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Old 10-14-2006, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Georgia
1,260 posts, read 1,400,774 times
Reputation: 652
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicago_slim View Post
White bred, upper class, character-less, candy cutter track housing and condo, sprawling, obnoxious chain store, chain restaurant, SUV driving, MCMansion, corporate clones. I really, really, hate Schaumburg and Naperville. But I'm a city guy and most Cook County Chicago suburbs are an extension of chicago itself. That being said, neither of the aforementioned places are representative of chicago. The chicago metro area (especially cook county) is very diverse, albeit crime is a problem in some areas, and this is the birthplace of Gangsterism (is that a word?), but you're crime risk is only as high as the concocted ball of fear in your head, and if you're that scared you probably belong in one of the two above places AND you probably buy into everything our current President perpetuates and says since FEAR is his main weapon. Move to the city or an inner-ring (cook county) suburb where you get a taste of city life through the people, housing, and infrastructure. Forget about these bedroom, cookie-cutter communities. THey DO NOT AND WILL NEVER BE REPRESENTATIVE OF CHICAGO. People that live in Schaumburg and naperville lack character and personality just like their towns. They're like the poor man's agrestic for those of you who watch the show weeds

So what areas would you suggest to someone who can't afford $300+ for a house in Chicago, and has a family so condo/apt. is out of the question, and can't afford private schools?

That's exactly what I can't stand about where we are at currently, it is exactly as you describe, except, there are no exceptions, EVERY suburb/city around here is like that, even in-town itself is. Problem is, the middle-class is being forced to move to these mega-corporate shi!hole suburbs, middle-class and anyone not uber-rich w/a family can't afford to live in any of the cities anymore...

 
Old 10-14-2006, 10:27 AM
 
Location: NE Georgia
2,779 posts, read 6,738,303 times
Reputation: 1389
Quote:
Originally Posted by InGA View Post
Just another perspective, don't live there or haven't, but have visited quite often, and personally I think Chicago is a WONDERFUL city. The downtown is unbelievable! Don't know if you've ever been to or know anything but Atlanta, but using it as a measuring stick, Chicago is a 1000 times better than ATL, so I don't think you'll go wrong w/your move to Chi-Town!

I like Chicago. I miss Chicago. Don't miss the booger freezing cold though.
Lived in Crystal Lake for 3 years. I liked Crystal Lake, I miss Crystal Lake. Don't miss the traffic and booger freezing weather though

Chicago City and burbs are nice Mid-West America. In GA is correct you cannot compare Chicago to Atlanta. Ga does have some nice burb's but 90% of downtown Atlanta is dingy, dirty, and dangerous.
 
Old 10-14-2006, 11:20 AM
 
4 posts, read 46,727 times
Reputation: 12
Default Lived in northwest indiana

If you take a drive down the main road Ridge Road, you will see an interesting mix of homes.. Munster, IN is the most fancy-schmansy (most beautiful) homes, but looks like you have to be rich! Highland is next town going east and that looked more middle class,, next town going east is Griffith which are cute little cottagey-type homes, which are probalby even more affordable, then go east and you got unincorporated Gary which is actually woodsy which is nice and cute, then go east and then you get the city of Gary which unfortunately has a downtown that I remember as boarded up shops. On the way though are houses up on a hill which looked fabulous. In northwest Indiana they dont have curbs, so you get a little stream next to the road where the rainwater collects!
 
Old 10-14-2006, 05:53 PM
 
4 posts, read 23,774 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by InGA
So what areas would you suggest to someone who can't afford $300+ for a house in Chicago, and has a family so condo/apt. is out of the question, and can't afford private schools?

That's exactly what I can't stand about where we are at currently, it is exactly as you describe, except, there are no exceptions, EVERY suburb/city around here is like that, even in-town itself is. Problem is, the middle-class is being forced to move to these mega-corporate shi!hole suburbs, middle-class and anyone not uber-rich w/a family can't afford to live in any of the cities anymore...
Yeah, money can make things difficult. What can you afford? And how much space do you want? If you are looking for a house UNDER $300k in a nice Chicago neighborhood or suburb, you are going to have a problem.

I agree with almost everything Chicago_Slim said (except the end - about the people - was an unnecessary generalization, IMO ) so I am really surprised by some of the responses to this thread. Tell you the truth, I don't even consider a lot of the towns mentioned part of the Chicago area.

My favorite suburb is Evanston - I feel it's a nice happy medium - beautiful suburb on the lake with a progressive, urban climate. It can be expensive, but there are some areas with smaller homes or townhomes that are more reasonably priced (though probably not under $300k).

Also consider Skokie - it is EXTREMELY diverse. The homes are very bland . . . well, IMHO most are actually outright ugly, but they might be more in your price range. And Skokie has some great public schools . . . honestly, if you want ethnic diversity, Skokie is where you should be.
 
Old 11-11-2006, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Minnesota
124 posts, read 227,096 times
Reputation: 75
Depending on where your husband works, the west or northwest suburbs would be the nicest, although he would have a long commute. The west and northwest suburbs are known for their excellent educational system, plentiful parks, safe neighborhoods, and excellent shopping! I'm not sure how close you want to be to the city, but if you think you'd like to be closer, then I would look into Oak Park if I were you. It is pretty pricey though, because it is one of the most affluent older suburbs of Chicago. Frank Llyod Wright designed many of the homes in the community, and it has a lot of old world charm combined with modern day convenience, as well as a very nice downtown district with a few train stops. If you would like to be farther out, then I suggest either Naperville, Schaumburg/Hoffman Estates, or Downer's Grove. These are all very nice communities with much newer homes and subdivisons. They are close to shopping, like Woodfield Mall-- one of the largest malls in Illinois, which is located in Schaumbrug. There are lots of parks and forest preserves are plentiful as well. If you want the newer suburb atmosphere, then look into the far West and Northwest Suburbs. If you would like a more mature community, then definitely give Oak park a look. Hope this helps, and good luck! Also, Chicagoland is, in my opinion, one of the nicest places to live--don't believe everything people say!
 
Old 11-16-2006, 02:43 AM
 
Location: Northwest Indiana
17 posts, read 93,279 times
Reputation: 18
Shaumburg, Naperville, Orland Park, Evanston, Glencoe (and other northern suburbs) are best bet for schools and overall lifestyle. I used to live out in West Dundee/Algonquin area which is pretty far out west but still close to O'Hare and good shopping. We were able to get a really nice house there for a very good price. Now I live in Valparaiso, Indiana (which is 50 miles from Chicago). It takes only an hour to get into the city because there is no traffic to speak of. Reason: you have to travel through Gary and undesirable areas to get into Chicago. Valparaiso and Chesterton are both great small towns where you can get tons of house for the money and pay very little taxes, plus both school districts are great. I didn't know if I would like it here or not but now I love it. No traffic, low crime, big houses on large lots, great schools, access to Valparaiso University, plus right near the Indiana Dunes. It's really nice! Good luck looking around - at least you have tons of areas to choose from!
 
Old 11-16-2006, 11:32 AM
 
Location: AZ
18,951 posts, read 49,532,294 times
Reputation: 7832
Ill let CNN/Money Magazine show you how Naperville consistently ranks in their "Top 10 cities to live in" in the USA with populations over 100,000.
 
Old 11-29-2006, 05:17 PM
 
17 posts, read 88,020 times
Reputation: 21
Default Thinking about moving to Chicago

Hello everyone. My wife and I are thinking about relocating to Chicago in a year or two. Can anyone give us any advice on where they think the best place to live is? We currently reside in a Suburb west of Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland Ohio is ranked as one of the highest areas with crime in the country. It is also ranked #1 as the most poverish city. But, on the other hand Chicago is twice the size of Cleveland Ohio. WE read the threads on here, and cant tell is Chicago a safe place to be or not? My wife went there back about 7 or 8 yrs ago, and said she loved downtown Chicago. But alot of people on here make it sound like you can be robbed just going to work. We are also wondering when people say expensive, what the average 2 story, 2500 square foot home, i would say year 2000 or newer goes for in the chicago suburbs. sorry for the long thread, i hope someone can help us out. Thank you to everyone.
 
Old 11-29-2006, 06:49 PM
 
3 posts, read 40,292 times
Reputation: 10
If your husband does'nt mind taking the train going to work (about 45min- one hour). The towns of Westmont, Downers Grove, Lombard, Villa Park, Oak Brook, Hinsdale and Glen Ellyn are some options. Some, to most of the areas of these towns have high priced homes and taxes, but there are some that are affordable. Many houses here have the backyards that you want. Nice area to raise your kids with good schools. Crime rates are lower. Yorktown mall and Oak Brook mall are 10-15 mins away. There are many restaurants around, parks, etc. Most of the major highways are close by (290, I55, 294, 355, I88). The drive going and comming back from downtown is about 45 min to an hour during traffic hours. If you leave for work before 6am, you can get to the downtown area in 30-45 mins, but then you have to pay for parking, which can be very expensive.
I lived in Oak Park for 3 years and in Forest Park/River Forest for 1 year about 5 years ago. This area is okay, expensive houses but very good schools, nice shopping area, close to the train station. It can get very busy with slow traffic. Stay away from the area east of Austin (that is already Chicago anyway). I wasn't too fond of the area south of Oak Park. WEst of River Forest/Forest Park would not one of my choices either. Stay away from Maywood, Hillside, and Berkeley. From Elmhurst going west (Lombard, Villa Park) are okay. I don't know much about Berwyn, Cicero- going South. I've driven that way-don't like it much.

I am actually looking to buying a house with a backyard, and this is how I got into this forum. I live in Lombard right now in a condo/townhouse. I love this area. I lived in many different towns within the last 10 years, and this is the area I want to raise our kids (just got married). I lived in Bolingbrook for six months, I hated the drive going to work and going downtown(I did not like spending too much time on the road). Oak Park/RiverForest/Forestpark--it's hard to find parking and it is expensive to buy your own parking space. Actually some areas in OP and FP are not too safe, River Forest is probably much better. Everybody has their own opinion, you have to do your research. hope this helps.
oh, Naperville is a nice town but it is far from the city, the train ride will probably take about 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours. There are many upcomming far western suburbs but they are too far, and some of the houses are built cheap. There are the suburban towns that I am familiar with so I can only say something about them. Living in the city is just too much for me, too many people, heavy traffic, harder to find parking, noisy, higher crime and expensive. I love the city, I can go there in the week ends but I cannot live there.
 
Old 12-01-2006, 09:30 PM
 
185 posts, read 513,889 times
Reputation: 76
To help you with your search, you should go onto the Chicago Tribune website and search high school rankings. Chicago Magazine also did a profile of all the different counties and ranked the schools in each one. The near north shore is known for its great schools but unless you have a great deal of money, don't plan to settle there. The western suburbs in DuPage County are a great choice. There are quite a few high schools to the surprise of many on the northshore that rank right up there with Stevenson and New Trier in the top 20. This has driven up home prices considerably (there are only a handful of homes at any one time in my school district -whose elementary and jr high were ranked #1 & #2 in DuPage County by Chicago Magazine - under a million). Our high school is Hinsdale Central, almost always ranked the #1 high school by ACT scores in the western suburbs and consistently one of the top 10 in the state. Hinsdale is a beautiful, affluent town with a great downtown area with fast express train service to the city (24 minutes). Three Naperville high schools (North Central & Neuqua) are excellent. Your money goes alot further in Naperville, the downtown area is vibrant (there is actually nightlife in Naperville), Fox Valley mall & the Prime Outlets are super close, they have a wonderful Children's museum, and low crime. It's no wonder Money magazine has ranked it as one of the best places to live in the whole country (#2 the last two years).
Downers Grove, Glen Elynn, Wheaton and Elmhurst have nice downtown areas, train stations for commuters to the city and reputable school systems. If you want to be closer to the city, the western Cook County suburbs I would recommend are LaGrange (20 minute Metra ride to the City) and Western Springs. Oak Park (15 minute Metra ride plus all day/night Chicago subway access on two train lines) and River Forest are really close to the city but the taxes are really high and unless you like old homes (they have some really great older homes) you are basically out of luck.
Good Luck & Welcome to Chicago. Hope your move goes smoothly.
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