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Old 11-28-2009, 09:50 AM
 
5 posts, read 18,076 times
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I recently moved to the West suburbs of Chicago to start a job in North Naperville. For the last six weeks, I have been looking for a place to rent in the Naperville/Arurora/Wheaton areas with dissapointing results.

In the areas that I have looked, the townhouses and condos have been larger than I need and without the charm and upgraded features that I would like to have. I looked at some of the bunglow type homes, but almost all had a musty smell indicating hidden mold. The places in Aurora have been secluded and only close to strip malls and other townhouses. Most of these places have been generic, cookie cutter places. Just no character.

Downtown Naperville is quite charming, but there are few condos or townhouses that are currently available for rent. I lived in Cambridge, MA for many years and had small but beautiful Victorian apartments that had been nicely renovated and were situated close to bookstores, coffee shops, and public transportation. It has been hard for me to find anything close to what I had there.

I hope to spend more time in the Chicago, both for work and fun, once I am settled into my new position. So perhaps I should live in a place such as Oak Park which is more accessible to the city. I'm also considering Lombard, Elmhurst, Downers Grove, and Oak Brook- but know very little about these areas.Living close to Naperville has the advantage of a short commute to work, which I anticipate would make the winter months and snow season easier. Having never driven in the snow, I'm slighly anxious about commuting a long distance over the upcoming months.

I would appreciate any information or insight about where to live in the West suburbs of Chicago.

Last edited by sc875; 11-28-2009 at 10:06 AM..
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Old 11-28-2009, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Phoenix metro
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Have you looked into Wheaton or Geneva? Lots of charming Victorians, some are for rent, and still relatively close to Naperville and both have Metra access to Naperville and Chicago.
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Old 11-28-2009, 06:39 PM
 
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Geneva would place me further away from the city. I have looked at Wheaton, it's lovely-I just haven't found the right place.
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Old 11-28-2009, 08:51 PM
 
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If you are looking to get downtown, I personally would go no farther west than Wheaton. And getting into Naperville, I would not move in towards the city either, Naperville can have crushing traffic. I would check Wheaton or Glen Ellyn, both have metra into the city and are driveable into Naperville. Perhaps Westmont or Downers grove would fit your bill as well. Westmont being a little less expensive. Again both those towns have trains.
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Old 11-28-2009, 09:25 PM
 
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Geneva is far from the city, but the downtown area has a metra line and if you live down there (and if you want an older charming home you will have to) you can walk to the train and get to the city. Geneva is a really great place to live.
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Old 11-28-2009, 10:44 PM
 
Location: "Chicago"
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I'd second the recommendation for Glen Ellyn.
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Old 11-29-2009, 07:12 AM
 
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Glenn Ellyn-what are the characteristics of the city? What about Lombard.?There are some nice condos on main street, but the downtown seems more sedate and sleepy than Wheaton or Naperville. And the commute is about 20 minutes to my office.

I like the idea of Oak Park-historic homes and close to the city. I imagine it to be a hip and vibrant town. Is it considered a desirable and safe place to live, for a single woman? The commute though, will be about 35-40 minutes from my office, in the reverse direction of traffic.

Thank you. Finding a home in an entirely new area is daunting. I appreciate the input.
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Old 11-29-2009, 12:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sc875 View Post
I like the idea of Oak Park-historic homes and close to the city. I imagine it to be a hip and vibrant town. Is it considered a desirable and safe place to live, for a single woman? The commute though, will be about 35-40 minutes from my office, in the reverse direction of traffic.
Yes, Oak Park is safe and desirable--though it has more crime than the other suburbs you are mentioning. The crime levels in Oak Park are similar to those found in desirable North Side Chicago neighborhoods like Lincoln Park and Lake View. And there are parts of Oak Park you may want to avoid living in.
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Old 11-29-2009, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Phoenix metro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sc875 View Post
Geneva would place me further away from the city. I have looked at Wheaton, it's lovely-I just haven't found the right place.
If youre just going downtown for fun, does it really matter that youre adding only 10 more minutes to the train ride from Naperville to the Geneva area? Now if you worked in Chicago, I could understand, but you work in Naperville. I recommended Geneva because there are lots of old homes, direct Metra access, not too far from Naperville, tons of charm, and its as safe as towns can possibly get.
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:25 AM
 
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Several towns along the BNSF and UP West lines offer a variety of housing options that include some historic districts though rentals are far less common than they would be in a college town like Cambridge.

Without knowing your price range or comfort level for commuting I can only offer general suggestions. Elmhurst has a small college area with surrounding museums and library that does have lots of appeal on a cultural level, though the single family homes are quite expensive adjacent to these amenities and the newer apartment / condos lack charm, they do offer good access. If you pine for a true Victorian apartment / rooming house Elmhurst has a handful of these too, in the College Hill area as well as near Elmhurst Hospital. Going east to towns like Maywood you could find a bargain Victorian, but the population is probably more like the crime plagued underclass in Cambridge than the academic class...

Hinsdale has some very very pricey homes of the Victorian style, some of which are historic and others just made to look that way.

A more affordable alternative to the west along the BNSF would be Downers Grove, which also offers walkable shops and such. In Lombard there is a very small historic district too, though it lacks the charm of Glen Ellyn or Wheaton, it is far more affordable.

A bit a of stretch commute wise, and with much less good train service to Chicago you might head into Lemont -- if you squnit just right its steep hills have a bit in common with MA...
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