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Old 11-16-2006, 09:42 AM
aeh aeh started this thread
 
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Hello: MY husband will be working in Hoffman Estates if we move to Chicago. We are looking at several options--St Charles, Barrington area and North Shore areas. We want excellent schools, a quaint feel, lots of trees...We have lived in STC before, but were in a lower price bracket than we are now. Only know that area vaguely as the kids were young and only lived in the Chicago area for a year. Have never been to the North Shore area, but hear it's nice (yet expensive). We love quaint and charming but want a good size house and a big yard. One of my concerns about North Shore areas is that it might be tough to "break in", not only for my kids but for us, too, seeing as we are not originally from there and they might not be as transient as other newer areas and so really snobby. If hubby is working in Hoffman Estates, how would the commute be from Winnetka or Highland Park vs from St Charles? What are other opinions on these areas and Barrington? Also, Hinsdale (which I've never been to either)? We've lived in an area like Naperville (Plano, TX for those of you that know that area) and I don't want that--even though it was nice, just too bland.....

Thanks for any advice!
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Old 11-16-2006, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Turn Left at Greenland
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I vote for St. Charles. It's a mix of old and new. A real town. I have a good friend who has spent a majority of her adult life there.

Highland Park is lovely too. Not so snooty as the rest of the north shore.
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Old 11-16-2006, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Phoenix metro
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St. Charles is nice, but Geneva is better. Theyre about 5 minutes apart, but a world of difference. If you like St. Charles, Im pretty sure youd love Geneva.
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Old 11-16-2006, 02:53 PM
aeh aeh started this thread
 
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Default Thanks for the advice...and wondering why...

Thanks for the advice, guys, but also wondering why you say there is a world of difference between St Charles and Geneva? What is the difference? I am pleased to hear your replies because I was thinking it would be North Shore area and not St Charles/Geneva...Also, what is the commute time to Hoffman Estates from there?? Thanks so much!
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Old 11-16-2006, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Phoenix metro
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Geneva is much more "quaint". Its streets are lined with Victorians, the shopping is better downtown, and the whole vibe is generally better. Downtown St. Charles is a hangout for college kids, hence the massive resurgance of bars downtown. Geneva is more of an antique town, even though there are still a few bars dowtown. BOTH towns have amazing seasonal festivities, but Geneva is just a better family town IMO. St. Charles is constantly expanding and revamping everything to suit the rich, or so it seems. Geneva is just, well, cute! I think youd like it just as much, if not more, than St. Charles. Do a little research and see what you can come up with! If you have any questions let me know.

As far as the commute time, Im unsure. Ive never commuted on a daily basis between the two towns, but a rough estimate would be 30-45 minutes?
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Old 11-17-2006, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Illinois suburbs
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Wink Come and visit - don't just listen to us!

The commute between Geneva/St. Charles and Hoffman Estates (I know because my in-laws live in Batavia, next door to Geneva) is about 45 minutes without any major traffic snafus.

Google Maps puts the commute at 31 minutes, but Route 59 is a major leg of the journey, and that street never moves quickly during rush hour (or any other time of day, honestly). By the way, in Chicago, morning rush hour begins about 7am and goes until 9am. Afternoon rush hour begins around 3pm and ends around 6:30pm.

Geneva is GORGEOUS and has a very old-world feel to it. The downtown area is being revitalized, and there are some beautiful boutiques, cafes and restaurants along Main Street. I know it's expensive to live there, but I have no specific numbers like house prices or taxes, sorry!

Come and visit! Try out the commute from St. Charles/Geneva to Hoffman Estates during actual rush hour and see if you can deal with it - it's all up to you!
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Old 11-17-2006, 04:28 PM
aeh aeh started this thread
 
318 posts, read 1,544,550 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-o View Post
Geneva is much more "quaint". Its streets are lined with Victorians, the shopping is better downtown, and the whole vibe is generally better. Downtown St. Charles is a hangout for college kids, hence the massive resurgance of bars downtown. Geneva is more of an antique town, even though there are still a few bars dowtown. BOTH towns have amazing seasonal festivities, but Geneva is just a better family town IMO. St. Charles is constantly expanding and revamping everything to suit the rich, or so it seems. Geneva is just, well, cute! I think youd like it just as much, if not more, than St. Charles. Do a little research and see what you can come up with! If you have any questions let me know.

As far as the commute time, Im unsure. Ive never commuted on a daily basis between the two towns, but a rough estimate would be 30-45 minutes?
Thanks for the info on Geneva! I really appreciate it. It is good to know the little nuances between St Charles and Geneva. Thank you to everyone who posted a reply. You have no idea how helpful you 've been!! Any thoughts on Hinsdale? Better or worse schools than Geneva? Different reputation?
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Old 11-18-2006, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Bloomington IN
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Default St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia--the Tri-Cities--it's all good

I lived in this area for about 12 years. Left by choice for a variety of reasons about 5 years ago. It's been a few years since I've been back, but friends still in the area keep me updated. Each of these 3 towns are very nice places to live and really are close enough that residents take advantage of what each has to offer. I lived in Batavia but would often go to downtown Geneva for the specialty shops or over to St. Charles for the mall. I really miss those little shops! (At least 2 new malls have opened in the past 5 years) Of the three Geneva probably has the nicest downtown shopping area. Batavia has the nicest park along the Fox River, the River Walk, and retains a small town feel despite rapid growth. St. Charles had some of the nicest rural (read EXPENSIVE) subdivisions with large lots. Each of these towns is pretty family friendly and has lots of activities for children and families. One caveat--the high schools in St. Charles have had a long running reputation for drug problems. Too many kids with too much money kind of thing. My friends with H.S. age children tell me that the problem also exists in Geneva and Batavia, but is not as evident as St. Charles.

I really wouldn't rule out one of these communities unless it adds significant time to a commute. Just a personal observation, St. Charles people always seemed a bit snootier than Geneva or Batavia residents, but there were lots of exceptions to this.

Randall Rd--on the west sides of all 3 towns-- connects all of Kane County, and has become a giant strip mall in the past 5 years, but it does make getting around a bit easier and might be an alternative Route to the Northwest Tollway. Several miles south of Batavia is the East-West Tollroad--88. It's probably possible to go from that to 355 up to a connecting road into Hoffman Estates. It seems I did this several times. (Sorry, since I don't drive around there daily anymore I've forgotten some of the road connections and alternative routes to places. I don't really think that 59 would be the best route though-but I could definitely be wrong about this!)

Good luck with your move!
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Old 11-18-2006, 09:54 AM
aeh aeh started this thread
 
318 posts, read 1,544,550 times
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Talking Helpful info ...thanks!

Thanks for the great insider tips! I guess we are slightly partial to St Charles as we did live there about 10 years ago briefly (now live in Canada). It seems a lot of the areas we would be looking at might have that same problem--kids with too much money--but if you know of an area where one can exclude the other, please advise! Of course, since STC is the furthest north, it also carries a slight bias for that reason! I am guessing that commuting to Hoffman Estates area from STC or the North Shore would be about the same--just from different directions? I am glad to know about the drug problem though as my kids are in middle school! Thanks for the insight--when we lived there before, my kids were young and it was so brief that we were there I didn't venture out much!
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Old 11-18-2006, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Bloomington IN
7,753 posts, read 9,893,158 times
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aeh--One other thing I forgot about until you mentioned St. Charles being the furthest north---We lived in St. Charles for about 3 months between houses. It seemed that there was more planes from O'Hare circling the area the farther north you are--you'd really see it in Highland Park also though and just about anywhere. We would also see them in Batavia. It did seem like there were more and more during the time we lived there. It never was a big noise problem, but was more noticable in St. Charles area. Not something I would really base a decision on, but food for thought.
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