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Old 04-18-2011, 09:46 AM
 
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This is nowhere near final, but DH has a potential job possibility in Des Plaines. We're not even positive he'd accept the offer, there's a lot to decide. Also, we just had an offer accepted on a house out here and have 2 more days to change our minds!! The problem is that DH is currently getting hosed on his salary. Big time, by about 25% or so. The job out here is great, but they are totally taking advantage of the economy and the fact that there are few ships to jump to at this point.

Anyway, we are an active young family. We currently live in Denver, but from Cleveland originally, so we're prepared for the weather. We love Denver, but we miss the big trees and green grass you have in that area of the country! Plus, it would be nice to be closer to home with our little kids. We have a 3 year old and one on the way in September.

We'd like a nice, safe, family friendly area with parks and good access to downtown. We would love to have great schools, but I guess that's not an immediate need since DS won't be going to school just yet. We are very healthy and active. Food is a big deal to us, we love to cook really tasty, healthy meals, so access to some kind of natural foods would be great.

So, what areas accessible to Des Plaines and downtown would be good for us? Housing budget is unknown at this point, but we try to be frugal with our rent/ mortgages so that we have some disposable income. I would say under $1400/ month for rent for sure to start with until we really figure out where we want to be.

Thanks for helping me brainstorm, I am over here freaking out.
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:10 AM
 
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$1400 is not going to go far in the Chicago region. If that is truly what you live on in Denver I would probably stay put. Even if you are extermely frugal, have some kind of farmer's market /coop, and other things to make your lifestyle easier that seems very very low...

Are you saying husband would get a 25% jump in salary and you still could only afford $1400/mo in rent? Seems very tight...

I like to use the pretty sophisticated "rent vs buy" calculator from the NYTimes -- http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/b...alculator.html (it is flash based so no go on my iPad...) and you probably could break even over 6 years BUYING a place around $188K. There are such place available in DesPlaines and the schools are probably not so horrendous that you would need to look elsewhere, but even with a mere 3.5% down and low fr the area property taxes of around $3500 you would be stretched VERY thin.

Des Plaines is an older suburb, not truly "urban" but I suspect the housing stock is similar to what some of Denver's older neighborhoods might have: http://www.redfin.com/IL/Des-Plaines.../home/13659104

Last edited by chet everett; 04-18-2011 at 10:35 AM..
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Old 04-18-2011, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Lake Arlington Heights, IL
5,479 posts, read 11,247,708 times
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Wheeling Apartments for Rent - Wheeling, IL on ApartmentGuide.com
Village Green is nice and Mallard Lakes is fairly nice. Mallard Lakes is walking distance to Lake Arlington park with 50 acre lake, 2 mile trail and playgrounds.
Woodland Creeks is VERY nice:
Wheeling Luxury Apartments | Woodland Creek - Luxury Apartment Community in Wheeling, Illinois
If you will move before kindergarten I would also suggest looking in Des Plaines.
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Old 04-18-2011, 11:22 AM
 
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No, not saying that's all we could afford, that's just what we'd *like* to spend on rent. We don't like to throw money away on rent. Now, a house that we own is a different story. We also own income property, so renting a cheaper, temporary place also affords us extra money if we have to cover the income property unexpectedly. And, of course, more money to save and spend on other things.
We spend $1200 on rent here, I know Chicago is more expensive than Denver.
What percent of income do people generally pay for rent in Chicago?

cubsoxfan, thanks for those suggestions! I will look into them.
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Old 04-18-2011, 12:02 PM
 
12,859 posts, read 17,068,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamasar View Post
No, not saying that's all we could afford, that's just what we'd *like* to spend on rent. We don't like to throw money away on rent. Now, a house that we own is a different story. We also own income property, so renting a cheaper, temporary place also affords us extra money if we have to cover the income property unexpectedly. And, of course, more money to save and spend on other things.
We spend $1200 on rent here, I know Chicago is more expensive than Denver.
What percent of income do people generally pay for rent in Chicago?

cubsoxfan, thanks for those suggestions! I will look into them.
About a third to in some cases half your take home pay. That's more of a maximum. If you're income is high, the half you have left over after rent you can live comfortably. One warning, avoid having to cross the belt line track running west of Wolf then crossing Wolf N of Dempster. Trains can tie up traffic for ten minutes. Try to stay on the same side as the job to avoid crossing those tracks.
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Old 04-18-2011, 07:38 PM
 
Location: Chicago
4,091 posts, read 3,863,426 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cubssoxfan View Post
Wheeling Apartments for Rent - Wheeling, IL on ApartmentGuide.com
Village Green is nice and Mallard Lakes is fairly nice. Mallard Lakes is walking distance to Lake Arlington park with 50 acre lake, 2 mile trail and playgrounds.
Woodland Creeks is VERY nice:
Wheeling Luxury Apartments | Woodland Creek - Luxury Apartment Community in Wheeling, Illinois
If you will move before kindergarten I would also suggest looking in Des Plaines.
Oh but $1400 for rent won't go very far in Chicagoland.
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:36 PM
 
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If you consider sinking $1400/mo for a two bedroom in a crummy area a good use of housing dollars there are lots of options on that list... I recognize a few places that are on that link from police dept."hot lists", some are directly under the flight paths at O'Hare. Few if any from that list represent "nice for families" options.
Three bedrooms are not common in most rental complexes. Few landlords want to deal with the hassles of bigger familes. Towns with a large number of rentals suffer from higher than average "mobility" ratings -- that is a term that educational researchers use to measure how many kids that start in a school finish there. Research has consistently shown that schools with low mobility have better performance than those with kids moving in and out...

Perhaps "going far" is too polite a turn of phrase -- "you will be painting yourself into crappy area" is more accurate.

Even if the OP has some grand plan to leverage their reduced expenditures before their kids start school into a better town down the road that would short circuit many of the benefits of living in a part of Chicago or the suburbs where relationships between families actually start before kids enroll in kindergarten. The whole well documented process of going to the playgrounds and meeting the other families and the having solidarity to support well run schools would lost if you love in some transient setting...

Spend a little more. Rent a house in a nice area. Don't be penny wise and pound foolish.
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Old 04-19-2011, 05:09 PM
 
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I am totally aware of the effects of transiency and academic performance. So, what is more realistic for a rent range? 2k? Take home pay would be about 6k/ month, so that's 1/3.... Is this salary not even feasible for Chicago? Do you need to make over 6 figures? This is helpful information for negotiations, as there would be room to negotiate higher.
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:14 PM
 
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If you increase your budget to even $1700 your options do get better. With some luck you could probably rent a decent house with maybe 3-4br. The structure of the low end rental market in the Chicago region is heavily driven by the desire of most larger rental firms to avoid becoming public housing. The Chicago Housing Authority, Housing Search by Socialserve.com - Landlord Information That same pricing influences private landlords, with nicer properties in quieter areas, to be able to demand more.

A few hundred bucks may not seem like much, but since there ARE landlords with 4-5br homes that definitely do not want Section 8 tenants the structure of rents is such that a few hundred bucks removes such properties from consideration...

Of course the desire to maintain a certain quality of tenant is far from the only factor in pricing rentals -- in some areas property taxes ALONE might exceed $2000/mo so that automatically puts a HUGE floor on pricing - nobody can afford to rent for less than their property taxes for any length of time!

I would avoid apartment complexes if at all possible. Single family homes in nicer areas will be quieter, safer, give you access to better schools, nicer parks and all-in-all a better quality of life.

Many smaller landlord prefer to use the local newspapers if they advertise at all. In the nicest areas landlord tend to rely on referrals and sometimes the real estate offices. Be sure you specify that a MONTH-TO-MONTH rental is not going to work for you if you have kids. Although there are now firms SPECIALIZING in this because they know that more buyers will be interested in an occupied home if the place sells and you gotta find another rental in 30 days or something you would be chasing your tail.

(you can get some very good deals if a month-to-month rental would work for you -- this one in Downers Grove is a little too far from Des Plaines but it has the hallmarks of a failed flip that this places are specializing in: Newly Renovated Ranch in Downers Grove - Newly Renovated Ranch | Photos & Media | RentalHomesPlus.com polished hardwood floors, shiny kitchen with granite, stainless, cherry and even glass block...
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Old 04-25-2011, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Lake Arlington Heights, IL
5,479 posts, read 11,247,708 times
Reputation: 2819
Quote:
Originally Posted by cubssoxfan
Wheeling Apartments for Rent - Wheeling, IL on ApartmentGuide.com
Village Green is nice and Mallard Lakes is fairly nice. Mallard Lakes is walking distance to Lake Arlington park with 50 acre lake, 2 mile trail and playgrounds.
Woodland Creeks is VERY nice:
Wheeling Luxury Apartments | Woodland Creek - Luxury Apartment Community in Wheeling, Illinois
If you will move before kindergarten I would also suggest looking in Des Plaines.
Quote:
Chet Everett wrote:
If you consider sinking $1400/mo for a two bedroom in a crummy area a good use of housing dollars there are lots of options on that list... I recognize a few places that are on that link from police dept."hot lists", some are directly under the flight paths at O'Hare. Few if any from that list represent "nice for families" options.
Three bedrooms are not common in most rental complexes. Few landlords want to deal with the hassles of bigger familes. Towns with a large number of rentals suffer from higher than average "mobility" ratings -- that is a term that educational researchers use to measure how many kids that start in a school finish there. Research has consistently shown that schools with low mobility have better performance than those with kids moving in and out...

Perhaps "going far" is too polite a turn of phrase -- "you will be painting yourself into crappy area" is more accurate.

Even if the OP has some grand plan to leverage their reduced expenditures before their kids start school into a better town down the road that would short circuit many of the benefits of living in a part of Chicago or the suburbs where relationships between families actually start before kids enroll in kindergarten. The whole well documented process of going to the playgrounds and meeting the other families and the having solidarity to support well run schools would lost if you love in some transient setting...

Spend a little more. Rent a house in a nice area. Don't be penny wise and pound foolish.
Chet are you saying the apartments I specifically suggested are on the Police Departments "HOt Lists"? I do not belive ANY are under a flight path. Please verify, because if they are, I will no longer recommend them. I chose these from frequent, personal drive-bys and because the rents are a little higher than other complexes.

I do agree with the last paragraph from Chet's post.
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