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Old 07-27-2009, 03:49 AM
 
12 posts, read 92,074 times
Reputation: 18

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I'm browsing for a nice and safe place to live in Chicago (close enough to downtown) that is family friendly with good schools (I have 2 little kids). I'm searching for more or less positive atmosphere without anger, depression, discrimination or snobby attitude. I don't know maybe I'm dreaming and I should go to another planet to find such a place Anyway if it's not possible, which suburban neighbourhoods are nice? We're hoping to find something that is about 30 minutes or less away from downtown (hopefully by train because driving to Chicago every day could be quite stressful).
We live in Rockford now. I've been warned about this place before but we haven't really had a choice. We've been living here for more than a year. pffff it's kinda depressing. Even though there're some positive things here. We live in mainly African populated neighborhood, and even though most of the people I've met on the street are quite friendly (even though I'm not a say hello to every stranger kind of person) but some people do look at me suspiciously, like I don't belong there. It is very irritating. I would love to live in a mixed community, but I'm not sure if it's possible.
Yeah, one more question - which neighbourhood have lower property taxes?
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Old 07-27-2009, 03:53 AM
 
Location: Chicago
38,691 posts, read 86,869,750 times
Reputation: 29355
It would help to have some more criteria such as:

1) price range
2) Size of home you're looking for
3) What's your idea of "lower" property taxes? Compared to what/where? And do you mean "lower" in terms of overall tax bill, or lower as a percentage of home value?
4) Are you more interested in a quasi-urban, pre-war-type inner suburb or a more contemporary "newer houses bigger lawns" suburb?
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Old 07-27-2009, 08:23 AM
 
12 posts, read 92,074 times
Reputation: 18
Default place in Chicago or surrounding area

There're lots of factors that can influence our price range, so at this point we're browsing for a house from the lowest possible price (if we decide to rebuild a house) to about $700.000 - 800.000, maybe higher but again it depends on circumstanses. Otherwise we'll just rent a place. Ideally we're looking for a single family home. If outside Chicago from 2,5 000 sq ft and higher (ideally 4 bedrooms), if in Chicago - maybe we could compromise a little. About property taxes, I've thought about it and it probably doesn't matter because if we want to live within the distance that I've mentioned than it's going to be Cook county and we'll have the same tax everywhere throughout the county... or am I wrong?
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Old 07-27-2009, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Oak Park, IL
5,520 posts, read 11,980,164 times
Reputation: 3820
Well, I'm sure you've already heard of the obvious choices, but if not, they are Oak Park and Evanston. They're not the ONLY choices, but they are the most obvious ones.
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Old 07-27-2009, 09:48 AM
 
12 posts, read 92,074 times
Reputation: 18
What about crime problems? I use bestplaces.net for crime rating and rates for these places are pretty high. Or it's one of those cases when you just have to avoid certain streets?
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Oak Park, IL
5,520 posts, read 11,980,164 times
Reputation: 3820
Quote:
Originally Posted by epath13 View Post
What about crime problems? I use bestplaces.net for crime rating and rates for these places are pretty high. Or it's one of those cases when you just have to avoid certain streets?
There's no short and easy answer to that question. The crime levels are higher than some (many?) middle-class suburbanites are willing to deal with, and if that's your decision, that's fine, its not for everybody. Still many middle and upper-class families (who could choose to live elsewhere) have chosen Oak Park despite the crime. BTW, in your price range you could also consider River Forest which is directly adjacent to Oak Park, has a similar vibe, but has significantly lower crime rate.

Basically, the vast majority of criminal activity in Oak Park is due to offenders who come from the city of Chicago, our direct neighbor to the east. Thus, there is a very good correlation between proximity to Chicago (east side of OP) and criminal activity. The western end of OP and River Forest (west of OP) have lower levels of crime. Even on the east side, most criminal activity is property crime, although muggings do happen. If you want more detailed info, go to the village of Oak Park website and look at the crime maps which show type and location of reported crime events.
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