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My wife and I are looking to relocate somewhere a little more towards our tastes. We have been married 10 years and I am originally from Joliet , she from Lockport and we are currently living in Champaign, IL. We have been here for a little over 4 years. While we don't hate Champaign, we don't exactly love it either.
Our likes / dislikes:
1)We really like the size of Champaign, IL. Not looking for anything larger, but smaller would not be out of the question.
2)We don't like that Illinois is VERY flat. We hate cornfields and are looking to move somewhere that has a lot of trees / forests / hills etc.. My wife grew up on 2.5 acres of wooded land and we would very much like to live somewhere similar.
3) We value our privacy. We tend to stay to ourselves most of the time. We tend to have a small group of very close friends as opposed to a large group of acquaintances.
4) We do not currently have kids but would like to have some in the near future.
5) Internet access is a must! I cannot live without the highest speed possible and broadband.
6) Our activities are pretty subdued. We like playing board games with friends, gardening, watching movies and going out for dinners. We wouldnt mind catching the local play either.
7) We're looking for something in the $150,000 area for 3-4 bedrooms, full basement, 2 car garage, and around 1900 sq ft and less than 10 years old. We could go up to $200,000 but the less expensive the better.
8) Employment - must be near a hospital as I am a pharmacist and my wife a nurse. So the more hospitals / major medical centers the better as long as its within 30min driving distance.
9) Our family are all in Will County, IL so we'd like to stay within about 8 to 10 hours drive of there.
So with those general guidelines, can anyone recommend some likely places to check out? We'd like some recommendations to look into for a possible move. Thank you for all who reply with suggestions!
First of all I would say that Peoria offers everything that you are looking for including the only level 1 tertiary chrilden's critical care unit in Central Illinois, three other hospitals, a VA clinic and a medical school. You like nature? How does 10,000 acres of park district sound? Peoria is ringed by hills and cliffs and it is all heavily forested. There are several pharmacies outside of the hospitals. Speaking of medical care there are 7 hospitals in the Peoria area, a new VA clinic plus 2 more hospitals in Bloomington-Normal. Peora has a nice holistic community, too. Peoria has 7 or 8 grocery stores plus a half-dozen specialty vendors, 2 malls and a half-dozen other major shopping centers such as Evergreen Square. Peoria has a 100 or more restaurants plus some specialty bakeries. .
Peoria changed greatly in the last decade. Today it is a regional medical, financial, tecnology and business hub. It is neither a college town nor a industrial area. You should not have a great deal of trouble finding the type of livng space you want on wooded acreage. The COL is reasonable. Comcast Internet I believe offers 20 down and 2 up. AT&T may offer something similar.
You cannot escape cornfields or ranchers in IL IA, IN, WI, OH, MI, KS or OK. Not all right to work states are low tax. Low tax equals poor services; the most affected are medical. Once you move out of Illinois you cannot find many towns the size of Champaign and they are not conveniently located to very much. This is what happens when you move to states that do not have a large populaton or a fertile growing medium to support smaller towns or services. It will be more difficult to find what you want within 10 hours of Will County and jobs, too. I speak from the voice of experience when I say these things.
Another thing to consider is your internet. If you want decent speed you will have to stay in areas that offers Comcast, Roadrunner or AT&T. The others are a lot of blow and no show. I've had 12 providers in 3 states since 1992. Only 2 were worth talking about: AT&T was the clear winner here as the owner of the other one died. If you can get FTTH or LTE it is the fastest - but you have to live in large cities like Dallas to get it.
When you leave Illinois there are a lot of trade-offs that you must be willing to do without. Heath standards and Homeland Secuirty is two of them. As a whole Illinois has pretty good health standards even in small towns. I was told that we have one of the best Homeland Security systems in place. If you haven't been in Peoria for awhile you might be surprised at what you find.
The are some smaller towns like Washington, Morton, Village of Peoria Heights and Dunlap that are nearby and offer very decent public schools. Continuing education is offered at Bradley, ISU-Normal, Eureka and ICC; none are too far from Peoria to be practical choices, and most offer on-line classes.
Peoria is neither flat nor surrouned by cornfields. You have to get out several miles from the center of downtown before you see corn anywhere execept at the permanent farmers market in the Metro Center. The difference is Champain is surrounded by corn and it doesn't have the largest river in the state as a county boundary line for 50 miles. Our pharmacies include Walgreen's, CVS, Kroger's Walmart and Sam's Club, Medicine Shoppe, Rite Aid, Medi-Park, and several independent pharmacies. There is probably a dozen Walgreen's and CVS in the area. This does not include pharmacies in any other towns except Peoria and East Peoria.
Seems to me that if you want more forests,hills,trees, etc. and want to be within an 8-10 hour drive of where you are, you can either go south to Kentucky, Southern Illinois, and Missouri, or into Wisconsin or Michigan. That would probably depend on your preferences in weather, but it feels that South would be more likely to take you away from corn fields. I am pretty sure most towns around the size of Champaign would have internet access. Not sure about hospitals, employment, but Columbia, Missouri immediately comes to mind, with it's UM, size just over 100,000 and proximity to the Ozarks. Jefferson City, MO, Evansville, IN, may also be worth a look. Southern Illinois cities are generally smaller in size, but could also be worth looking into. South of US 50 is hillier, and less corn fields.
The answer is this. It may well be that while the data you read may be right, is not what it always seems. Most of this stuff is between gangs that live in less than desireable areas and feuding famiiies that are often low income. It seems that invariably booze or drugs or both is involved. And there is a certain lack of education and reasoned thinking that comes in to play amonst those involved in these types of criminal activity
City of Peoria: March 31 2010 - Marcn 31 2011: index crime is down 17 percent.
There are 15 Police Districts in Peoria. The stats in the Felony class crimes include Murder -40%; Aggravated Assault -34%; Robbery and Burglary -25% and -24% respectively, and car theft -21%. There is 28% less persons reporting a crime and 15% less property crimes overall. It would seem like the City of Peoria is taking a pro-active stance against crime.
There are many nice towns around Peoria that will suit your needs that is within reasonable driving distance to the city. No city in any place in the world is a Garden of Eden. You will find crime where ever you move. The questions to ask is what type of crime is it, and what area is it most often found. I know where these areas are in Peoria; they have not changed a great deal in 40 years. You will not find acreage in the city, anyway.
Originally Posted by Fxguy
From the data here though it looks as if the Crime rate in Peoria is higher than national average. We'd also like to live somewhere safe.
Peoria's crime rate seems to have gone down, but it is historically higher than the national average, like a lot of mid-sized cities in Illinois. I live in a city that fits your description to a point, the "Forest City", Rockford, Il. It is hilly here and not too many cornfields. Good restaurants and shopping. However, unemployment is high and well as a crime rate even higher than Peoria. Personally, after living nearly 30 years in Illinois, I can't recommend living here at all. Live in any other state but here. Too much corruption and debt and too few public services. Illinois is getting hammered in this economy and there are places in the U.S. that are doing better, much better.
Yes Peoria has crime, but if you look at the history it is not city wide it tends to be centered in the poorest neighborhoods where you find an excess of unemployment, underemployment, drugs and gangs, slum housing, etc. The areas the city razed or otherwise cleaned up and reprovisioned does not have nearly as many probleks as it once did.
Dunlap*is a farming community that is very nice. So is Eureka, Washington, Morton amd Brimfield. The only Garden of Eden I ever found is a restaurant in Oklahoma. .
Ok, but there are many mid-sized cities, not in Illinois, that have a lower than average crime rate, say 240. Some of these are located in Southern California, go figure, the "gang" capital of the U.S., supposedly. Lately, I am thinking the upper midwest is the gang capital of the United States. Just sayin'...
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