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Old 03-13-2007, 01:01 AM
3 posts, read 28,495 times
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We are relocating to Chicago from California. After some initial research we have narrowed our search to the western suburbs. We currently are considering Naperville, Glen Ellyn and Hinsdale. We have 2 small children so our main criteria for a town is very good public schools and a family oriented community. We also are looking for a more relaxed community as opposed to the "keep up with the Jones" type environment. We liked the downtown area of Naperville and the schools seem to be very highly ranked. However, some of the class sizes seem large and the high school class size of 700-800 students per grade concerns me a bit. House prices are within our range in these towns and the commute to airport is only an occassional issue since I work from home.

I have seen some messages here on Naperville but not too much on Glen Ellyn or Hinsdale. I would appreciate any feedback on these towns and/or how the 3 towns may compare. Thanks!

Last edited by california01; 03-13-2007 at 01:34 AM..
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Old 03-13-2007, 09:47 AM
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Glen Ellyn and Hinsdale are really nice towns,with easy commutes to the city via train.Both have excellent schools and old charming neighborhoods and nice "downtowns".They are both sought after areas with home prices to match.I would pick either of those over the MUCH more crowded and larger Naperville personally.
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Old 03-13-2007, 09:57 AM
Location: Phoenix metro
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Naperville offers ALOT more, but Hinsdale and Glen Ellyn are just as nice. You cant go wrong with any of those 3 to be honest. There are photos here on the website (main page) that show a bit of each town if youre interested...
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Old 03-13-2007, 10:29 AM
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NV is ALOT bigger,but offers more what? Stores?,Traffic? Restaraunts?-you bet. Bigger isnt ALWAYS better for alot of us. I think NV's downtown is great,they did a super job on the Riverwalk(I remember it waaaaay back when,whoever planned it all should have a statue in their honor )Its a thriving town/city
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Old 03-13-2007, 05:39 PM
Location: Historic District Naperville
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Default Consider Naperville Historic District

I live in Downtown Naperville. I love it. I don't live in one of the huge mansions, but in a 100 year old home with character, on a cute tree line street in the Historic District. We have a great active neighborhood with block parties and spontaneous backyard, ally BBQ,s. It's a great place to raise a family. My kids walk 2 blocks to Ellsworth Elementary; they love it. Ellsworth has 250 kids k-5th, the smallest in Naperville. (This school district 203 is nationally ranked as one of the best in the country.) There are tons of kids in the neighborhood and lots of friendly people. When I moved in 2 families brought us meals on our first day.
Historic Naperville can be expensive with smaller, older homes, but what you lack in house you make up in location. Property holds it's value well here probably because of the 30 minute express metra trains into the city that you can walk to. Many of my neighbors work in the city. Also the Naperville's downtown atmosphere is fun with many, many events, restaurants, and stores like Pottery Barn, Barnes & Noble and Starbucks. Plus mom and pop stores. We walk only 6 blocks and we are there. We love walking to the summer outdoor band concerts on Thursday nights packing a picnic and letting the kids play with their friends in the Central Park. I feel like I live in Mayberry or a Norman Rockwell painting.
Yes, Naperville can be congested, full of "keeping up with the Jones types" and very image conscience. But there are little Hamlet's out there, I think I have found one.

The downtown reminds me of Downtown Pasadena--Colorado Street

www.napervilleparks.org Check out the volume of kids events and classes.
www.dupagechildrensmuseum.org This museum is great and we can walk to it.
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Old 03-14-2007, 01:28 AM
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I agree that you can't go wrong with either burb, as an agent I would put any of my clients in these suburbs, they are all great. If you are looking on commuting into the city though, Hinsdale would be a much better choice as it would cut your commute considerably. Glen Elynn and Hinsdale offer more of a selection of older, charming homes than Naperville but they do exist in Naperville. Glen Elynn's downtown isn't as developed but it is charming. Hinsdale is has a great blend of boutiques and name brand stores but unlike Naperville, there aren't hardly any restaurants - not to worry though, there are tons by Oak Brook Mall. Naperville's downtown is very impressive and lots of fun in the summer. My kids love the Children's Museum. You will get so much more for your money in Naperville, especially if you go south around Neuqua High School. You might want to check out my town of Oak Brook, we are just over a mile north of downtown Hinsdale (closer than most of the Naperville subdivisions to their downtown), my kids go to Butler District 53 schools and will go to Hinsdale Central, some of the homes in our southeast section called Fullersburg Woods go to Hinsdale 181 schools. We have the lowest tax rate around due to our mall. I would pay double in taxes for the same sized/priced home in any of the burbs you are considering. If you want to live right in a downtown area, then our town is not for you but if you are considering subdivisions with 1/2 acre to 2 acre lots or wooded areas, then check us out.
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Old 03-14-2007, 09:55 PM
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Thank you all for your feedback. I really appreciate your comments. We are planning another visit to the area so hopefully we will be able to explore these towns further.

I had a question for LWagner who lives in Naperville. Sounds like you are happy with the schools so far which is good to hear. Are you familiar with any issues regarding the larger class sizes, especially at the high school level? I'm wondering if that creates an overwhelming and/or much more competitive environment since you have twice as many kids now trying out for everything from sports to academic activities, etc. I also read a comment (I think somewhere in this forum) that you can feel "lost in the system" there. I'm not looking for a really small school, but my reference is more with about 400 students per class and twice that sounds quite large to me. So, I'm not sure what, if any, impact that may have.

Also, if you could point me in the direction of some of the "little Hamlet's " to consider that would be great. For Naperville, we most likely would be looking at the northern part and close to downtown as well.

Last edited by california01; 03-14-2007 at 10:06 PM..
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Old 03-16-2007, 09:27 PM
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Default Have you thought about Wheaton?

You should also check out Wheaton. Great schools, a little cheaper than G.E., a variety of housing stock. Everygthing from post WWII, middle class neighborhoods in the middle of town, late 19th/early 20th century homes on the north side and newer, large (!) stuff on the south end. Also, GE is having issues with overcrowding in the district on the north half of town...they have enough mobiles to comprise an entire school. Taxes are still high but no worse than the other three. Two train stations in town, too, by the way. We love it here and unfortunately may face a move soon.
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Old 03-16-2007, 10:42 PM
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Default Nope

Wheaton hasn't been dry for quite a while.
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Old 03-17-2007, 12:07 PM
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well, I am going to put my 2cents in. I was born and raised in Naperville and moved away in the mid 80's, went to Naperville Central, was huge back in the 80's.. Your concerns about how big the high schools are I personally think are acurate, however I am not familiar with the size of the other schools. I love Naperville today too.
We still have family in the area, a sister in law in Naperville, my sister in Oakbrook. We visit all the time and still love the area.. My sisters kids are in the butler school district and one is at a private school. I have heard nothing but great things about the schools a very strong PTA.
I think the areas everyone has mentioned are all great and all have some pro's and cons. Hinsdale is such a charming area close to everything you could need.
I personally think "keeping up with the jones" is going to exist in any of those areas if you are wealthy.
WE would LOVE to move back to the area and raise our kids now, but unfortunalty we can no longer afford the housing market and taxes..
Naperville has great schools, but I believe that Hinsdale (if I am not mistaken) has better and higher test scores?
Good luck to your family I truly believe no matter where you pick you will be happy!
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