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Old 08-09-2010, 09:09 PM
 
5 posts, read 76,612 times
Reputation: 13

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I'm looking place in Illinois (or a nearby state) that meets following criteria:
1.) Relatively cheap housing ($100k - $400k) in the country side
2.) A decent sized yard (1/2 an acre, maybe?)
3.) Safe
4.) Within driving distance to Chicago

We were considering Gary, Indiana, but heard that it was pretty dangerous.

I'm originally from Northern Michigan, so I'd be willing to consider other locations, as well - provided that they have jobs for a software engineer.
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Old 08-09-2010, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Chicago
15,586 posts, read 27,606,786 times
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Do not even think about living in Gary,Indiana.
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Old 08-09-2010, 10:13 PM
 
5 posts, read 76,612 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avengerfire View Post
Do not even think about living in Gary,Indiana.
Any suggestions, then?
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Old 08-10-2010, 04:30 AM
 
Location: The Great State of Texas, Finally!
5,475 posts, read 12,243,697 times
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What do you consider w/in driving Distance of Chicago? Bloomington is w/in driving distance of Chicago, if you want to be on the road for 2 hours. Please define your max commute time.
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Old 08-10-2010, 07:00 AM
 
28,455 posts, read 85,361,596 times
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Default The "where" and "why" make a huge difference...

If you have a job lined up in downtown Chicago you might be able to consider very different locations than if you will be working in a northern suburb.

Similarly if you have kids that are school age your choices will be shaped by school quality.

More details lead to better suggestions...
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:16 AM
 
5 posts, read 76,612 times
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The factors I listed are those that are most important to me. We don't have kids, yet, but may have kids sometime in the future - school is not a huge issue, I guess.

I think that a commute time of an hour or less is what I'm looking for.
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:17 AM
 
5 posts, read 76,612 times
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Perhaps it would be easier to ask for a listing of rural areas (areas where I can get a house with about a 1/2 acre of yard) that are within an hour commute of downtown Chicago.
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Old 08-10-2010, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Champaign
33 posts, read 114,096 times
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In Chicago Rush hour traffic it takes an hour just to get from downtown to the Tri-State tollway (I-294) and that area is just the very first ring of old run down suburbs. In rush hour traffic it takes 2 hours to get from downtown to the beginning of the cornfields at the edge of the metro area. Check the demographic make up of places you consider, some of the suburbs like Gary are the types of places where only a "community organizer" would dare to tread. Nobody commutes from Bloomington to Chicago, you'd spend 8 hours a day in your car. Don't look at mileage and think you'll be whipping along at 65. In a large chunk of Northeast Illinois it is stop and go traffic where it takes an hour to get about 15 miles during much of the day. Rural living and working in Chicago do not go together.
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Old 08-10-2010, 04:04 PM
 
Location: Will County
179 posts, read 486,294 times
Reputation: 75
Something to consider ... is the Metra and commuting. That might bring in some of the towns and villages back into consideration that would be a difficult drive otherwise. If you're looking rural more to the south, you might want to consider Manteno or Peotone or Manhattan. The first two are close to a commuter train station directly to the north, and Manhattan now has service right into the town. All three have good schools, with Manhattan leading the list because it is in the highly-touted Lincoln-Way High School District. Whether you have children right now or not, schools affect the value of your homes .. so it's very important to consider when purchasing. Manhattan also has the most reasonable of home prices available in the school district. If you have questions regarding the more southern suburbs, please write. I'll answer a best as possible. Good luck!
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Old 08-10-2010, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Maryland
4,675 posts, read 7,401,948 times
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If it's not absolutely necessary to commute to Chicago everyday, I'd say Bloomington, Champaign, or Springfield all have very affordable housing costs, relatively low cost of living, room for large yards; as for employment, these cities have the lowest unemployment rates in Illinois (although that isn't saying much)...They also all offer just about any type of store and shopping opportunity that you'd want from a bigger city. Each is also only a few hours away from Chicago or St. Louis via car, bus, or train. As for jobs as a software engineer, Champaign may have the highest selection of jobs since it benefits from a larger number of high-tech jobs thanks to it being the home of the largest U of I campus. I know these cities aren't right near Chicago, but they are worth considering if you want inexpensive living, low cost of living, large yards, urban amenities, and driving distance to Chicago for daytrips or weekends.

P.S. I second the notion that Gary isn't a place you'd even want to consider. Also, Madison, WI is a great place to live with more amenities and a more fast-paced way of life by comparison to Bloomington, Champaign, or Springfield. If Wisconsin isn't out of the realm of possibilities, I'd consider Madison in a heartbeat!
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