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Old 02-21-2021, 02:47 AM
 
3 posts, read 526 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello. I've lurked here for years learning helpful info. Ive recently learned I can get a 3.0 interest rate, which seems fairly good, so I think this might be a good time for my family and I to buy instead of rent (haven't rented yet because my family is just now planning to move near my job location) , so I'd like to try to get some opinions on what town/city/suburb near my job would give my family the best for our money (one parent income- truck driver salary). I have the option of working out of Bartlett/Elgin , Dolton or possibly Pecatonica. Low crime, good schools, amenities are important and probably in that order. Thanks for any help.
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Old 02-21-2021, 03:01 AM
 
Location: Evanston, Lake Forest, and Wrigleyville, Illinois
2,517 posts, read 1,608,776 times
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What is your housing budget? What type of community do you like (older, established, newer, planned, unplanned, walkable, etc.)? It's hard to comment without that information.
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Old 02-21-2021, 09:46 AM
 
3 posts, read 526 times
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I've never been to Crystal Lake. Is it walkable like Sycamore? Are there many differences between the two other than Syc residents being maybe more conservative and it having more of a small town feel or close knit community but CL having better schools and the beach/water sports?

I'm not sure if I know exactly what I want regarding your questions but walkable would be nice even if not extremely important. The end of my budget might be around 300k but I've seen houses in Ogle county for cheaper which were tempting- I would need to decide if I would be willing to do that 60-75 min possible drive to work and to pick my other kids up etc though .
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Old 02-21-2021, 10:00 AM
 
3 posts, read 526 times
Reputation: 10
I forgot to mention lower taxes is very important to me, no more than in the 7's. I've considered Indiana but I have 2 kids from a previous marriage who live in the Northwest burbs, so I want to keep IN as a last resort.
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Old 02-21-2021, 10:37 AM
 
Location: In the land beyond Ohare!
1,672 posts, read 1,097,771 times
Reputation: 4311
C.L. downtown is small, has Metra train access and is walkable. Most major shopping and dining is found on RT 14 or on Randall Rd in LITH and Algonquin. C.L. does have great schools, parks, bike/walking trails etc. Taxes though, based on your criteria, will be a issue. On a $300k home, 4br, 2.5 baths look at 10k+.
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Old 02-22-2021, 11:23 PM
 
15,205 posts, read 26,066,147 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MWlearning View Post
I've never been to Crystal Lake. Is it walkable like Sycamore? Are there many differences between the two other than Syc residents being maybe more conservative and it having more of a small town feel or close knit community but CL having better schools and the beach/water sports?

I'm not sure if I know exactly what I want regarding your questions but walkable would be nice even if not extremely important. The end of my budget might be around 300k but I've seen houses in Ogle county for cheaper which were tempting- I would need to decide if I would be willing to do that 60-75 min possible drive to work and to pick my other kids up etc though .

I lived in Woodstock and worked in Crystal Lake from 2000-2013. I found that Woodstock offered greater value in terms of housing prices than Crystal Lake. I think that the Crystal Lake schools were better across the board than Woodstock schools.

Crystal Lake seems to me to be more walkable if you live near the center of town although that I am sure that there are walkable areas of Sycamore.

METRA rail access is very irrelevant UNLESS you work in the Loop or adjacent to the Union Pacific Northwest. You cannot get from Crystal Lake to Elgin in less than four fours one way as it would require you to head to the Loop.

My suggestion would be to live CLOSE to work. My old commute was 11 miles. In 2000, that drive took 21 minutes. By 2012, it took 30 minutes as they added five new stop lights along the way. No kidding. And that short drive could take 75 minutes during a snow storm . Seriously.
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Old 02-23-2021, 06:15 AM
 
Location: In the land beyond Ohare!
1,672 posts, read 1,097,771 times
Reputation: 4311
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
METRA rail access is very irrelevant UNLESS you work in the Loop or adjacent to the Union Pacific Northwest. You cannot get from Crystal Lake to Elgin in less than four fours one way as it would require you to head to the Loop.
I'll point out that Metra access , not necessarily for work, is relevant for those that don't want to drive downtown but do want to visit the loop and having the access it provides to other areas along the line. When house hunting in the boonies this is should be a consideration.
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Old 02-23-2021, 10:33 PM
 
15,205 posts, read 26,066,147 times
Reputation: 22259
Quote:
Originally Posted by BOBNCHI View Post
I'll point out that Metra access , not necessarily for work, is relevant for those that don't want to drive downtown but do want to visit the loop and having the access it provides to other areas along the line. When house hunting in the boonies this is should be a consideration.

WHen you are going to work in Elgin and live in Crystal Lake, METRA is NOT an option. I would guess that heading downtown in no more than an occasional thing to most people living in the outer suburbs. And even if you do, it is a real PITA as once you do arrive at Oglivie Transportation Service, you have to take a CTA or cab ride to wherever you wish to go.

After the first four years or so, we found that we could make it to Milwaukee, Waukesha, or Madison for entertainment far more conveniently than heading into the Loop. Seriously.
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Old Today, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
2,584 posts, read 997,499 times
Reputation: 2036
jlawrence01, THANK YOU for putting Milwaukee and Waukesha on the map!

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