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Old 02-10-2008, 10:02 AM
 
4 posts, read 12,060 times
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My husband is looking to relocating us all..me and our 3 kids...to chicago next summer. I am very excited but very aprehensive as to where to locate ourselves. My kids will be aged 8. 12 and 16 so my biggest priority is schooling. We both like the idea of living in Chicago and have looked quite extensively at condos in the Loop. My husband recently commutes an hour a day by train and does not want to do that anymore..think he will end up 6ft under if he carries on. So this is why we are looking at areas near as possible to the Loop. What I would like to know is are the schools in that area really that bad, or is it worth looking at private schools for the kids.

Also we have looked at Oak park and close suburbs that are within a 20 minute (approx) train ride into the loop as we would get a house instead of a condo...does anyone know if the schools around there are good and where should I look at to move to to be as close as possible to both an elementary school and High School...hopefully within walking distance..

Also if anyone else can recommend other areas that have fast and easy access into Chicago Id be grateful....again with fab schools nearby.

Can anyone also tell me how my kids...especially my eldest...will be accepted at school. This is my biggest fear for a 16 year old boy as I know it will be hardest for him. Will the schools help with "giving" him a friend to help him get a round...also are us brits welcomed or will we stand out a mile???

I really appreciate any help anyone gives...thanks everyone

We are coming out in the summer to have a look around..
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Old 02-10-2008, 10:55 PM
 
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It would help if you gave a price range for housing and schooling.
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:01 AM
 
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Default price range

ok we are looking to buy something for about $600,000...either a condo or a townhouse.

With regards to private education was hoping no more that $15k per year...hope that helps. I am pulling my hair out trying to find an area that is all round good
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:29 AM
 
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HI, you were concerned about your children being accepted at the schools, are you from an area in the south that you might have a strong southern accent in which they might be made fun of or a strong Eastern US accent like from New York or Boston??,,

I think for your price range you can get something nice in the Lincoln Park area??, The city of Chicago has one of the worst public school systems, and finding a good public school in the city is hard. You might want to google the recent US News and World Report annual issue that give the top 100 schools in the U.S. there were several Chicago public schools that did make that list, but they were in the areas like Lincoln Park. Private schools are probably the better way to go, but with 3 school age children I'm not sure if 15K would be enough for yearly tuition and books etc..

I'm not a big fan of most of the city of Chicago neighborhoods, there are very few that I would even consider living in, but I really don't like Urban living at all and prefer the quiet and peaceful aspect of the suburbs, so if you are used to living in heavily populated Urban areas where you always have lots of noise and traffic and crowded shopping areas then you will probably not have a problem adjusting to living within the city boundaries.
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Tower Grove East, St. Louis, MO
12,063 posts, read 29,546,038 times
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If you;re looking at the city this should probably be in the Chicago city forum.

Anyway, I am glad to see you considering the city for your family; I suspect you'll really like it. I don't have any children and I'm pretty new to the city myself, but hopefully I can offer some assistance.

I know you said you were looking at condos in the loop, which can be a great option, but I wonder if you would also be interested in a condo in a walk-up building (they're usually 3 stories). I tend to like these set ups better for a couple of reasons:

1. I prefer neighborhoods with less high rises because they seem more "neighborhoody" but still walkable with lots to do nearby.

2. You often get a back deck or some sort of nice outdoor space that isn't as easily found in high rises.

3. Assessments are usually far less because you're not paying for stuff like door men, fitness centers and swimming pools. I find I'd prefer to find a gym to join that I like.

That being said walk-ups are less likely to have garaged parking, though often some sort of off street parking is available.

For 600k I don't think you'll have much problem finding a 3 bedroom in a nice family area like Lincoln Park or Lincoln Square- I think 4 bedrooms are harder to find there in that range, but I'm sure they exist. I don't know much a bout Roscoe village, but I know others have suggested it before as a good family neighborhood, and a quick look on realtor.com shows several 4 bedrooms available there under 600k.
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Old 02-13-2008, 10:23 AM
 
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Okay. If you want to spend no more than $15k for all three children, you are probably looking at Catholic or public magnet schools. There are many, many good Catholic elementary schools (and many non-catholics who attend). St. Ignacious is a wonderful high school.

Living in the city is a wonderful experience, your kids will have easy access to so much cultural enrichment without much effort.

However, you might want to also look at the suburbs very close to the city, accessible via the metra. For my north shore village its a two block walk to the train and a 30 minute train cummute. On the train you can sip a latte or read a paper, much less stressful than driving on an expressway. $600k won't buy you a big house, but these days you can find one in that range.

Oak Park/River Forest is also an option
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Old 02-13-2008, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Oak Park, IL
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Regarding Oak Park, its generally acknowledged to have an excellent school district. I'd say that pretty much 9 out of 10 of my neighbors live in Oak Park because they wanted an urban environment with good schools for their kids. With both Metra and Green Line (el) service to the loop, you'll be closer to downtown than many of the more family-friendly neighborhoods within the city of Chicago. Within your price range, there are many SFH as well as new-construction townhomes available. Compared to the north shore, its a little bit more gritty/urban and we don't have the lake nearby, but housing prices are lower.
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Old 02-13-2008, 11:30 AM
 
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My best advice is to look north. Evanston, Lake Forest or Libertyville to get the most for your money. Schools in the city are no good, taxes are higher, parking and traffic are horrible and you get less for your money. Always consider the additional cost of private school if you do choose to live in the city. Evanston, Libertyville and Lake Forest all have excellent schools, nice, safe friendly neighborhoods that are extremely family friendly. Evanston is closest to the city then Lake Forest, then Libertyville. Libertyville actually landed on Money's best places to live list. All 3 have train stations that can take you to the city. Good luck.
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