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Old 03-31-2011, 12:52 PM
 
5 posts, read 18,637 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello,

We're moving to Chicago from Westchester County (suburb of NYC) this summer. My husband will be working in Rosemont for the next yr or two and then their office is moving downtown.

We wanted to live in the city (having lived in NYC for 12+ yrs we like the walkability, restaurant scene, culture, energetic vibe) but couldn't get entirely comfortable with CPS for our three young kids (6, 4, 2) and private school is out due to timing.

We're considering the following towns based on great schools, nice communities/amenities, proximity to city.

If you could choose, where would you live and why? It seems people like EITHER the north or west but I can't figure out why everyone seems to "pick a side"? I've done alot of research on the towns (and have heard the North towns are similar to where we live now) but it's hard to figure out the "vibe/feel/what the people are like" from afar. Any insight appreciated!

North:
-Wilmette
-Winnetka
-Glenview

Northwest:
-Park Ridge (should we care about the new Des Plaines casino nearby?)

West:
-Western Springs
-Claredon Hills
-Hinsdale
-Burr Ridge
-Oak Brook

Many thanks!
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:59 PM
 
3,422 posts, read 4,518,615 times
Reputation: 1733
If your husband is working in rosemont you probably don't want to be by most west burbs. There are some that are ok(near 294), but I would not want to be south of 290.

You want to be near 90 if he is driving or near a line that runs to rosemont if not. The reason why people pick a side is becuase the city of chicago is kinda large(it can take a hour just to cross Chicago from north to south in rush hour). Downtown access is easy from burbs with metra but burb to burb or burb to city neigherborhood other than downtown changes things as well as if you need to drive to work.

Also price is a factor with housing prices in general cheapest in the south burbs, a bit more expensive in the west burbs, and most expensive in the north and north west burbs.

Last edited by chirack; 03-31-2011 at 02:22 PM..
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:29 PM
 
14,432 posts, read 16,051,060 times
Reputation: 8694
Quote:
Originally Posted by chimommy View Post
Hello,

We're moving to Chicago from Westchester County (suburb of NYC) this summer. My husband will be working in Rosemont for the next yr or two and then their office is moving downtown.

We wanted to live in the city (having lived in NYC for 12+ yrs we like the walkability, restaurant scene, culture, energetic vibe) but couldn't get entirely comfortable with CPS for our three young kids (6, 4, 2) and private school is out due to timing.

We're considering the following towns based on great schools, nice communities/amenities, proximity to city.

If you could choose, where would you live and why? It seems people like EITHER the north or west but I can't figure out why everyone seems to "pick a side"? I've done alot of research on the towns (and have heard the North towns are similar to where we live now) but it's hard to figure out the "vibe/feel/what the people are like" from afar. Any insight appreciated!

North:
-Wilmette
-Winnetka
-Glenview

Northwest:
-Park Ridge (should we care about the new Des Plaines casino nearby?)

West:
-Western Springs
-Claredon Hills
-Hinsdale
-Burr Ridge
-Oak Brook

Many thanks!
Park Ridge if you're working in Rosemont.
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Old 03-31-2011, 04:26 PM
 
2,116 posts, read 5,042,895 times
Reputation: 1129
Once the office is moved downtown, I'd say Wilmette or Winnetka. Wilmette is real close to Evanston which is a lovely town & it's not a bad drive or train ride to the city either. The temporary Rosemont location does complicate things a little bit, however. I'd give east Glenview the nod for that situation.

Obviously my post sounds biased, but if you're used to established Westchester Co. suburbs of NYC, these are demographically the closest matches by far. You get the best access to the hip north side of the city as well compared to the West suburbs. Park Ridge isn't bad though either since it's near the Kennedy.
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Old 03-31-2011, 05:19 PM
 
5 posts, read 12,389 times
Reputation: 12
I have to disagree about Evanston, there is a lot of crime. Now that they've tore down all the projects in Chicago, there is a lot of Section 8 Housing in all the suburbs, which always brings a bad element. If you can afford it Wilmette and Winnetka are the safest, crime-free towns with no Section 8 that I know of. Same with Oak Brook and Clarendon Hills. Yes, I would be concerned about the new casino, it's going to bring a huge increase in traffic to the area.
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:36 PM
 
129 posts, read 259,286 times
Reputation: 120
If you are from Westchester, you will definitely feel comfortable in the North Shore. I have been told several times that it is the same genre. I also agree with reppin_the_847's comments. You really can't go wrong with any of those suburbs.
I disagree with the other comment about Evanston. Yes, it is a more urban suburb and also has a major university, but the crime is generally limited to certain areas. Evanston is sort of like the city, you have to know the neighborhoods. Anyone who lived in NYC for that long would probably not be bothered by that. I grew up there and it is still my favorite suburb. By far it has the most culture and entertainment. The only other suburb to even come close in the northern burbs would be Highland Park.
Each north shore suburb has a different feel, so definitely make the rounds and check them all out.
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:49 PM
 
Location: Land of debt and Corruption
7,545 posts, read 7,950,285 times
Reputation: 2886
Quote:
Originally Posted by chimommy View Post
Hello,

We're moving to Chicago from Westchester County (suburb of NYC) this summer. My husband will be working in Rosemont for the next yr or two and then their office is moving downtown.

We wanted to live in the city (having lived in NYC for 12+ yrs we like the walkability, restaurant scene, culture, energetic vibe) but couldn't get entirely comfortable with CPS for our three young kids (6, 4, 2) and private school is out due to timing.

We're considering the following towns based on great schools, nice communities/amenities, proximity to city.

If you could choose, where would you live and why? It seems people like EITHER the north or west but I can't figure out why everyone seems to "pick a side"? I've done alot of research on the towns (and have heard the North towns are similar to where we live now) but it's hard to figure out the "vibe/feel/what the people are like" from afar. Any insight appreciated!

North:
-Wilmette
-Winnetka
-Glenview

Northwest:
-Park Ridge (should we care about the new Des Plaines casino nearby?)

West:
-Western Springs
-Claredon Hills
-Hinsdale
-Burr Ridge
-Oak Brook

Many thanks!
You have picked some of the best towns in the Chicagoland area, but are you sure you're ready for suburban life if you're used to city life? You may be in for some culture shock. Anyways, to answer your question, I'm assuming that you have a pretty decent price range to work with if you're considering these towns. They are all pricey, but with that, have excellent school systems. I'm most familiar with the Western towns (I live in one of the ones you're considering for the majority of my life). Here's my 'objective' assessment of them:
Hinsdale: Beautiful, quaint, picturesque, lots of historic homes and many tear-downs replaced with new homes. Very family friendly and walkable. Tree lined streets, some of which are cobblestone (not many, but a few are). Top notch schools. Mostly white, leans fairly conservative. Awesome downtown area. Superb access to 294 (to get to Rosemont) and metra (to get downtown). Is in DuPage County.
Clarendon Hills: Also very nice, slightly more diverse housing stock. Still, a lot of teardowns occur here. Not quite as nice a downtown, and not quite as impressive as saying you live in Hinsdale but still shares their school district. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think there are some not-that-great apartments/section 8 on the Southern portion? Less expensive than Hinsdale. Is in DuPage County.
Western Springs: Quaint, family oriented, walkable, tree-lined streets. Many historic homes, many tear down/new homes, still some 1960's style homes as well. Top notch schools. Very white, moderate town. Might even lean slightly left politically. There are no "bad sections". Lots of parks, borders forest preserve with bike trail. Similar to Hinsdale but a little smaller and a little less expensive. Smaller downtown area with less stores than Hinsdale but the town itself is smaller too. Also has excellent access to 294 and metra. Is in Cook County.
Burr Ridge: Newer housing stock of very large homes. Not as walkable, no real downtown. Seems more subdivision-y to me (think gated communities) since it's more recently been built up than the previous three listed. Conservative. Many doctors live here and you'll find more diversity because of that (lots of Indian and foreign docs). It's more secluded, has less of a family atmosphere since it isn't really walkable. You'll have major culture shock here if you're used to city living. Nice properties on bigger lots though.
Oak Brook: You get a slight break on property taxes since you've got the mall to support your tax base, but it doesn't really have a quintessential downtown like the first three do. Not as walkable, but excellent schools. There are different subdivisions, so it feels more spread out/less cohesive. Lots of doctors from India here as well, otherwise very white. Closest to Oak Brook Mall. Is in DuPage Co.

Of the above 5 towns not taking into account price, I would rate them in this order: Hinsdale, Western Springs, Oak Brook/Clarendon Hills (tie), Burr Ridge. (I'm a big fan of walkability so that factor played into my rankings).

Park Ridge: I just don't see the draw to Park Ridge. It's really close to the airport, the lots are tiny, feels more congested, and the houses are smaller. I'm probably not the best to weigh in on PR.

Wilmette, Winnetka, Glenview: All very affluent towns, but I'm not as familiar with them to give specifics on their differences. Hopefully someone else will.
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:14 PM
 
Location: Jefferson Park Chicago, IL
537 posts, read 972,646 times
Reputation: 307
Quote:
Originally Posted by KeKe912 View Post
I have to disagree about Evanston, there is a lot of crime. Now that they've tore down all the projects in Chicago, there is a lot of Section 8 Housing in all the suburbs, which always brings a bad element. If you can afford it Wilmette and Winnetka are the safest, crime-free towns with no Section 8 that I know of. Same with Oak Brook and Clarendon Hills. Yes, I would be concerned about the new casino, it's going to bring a huge increase in traffic to the area.
Evanston has a small patch that isn't that great and the not so great schools to go along with it. It's like Chicago in that regard, in that you need to know where the bad spots are.

In general, if you stay east of Ridge Ave from Oakton to as far North as you desire it's fine. Otherwise stay west of McCormick from Howard all the way North until Green Bay Rd.

Church and Dodge is the epicenter of all that is bad in Evanston.

Last edited by tomcho; 03-31-2011 at 10:23 PM..
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Old 04-01-2011, 01:09 AM
 
Location: Chicagoland
4,028 posts, read 6,941,036 times
Reputation: 1330
Park Ridge is in the perfect spot as it touches both Rosemont and Chicago and certainly gives you the best commute of all the cities you are considering. Park Ridge is an older city with great schools, family friendly, and is very walkable. There are lots of trees and a variety of types of houses and lot sizes depending on what you are looking for.

What is your housing budget though?

I honestly would not worry about the new casino.

All of the places you mentioned are nice and you couldn't go wrong in picking any of them in terms of quality of life.
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Old 04-01-2011, 05:51 AM
 
12,909 posts, read 17,554,858 times
Reputation: 9052
North Shore is desirable if you can afford it. Coming from Westchester County NY I guess you can. Drawback is it is rather isolated from the rest of the Metro area. Great for commuting downtown, not so good to anywhere else. You'll be happy when your job moves downtown. As for Park Ridge the main issue is you are right up against the airport. The future casino should not be a problem; Aurora, Joliet and Elgin don't have that much trouble with theirs.
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