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Old 11-07-2011, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Volker, Kansas City, MO
12,062 posts, read 19,064,044 times
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I would highly recommend renting first. Chicago commutes are nothing to scoff at, and with your list of demands, I suspect you might end up rather far from your job.
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Old 11-07-2011, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Wicker Park/East Village area
1,989 posts, read 1,766,176 times
Reputation: 1309
Quote:
Originally Posted by dewthedru View Post
...buying a house in a primarily white and nice neighborhood is going to be expensive and far away. plus, it's going to be a huge pain getting to the loop from anywhere like that...
I work in the loop and practically everyone in my office lives in Mokena, Naperville, Plainfield, etc... I wouldn't do it and it is a huge pain, but it's very common to live far from work, most people in the loop come in daily from the suburbs.
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Old 11-07-2011, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Wicker Park/East Village area
1,989 posts, read 1,766,176 times
Reputation: 1309
Also, I agree with aragx6, just rent for one year and get your bearings for the area, best idea i think.
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Old 11-07-2011, 03:50 PM
 
1,886 posts, read 1,608,704 times
Reputation: 1376
Rent a place if you want to stay in the city because prices are still falling and you won't be able to buy a traditional home in the city anyways.
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Old 11-07-2011, 04:35 PM
 
Location: Lake Arlington Heights, IL
5,460 posts, read 6,309,325 times
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Without housing budget and some specifics of what you desire in a new neighborhood, it is difficult to advise.
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Old 11-07-2011, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
10,848 posts, read 15,003,530 times
Reputation: 5372
What no one is telling you is that real estate taxes are obnoxious. It is not unusal to see a tax bill of $10K in Chicago. Loop parking can start about $200 per month and does not include parking permits, CTA, bus or tollway passes. $60K will get you far more in TN than it does in Il. There was a member a couple of years ago wondering about a midwife as the hospitals charge $50K to have a baby - providing there are not complicaions.

Chicagoland is a melting pot of colors, cultures, religions and languages. It is urban and 10M people, You can find $500.00 dinners that rivals anything in NYC or LA. And you can find world class entertainment. It comes with a helfty price tag.

If you have never lived north of TN you are going to freeze this first winter. The Canadian wind that whips off the lake is generally bitter cold in the winter. If we are really lucky we wont have another 30" snowfall that paralyzes the city this year.

I urge you to explore Oak Park. It is 9 miles from the Loop and if offers Chicago services such as train, bus, taxi, limo and zip car. You may not find a house but you may find a short term lease while you look. The housing center is free and they can help you get settled. I would apply now as IL has some rather stringent housing rules that require credit and criminal crecord checks. Even if you do apply today you may not get a place to live before January. Most new residents do not want to spend half a months salary on motels while waiting for an apartment.

OP is a very unique and historical piece of Chicagoland. Enjoy it while you explore Chicago and learn.

Oak Park Regional Housing Center.

.
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:03 PM
 
1,930 posts, read 2,240,218 times
Reputation: 870
elmhurst and wheaton are certainly much better, more upscale towns with better schools than River grove or Carol Stream. Elmhurst and Wheaton are beautiful. The others while not bad areas are just okay in my book. River Grove is an older suburb more middle and working class. Carol Stream has new homes but does not really have a town center.
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:12 PM
 
Location: Palatine, IL
14 posts, read 20,598 times
Reputation: 12
You can go to Illinois State School Report card to get more information about the schools. Each of those towns has unique features of its own. I might suggest renting first for a while. That will give you a chance to explore before deciding where to buy. Have fun! And welcome!
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:22 PM
 
621 posts, read 567,117 times
Reputation: 459
Quote:
Originally Posted by linicx View Post
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good advice. when i was looking, i found the taxes in chicago proper to be, on average, much lower in the city than in the burbs. did my small sample size skew my perception?
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:19 PM
 
2,345 posts, read 1,864,158 times
Reputation: 973
Quote:
Originally Posted by dewthedru View Post
good advice. when i was looking, i found the taxes in chicago proper to be, on average, much lower in the city than in the burbs. did my small sample size skew my perception?
Nah property taxes in Chicago can be a bit lower for a couple of reasons.

1. In a lot of burbs the more well off vote themselves high property taxes to fund schools and they can afford it. A 20-30K property tax would be one heck of a burdon on working class\lower middle income homeowners. Of course as the town ages and the number of children needing school declines then it gets harder and harder to raise taxes for school.

2. Chicago has a lot more property on which to collect.

3. The City sales tax and other taxes/fees being the primary way the city gets income vs. say property tax.
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