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Old 05-06-2007, 09:59 PM
Location: Springfield, Illinois
27 posts, read 54,513 times
Reputation: 36


Hi everyone... just discovered this forum. My husband and daughter and I have lived in Springfield for 2 years. He is a full-time student, due to graduate next year, and I recently got a job with a legislative agency. Sometime in the next 6 to 12 months, we need to find a permanent place to live. We only make about $30,000 a year now, though that may go up once he graduates and gets a job.
Any advice on the most affordable AND decent Springfield neighborhoods, or communities within 15 miles or so of town, to live in... I know Chatham and Rochester are the "hot" school districts but they might be too pricey, and everyone warns us to avoid the city school district at all costs. Our daughter has special needs, so private or parochial schools may not be an option. I appreciate any help you can give us.
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Old 05-07-2007, 03:14 PM
296 posts, read 927,839 times
Reputation: 127
I don't live there now, but I used to. There are some nice neighborhoods to the west of downtown, nearer the park. Some are pricey, but if you go north 3 or 4 blocks of Washington Park you can get more affordable, older, small homes in good neighborhoods. I'd avoid anything on the east side.

You might also try Jerome. Sort of a working class community with small homes.

As far as nice small towns, there are many. I'd avoid Chatham because of the sprawl, but places like Pleasant Plains, Athens, Pawnee, Riverton, etc. are all nice, and you could find affordable housing, I'm sure.
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Old 05-09-2007, 06:50 PM
Location: Springfield, IL
40 posts, read 212,893 times
Reputation: 39
I would assume that with an income of 30k, that a home in the 90's would be affordable. Of course, this is just a rule of thumb (3x income) and you need to talk to a local bank or credit union for better numbers. That said, you may not want to spend the maximum amount that they say you qualify for. With a budget into the 90's, there are actually quite a few nice starter homes in nice neighborhoods to choose from. Springfield may not have everything, but how many cities, that aren't economically devastated, offer nice smaller modern homes in decent neighborhoods for under 120k?

District 186 may not be the worst school district in your situation, since they may have resources that some of the smaller school districts lack. Similarly, just because a school district is desirable, doesn't mean they will offer what someone in your situation requires. This is something that I believe will require some discussions with the school districts your are considering, as well as talking with other parents. Perhaps someone on here who has a child with special needs could comment.

By a very wide margin, the most affordable AND decent neighborhoods in the city are on the far north side. Somewhat recently, a local real estate radio personality identified homes in Northgate as selling on average more quickly than anywhere else in Springfield. The reason for this is that it is one of the nicest neighborhoods in the city for the money. Nearby Twin Lakes is similarly nice, and although homes there tend to be larger, there are a few smaller more modestly priced houses. You could also consider Irisdale, which has a semi-rural location with a Springfield address, but is in the Riverton school district. All of these areas have nice homes in the 80's and 90's.

Depending on your tolerance for an older home, or willingness to build a little sweat equity, I don't know if the suburbs are entirely out of reach. Chatham in particular seems to have a few smaller homes that show up on occasion for under 100k.

Good luck!
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Old 05-15-2007, 02:40 PM
66 posts, read 208,942 times
Reputation: 51
For your kid's sake, buy the cheapest home in Chatham or Rochester. It's not about the house it's about your kids' education. If you look hard you can find a home in your price range on the edge of one of those school districts.
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