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Old 06-29-2013, 12:12 AM
 
29 posts, read 51,667 times
Reputation: 59

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About a year ago, I was on this forum looking for relocation advice. We chose Villa Park, so I thought I'd share my experiences as a newcomer living in VP for the past 8+ months.

For those of you who have not heard of Villa Park, it is a small suburb located between Elmhurst and Lombard in the western suburbs of Chicago. One quickly learns that it is divided by the "north" and "south" sections. The north section is seen as less desirable, but it is closer to the Metra. The newly-elected village president lives on that side.

We live in south Villa Park. When we first moved here from Lombard (I grew up in Chicago), people from VP asked us why we moved to VP from Lombard. It is seen as a step down by some people's standards, but you'll see from my list that there are certain advantages to living in VP.

PROS
  • Small community lends itself to getting to know others and becoming invested in its growth.
  • Housing stock is older (VP was in its heyday during the '20s) and with more character in comparison to Lombard (overall). Far more affordable than nearby Elmhurst. Housing-wise, you get a lot for your money.
  • Easier access to Chicago and Elmhurst than Lombard. Even 10 minutes adds up.
  • School performance is surprisingly good (certain schools), rating even higher than some Lombard schools. Orchestra and band are both offered, which is becoming less common. The high school is listed as a Top School by Newsweek and the Washington Post.
  • Newly-elected village president seems to have a lot of support for changes in the right direction.
  • Improvements are being made, such as new park facilities (children's garden, skate park, etc.).
  • Down-to-earth people (yes, this is a gross generalization, but it's been my experience). It's welcoming and very "come as you are."
  • Easy parking at the Metra for commuting.
  • Excellent programs at the library.
  • Community activities such as a weekly French market. We just attended the summer festival. Not crowded yet plenty to do. We were treated to the world-class champion of Irish dancing. He's a VP native! More fun than any Chicago fair I've been to, and I've attended too many to count.

CONS
  • Not as diverse as Chicago (not a surprise) or Lombard.
  • Downtown has serious issues. There are some interesting shops here and there, but not enough to make up for the many, many bars.
  • Difficult to find a larger house.
  • Maintenance in some areas not as good as others-- where I live is beautifully maintained.
  • Higher crime than Lombard in some sections of VP, but compared to Chicago, well . . .not an issue at ALL.
  • Less offered at the park district, but does have partnerships with Lombard and Oakbrook Terrace to help.
Thus, if you are looking for an affordable home with character in a family-friendly town, consider Villa Park.
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Old 06-29-2013, 09:24 AM
 
28,455 posts, read 84,943,296 times
Reputation: 18725
Default Nice summary.

I have owned rental properties in Villa Park; it remains one of the better values in eastern DuPage Co. Good access to lots of employment opportunities which tends to make for tenants with reliable payment ability.

I agree that the "downtown" of Villa Park is not the strongest of those in the area. The history of the parallel rail lines sorta split things up years and years ago and the town did not have the scale to improve things to the degree that Elmhurst did...

The Prarie Path is a nice feature and I agree that things are mostly moving in a postive direction. The establishments that serve beer / wine / liquor are mostly low-key family owned places and they do attract a rowdy crowd so it is not a negative but neither is it some "ultimate party scene" that is attractive to the kind of crowd right out if college. Many of these places remind of the kind of bars that were common in Ukranian Village or Bucktown before the investors and hipsters moved in... Out in the 'burbs Speciality beers are gaining support steadily in even the mom & pop places but there is not that über trendy / sorta homgenized vibe that stretches from Lakeview.

At the high school level there is a marked difference between Willow Brook High in south Villa Park and Addisiin Trail which is further north / west.
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