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Old 12-05-2008, 10:10 AM
 
7 posts, read 33,422 times
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Looking to buy a house in one of these suburbs...can anyone tell me areas to avoid within them? My husband and I have been driving the 'hoods but before we hire an agent we'd like to be informed. We currently live in the city and want a close by suburb to the west...husband works in Oak Brook, I work in the Loop.
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Oak Park, IL
5,523 posts, read 13,317,103 times
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What price range?
Are schools an issue for you?
SFH or condo/townhouse?
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:19 AM
 
7 posts, read 33,422 times
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$300,000-400,000
SFH/No kids right now
Actually looking at a few places in FP but they're across from a park by the rec center....not so sure about living across from a park?
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:27 AM
 
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No offense, but depending on your price range there are probably better choices.

How much do you want to spend, and what, besides commute, do you value?

You could head west, to towns like Riverside, Brookfield, LaGrange and do better on most fronts... Will your commute to Loop be via Metra? Wouldn't hubby want to drive as short a distance as possible?

What else is important to you?
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:41 AM
 
7 posts, read 33,422 times
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This is going to be our first house and in addition to location, we just want a nice sized house in a decent neighborhood. Original concerns, I know:-) We've been apartment dwellers for 10 years so we need room. My husband takes 55 to work right now and he leaves really early every day so his commute right now isn't bad. Ideally I want to end up in LaGrange or River Forest but can't afford what I want out there right now. Brookfield is definitely an option but without knowing anyone who lives in any of these towns, I thought this forum would be a great place to get a feel. Other things important to me are grocery store locations, stuff like that. Would like a place with a "downtown" so to speak.
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Old 12-05-2008, 12:01 PM
 
111 posts, read 364,364 times
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Briefly, in Oak Park, the closer you are to Austin the worse it gets. This doesn't mean the neighborhood is bad, just that the crime problems of the City's west side are closer. FOrest Park I'm not too sure about. Berwyn's least desireable neighborhood is probably it's northeast corner--maybe east of Ridgeland and North of Cermak.

With that said, let me make one more suggestion--LaGrange Park. FOr the price you are talking, you could get a pretty nice place there. I suggest this a lot (and no, I don't live there), but I really think this is an undervalued and underappreciated suburb with great amenities.
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Old 12-05-2008, 01:26 PM
 
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johnm68 did a nice summary. I can fill in a bit.

Forest Park is facing a lot of challenges. Like many places that were "in progress" of improving there were some well done town home developments that got done early on, along with some flippers that were OK, but a fair amount of stuff stalled out with the economy. As far as 'nightlife' the Madison Ave corridor offers plenty of bars and such, but not exactly what I would look for in a home. The section of town south of the Ike is quietier, the park is a plus. As you go further south and get close to Roosevelt there are, uh , some challenges. (to be fair the challenges come largely from people outside the community that shop / congregate, though it is something to be aware of).

Blue line access at Harlem and Desplines depot is a plus, though honestly most folks prefer Metra service from some place like Brookfield or LaGrange.

LaGrange Park is a bit further from the train -- either have to rely on buses, or walking or figure out a parking situation...


$300K goes pretty far in Brookfield -- the Hollywood section shares schools with Riverside. Pretty nice variety of housing. Might also be best for commute to Oak Brook and downtown via Metra...
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Old 12-05-2008, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Hollywood/Brookfield, IL
677 posts, read 4,072,911 times
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I think Brookfield is definitely worth a look. Almost any house south of 31st St and north of Ogden Ave is within walking distance of either Brookfield, Congress Park, or Hollywood Metra stations. If you want to be able to walk to grocery stores...in Brookfield there's one grocery store, it's a family-owned one near the roundabout (the intersection of Maple/Washington/Grand/Broadway), if you prefer a supermarket the nearest Dominicks is in Western Springs and the nearest Jewel is in North Riverside, and there's also Trader Joe's in downtown La Grange. There are 3 bus routes in Brookfield, Pace buses 304, 331, and 302; and 304 & 302 will take you to downtown La Grange.
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Old 12-06-2008, 10:54 PM
 
Location: Near West Burbs
44 posts, read 123,974 times
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Smile Don't listen to the negativity about Forest Park it's a great place to call home.

I wanted to let you know that this post inspired me to become a member and formally register with city-data. I've lived in Forest Park twice now (for a year in 03 & just moved back last year) and it is the best decision I've ever made. I used to live on the north side and it took me longer to get downtown via the red line from Edgewater then from the Harlem blue line station that I board now even though I'm 4 or 5 mile further away. In addition, I can actually get a seat which I never could on the red line. If it's not rush hour its a 15 minute drive to downtown and 15-20 to Oakbrook Center. Double that during rush hour. It's very diverse here and while there are a few "sketchy" areas (Washington from Circle to Des Plaines and Roosevelt Road proper) it's nothing like what I used to deal with in the city.

As far as schools go K-8 are decent but the high school Proviso East sucks and most people on my block send their kids to Fenwick. There is a large African-American church on Roosevelt and while there is a mix of all races living here you'll likely see many African-Americans from all over Chicagoland patronizing businesses along Roosevelt. It makes some outsiders uncomfortable but then again Madison businesses are much more white oriented and attract that crowd. It might sound weird but come on down and you'll see what I'm talking about. Overall it's a great town for singles, gays, straights, pretty much everyone except narrow-minded racist types. It's certainly not on a decline unlike Berwyn and although Oak Park is a great town it's not that affordable. This is an urban burb with a good city feeling without the high taxes and lack of parking. Hope this helps!

Last edited by lifelongchicagoland; 12-06-2008 at 10:57 PM.. Reason: Too rambiling wanted to make it easier to read
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Old 12-07-2008, 12:11 AM
 
108 posts, read 270,377 times
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Consider the area of Brookfield that's north of 31st st, and east of maple avenue (17th). This is the part of Brookfield that borders LaGrange Park (also nice, as already stated) to its direct east.

It's a nice residential area that's adjacent to some forest preserves. Your husband could drive straight out to Oak Brook by taking 31st st all the way. Only caveat I can think of is the freight train that blocks 31st st in LaGrange Park (and not infrequently). These trains take a while to pass when you hit them too... I would get the opinion of someone who has familiarity with this commute on a daily basis before deciding to drive it.

In terms of your commute, this part of Brookfield works for sure. Although it is too far from Metra to walk it- you would drive 5 minutes and park your car at the station - it is lightening quick to the loop. You would have to buy a parking permit for the train station.

Metra (from Brookfield) is not do-able to Oak Brook, doesn't go there.

Hollywood part of Brookfield is cool too, as someone already said.
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