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Old 12-31-2020, 10:54 AM
 
5 posts, read 4,658 times
Reputation: 10

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We are a couple in our 30s with a toddler living in a NW neighborhood of Chicago. We are looking to move to a suburb that fits the following criteria:
  1. Close to the City. A 30-minute express train to the Loop would be ideal. Max 40 minutes.
  2. Has a walkable downtown (an urban feel would be a bonus). While we are not expecting a huge downtown, we'd like to live as close as possible to a downtown of some sort and be able to walk to places. We don't care for a big house anyway and have no problem choosing a smaller and/or older house in order to live in or closer to downtown.
  3. Good schools. I know everyone defines good schools differently - let's say it doesn't have to be Naperville school caliber necessarily.
  4. Our budget is $700k for a 4 BR house.

So far LaGrange seems to be the most promising option, but would love other suggestions as well. We have also considered:
  • Park Ridge - concerned about the airplane noise, especially the downtown areas
  • Wilmette - houses close to downtown might be out of our budget

Thank you!
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Old 12-31-2020, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Chicago
169 posts, read 37,709 times
Reputation: 55
Purplypurple, Move to elmhurst it has metra and a really walkable downtown and next to the expressway and great schools.

25 min drive to downtown and 35 metra ride to downtown.
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Old 12-31-2020, 11:04 AM
 
475 posts, read 58,699 times
Reputation: 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicagoisthebest View Post
Purplypurple, Move to elmhurst it has metra and a really walkable downtown and next to the expressway and great schools.

Oak Park no good?
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Old 12-31-2020, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Evanston, Lake Forest, and Wrigleyville, Illinois
2,467 posts, read 1,560,209 times
Reputation: 2989
Quote:
Originally Posted by purplypurple View Post
We are a couple in our 30s with a toddler living in a NW neighborhood of Chicago. We are looking to move to a suburb that fits the following criteria:
  1. Close to the City. A 30-minute express train to the Loop would be ideal. Max 40 minutes.
  2. Has a walkable downtown (an urban feel would be a bonus). While we are not expecting a huge downtown, we'd like to live as close as possible to a downtown of some sort and be able to walk to places. We don't care for a big house anyway and have no problem choosing a smaller and/or older house in order to live in or closer to downtown.
  3. Good schools. I know everyone defines good schools differently - let's say it doesn't have to be Naperville school caliber necessarily.
  4. Our budget is $700k for a 4 BR house.

So far LaGrange seems to be the most promising option, but would love other suggestions as well. We have also considered:
  • Park Ridge - concerned about the airplane noise, especially the downtown areas
  • Wilmette - houses close to downtown might be out of our budget

Thank you!
Evanston, Oak Park, and River Forest are your best bets for your priorities. Oak Park and River Forest will have some nicer options at your buy-in price point of $700k, but the taxes will be substantially higher than Evanston's. Park Ridge and Wilmette are nice options, but I don't think that you could appropriately describe either as having an 'urban feel.' Most urbanites consider describing Evanston and Oak Park as urban-feeling as a stretch. I think describing Park Ridge, Wilmette, or La Grange as urban-feeling is on the road to misleading.
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Old 12-31-2020, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Chicago
169 posts, read 37,709 times
Reputation: 55
Why does everything have to be oak park or Evanston?
Some parts of oak park are going downhill.
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Old 12-31-2020, 11:30 AM
 
6,623 posts, read 3,077,633 times
Reputation: 12682
Quote:
Originally Posted by purplypurple View Post
We are a couple in our 30s with a toddler living in a NW neighborhood of Chicago. We are looking to move to a suburb that fits the following criteria:
  1. Close to the City. A 30-minute express train to the Loop would be ideal. Max 40 minutes.
  2. Has a walkable downtown (an urban feel would be a bonus). While we are not expecting a huge downtown, we'd like to live as close as possible to a downtown of some sort and be able to walk to places. We don't care for a big house anyway and have no problem choosing a smaller and/or older house in order to live in or closer to downtown.
  3. Good schools. I know everyone defines good schools differently - let's say it doesn't have to be Naperville school caliber necessarily.
  4. Our budget is $700k for a 4 BR house.

So far LaGrange seems to be the most promising option, but would love other suggestions as well. We have also considered:
  • Park Ridge - concerned about the airplane noise, especially the downtown areas
  • Wilmette - houses close to downtown might be out of our budget

Thank you!
LaGrange is probably a great option for you. Downers Grove is still about 30 minutes on the express train and there is plenty within $700K in your range. I think that Western Springs and Clarendon Hills are both likely to be a bit over budget and Hinsdale is really expensive by downtown.
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Old 12-31-2020, 11:52 AM
 
5 posts, read 4,658 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiruko View Post
Park Ridge and Wilmette are nice options, but I don't think that you could appropriately describe either as having an 'urban feel.' Most urbanites consider describing Evanston and Oak Park as urban-feeling as a stretch. I think describing Park Ridge, Wilmette, or La Grange as urban-feeling is on the road to misleading.
Thank you for the suggestions! To clarify, we certainly don't expect a true urban feel - as urban as a suburban can feel would be great. More than anything, we are looking to avoid having to get in a car for everything and would like to have the option to walk to the Metra station on weekdays and to restaurants/shops/etc straight from home on weekends. So basically, we are looking for a suburb with some stretch of lively & walkable downtown, where such downtown area is in a decent school district and has houses in our budget.
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Old 12-31-2020, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Chicago
169 posts, read 37,709 times
Reputation: 55
Elmhurst has a metra station and great schools.
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Old 12-31-2020, 12:14 PM
 
1,592 posts, read 1,578,333 times
Reputation: 3402
Quote:
Originally Posted by RamenAddict View Post
LaGrange is probably a great option for you. Downers Grove is still about 30 minutes on the express train and there is plenty within $700K in your range. I think that Western Springs and Clarendon Hills are both likely to be a bit over budget and Hinsdale is really expensive by downtown.
Rep+1

This is really a good assessment. I would also check out Western Springs and Clarendon Hills for better schools than La Grange (although WS and LG share the same HS) and Downers Grove. Hinsdale might be out of reach near its downtown, but not necessarily-it would be close.

I don't know how bad Park Ridge airport noise is; it is fairly reasonable for what you get. I really don't think La Grange would be a bad choice at all, the dt is great, and it flows nicely into all the suburbs west of it.

I would disagree with the suggestion of River Forest, nice town but no downtown to speak of, just a shopping center and some strip malls on North Ave. DT Oak Park could be within walking distance depending on where you are.
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Old 12-31-2020, 12:19 PM
 
475 posts, read 58,699 times
Reputation: 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicagoisthebest View Post
Why does everything have to be oak park or Evanston?
Some parts of oak park are going downhill.

Oak Park and Evanston have urban feel, established roots of charming small towns USA and easy access by trains to the best city in the country.
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