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Old 02-13-2007, 08:06 PM
 
2 posts, read 16,764 times
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My husband and I moved here from DC and are house hunting in the suburbs and want some advice on which neighbourhood to pick. We are looking for a neighbourhood which is close to the city as we both work in downtown and a place which is lively with lots of restaurants, shopping etc around. We are looking for a townhome in the range of 350K - 400K.

Based on our initial research, we zeroed in on Oak Park. But the problem is we are hardly finding any townhomes in Oak Park. Most are either condos or single family houses. Our budget would fetch us only a 2 bedroom condo which is a lil' small for us and the SF houses available are either very old or not modern and to our taste.

We did find some nice townhomes in Elmwood park but we are not very sure of the neighbourhood. Can someone tell me if Elmwood p is a nice 'burb - safe, lively, posh, also would the home resale value be good. Any other neighbourhoods around to consider?

Thanks much!
S
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Old 02-13-2007, 08:55 PM
mdz
 
Location: Near West Burbs, IL
622 posts, read 2,368,478 times
Reputation: 194
Elmwood park is a fine place to live, it's safe but it's far from posh and I really wouldn't call it lively. Middle class, big Italian population with great Italian food. best beef stand in the city or burbs (johnnie's). Public schools aren't so hot, but there's good catholic schools in area.
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Old 02-13-2007, 10:30 PM
 
198 posts, read 724,018 times
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I agree with mdz. While Elmwood is close to downtown, the commute won't be much different than living in a burb that's further out and taking express trains. Elmhurst has some townhome options with a Metra commute of only 25 minutes to the city during rush hour. There is a rare 4 bedroom, 3 bath townhome in the heart of downtown at 177 York where you can walk to the express train, restaurants, bars, shops, library, and parks. Schools are great which keeps the property values soaring. I would definitely consider Elmhurst more "posh" than Elmwood Park. Glenview and Northbrook have an even greater selection and will also have a good commute times downtown with Metra express trains (not as fast as Elmhurst though) and being on the North Shore they would definitely be considered posh. If the schools aren't an issue, Lincoln Square in the city might be an option, you can't judge a book by its cover - I saw a 3 bedroom townhome for 350K in what looked like it could have been my grandma's flat (cute but old) but when I walked in it was totally modern. It was on Leland only 3 blocks to the Brown line. Arlington Heights, Mt. Prospect and Des Plaines are also options - I personally like Arlington Heights. They are all convenient to the city with Metra stops. You could definitely afford a newer development - in fact there's a brand new development on River Road in Des Plaines you might want to check out. Send me a PM if you want more info and good luck in your search.
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Old 02-13-2007, 10:54 PM
 
Location: Chicago, Little Village
3,668 posts, read 6,832,994 times
Reputation: 2473
Quote:
Originally Posted by spark7 View Post
My husband and I moved here from DC and are house hunting in the suburbs and want some advice on which neighbourhood to pick. We are looking for a neighbourhood which is close to the city as we both work in downtown and a place which is lively with lots of restaurants, shopping etc around. We are looking for a townhome in the range of 350K - 400K.

Based on our initial research, we zeroed in on Oak Park. But the problem is we are hardly finding any townhomes in Oak Park. Most are either condos or single family houses. Our budget would fetch us only a 2 bedroom condo which is a lil' small for us and the SF houses available are either very old or not modern and to our taste.

We did find some nice townhomes in Elmwood park but we are not very sure of the neighbourhood. Can someone tell me if Elmwood p is a nice 'burb - safe, lively, posh, also would the home resale value be good. Any other neighbourhoods around to consider?

Thanks much!
S
Townhomes are going to be tough to find in the inner-ring as the housing stock is generally older and established. I'd recommend Berwyn because you'd get a very nice house on your budget, and it's safe and developing a lively nightlife. There's a lot of young people moving in. But if you don't like older houses, Berwyn probably isn't for you. It's mostly bungalows, and older Victorians towards the center of town. Very few townhomes, at least yet. Still, for $350-400k, you could easily get a fully rehabbed and modernized older house. Bungalows adapt very well to modern living once they are properly upgraded. They look small on the outside but have around 3,000 square feet of living space if the upstairs and basement are finished. The upside should be strong because it's relatively inexpensive now compared to neighboring Oak Park.

Forest Park has some townhomes near the Madison Street and Circle area. I don't know what the prices are like now but when I was looking in the area a few years ago, there wasn't much price difference between Forest Park and Oak Park. For the same money, I'd buy in Oak Park because you get better schools -- though your taxes will probably be much higher.

MDZ described Elmwood Park pretty accurately. It's nice, clean, and safe but, again, it isn't really lively and the homes are also pretty old. I don't know if they're doing a lot of townhomes or not, I haven't been there in awhile. Johnnie's Beef is indeed great, FYI You must check it out. It's on North Ave. just west of Harlem.
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Old 02-15-2007, 02:21 PM
 
2 posts, read 16,764 times
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Thank you all for your advice. Will definetely check out the other suburbs you guys have suggested.
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Old 02-16-2007, 06:38 PM
 
3 posts, read 19,618 times
Reputation: 11
In the 350-400 range you can find townhomes in the Westmont, Downers Grove, and detached single family homes as well.
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