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Old 06-12-2011, 09:58 AM
103 posts, read 143,617 times
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Here's my situation. I got a new job near Woodfield. However, I will be spending a couple days a week at the employer's Loop location. I am a late 20s professional male. Living in Schaumburg would seem like the natural choice and there are some decent townhomes there w/ garage, which is a big bonus for me.

Still, I am having my doubts about the drive-everywhere lifestyle that is not conducive to social interactions. I realize that I can drive in to the city on weekends, but I am also wondering whether there are a good amount of young professionals in the NW burbs... Or do they all live in Chicago and put up with the punishing commute?

I-90 during rush hour is a parking lot and is a non-starter for me. I am not interested in Jefferson Park area either as it seems run down a bit. I am exploring the idea of getting an apartment in Oak Park (with garage if I can find one, but don't worry about that for now), and hoping that the commute on the Eisenhower would be acceptable. On the days that I work in the loop, I could take the Green Line right in with no hassles instead of driving to the Roselle or Medinah metra and taking the train in to west loop, then walking another 15 mins to the office location (LaSalle and Madison).

My biggest concern is the commute time from Oak Park to Schaumburg, 3 days a week. Does anyone do this on a regular basis?

Thanks in advance for all your responses!
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Old 06-12-2011, 10:30 AM
Location: Barrington, IL area
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How about Arlington Heights? Short drive to Schaumburg, and then just hop on the Metra to get into the city.
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Old 06-12-2011, 10:39 AM
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I think what you are looking for is not that easy to find if you are desiring a private garage. Oak Park rentals normally do not have those. That is also difficult to find in any Chicago neighborhood catering to young professionals. Chicago's mentality has always been huge nightlife in the downtown areas, suburbs are for families. That being said...

There is not really a young professional singles scene in Schaumburg outside of people who grew up in the area. Most people suck up the commute and live in the city particularly if they don't have friends in the area. At your age, you will be wedged between people living at home with their parents, people living with friends they grew up with, or young families.

One possible choice is Arlington Heights. You can get an apartment near downtown AH, there are some young professionals and they tend to be a bit more diverse (where they grew up) versus Schaumburg. Then you can take the train into the Loop when you need to go there. AH to Schaumburg is close by.

The commute from Oak Park to Schaumburg is better than the city to Schaumburg, but I would still guess an hour each way. Oak Park has a decent young professional single scene, but still not downtown Chicago like, though it is better than Arlington Heights by a long mile.
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Old 06-12-2011, 11:44 AM
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Thanks nowincal. Your comments confirmed my assumptions. I might try getting a short term lease in schaumburg and testing the commute to OP to see if it is bearable. AH is nice but the housing stock is older and parking is hard to come by. I'd rather not have city-living headaches without the amenities.
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Old 06-12-2011, 11:45 AM
Location: Schaumburg
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Oak Park to Schaumburg during rush hour would probably be an hour or more. I would rent/sublet for 6 mos before you buy anything.

I used to go from Harlem and Irving on teh Norridge/Chicago border to west part of Schaumburg, taking Irving Park Road the whole way and it was anywhere from 45 min to an hour in rush hour.

I would vote for Arlington Heights as well (I live in Schaumburg).
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Old 06-12-2011, 01:45 PM
Location: Oak Park, IL
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For the record, its not impossible to get an apartment with indoor parking in Oak Park, obviously depending on what your budget allows.

I have no idea what the commute to Schaumburg would be like. In the AM rush, its about 10-15 minutes from Harlem to Hillside on the Ike, and beyond that its usually smooth sailing. Coming back in the PM rush, it backs up from Hillside to Harlem everyday, so I'd recommend exiting the Ike at North avenue and taking North Ave to Oak Park (typically 25-30 minutes).
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Old 06-12-2011, 04:24 PM
103 posts, read 143,617 times
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Thanks for the very good info oakparkdude. Looks like I will get a 6 mo or 1 year rental in Schaumburg and see how I like the area. That will also give me time to test the commute to OP with alternative routes to see if I can handle it.
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