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Old 12-30-2010, 11:55 PM
15 posts, read 84,138 times
Reputation: 20


I've recently posted several times on this forum, and I appreciate all the helpful advice received from you all.

I'm having a major dilemma and am in need of some assistance:
My wife and I will be relocating to the Chicago area for a job in Naperville (close to I-88). While I am excited about the career opportunity, my wife is less than thrilled about the pending move.

Based on answers to my recent posts, it's my understanding that the most practical option is to buy an older single family house in 60563 / school district 203. While this makes sense to me, my wife and I had a long discussion today and she is STRONGLY against purchasing an older place.

She grew up in a larger single family 1990's house, and we currently live in a townhouse with an open floor plan built in 2003 that she loves almost everything about.

I realize that this move is asking a lot from my wife, and my marriage is important to me, so I wanted to summarize my wife's "must-haves" and "nice-to-haves":

Wife's Must-haves (Nice-to-haves in paranthesis):
  • 2 bedrooms (3 bedrooms preferred)
  • 2 bathrooms (2.5 bathrooms preferred)
  • 2-car garage
  • Open kitchen required (updated with SS appliances and granite countertops preferred, but we understand this may be very difficult to find at our price point)
  • Laundry room large enough to accomodate full-size front loading washer & dryer with pedestals is an absolute requirement
  • Master bedroom with walk-in-closet is a requirement
  • (Larger master bathroom with double sinks and garden tub or separate tub & shower is very high "nice-to-have")
  • Safe area with good public schools
  • 1600sf required excluding basement space
  • (Open floor plan highly preferred)
In addition to my wife's requirements, I prefer the following characteristics:
  • Reasonable commute (35 min or less, on average) to Naperville I-88 area and 65 min or less to the Chicago loop
  • Relatively stable real estate market that we won't have to sell at a loss - we could probably keep the place for at least 5-7 years (possibly longer)
  • Reasonably energy efficient
  • Access to either AT&T U-Verse or Verizon FiOS would be nice to have
We can comfortably afford between $250-$300k. We could possibly stretch it to $325k if absolutely necessary, but would prefer not to. Either a townhouse or single family house would be fine with us.

I truly appreciate your help with everything.
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Old 12-31-2010, 12:16 AM
10,876 posts, read 13,336,204 times
Reputation: 4896
Don't you have a topic already open on this? Otherwise at this point, you need to hire a realtor to weigh out your options to find exactly what you are looking for.
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Old 12-31-2010, 10:52 AM
15 posts, read 84,138 times
Reputation: 20
I would like to thank everyone for their help - it has been most useful. Weighing all the options, looking at the real estate market, and after much discussion with my wife, I think it is in our best interest to RENT a newer unfurnished townhouse in the Naperville area from a private owner (vs. renting from a complex).

It may be ~$200/month more than buying (after adjusting for tax breaks and equity), but we won't have the hassle of selling a townhouse in a suburban market, and it would take at least 4-5 years to make up for sellers commissions and closing costs.

I have several questions about renting one a townhouse in the Naperville area:
  • Are the list rents negotiable? If so, by how much? I'm assuming they would be in this market, especially if a longer lease is signed. I'm just wondering how to best negotiate for that market?
  • Are rental rates in the Naperville area for townhouses expected to rise much over the next 2-3 years?
  • This may be difficult to answer, but I would hope the owners would let us bring our own washer & dryer (this is very important to my wife)
Thanks again for all the help and advice. I am relieved that we may have finally found a solution to everything.
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Old 12-31-2010, 12:34 PM
10,876 posts, read 13,336,204 times
Reputation: 4896
#1 usually not but that would be up the the owner. You could perhaps work out an agreement with the owner by signing a multi-year lease.
#2 usually when housing markets are bad, rental prices are high though like above could perhaps be negotiated with the owner.
#3 same as above that would have to be worked out with the owner and no way to say yes or no.
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Old 12-31-2010, 12:48 PM
12 posts, read 26,059 times
Reputation: 15
If you need help finding something in Naperville, please contact me. If it is rentals you are looking for I can help with that also. Stick with 203 school district. Rental and purchase prices are ALWAYS negotiable. You can only sell something for as much as someone is willing to pay, right? Let me know if I could help you.
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Old 12-31-2010, 01:23 PM
15 posts, read 84,138 times
Reputation: 20
Thanks for the comments. For our situation, living in an unfurnished townhouse in Naperville is ideal. Regardless if we rent or buy, this type of living situation fits our needs better than anything else.

We do not have children yet, and will probably not have school-age children for at least 6 years. School district is very important if we buy, but not as important if we rent, provided the area is still safe and pleasant.
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Old 01-01-2011, 12:29 PM
Location: Saint Charles
33 posts, read 66,799 times
Reputation: 35
Based on the criteria you have noted, I think you should check out Danada Woods townhomes. It is a neighborhood about 10 years old and it is just north of I-88 and Naperville Road and meets nearly all your criteria. There is currently only one unit for sale (although no granite or SS appliances, but a nice finished basement). If you are willing to expand beyond your school district and zip code I am confident you can find something that will work for you. You will probably need to be at the higher end of your price range for something younger (less than 10 years) in Naperville.
Best of luck!
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Old 01-01-2011, 09:00 PM
2,059 posts, read 5,570,661 times
Reputation: 1677
Actually the rental market is in better shape than you may think, but also filled with 'accidental landlords', so tread carefully. You can always ask for a rent reduction, or to bring your own appliances, but the landlord also can say no. I wouldn't count on either unless you intend to be flexible in other areas.
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:37 AM
5 posts, read 17,485 times
Reputation: 13
Renting a townhouse in Naperville is probably a good option for you, but I'm not sure how much luck you'll have. My husband and I live in Naperville now and were trying to sell our condo and find a rental a few months ago. We found very few nice townhouses for rent. It was mostly just apartments. There are plenty of houses and townhouses for sale, of course, but you would have to pay a lot more than the price range you listed.

Naperville is a really nice town. It's easy to get around, has great restaurants and shopping and friendly people. I think your wife will like it.
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Old 01-02-2011, 08:11 AM
28,460 posts, read 81,622,242 times
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Default Renting does make sense, and in the 35 min or so radius you do have LOTS of options...

Since you do not have kids I would not worry about which school district you are renting in. There are a variety of nicer town homes for rent near the various I-88 interchanges stuff as far east Lombard / 355 and west to around Rt 47 could still be within 35 mins assuming your Naperville office is close to the tollroads.

Obviously the more far-afield towns are going to have less of the amenities that attract folks to the core of Naperville, but that may be a smart way to lower your costs and still get a bigger space with newer finished surfaces at a lower price.

I think you may also need to adjust your hope for a 65 min drive to Chicago, unless that is more a "theoretical" as in "assuming roads are empty like at 4am" because in actual experience I have often spent far more than an hour and five sitting in traffic coming from MUCH further east...

As to safety and general outlook for rental prices most of the analysis suggests there will not much be much upward pressure on prices over the next 2-3 years, beyond that the political crystal ball makes things much harder to predict. Safety is one factor that seems correlated with price, and in general the spread of lower cost housing seems to have a greater potential than higher end housing over the near term. I would not be too worried about being near vacant land or nearly fully occupied townhouse developments, but a large rental or even condo development with a high percentage of under-utilized units could force the management company to accept lower income tenants, not all of whom are criminal, but many of whom are rowdier than higher income owners...

I really do sympathize with the seemingly endless "potential negatives" that do seem to go along with relocation, but I prefer to offer the harsh reality to those that ask questions rather than being a "cheerleader". That said I do know many people that have relocated to the region and they are almost without exception HAPPY THEY HAVE DONE IT -- the opportunities, both for most professional growth and cultural / entertainment in the region truly are in the top tier nationally. Despite somewhat high cost of lving, the quality of what you get for the money IS A GOOD VALUE compared to many other regions of the country.

If you choose well, things work out career wise, and you eventually settle innthe region manynfolks agree that it makes for great long term home to make friends, improve your career, raise a family, etc...

Good Luck!
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