walkable core, great schools.

Lexington reminds me more of East Glenview/Northfield/Golf/Voltz Rd area in Northbrook. Though Lexington is far older, there is a lot of custom new builds, "country" roads, larger lots, etc. in both. And, all are close to commercial activity.

Winchester/Belmont would be like Wilmette/Western Springs (which is not vastly different than places like Kenilworth/Winnetka/Glencoe/Hinsdale), but a little more dense, nice core, a tad more socioeconomic diversity in the outer reaches of town, beautiful homes, close to everything.

Newton/Brookline would be like Evanston/Oak Park. Dense, pockets of commercial activity all over the place. SFH in desirable neighborhoods are at an ultra premium.

There are a lot of other comparisons to make. Concord/lincoln is like Barrington or Long Grove. Andover is like Libertyville. Arlington like Elmhurst/Park Ridge. Dover/Sherborn like Inverness.

To put things in perspective, here are the median income levels folks were sharing in another thread. This might tell you a lot about the two areas:

Dover, MA : $224,7784
Winnetka, IL : $220,577
Glencoe, IL : $209,143
Kenilworth, IL : $203,750
Weston, MA: $202,131
Wellesley, MA : $198,908
Sherborn, MA: $197,193
Long Grove, IL : $194,649
Hinsdale, IL : $188,684
Inverness, IL : $180,541
Sudbury, MA: $176,570
Lexington, MA : $175,750
Boxford, MA : $174,340
Wayland, MA: $174,330
North Barrington, IL : $174,284
Carlisle, MA: $171,625
Hawthorn Woods, IL: $170,313
Lake Forest, IL : $167,404
Hopkinton, MA: $166,156
Western Springs, IL: $161,563
Duxbury, MA: $160,893
Winchester, MA : $159,536
Westford, MA: $159,241
Westwood, MA: $155,706
Needham, MA $155,302
Hingham, MA: $155,662
Wilmette, IL : $154,738
Norwell, MA: $151,306
Barrington Hills, IL: $148,893
Andover, MA: $148,125
Highland Park, IL : $147,962
Stow, MA: $145,967
Southborough, MA: $145,079
Burr Ridge, IL: $144,609
Deerfield, IL : $144,229
South Barrington, IL: $143,571
Concord, MA (including West Concord): $141,293
Dunstable, MA: $140,381

Chicago has no answer to Hingham, Newburyport, Marblehead, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Duxbury. So, if you want something like that with an easy water commute into the city, it doesn't exist. On the flip side, there are far more towns in Chicago- in general- and it should be easy to find a great house in a great suburb with a reasonable commute to the city. Being the MSA is 2x the size of Boston, there are 2x the amount of towns in every bracket.. So, you'll have a lot of high end towns to choose from. I love both!
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Old 02-14-2020, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
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Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with the Boston and NY suburbs mentioned. That said, Chicago has some of the most diverse set of suburbs in the country, so you should be able to find something comparable (others who are more familiar can let you know).

In Chicago, you've got the North Shore suburbs/Lake County (that are ultra wealthy and quaint- most comparable to Philly's Main Line suburbs). You've got suburbs like Evanston, Oak Park that are virtually just extensions of the city (and just feel like Chicago neighborhoods). You've got traditional modern suburbs like Naperville, Arlington Heights, Downer's Grove, Schaumburg, Palatine, etc (NW and Western suburbs), that all have great schools, great shopping/restaurants, and nice individual downtowns. Then you've got South and SW suburbs that are a little older and slightly more blue-collar in feel.

Bottom line, is that Chicago has one of the most diverse group of suburbs in the country, so I'm pretty sure people who are familiar will be able to chime in and you'll be able to find something comparable.
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Old 02-14-2020, 01:11 PM
 
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I love doing street views in these comparisons. I'm not going to key on the mega mansions and one-off gated areas of the below towns, but here are snippets of your "average" streets in the given communities listed.

Wellesley Neighborhoods:
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.3168...7i13312!8i6656
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.3192...7i13312!8i6656
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.3168...7i13312!8i6656
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.3142...7i13312!8i6656
Wellesley Downtown:
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.2962...7i13312!8i6656
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.2997...7i13312!8i6656

Winnetka Neighborhoods:
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.1034...7i16384!8i8192
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.1062...7i16384!8i8192
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.1023...7i16384!8i8192
Winnetka Downtown:
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.1058...7i16384!8i8192
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.1060...7i16384!8i8192

Winchester Neighborhoods:
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.4533...7i13312!8i6656
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.4464...7i13312!8i6656
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.4396...7i13312!8i6656
Winchester Downtown:
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.4524...7i13312!8i6656
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.4514...7i13312!8i6656

Western Springs Neighborhoods:
https://www.google.com/maps/@41.8011...7i16384!8i8192
https://www.google.com/maps/@41.8160...7i16384!8i8192
https://www.google.com/maps/@41.8171...7i16384!8i8192
Western Springs Downtown:
https://www.google.com/maps/@41.8088...7i16384!8i8192
https://www.google.com/maps/@41.8096...7i16384!8i8192

Andover Neighborhoods:
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.6752...7i13312!8i6656
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.6719...7i13312!8i6656
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.6505...7i13312!8i6656
Andover Downtown:
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.6570...7i13312!8i6656
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.6540...7i13312!8i6656

Libertyville Neighborhoods:
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.2840...7i16384!8i8192
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.2862...7i16384!8i8192
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.2807...7i16384!8i8192
Libertyville Downtown:
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.2881...7i16384!8i8192
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.2865...7i16384!8i8192

Different, but similar. Such beauty in both.
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Old 02-15-2020, 04:23 AM
 
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Thanks, mwj119. This is so comprehensive! Very helpful. To answer your question, I don't think that we would like Newton type of town. We prefer a little remote, but not deep in the woods. We are used to get in the car to go anywhere, so walkable is nice, but not necessary. It's interesting that my friends also told me to look into Hinsdale and Golf today. Looks like they are truly my type of town in terms of setting. I will definitely check out other options you pointed out.



I'm wondering if you could shed some lights on culture. We lived in Westchester for a few years. The town and neighborhood are nice. But there are more snobby people than Boston Suburb. You could still find your people, but it's obvious that you could easily step in an event and feel you don't belong. How does Hinsdale/Golf feel culture wise? Both my husband and I are professionals and Asian immigrants. Is west suburb more culturally diversified than north suburb?
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Old 02-15-2020, 09:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yusining View Post
Thanks, mwj119. This is so comprehensive! Very helpful. To answer your question, I don't think that we would like Newton type of town. We prefer a little remote, but not deep in the woods. We are used to get in the car to go anywhere, so walkable is nice, but not necessary. It's interesting that my friends also told me to look into Hinsdale and Golf today. Looks like they are truly my type of town in terms of setting. I will definitely check out other options you pointed out.
Keep in mind that Golf is a tiny enclave with maybe 500 residents. It blends into the really nice part of east Glenview nearby. You are more likely to find something for sale in Glenview since probably half of Golf is technically a single golf course


Quote:
I'm wondering if you could shed some lights on culture. We lived in Westchester for a few years. The town and neighborhood are nice. But there are more snobby people than Boston Suburb. You could still find your people, but it's obvious that you could easily step in an event and feel you don't belong. How does Hinsdale/Golf feel culture wise? Both my husband and I are professionals and Asian immigrants. Is west suburb more culturally diversified than north suburb?
There are more asian professionals living near Golf in Glenview/Morton Grove than Hinsdale, if that matters. Hinsdale is 90% white. Culturally, I would wager you could find ‘your people’ across a wide swath of Chicagoland though.

I hope you realize how silly it sounds for a ‘professional’ to comment on how Westchester county is snobbier than in the Boston suburbs.
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Old 02-16-2020, 03:33 PM
 
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I am not familiar with the Boston suburbs, but currently live in NYC so know about west Chester, and am from hinsdale. I would say while hinsdale does have some “snobby” types, it’s nothing compared to west Chester. In general, the Midwest is much more welcoming and friendly than N.Y. just my experience. There are also wonderful private schools in Chicago suburbs if you’re not pleased with the level of education in public.
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Old 02-16-2020, 04:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orghiplove View Post
There are also wonderful private schools in Chicago suburbs if you’re not pleased with the level of education in public.
That would be downright silly, given the high public school ratings over a large swath of Chicagoland.
Especially the areas the OP is focused on.
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Old 02-17-2020, 06:29 AM
 
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Perhaps. And while I do agree the schools are top notch, when compared to the previous towns OP mentioned in other cities, they may not be what OP is used to and or looking for.
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