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Old 09-15-2020, 01:19 PM
 
5 posts, read 1,199 times
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Hi there folks! I will be moving to the Chicago area this winter with my family and I am researching NW suburbs to look at (husband's job will be in Schaumburg so commute time is pretty important).

I was pretty set on Arlington Heights but then I heard about Elmhurst and Glen Ellyn - and, frankly, a lot of other places that sounded attractive. So I would really appreciate some kind of breakdown of pros and cons of these places. Or maybe even other suggestions.

What we're looking for:

- safe
- excellent public schools (elementary and middle)
- nice walkable downtown area with something to do (so not just "quaint" but with actual restaurants, bars, maybe a movie teater, maybe some shopping)
- convenient train access to Chicago
- good options for outdoor nature activities
- aaaand anything else anyone might add that I haven't thought of. Seriously, I would love ANY input since I don't know anything.

Thank you so much in advance.
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Old 09-15-2020, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Chicago
3,286 posts, read 5,173,179 times
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I can't speak about Glen Ellyn or Arlington Heights from personal experience, but Elmhurst checks all the boxes. It's a really nice town and the downtown has a ton of bars and restaurants. We have a movie theater and boutiques, too. For nature there's the prairie path and salt creek, plus a bunch of other parks. Elmhurst has the best train commute downtown of the three suburbs.

If you have any specific questions let me know. We've lived in Elmhurst since 2013. I don't know a ton about the schools since my daughter isn't school age yet but I'm well versed in the daycare scene.
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Old 09-15-2020, 03:30 PM
 
5 posts, read 1,199 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikitakolata View Post
I can't speak about Glen Ellyn or Arlington Heights from personal experience, but Elmhurst checks all the boxes. It's a really nice town and the downtown has a ton of bars and restaurants. We have a movie theater and boutiques, too. For nature there's the prairie path and salt creek, plus a bunch of other parks. Elmhurst has the best train commute downtown of the three suburbs.

If you have any specific questions let me know. We've lived in Elmhurst since 2013. I don't know a ton about the schools since my daughter isn't school age yet but I'm well versed in the daycare scene.
Thank you! This is awesome. I may just pb you once I narrow it down a little more. Elmhurst does look pretty cool.
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Old 09-15-2020, 11:15 PM
 
Location: Evanston, Lake Forest, and Wrigleyville, Illinois
2,467 posts, read 1,560,209 times
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I think Arlington Heights is probably the way to go. You might also look to Palatine. I don't see Glen Ellyn or Elmhurst offering enough differentiation or advantages to select them over Arlington Heights or Palatine in light of your criteria.
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Old 09-16-2020, 04:37 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
4,753 posts, read 1,998,413 times
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People ask questions like this all the time, as if these suburban towns are independent entities separated by vast expanses of void, requiring vacation days & filing a flight plan to get from one to the next...Chicagoland is a megalopolis, and it's usually difficult to tell where one town ends and the next starts....

People want "walkability" as if you're gunna own a house walking distance from the business district. That's probably not going to happen. Do you really want to be that close to that much high traffic chaos anyway?

If your kid is a good student, he will do well in any school. If he's not, no "good school" will change that. All public schools in Chicagoland are "good enough." I wouldn't let the schools be the criterion on which I based a decision to buy.

Crime rates/safety of the various 'burbs has to do with socio-economic factors, which are in turn related to property values, and proximity to other high crime rate areas....Your pocketbook may decide this question for you.

Roads & public trans in Chicagoland are generally planned to make the 'burb-Loop commute, not the inter-'burb commute. The GlenEllyn-Scumburg trip would be tough, and from Elmhurst "you can't get there from here" would apply.
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Old 09-16-2020, 08:19 AM
 
Location: IL
499 posts, read 411,578 times
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If you can afford it, Elmhurst 100%.
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Old 09-16-2020, 02:08 PM
 
3,348 posts, read 1,876,642 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
People ask questions like this all the time, as if these suburban towns are independent entities separated by vast expanses of void, requiring vacation days & filing a flight plan to get from one to the next...Chicagoland is a megalopolis, and it's usually difficult to tell where one town ends and the next starts....
You could really have that attitude about any area, couldn't you? Why choose southern CT over Westchester when it's hard to distinguish between the two and the commute times are the same?

Subtle differences go a long way, don't they? Maybe it's older housing stock. Maybe it's a preference for newer housing stock. Cost of living. Proximity to a temple or church. Sociodemographics.

There are differences.

Quote:
People want "walkability" as if you're gunna own a house walking distance from the business district. That's probably not going to happen. Do you really want to be that close to that much high traffic chaos anyway?
I don't know what you mean when you say, "that's probably not going to happen". There are upwards of 10,000 people living within a one mile radius of a given town center. We just bought a house a few blocks from our downtown. People want to have some beers and walk home. People want to walk to the train. Families want to walk to the park. Someone wants to work at a coffee shop without driving. That's a popular trend that I don't see going away for a material % of homebuyers.

Quote:
If your kid is a good student, he will do well in any school. If he's not, no "good school" will change that. All public schools in Chicagoland are "good enough." I wouldn't let the schools be the criterion on which I based a decision to buy.
Largely agree. Income levels and educational attainment of the parents and aggregate community probably make a larger difference in the long run than the almost indistinguishable differences between districts.. That is, who you associate with, what doors can they open later in life. The network is a factor to consider, though it won't be different between these three. Most middle and middle-upper class communities offer an education that any motivated kid can take advantage of and succeed under.

Quote:
Crime rates/safety of the various 'burbs has to do with socio-economic factors, which are in turn related to property values, and proximity to other high crime rate areas....Your pocketbook may decide this question for you.
That's quite an over simplification, and isn't really reality. Ppsqft is far higher in Evanston than it is in Lake Zurich. The latter being "safer", the former being "less safe". Generally speaking, the closer you are to the city, the higher the COL is when decided between two towns.

Quote:
Roads & public trans in Chicagoland are generally planned to make the 'burb-Loop commute, not the inter-'burb commute. The GlenEllyn-Scumburg trip would be tough, and from Elmhurst "you can't get there from here" would apply.
Agreed. Glyn Ellyn just feels "out there" to me, though it's because we've always lived in/around the North Shore. Direct highway access likely being the culprit. You could certainly say the same about Arlington Heights, too, but I'm far more familiar and I do feel like the size makes it a pseudo-destination in it's own right.

I don't see a significant advantage between the three, enough to offset the commute. AH likely makes the most sense based on the criteria, and the same house with the same distance to their respective cores will be cheaper in AH than Elmhurst. Downtown AH extends on both sides of the tracks.. I like it a lot. You can find very upscale neighborhoods surrounding the core, just as you can find further reaching sub developments with cheaper housing stock. AH has enough that should satisfying most buyers, and the schools "rank" every bit as high as the other two districts.

I don't know what your budget is, but most any area surrounding downtown AH is considered nice.

Scarsdale: https://www.realtor.com/realestatean...-38492?view=qv

Historic District: https://www.realtor.com/realestatean...-18456?view=qv

Virgina Terrace: https://www.realtor.com/realestatean...-47759?view=qv

South of Downtown: https://www.realtor.com/realestatean...-80129?view=qv

Last edited by mwj119; 09-16-2020 at 02:26 PM..
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Old 09-16-2020, 03:47 PM
 
Location: Tri-Cities
625 posts, read 779,782 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
People ask questions like this all the time, as if these suburban towns are independent entities separated by vast expanses of void, requiring vacation days & filing a flight plan to get from one to the next...Chicagoland is a megalopolis, and it's usually difficult to tell where one town ends and the next starts....
I didn't agree with most of that post, but people do indeed treat entire burbs like they are all on different planets.
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Old 09-16-2020, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Evanston, Lake Forest, and Wrigleyville, Illinois
2,467 posts, read 1,560,209 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwj119 View Post
You could really have that attitude about any area, couldn't you? Why choose southern CT over Westchester when it's hard to distinguish between the two and the commute times are the same?
Fairfield County taxes are significantly lower than those in Westchester. A few towns aside, the Fairfield County towns are appreciably more politically conservative/moderate than Westchester County too. They attract different demographics of people, and, the Bedford area aside, commute times from Fairfield are longer for those headed to Manhattan.
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Old 09-16-2020, 04:59 PM
 
3,348 posts, read 1,876,642 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiruko View Post
Fairfield County taxes are significantly lower than those in Westchester. A few towns aside, the Fairfield County towns are appreciably more politically conservative/moderate than Westchester County too. They attract different demographics of people, and, the Bedford area aside, commute times from Fairfield are longer for those headed to Manhattan.
Right. You could argue those same differences between Lake, Cook, and DuPage.

The point was/is, not all suburbs and sub areas of Chicagoland are created equal in peoples minds. So the idea that Chicagoans clearly separate or delineate between two or three suburbs seems fair to me, but does not seem to make sense to guido.

I think size of a towns core, how old the housing stock/mature the landscape is, how commercially active they are, the difference in property tax, and the political leanings of the village/city make each suburb unique.
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