Welcome to City-Data.com Forum!
U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Illinois > Chicago Suburbs
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 07-21-2014, 12:41 PM
 
1,517 posts, read 2,343,862 times
Reputation: 573

Advertisements

All of the south and southwest suburbs were hit especially hard by the housing crisis, and very few have fully participated in the recent recovery. Why this has happened to the region is up for debate. I think it's because there is a lack of local white collar jobs. Criss-cross the south and southwest suburbs and you will see plenty of two things: factories and brick-and-mortar retail. Neither industry has fared well over the past few years and neither provides an ample supply of people able to afford $450k homes in Flossmoor, especially considering the tax bills. Every other suburban region has one or more "corridors" of professional jobs to help support local housing prices. See: The Illinois Technology and Research Corridor and The Illinois Golden Corridor. The only folks left that can buy $450k+ homes in the S/SW are professionals who work in the city. And recently, even they seem to prefer the more charming, more developed feel of the other suburban regions over the more industrial, boomburb feel of the S/SW. Professionals pick the other regions, the jobs move, house prices fall, schools decline, etc. This provides further impetus to choose other regions and the sick cycle continues.

Why the glut of inventory? A lot of upper-middle class folks like those in Flossmoor were able to "weather the storm" over the past few years, and now that prices have rebounded, a lot are hoping to finally sell-out at a reasonable price. This is not a unique situation to Flossmoor either.

All that said, it certainly looks like Flossmoor has done better over the past few years than some of its S/SW neighbors. And Zillow seems to think the outlook there is more positive too. See the attached graphic.
Attached Thumbnails
What's Going To Happen To Flossmoor??-flossmoor-home-values-vs-neighbors.jpg  

Last edited by holl1ngsworth; 07-21-2014 at 12:58 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-21-2014, 12:56 PM
 
11,975 posts, read 31,786,761 times
Reputation: 4644
Regarding Flossmoor, I don't think you can get a nicer, more charming older house in a nicer area in Chicagoland for the price. I just wish that Homewood-Flossmoor High School had been able to maintain it's stellar reputation.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-21-2014, 02:18 PM
 
57 posts, read 160,103 times
Reputation: 58
So, there were 120 homes for sale in July of 2013, 87 in Feb. of 2014 and 132 today. To draw some kind of conclusion from that data would be difficult. Market time over a 10 year period would probably be more useful.

I'm not sure how the entire south suburban economy will effect Flossmoor in the long run. Certainly, it has an effect. I have little interaction with many of the south suburban communities listed (Steger, Riverdale). Friends and neighbors in Flossmoor would probably give me a blank stare if I asked for directions to Steger. The Heights is still useful and I'm more familiar with that area.

If we're talking about an "island", you really have to include Homewood, Olympia Fields and a large swath of Matteson (based on median income). That's quite a big island.

Most of the money (and best architecture) is concentrated in Old Flossmoor, East Flossmoor, Flossmoor Estates and Flossmoor Park. Those neighborhoods also comprise the attendance boundaries (along with parts of Homewood and Olympia fields) of Western Ave. school. Western Ave. performance (by demographic) is on par with the more desirable districts in the Chicagoland area.

People usually think of Flossmoor as diverse in black and white terms- but there is just as much diversity in income. Some of this is based on land grabs done by the administration years ago. The apartments downtown have always been modest and affordable, going back to the depression.

You've got a diverse, walkable town with good school/transportation options and charming architecture. Although there are doctors, lawyers, and business owners tied to the greater South suburban/ NW Indiana area, many folks use Flossmoor as a bedroom community and work in the city. The express train to U of C is a plus, and the area still has strong ties. Real estate is generally a pretty efficient market- I'd say current pricing accurately reflects the risk/reward equation.

Last edited by scotty40; 07-21-2014 at 02:36 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-21-2014, 04:59 PM
 
1,946 posts, read 7,373,198 times
Reputation: 1396
The Flossmoor property taxes have historically been higher, so that is nothing new. My concern is who will find Flossmoor desirable enough to move there?

The foundation of a successful community is always the schools. Statistically the Flossmoor schools are not testing out as high as they used to for a variety of reasons; including I believe the retirement of the superintendent, the retirement of many strong principals and strong teachers leaving the district.

We justified the outrageous taxes because our child could attend excellent public schools in addition to the outstanding community offerings including the park district and library. A different dynamic is introduced when you not only have to pay insanely high taxes AND pay for private schools. I know this is done throughout Chicago. One of the primary reasons people leave Chicago and move to the burbs is because they do not want to pay for private schools.

So when you have high taxes, okayish but not excellent schools, who is going to go for that? Who will move to Flossmoor? What will happen to Flossmoor?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-21-2014, 05:09 PM
 
1,517 posts, read 2,343,862 times
Reputation: 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldhousegirl View Post
The Flossmoor property taxes have historically been higher, so that is nothing new. My concern is who will find Flossmoor desirable enough to move there?

The foundation of a successful community is always the schools. Statistically the Flossmoor schools are not testing out as high as they used to for a variety of reasons; including I believe the retirement of the superintendent, the retirement of many strong principals and strong teachers leaving the district.

We justified the outrageous taxes because our child could attend excellent public schools in addition to the outstanding community offerings including the park district and library. A different dynamic is introduced when you not only have to pay insanely high taxes AND pay for private schools. I know this is done throughout Chicago. One of the primary reasons people leave Chicago and move to the burbs is because they do not want to pay for private schools.

So when you have high taxes, okayish but not excellent schools, who is going to go for that? Who will move to Flossmoor? What will happen to Flossmoor?
Did you read my first reply? Not a lot of people "going for it" in Flossmoor. Doesn't have to do with Flossmoor per say, more to do with the decline of the region. Home prices in Flossmoor are actually doing very well within the context of the S/SW region. Schools are another story. Recent elementary school test scores have made the town very undesirable to parents with young children. Given the large gap between the fairly decent high school scores and absolutely horrendous elementary scores, it's obvious the new students being brought up in the district are not the kind of performers that Flossmoor has been know for. Because the tax bases for Flossmoor and the greater region are shrinking, I imagine a turnaround will be very difficult.

Last edited by holl1ngsworth; 07-21-2014 at 05:19 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-21-2014, 05:48 PM
 
1,946 posts, read 7,373,198 times
Reputation: 1396
Quote:
Originally Posted by holl1ngsworth View Post
Did you read my first reply? Not a lot of people "going for it" in Flossmoor. Doesn't have to do with Flossmoor per say, more to do with the decline of the region. Home prices in Flossmoor are actually doing very well within the context of the S/SW region. Schools are another story. Recent elementary school test scores have made the town very undesirable to parents with young children. Given the large gap between the fairly decent high school scores and absolutely horrendous elementary scores, it's obvious the new students being brought up in the district are not the kind of performers that Flossmoor has been know for. Because the tax bases for Flossmoor and the greater region are shrinking, I imagine a turnaround will be very difficult.
Hey, yes I read your first reply and appreciated it . I understand the Southland has been hit hard as have other Chicagoland areas. While many are not "going for it", I wonder who eventually will and how sustainable will that truly be?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-21-2014, 07:35 PM
 
57 posts, read 160,103 times
Reputation: 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by holl1ngsworth View Post
Did you read my first reply? Not a lot of people "going for it" in Flossmoor. Doesn't have to do with Flossmoor per say, more to do with the decline of the region. Home prices in Flossmoor are actually doing very well within the context of the S/SW region. Schools are another story. Recent elementary school test scores have made the town very undesirable to parents with young children. Given the large gap between the fairly decent high school scores and absolutely horrendous elementary scores, it's obvious the new students being brought up in the district are not the kind of performers that Flossmoor has been know for. Because the tax bases for Flossmoor and the greater region are shrinking, I imagine a turnaround will be very difficult.
Flossmoor SD 161 serves Chicago Heights, Hazel Crest, Homewood, Olympia Fields and Flossmoor. Given the socioeconomic status of the communities it serves, it should be no surprise that there are schools within the district that are not performing well.

Western Ave. serves the core of Flossmoor and a small part of Homewood/Oly Fields. Test scores broken out by demographic put it above many of the desirable schools touted on this board, including schools in Downers, Glen Ellyn, Wheaton etc. In fact, Western had 100% meets/exceeds science scores in 2013 (white subgroup). An example- HF test scores and Plainfield Central test scores are similar. HF has a high performing group and a low performing group averaging out to "okayish" territory, Plainfield Central is consistently "okayish". Evaluating schools with a minority presence without taking the achievement gap into account is simplistic and innacurate.

Median incomes are higher here than all of the Western suburbs mentioned above. Total cost of housing (taxes included) is still less than many of the more desirable suburbs.

We have neighbors that have a tradition of private schools and the school system isn't a consideration. Others home school. Some have had kids in both private and public schools, based on individual needs.

Shrinking tax base in Flossmoor? There has never been any commercial tax base in Flossmoor. Hence, the high property taxes. Have you ever actually driven through?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-21-2014, 09:10 PM
 
1,517 posts, read 2,343,862 times
Reputation: 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty40 View Post
Flossmoor SD 161 serves Chicago Heights, Hazel Crest, Homewood, Olympia Fields and Flossmoor. Given the socioeconomic status of the communities it serves, it should be no surprise that there are schools within the district that are not performing well.
Yes, this is a problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty40 View Post
Western Ave. serves the core of Flossmoor and a small part of Homewood/Oly Fields. Test scores broken out by demographic put it above many of the desirable schools touted on this board, including schools in Downers, Glen Ellyn, Wheaton etc. In fact, Western had 100% meets/exceeds science scores in 2013 (white subgroup). An example- HF test scores and Plainfield Central test scores are similar. HF has a high performing group and a low performing group averaging out to "okayish" territory, Plainfield Central is consistently "okayish". Evaluating schools with a minority presence without taking the achievement gap into account is simplistic and innacurate.
I have tried at length to explain the achievement gap to people on these boards, but to no avail. Adjusting for the achievement gap, Wheaton has the highest performing elementary school in the entire state! Even without adjusting it's still #6.

That said, Central Ave did have better test scores than several of the thirteen Wheaton CUSD 200 elementary schools. The few that it bested are known for their diversity, and also for having a large number of students who are "english learners" -- many are refugees. Western Ave has no english learners. Obviously testing a student's ability to read English when it's their second language and isn't spoken at home can be a challenge -- and certainly it will have an effect on cumulative test scores.

But I know what you mean about the achievement gap. The problem is that one "okayish" elementary school isn't gonna be enough for parents looking for district-wide performance and consistency from elementary thru high school. Wheaton, Glen Ellyn and Downers all have at least one average-performing school, but they also have plenty of high-performing options, k thru 12 -- and that's the big draw for parents and home buyers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty40 View Post
Median incomes are higher here than all of the Western suburbs mentioned above. Total cost of housing (taxes included) is still less than many of the more desirable suburbs.
On paper, yes. I can't speak for Glen Ellyn or Downers, but Wheaton is the DuPage County "seat" and is home to the county government complex. The complex includes the county jail and convalescent center, both of which house "residents" that skew the median in Wheaton. Wheaton is also a relatively large town and is home to other "skewers" like retirement homes, a liberal arts college and even a renowned rehabilitation center. All with "residents" that will skew any median figure.

Look, obviously Flossmoor is a great place to live: wealthy inhabitants, comparatively good schools, etc etc. But there is a regional problem at play that has had a tangible effect on Flossmoor. I was the one who actually pointed out that Flossmoor has fared much better than its S/SW neighbors. Given the rough context of the S/SW Flossmoor certainly seems to be a strong performer/good investment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty40 View Post
We have neighbors that have a tradition of private schools and the school system isn't a consideration. Others home school. Some have had kids in both private and public schools, based on individual needs.
Every region has solid private school offerings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty40 View Post
Shrinking tax base in Flossmoor? There has never been any commercial tax base in Flossmoor. Hence, the high property taxes. Have you ever actually driven through?
My only point was that as home values fall the town's property tax revenue will also have to (eventually) fall. Yes, shrinking tax base. And I have driven through. My wife and I were living in the city a couple years ago scouting suburbs where we could start a family, and Flossmoor was on our radar. I think Flossmoor ends up on a lot of people's radar because it's well known right now that you can get a beautiful, historic home at a great price. Plus it's safe, good Metra service, country clubs, etc. However, school performance ended up being a deal-breaker and Flossmoor didn't make our final short list.

My biggest worry now would be the lack of local professional-level jobs. The OP was wondering: who is going to buy into Flossmoor in the future? Certainly some professionals working in the city will continue to choose Flossmoor, for all the reasons you pointed out, but as the local white collar job markets thrive in other regions and spur development, the relative decline of the greater S/SW might begin to have a more pronounced effect on the town.

Last edited by holl1ngsworth; 07-21-2014 at 10:38 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-22-2014, 06:16 AM
 
57 posts, read 160,103 times
Reputation: 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by holl1ngsworth View Post
Yes, this is a problem.



I have tried at length to explain the achievement gap to people on these boards, but to no avail. Adjusting for the achievement gap, Wheaton has the highest performing elementary school in the entire state! Even without adjusting it's still #6.

That said, Central Ave did have better test scores than several of the thirteen Wheaton CUSD 200 elementary schools. The few that it bested are known for their diversity, and also for having a large number of students who are "english learners" -- many are refugees. Western Ave has no english learners. Obviously testing a student's ability to read English when it's their second language and isn't spoken at home can be a challenge -- and certainly it will have an effect on cumulative test scores.

But I know what you mean about the achievement gap. The problem is that one "okayish" elementary school isn't gonna be enough for parents looking for district-wide performance and consistency from elementary thru high school. Wheaton, Glen Ellyn and Downers all have at least one average-performing school, but they also have plenty of high-performing options, k thru 12 -- and that's the big draw for parents and home buyers.



On paper, yes. I can't speak for Glen Ellyn or Downers, but Wheaton is the DuPage County "seat" and is home to the county government complex. The complex includes the county jail and convalescent center, both of which house "residents" that skew the median in Wheaton. Wheaton is also a relatively large town and is home to other "skewers" like retirement homes, a liberal arts college and even a renowned rehabilitation center. All with "residents" that will skew any median figure.

Look, obviously Flossmoor is a great place to live: wealthy inhabitants, comparatively good schools, etc etc. But there is a regional problem at play that has had a tangible effect on Flossmoor. I was the one who actually pointed out that Flossmoor has fared much better than its S/SW neighbors. Given the rough context of the S/SW Flossmoor certainly seems to be a strong performer/good investment.



Every region has solid private school offerings.



My only point was that as home values fall the town's property tax revenue will also have to (eventually) fall. Yes, shrinking tax base. And I have driven through. My wife and I were living in the city a couple years ago scouting suburbs where we could start a family, and Flossmoor was on our radar. I think Flossmoor ends up on a lot of people's radar because it's well known right now that you can get a beautiful, historic home at a great price. Plus it's safe, good Metra service, country clubs, etc. However, school performance ended up being a deal-breaker and Flossmoor didn't make our final short list.

My biggest worry now would be the lack of local professional-level jobs. The OP was wondering: who is going to buy into Flossmoor in the future? Certainly some professionals working in the city will continue to choose Flossmoor, for all the reasons you pointed out, but as the local white collar job markets thrive in other regions and spur development, the relative decline of the greater S/SW might begin to have a more pronounced effect on the town.
Yes, it certainly is a niche market, but then again- it's a very small town. Not many people are torn between Flossmoor and Wheaton- it's more of a Flossmoor or Beverly-Hyde Park- Riverside comparison, which all have their own challenges. The alarmist tone the OP has taken is not appropriate.... People buying into the town are well aware of the positives/negatives. Those same issues were there when the OP moved in 2004.

I wouldn't hold my breath for declining property taxes. That would be unprecedented. The towns that have arguably hit rock bottom (Harvey, Ford Heights etc.) have some of the highest tax rates in IL. Even at the extreme end of the spectrum, property taxes have not decreased.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-22-2014, 07:15 AM
 
1,517 posts, read 2,343,862 times
Reputation: 573
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty40 View Post
Yes, it certainly is a niche market, but then again- it's a very small town. Not many people are torn between Flossmoor and Wheaton- it's more of a Flossmoor or Beverly-Hyde Park- Riverside comparison, which all have their own challenges.
I know, I actually compared it to other S/SW suburbs, you brought the West into the argument. It's small size probably plays to its advantage, and one would hope it would add to demand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty40 View Post
The alarmist tone the OP has taken is not appropriate.... People buying into the town are well aware of the positives/negatives. Those same issues were there when the OP moved in 2004.
Yes, I agree. There seems to be a few threads on here that are alarmist regarding Flossmoor and Homewood. I think these are mainly residents scared about the decline they see around them (the S/SW region) and worried about how it might affect their otherwise lovely town. You can't be too upset -- they are legitimate concerns. But the good news is Flossmoor, again, is a strong regional performer and looks to have one of the healthiest housing markets around. Zillow is not always 100% accurate, but they do have very advanced forecasting models that usually indicate the general health of any given market. Zillow's models see Flossmoor home values increasing by 2.7% over the 12 months. That is astounding compared to other S/SW suburbs, where Zillow predicts flat to negative growth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty40 View Post
I wouldn't hold my breath for declining property taxes. That would be unprecedented. The towns that have arguably hit rock bottom (Harvey, Ford Heights etc.) have some of the highest tax rates in IL. Even at the extreme end of the spectrum, property taxes have not decreased.
I am not making a point about homeowners paying less... I am making the point that the village/district/county won't be able to collect as much. Tax revenues = down. Towns like Harvey and Ford Heights actually have a collection problem, ie, people not even bothering to pay the bill. They can make their tax rates whatever they want, won't make people pay.

Tax rates will always be exacerbated in towns where prices are falling. A house that sold for $450,000 seven years ago might be paying around 1.5% taxes, or $7k a year. If that house sells now for $275,000, all other factors remaining constant, the tax rate jumps to a whopping 2.5%. It can be notoriously hard in Cook to get your assessment reevaluated, and most people don't even know where to start.

It's all very troubling. There are a lot of houses on the market in S/SW suburbs that many people would love to buy -- but someone who can technically "afford" the beautiful $250k house in Midlothian usually can't afford the $10k/year tax bill it comes with. It forces them to look W/NW/N where tax rates are more in-line with home values. I think if the county and townships got their act together and made it an easy process to have assessment reevaluated, perhaps even creating a system that allows sellers to advertise the new "would-be" tax bill, it would go a long way toward getting some stagnate inventory off the market.

Last edited by holl1ngsworth; 07-22-2014 at 07:35 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Illinois > Chicago Suburbs
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2024, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top