Should we move to Princeton Illinois? (Chicago, Peoria: real estate, houses, job market)
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
I am considering a move to Princeton, Illinois. I visited there a few years ago and it seemed like a nice clean friendly small town (the only thing that disturbed me was all the underpants I saw hanging outside on clotheslines), but having never lived in a small town I am not sure what to look for.
I have 2 kids, 6 and 2 years old. How are the schools? Are there lots of kids? Nice kids or wild animal kids?
My husband does Ironman triathlons. Is the community friendy to such types or will the local citizens try to run him over when he rides his bike?
Are there jobs?
Any information - even stuff I did not ask about - would help!
Hi, moving is a big decision but here is our Princeton experience ... our visits to a Chicago friend with a weekend home started about 2 years ago. We loved the nice drive and getting away for the weekend and didn't realize we were getting hooked by the friendly, historical, stable and country-like community and its wonderful residents. What a change for us from the crazy congestion we felt in the the city.
We purchased an older home in town last year and are working on it while we prepare for our move in spring. Our opinion thus far is that Princeton residents have to be among the friendliest, warmest and most sincere people of the many areas we considered. I cannot imagine moving anywhere else. Suspect the hanging underpants may have been in more rural areas (???) and one could view this as a sign of cost efficiency, maybe.
Seeing your husband training (on a bike or running, etc.) will not be an unusual sight in Princeton as there appear to be many bicyclists, motorcyclists and scooters moving about. We have experienced unexpected common driving courtesy throughout the town.
We are seeing a lot of younger families moving into the area and they are very welcome. All of our neighbors are absolutely great. One brought over homemade brownies shortly after our move, another brings us home grown veggies and many home-made dinner invites, while yet another neighbor thankfully helps us with our gardening questions.
Our children are grown but we do see lots of small children in area and they appear to be very well grounded, pretty much unspoiled, and just as friendly as the adults. Home training appears to be high quality and school spirit is evident in the many sports activities the community supports and displays. Wish we could have raised our children here. Nice community activities (parades, etc.) as well as a great fitness facility you can join.
Do not know much about the regular job market yet but have some friends in area who run home-based businesses, my Chicago doctor turned out to have a home nearby, friend received job offer at Illinois Valley Community College (in nearby Oglesby), spoke to a man who drives into city every day, and there is a thriving community in LaSalle-Peru and much real estate and commercial development going on all around to the east of Princeton (about 20 miles or so). Job results would probably depend on what you are looking for.
Even this week's bad snow storm will not change our mind about moving since our local roads always appear to be cleaned well (and early) ...
We are still making weekend trips to our home and discovering our community and nearby areas. Lots of antique shops, beautiful natural settings, smiling faces, a 24-hour Wal-Mart, and well mannered and helpful teenagers throughout town (almost shocked us) ... we love what we see and are glad we came, we observed, we interacted and we are ready to move and contribute positively in any way we can. Our motto to friends and family is: nice people always welcome.
Good luck with your decision and hope to see your smiling faces around town too ...
My girlfriend lives in Princeton. It is very safe (2 murders in well over 100 years). the community is involved, high school spirit, they have their own newspaper to go along with peoria journal star, withing and 1 1/2 hrs of chicago, 1 hour of bloomington-normal, 45 minutes of peoria, and 20 minutes of LaSalle-peru. schools are good. very nice food choices. jobs i do not know about. depending on where you come from (bigger town/city) it will take a while to adjust to having not everything at your finger tips in regards to shopping. but if i had kids i would want raise my kids in princeton or surrounding towns.
My wife is a native of Princeton. We have visited there over the past 36 years of married life until her parents both passed away last year. It is almost an anomaly in that it is like a New England village in the Midwest yet with mid-American values. The people are mostly middle class. The homes are generally beautiful. The "bad" part of town is equivalent to what most towns call middle class. There are some very elegant older Civil War and late 19th Century houses in top condition. Real Estate is very very cheap compared to Chicago suburbs. We are thinking of retiring there. It is a main stop on Amtrak to Chicago, so a day trip into the city is quite easy. There is a prize-winning retirement center that is probably in the top 1% of the field nation-wide called Greenfield that is being expanded in time for the baby boom generation. The town is mostly Protestant. A large population of Roman Catholics are to be found in Spring Valley and in the nearby LaSalle-Peru are about 20 miles away. The Quad Cities and Peoria are both less than an hour away by car. It also has a main exit on I-80 for all points East or West. Winters are generally cold but not nearly as bad as Wisconsin or Iowa. Hope this helps. It is a quintessential small town that excellent location pluses. In 20 years, the town's real estate will most likely be out of sight but now it is very very reasonable.
I grew up in Princeton. I LOVED it there! It will FOREVER be my hometown! Even though I spent most of my adult life in Bloomington.
It was/is like a Happy Days era for me. Everyone had well manicured lawns and neighbors all did things for each other. I remember a neighbor passed away at home and mom went running to their house to comfort the wife and do whatever she could to help her. I also remember money donations beieng raised in the neighborhood for flowers for a neighbor who passed away.
My family belonged to BVCC (Bureau County Country Club) where my parents played golf and bridge. I will always remember the swinging bridge and also the Red Covered Bridge off of N. Main St. heading out of town. City County Park seemed so spaceous to me. But, then again, doesn't EVERYTHING seem larger than life to a kid?! Our Kdg. class, class trip was there and we had SO much fun! I enjoyed the Bureau County Fair. You HAVE to go to nearby Ladd, Ill. on I-80 at the 70 mile marker north to Rip's Tavern for the BEST fried chicken and fish you've EVER eaten! (caddy corner across the street is Lanuti's which serves Italian/American food and frog legs and turtle. As you proceed into Ladd you'll see Torry's Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor (to the right) with a 50's theme. (Happy Days once again!) There's a bar (to the left) Soft Tails. They had a beer that was SO COLD and GOOD, Leinenkugel's Apple Beer. At Rip's, people stand in line for it. The waitstaff come down the line and ask, white or dark, as well as your drink order. When you get seated you are presented with "crumblies" the breading from the chicken to munch on. Their dill pickle slices are heaven also! I know your post was a year ago, what didi you ever decide?! GOTTA EAT GEORGE'S PIZZA!
Princeton is definitely one of the most aesthetically appealing of the entire cluster of very similar small towns in its area. Just a nice, sleepy-ish small rural community, but unlike most of the others in the surrounding Tri-County area, has been able to prevent its charming downtown district from becoming a mass of boarded and empty storefronts. It's a pretty standard textbook small rural midwestern community full of normal predominantly middle class people.
This is sounding better and better to me. I currently live in Dixon, Illinois, and while my husband and I both like it here just fine; we're also both in the process of getting advanced educational degrees, and the jobs for our fields are closer into metro areas. The commute from Princeton is looking more attractive, since there is the Amtrak line to fall back on in case of automobile failure, and it is closer in to the LaSalle/Peru area than what we are currently.
No one has mentioned Festival 56, a seven week, seven overlapping production theatre festival now in its sixth summer or, to a lesser degree, the acoustic Coffeehouse with nationally known performers once each non-summer month. See www.festival56.com and www.princetoncoffeehouse.com for more information. Both are amazingly good overall. I'm involved to some degree in both, so, of course, I'm biased. But I'm also right.
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $53,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.
Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.