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Old 02-02-2007, 01:09 PM
 
1 posts, read 25,944 times
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My husband and I are moving to Chicago this summer from NYC. We have only lived in NY for the past 3 years. We are ready to get out. My husband will be working in downtown Chicago. We have heard great things about these 3 suburbs, and have narrowed our search. We have 3 small children. We would like to be in an area that is less than a 30 min. express train ride into Chicago. Any thoughts on Downers Grove, Naperville, or Elmhurst? Are there other suburbs that you would reccomend? We would like to stay under $520,000. We also would like to live within walking distance to the train station. School systems are very important to us, as well as low crime etc. Any info would be appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 02-02-2007, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Naperville, IL
264 posts, read 2,112,959 times
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I live in Naperville right now and its a good place to raise a family everyone. I grew up near Elmhurst and went to school at York High School. Elmhurst has some of the best schooling in Illinois, Elmhurst college is a great college, and if you cannot afford that College of Dupage is only about 15-20 miles away in Glen Ellyn. I attened College of Dupage for 2 years and it is the best Junior College in the country.

I may suggest Glen Ellyn or Wheaton, they are both nice areas and have great schooling, my roomate went to Glenbard West High School and all I have heard has been good things about it, College of Dupage is in Glen Ellyn and Wheaton is directly west of Glen Ellyn.

All of the Northwest suburbs have easy access to train stations which are in the center of each town and they all have a good amount of parking. Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, and Naperville have nice housing within walking distance of the train station.

Elmhurst, Naperville, Downers Grove, Glen Ellyn and Wheaton all have houses in your price range and they are all very nice communities. All these communites are good to raise children. My cousins were raised in Downers Grove and all have good careers. I work in Downers Grove and it takes me 10 minutes to get to work from Naperville.

Glen Ellyn, Wheaton, or Elmhurst would be my choices in your situation. I am not too familiar with downtown Downers Grove so I am not sure on the housing near the train station. Naperville is a very nice town but the furthest from the City of Chicago.
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Old 02-03-2007, 05:21 PM
 
198 posts, read 795,850 times
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Hi, I think you sent me a message which I did anwer but I did so before I saw this post. I know you want to live walking distance to the train and have 3 small kids. All the towns you are looking at plus Glen Elynn and Wheaton as recommended above are very nice with very good schools. I have lived in Elmhurst and Wheaton. I also commuted downtown for work for nearly 8 years, during 4 of which I had 3 young kids. I lived in Elmhurst then and with 3 kids even though I lived walking distance, I had to park at the station because I needed to get to daycare fast after I got off the train and didn't have time for a nice stroll home to get the car. Elmhurst actually has a great parking situation with 2 garages and lots of street parking for commuters so don't limit yourself. Prices in Elmhurst are not as crazy as they were a few years ago but they are still high. Under 520K isn't bad but it won't get you much space if you want walk to train, you need to go to south Elmhurst to get more space and still have great schools. There Moderator cut: advertising Glen Elynn is a really beautiful town with lots of different types of homes. There would be homes in your price range within walking distance to town & train but they would be smaller, older homes but larger than Elmhurst.
The north side of the tracks in Wheaton and by the college you will find a nice selection of older homes in your price range. South Wheaton where we lived has lots of shopping and you will get a bigger home but parking by the train is tough. Naperville is not that affordable by the train station as every cheap home is gobbled up by builders who put 1.5 million dollar homes in their place. Condos in the downtown area are above your price range.
Downers is great for your price range in general but close to downtown it is tough to get space, although you might luck out with an older home if you want to do some work. Moderator cut: advertising
Moderator cut: advertising
Hope this helps you even more.

Last edited by jessiegirl_98; 09-23-2007 at 12:19 PM.. Reason: advertising
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Old 05-17-2007, 02:11 PM
 
1 posts, read 25,574 times
Reputation: 11
Default Other Places

Maybe you've already made your decision but I would suggest looking at other communities as well.

The Northwest and North Suburbs have train and expressway access to the city as good, if not better, than Naperville, for example. Arlington Heights has two stations on the Northwest line with express trains into Chicago at about 25 minutes and non-express at about 45. Arlington is also right on I-90 (Chicago), and 53 (355), and not too far from 294.

Also, Naperville always gets touted as for the best schools, but if you look at reports from 2006 (http://www.suntimes.com/pcds/cgi/schools.cgi (broken link)) it looks to me like Arlington Heights, a Northwest Suburb directly on the Northwest Metra line to Chicago (and Interstate 53 and I-90) ranks far betters as far as elementary test scores go. Anyhow, the best high school in Naperville is a Catholic school, Bennet Academy---which is great if you want to pay $10,000 a year for high school. (Coincidentally, if you want private education, Arlington has an equally good and pricey school, St. Viator). I also understand that the Northwest Suburban school districts (Arlington, Buffalo Grove, etc.) are the most highly paid in Illinois---which means they attract the best teachers. It's also, like Naperville, a very safe town. Arlington Heights is also much closer to O'Hare. The drive from the West suburbs to the airport isn't all that fun (if you're a traveler.) In Arlington you can get to the airport in about 10-15 minutes, including, usually, parking and getting to your terminal. If someone's just dropping you off they could make the round trip in 20 minutes.

You can purchase a three bedroom older house in Arlington for about $350, in the current market, but there are also established neighborhoods with incredible and tasteful homes (not all new construction---check out Scarsdale in Arlington Heights---or the historic areas near downtown. Nice-- granted you can expect to pay 600 - over a million for most of them.) I think Naperville home prices run slightly higher for the same house. Taxes are higher there as well, despite the schools being only reportedly and not actually better.

The upside to the West suburbs --Naperville, etc.---is that there's a bit more open space because, at the moment, they are less developed. However, I don't see that lasting for long, and in fact on my trips to Naperville (family out there) I see just as many strip malls, just as much traffic, and just as much poor planning as anywhere else in the greater suburban area. Plus, some of the people living out there seem a bit haughty and definitely come across as far less cosmopolitan than I think they imagine themselves. In other words, there are a lot of snobs out there. In defense of true Napervillians, I think much of this may come from the newcomers overexcited to suddenly live in the number 2 rated town in the country. Probably people who have lived there longer have a bit more perspective. In short, the town seems like a get-yuppy-quick plan for young white couples who happen to have decent salaries and have never lived anywhere near a truly great city (Chicago) before. Ie, lots of stragglers from the greater midwest attending their first wine tastings.

But, in the end of the day, it's still a good town with a pretty waterfront and nice restaurants.

Good Luck.






Quote:
Originally Posted by nymomof3 View Post
My husband and I are moving to Chicago this summer from NYC. We have only lived in NY for the past 3 years. We are ready to get out. My husband will be working in downtown Chicago. We have heard great things about these 3 suburbs, and have narrowed our search. We have 3 small children. We would like to be in an area that is less than a 30 min. express train ride into Chicago. Any thoughts on Downers Grove, Naperville, or Elmhurst? Are there other suburbs that you would reccomend? We would like to stay under $520,000. We also would like to live within walking distance to the train station. School systems are very important to us, as well as low crime etc. Any info would be appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 05-17-2007, 02:38 PM
 
4,722 posts, read 15,025,154 times
Reputation: 4794
You cant go wrong with any of your choices.You have to come out and visit each town,get a feel,check out the houses in your price range and see which feels like "home". They all are great places to live and raise kids,all have great schools,Parks and easy train ride downtown.I grew up in Elmhurst and it has continued to evolve.Wheaton,Glen Ellyn, and Elmhurst have a wonderul "small town feel",have not been to Downers in a few years but it was always nice.Naperville is HUGE in my opinion,lots of traffic and new growth all the time,lots of subdivisions,strip malls,and every store and franchise you can imagine,,but it has a great downtown and good schools.
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Old 05-17-2007, 02:44 PM
 
Location: Chicago
108 posts, read 487,960 times
Reputation: 47
Another note, Elmhurst has a lot of through traffic. I'd also recommend Glen Ellyn, I really love their neighborhoods. And as I always do, suggest Lombard as well. It's between the two.
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Old 09-23-2007, 01:36 AM
 
82,583 posts, read 39,783,211 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dariusz View Post
I live in Naperville right now and its a good place to raise a family everyone. I grew up near Elmhurst and went to school at York High School. Elmhurst has some of the best schooling in Illinois, Elmhurst college is a great college, and if you cannot afford that College of Dupage is only about 15-20 miles away in Glen Ellyn. I attened College of Dupage for 2 years and it is the best Junior College in the country.
I would definitely choose Naperville if you consider good schools to be a priority. Elmhurst schools used to be good but have slipped quite a bit in the last two decades. York High School doesn't even make the Top 50 Public High Schools in Illinois ranking.
STNG :: ISAT RESULTS (http://www.suntimes.com/pcds/html/stng/hs/isat/top50hs.html - broken link)

College of DuPage is good, but is not the best community college in the country - not even in the top 30.
Community College Rankings

There seems to be a lot of Elmhurst pride on display in these forums, and Elmhurst is a very nice community. But, the opinions frequently posted on Elmhurst's schools are inaccurate and misleading.

Look at the Illinois Top 50 link posted above. If schools matter to you, Naperville is your best choice.
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Old 09-23-2007, 07:00 AM
 
4,722 posts, read 15,025,154 times
Reputation: 4794
This was asked in Feb.7-8 months ago,I am sure the op has made a move/decision by now
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Old 09-23-2007, 08:30 AM
 
82,583 posts, read 39,783,211 times
Reputation: 12151
True - but posting now brings this topic comparing these communities to the top of the forum list and accurate information may help others who are considering these western suburbs.
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Old 09-23-2007, 01:51 PM
 
2,140 posts, read 7,622,115 times
Reputation: 1271
I like Elmhurst the best of the 3 that you're considering. I agree with a former post that you should also look into Arlington Heights. Great suburb with a really vibrant downtown, good housing stock and major Metra station to downtown. If you want to live 15 miles west of downtown in a nice suburb of 25,000 people with its own dedicated school district, look into Elmwood Park. It borders Chicago, River Forest and Oak Park. Nice community with many brick homes, community pool, easy access to downtown, 20 minutes to O'Hare, etc.
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