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Old 04-07-2010, 11:19 AM
 
10 posts, read 23,994 times
Reputation: 11
Default Suggestions for living in West burbs (near Schaumburg)

Hi all, thanks for any help on my first post.
My wife and I recently finished Grad school and are currently living in Sycamore, just outside of Dekalb (Northern Illinois University, far west of the city). I am currently working in both both Huntley and Schaumburg, so you can imagine that I have a pretty long drive all the way from Sycamore to Schaumburg (about an hour).

I am looking for suggestions on nice and reasonably priced neighborhoods to buy a home (or potentially find another apartment) in that area between the two cities. Unfortunately, it seems that most places are priced significantly higher than where we are currently located, and we are wondering if the cost is justifiable to shorten the drive and live closer to the city.

It seems like such a mixed bag from city to city in that area. the Algonquin and Lake in the Hills area seems quite affluent and has a lot of development from what I can tell. I am also drawn to some of the areas along the lake such as West Dundee or even down by South Elgin or St. Charles.

On the other hand, there are places like Eastern Elgin or Carpentersville that look somewhat less appealing and I have heard that crime and poverty is higher in some of those areas.

Lastly, I have also seen parts of Streamwood or that area (Bartlett, Hanover Park) that also look appealing both quality and location-wise.

Sorry for being a bit vague in our intentions, but any suggestion on what areas to focus on would be a great help. Our general goals are reasonable cost of living in a decent neighborhood. We prefer a 'neighborhood/town' type atmospher to a 'suburban' feel, if that makes sense. Thank you!

Nate
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Old 04-07-2010, 02:07 PM
 
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The far NW and Western burbs are pretty suburban, so it's probably going to be difficult to find a town type setting. The suburban prototype neighborhood should be easy.

Geneva is a bit far from Schaumburg, but does have a small quaint downtown. St. Charles is slightly closer, still a rough ride in the morning, but also has a nice downtown. The schools are good and the homes are priced to represent that. Algonquin and Lake in the Hills are nice areas, but typically suburban and pretty new. A lot of young families in Algonquin and Lake in the Hills.

West Dundee and South Elgin are middle of the road, in my opinion. Others know more about those suburbs than I do, so I can leave that to them.

I know a lot about the NW corner of Cook County, i.e. Hanover Park (partially in DuPage), Barlett, and Streamwood. Bartlett is by far the wealthiest and most upper middle class of those three. The townhomes are reasonably priced for purchase and rent. Streamwood and Hanover Park have nice areas, but Hanover Park is also prone to gang violence. It isn't necessarily a problem like it was last summer, but there is gang presence. A lot of it spills over into Streamwood. The schools are mediocre, nothing spectacular. The DuPage side of Hanover Park tends to be nicer than the Cook County side. Same with Bartlett, though most of Bartlett is pretty nice.

Elgin has good areas, but overwhemingly it gets a bad rap. Elgin also has close to 100,000 people so the neighborhoods vary. Carpentersville is lower middle to middle class, but many in Carpentersville are zoned to Dundee Crown/ Jacobs High Schools which are pretty good.
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Old 04-07-2010, 03:04 PM
 
4,779 posts, read 5,169,408 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chitown85 View Post
The far NW and Western burbs are pretty suburban, so it's probably going to be difficult to find a town type setting. The suburban prototype neighborhood should be easy.

Geneva is a bit far from Schaumburg, but does have a small quaint downtown. St. Charles is slightly closer, still a rough ride in the morning, but also has a nice downtown. The schools are good and the homes are priced to represent that. Algonquin and Lake in the Hills are nice areas, but typically suburban and pretty new. A lot of young families in Algonquin and Lake in the Hills.

West Dundee and South Elgin are middle of the road, in my opinion. Others know more about those suburbs than I do, so I can leave that to them.

I know a lot about the NW corner of Cook County, i.e. Hanover Park (partially in DuPage), Barlett, and Streamwood. Bartlett is by far the wealthiest and most upper middle class of those three. The townhomes are reasonably priced for purchase and rent. Streamwood and Hanover Park have nice areas, but Hanover Park is also prone to gang violence. It isn't necessarily a problem like it was last summer, but there is gang presence. A lot of it spills over into Streamwood. The schools are mediocre, nothing spectacular. The DuPage side of Hanover Park tends to be nicer than the Cook County side. Same with Bartlett, though most of Bartlett is pretty nice.

Elgin has good areas, but overwhemingly it gets a bad rap. Elgin also has close to 100,000 people so the neighborhoods vary. Carpentersville is lower middle to middle class, but many in Carpentersville are zoned to Dundee Crown/ Jacobs High Schools which are pretty good.
Algonquin does have a charming downtown, but sort of small. It is quaint and it does some hills nearby, although the bulk of Algonquin is new and suburban like you said. Dundee also has what the OP is looker for.

I would agree that one can do better than the Cook portion of Hanover Park. I would say overall Hanover Park might be getting a bit worse, while Elgin might be getting a bit better. As far as the "neighborhood/town" feel that one might be after, Elgin has the most potential of all of them, but still has a way to go to complete change around its image. Elgin is a bit "rustbelty." It used to be a major manufacturer of watches. But when that industry left, things went downhill.

I would say anything along the Fox River has a old historic section and is either is or does have the potential to be that quaint town that one might be looking for.

And as far as the west burbs go, the further south you go in Dupage county in general, the more the suburbs have lively, nice downtowns. IE: Carol Stream, Hanover Park, Bartlett, Glendale Heights, Addison, etc. have absolutely nothing as far as a downtown goes.

Whereas towns along I-88, BNSF rail lines: Naperville, Lisle, Downers Grove, Clarendon Hills, and La Grange, all the way to Riverside, all have nice healthy fun historic downtowns. Same for Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, and Elmhurst in central DuPage.

In General the S-SW burbs have more "town/neighborhood suburbs", versus the NW and W-NW burbs.
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Old 04-07-2010, 03:12 PM
 
4,779 posts, read 5,169,408 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cassnate6259 View Post

It seems like such a mixed bag from city to city in that area. the Algonquin and Lake in the Hills area seems quite affluent and has a lot of development from what I can tell. I am also drawn to some of the areas along the lake such as West Dundee or even down by South Elgin or St. Charles.

On the other hand, there are places like Eastern Elgin or Carpentersville that look somewhat less appealing and I have heard that crime and poverty is higher in some of those areas.

Lastly, I have also seen parts of Streamwood or that area (Bartlett, Hanover Park) that also look appealing both quality and location-wise.

Sorry for being a bit vague in our intentions, but any suggestion on what areas to focus on would be a great help. Our general goals are reasonable cost of living in a decent neighborhood. We prefer a 'neighborhood/town' type atmospher to a 'suburban' feel, if that makes sense. Thank you!

Nate
I will say that Hanover Park, Bartlett, and Streamwood have nothing to offer if you are looking for 'neighborhood/town' places. And like the other poster mentioned Hanover Park has some areas that are getting run-down a little like Carpentersville and Elgin.

On the flipside Elgin more than anywhere else has the potential to make a comback as a 'neighborhood/town type place.' It has the layout and history for it. Also there are many new developments on the edges of Elgin that are cleaner and nice, but again, its going to be totally suburban.

West Dundee is not by the lake. I assume you mean river?

Algonquin and Lake in the Hills is just relatively new looking. Not necessarily super-affluent.

Good luck with your decision. I hope this was helpful.
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Old 04-07-2010, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Elgin, IL
1,711 posts, read 1,716,517 times
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I wouldn't buy, wait until you're sure where you want to live. Elgin would be the 1/2way point for you. I really like it, there are people who will tell you it's a dump. I live in a more "neighborhoody" area, my house is over 100 yrs old, I'm near the river and the library. There are definitely poor people here and there are a lot of people whose 1st language is Spanish. I've lived here a long time and can see a lot of subtle changes for the better that some people wouldn't notice. Things like people with very modest houses who've point a new front door and keep their landscaping nice. It's definitely not right for everybody.
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Old 04-07-2010, 05:16 PM
 
10 posts, read 23,994 times
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Thanks so much for your help. This definitely helps me to paint a better picture of things. It is somewhat of a shame that the best neighborhoods are further south which somewhat negates creating a shorter drive.

We looked at some areas of Elgin, some were nicer and some were a little rougher. It didn't make us want to make any quick buying decisions, though. I'm almost wondering if the lower costs along with the small town benefits of Sycamore is worth hanging on to for a bit longer. Luckily, I usually only have to commute to Schaumburg several times a week.
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Old 04-10-2010, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
12 posts, read 12,606 times
Reputation: 20
We live in Palatine, which is about 10 minutes from Schaumburg, but probably maybe 20 or so to Huntley. It's in between Arlington Heights and Barrington. We live right on the train line so we can easily get into the city- originally we moved to ou house since I commuted downtown. Not as much now, but it's convenient for friends coming out from the city and if we ever want to go down for games or trips and not worry about the crazy traffic. It's also reasonable, depending on if you want a condo, townhouse or single family- the huge single family homes are definitely pricier but overall, its reasonable. Plus, if you live in the "downtown" area, which is near the train, you can walk to restaurants and stuff. Palatine has about 70K residents and a great school district! If you have more questions, feel free to DM.
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Old 04-11-2010, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Elgin, IL
1,711 posts, read 1,716,517 times
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Palatine is way longer than 20 minutes from Huntley, you probably need to double that time.
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Old 04-17-2010, 08:13 PM
 
Location: Chicagoland
41,214 posts, read 23,088,057 times
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Geneva has some great areas, beautiful older homes in the village area, same with St. Charles. Elgin has good and bad areas - The 301 School District is in the better areas, South Elgin has big beautiful homes, good schools. Stay away from East Elgin/U46 School district. Basically the Randall road corridor pretty much dissects the good from the bad.
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Old 07-19-2010, 02:24 PM
 
15 posts, read 26,756 times
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Hi All, I needed some help here.

I will be moving to Schaumburg in a month. I was looking at areas around for renting a 1 /2 bedroom. Seems like most of the nice apartment complexes are towards Naperville based on what I understand...I don't mind the commute but if I can get something nice closer to Schaumburg it would be preferable.

Am looking for nice, safe areas for family living & a nice apartment complex - clean, safe, free from pests, bugs & stuff..and reasonably close to the metra , say around a 5-8 min drive as I might have to travel to Chicago.

I know these are a lot of requirements..if someone could pls help me with the areas I should be looking at it would be great
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