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Old 02-15-2008, 03:15 PM
 
9 posts, read 40,827 times
Reputation: 11

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We'd like to spend $550K - $650K on a house in one of these communities:

- Evanston
- Wilmette
- Highland Park
- Deerfield

Our thought is that we could get a great deal for a rehab in this market and then flip it in 1-2 years. Hopefully, there are some areas in these towns that are still in our price range. After rehabbing, we'd like to buy another, higher-priced home in the same community/school district.

Like most people, these things are important to us:

1. Top Public Schools.

2. Family-friendly and safety.

3. Home Appreciation.

4. Location to culture/amenities such as museums, restaurants, shops, lake, etc.

5. An interesting, walkable downtown.

6. Commute. We work out of O'hare.

We are a white, Christian (Methodist) family. We are very liberal minded and like diversity.

We like the diversity and downtown of Evanston but have heard mixed things about the schools and safety. We like Wilmette but have heard that New Trier is too competitive and intense. We like the smaller Deerfield and Highland Park high schools but have heard the towns are majority jewish and cliquish so we worry about fitting in. I guess nowhere is perfect.

Do you have any recommendations? Thanks for any ideas.
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Old 02-16-2008, 06:07 PM
 
47 posts, read 191,897 times
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Good luck making money in 1-2 years by flipping a house in this market...don't mean to be pessimistic but no one is sure that we're even at the bottom of the housing decline right now.

What about Northbrook or Glenview? Both appear to fit almost all of your criteria (especially Northbrook) and have easier commutes to O'hare than the rest of the towns you mentioned.
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Old 02-16-2008, 06:15 PM
 
4,176 posts, read 6,310,316 times
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I agree with the previous poster. Why take the risk of flipping the house if the only thing you're going to do with the 'profit' (if you make any, which is unlikely anyways) is buy another house in the same neighborhood? The towns suggested by the previous poster should be fine, but I'm not too familiar with that area.
If there is anything to be learned from the housing bubble, it's that people should buy a houses sin order to have a safe place to live and raise their families (if applicable) Buying one to turn a quick profit is a bad idea. When you really do the Math (adjust for inflation, renovations, interest, taxes, utilities, etc), the 'profit' is a LOT less than you might think. Plus, you need to spend a lot of the money you 'made' for a new place to live.
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Old 02-17-2008, 05:34 PM
 
4,720 posts, read 15,558,307 times
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Of your list requirements, I would skip Deerfield. Just not as charming or walkable. When you can 'flip' for profit,well, no one knows about the market or has an insight into the future. But those towns, with good schools, nice walkable communitites, metra to the city and the lake will be a nice place to live in the meantime. As far as 'cliques",, I dont get this, this isnt high school. Hang around with who you wish, make friends with people of your own interest. Neighboring burbs are also nice. This is not "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" for heavans sake. No town is all "one way" that will not let you in. What you hear is gossip from people with problams in finding friends and blaming it on the WHOLE town--not them

Last edited by nanannie; 02-17-2008 at 05:55 PM..
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Old 02-17-2008, 09:07 PM
 
20 posts, read 75,013 times
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go with evanston.....stay as north as possible w/out hitting wilmette.
there are few safety issues up there and the schools are great.

2nd choice: go with wilmette and study hard to keep up at new trier!
3rd choice: highland park, predominantly jewish, with a great downtown
4th choice: deerfield, predominantly jewish, no downtown to speak of

*also, i'd look to stay put for at least 3-5 years. there's no such thing as "flipping" in this real estate market, esp. on the north shore. ride it out, build some equity, and then look around for another place. good luck!

***and, for what it's worth, i haven't met any jewish people in those areas who were "clique-y." overwhelmingly, they are friendly, welcoming, and fantastic folks.
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Old 02-18-2008, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Hollywood/Brookfield, IL
677 posts, read 4,198,980 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cricket00 View Post
4th choice: deerfield, predominantly jewish, no downtown to speak of
Actually, Deerfield has a very nice downtown with several shops and restaurants, a Barnes & Noble, and a Whole Foods. Waukegan Rd & Deerfield Rd, just east of the Metra station.
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Old 02-18-2008, 01:44 PM
 
9 posts, read 40,827 times
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I agree I may be too optimistic about flipping a house for a profit in a few years. We are willing to wait 3-5 years if the market doesn't pick up though.

We do feel we have a big advantage in this market as first time home buyers though. In a few years, we should also have more income to invest (I'll go back to full-time work and DH's income should also increase significantly).

We want to buy an entry-level house in a good community, put down roots there, and then eventually buy our dream house there when we can afford it (and the market is better).

I just found a website for the Highland Park Methodist church which looks pretty strong. The town also seems fairly diverse with a mix of Jewish, Christian, Hispanic, etc. But I've never spent much time there.

I think we'll look at houses in all 4 towns (and maybe also Glenview). Maybe we'll just fall in love with an area/house.

Thanks again!
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Old 02-18-2008, 07:40 PM
 
20 posts, read 75,013 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahava View Post
Actually, Deerfield has a very nice downtown with several shops and restaurants, a Barnes & Noble, and a Whole Foods. Waukegan Rd & Deerfield Rd, just east of the Metra station.
to me, that's not what i would consider a traditional downtown.
it's more of a strip mall with restaurants all around it.
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Old 02-18-2008, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Hollywood/Brookfield, IL
677 posts, read 4,198,980 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cricket00 View Post
to me, that's not what i would consider a traditional downtown.
it's more of a strip mall with restaurants all around it.
Plus a Metra station and a nice fountain... Regardless of opinion there is a difference between Deerfield and someplace like Buffalo Grove which really does not have any downtown area to speak of.
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Old 02-19-2008, 09:00 AM
 
4,720 posts, read 15,558,307 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahava View Post
Plus a Metra station and a nice fountain... Regardless of opinion there is a difference between Deerfield and someplace like Buffalo Grove which really does not have any downtown area to speak of.
The op never mentioned an interest in Buffalo Grove, and I would have to agree, Deerfield has no "downtown' in comparison to the ops requests of Evanston Wilmette and Highland Park and "An interesting and walkable downtown".
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