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Old 07-23-2006, 09:25 PM
3,632 posts, read 15,624,422 times
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I am thinking of moving to the Barrington area. Anyone live there, and how is it? My husband is from Winfield/Wheaton area, but he isn't too familiar with the area. We drove through there on the way to Volo and it was really nice looking. I have been living in Phx, AZ my whole life and am sick of the heat! Thanks to anyone who responds!

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Old 07-24-2006, 01:51 PM
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Hello -

I'm new to the boards - looking for info myself - saw your post and thought I'd reply.

Barrington is fairly upscale. Lots of big expensive houses - don't know what the apartment situation is like. Not a whole lot on the condo front either.

The area itself is quite nice though.

Good luck.

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Old 07-24-2006, 02:37 PM
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Default thanks!


Thanks for the reply. There are so many Barrington's, North, Lake, South, Port, etc. I knew it was upscale, that's why I like it so much. I'm looking for something nice to possibly live for a long time and raise a family.

For all of you Chicago suburb people...what is the weather like? I know you get humidity and I've never liked it to be humid. I'd like to hear from those who are living there now. It's been years since my husband has lived there. Thanks.
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Old 07-25-2006, 09:25 PM
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Default Money anyone

As a native of the Chicago's northwest suburbs, Barrington is for you if you're into how much material items you can accumulate. I work in the area and it's all about who drives what, who has the biggest rock on her hand and how overscheduled your child is. While that may seem like an unfair generalization, it really typifies the area. Yes, the school scores exceed the state norms, however the community recently defeated a referendum to build and staff new schools to ease the "overcrowding". The positive aspects do include commuter train access if you live in the village of Barrington, however if you live in one of the "other" Barringtons, it can take as long as 20 minutes in rush hour traffic to reach the commuter train station.

Taxes are high (to pay for the privilege of attending the schools) and the housing prices are ridiculous (although other Chicago suburbs are as pricey). My review may seem harsh and while there are great people that live in the area, I've met way too many people who have allowed their supposed financial status to dictate every aspect of their lives. There are so many great communities in the Chicago region, including Oak Park, Evanston, Glen Ellyn, Wheaton; real cities with great school systems and real people.

As for the weather, yep we get it all. Freezing cold in the winter (although this past winter was a "mild" one) to temperatures near 100 degrees and humidity in the summer. I think it just makes us stronger. Good Luck in your search.
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Old 07-25-2006, 11:38 PM
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Thank you for the well writen response.

Barrington sounds much like Scottsdale out here and many other areas. It's all about what you drive and the rock on the finger.

I'm just looking for an area that is kept up nice and has a good community. I, personally will not have to worry about the train as I will work in whatever area I live in, not too sure about the hubby, though.

I do like the areas where he grew up (winfield and wheaton) however he still has family there and we kind of like being away from the whole family thing, except for special dinners and such. So, we'd like some space. He has a sister who lives in Bartlett also.

I have found the taxes in most areas up there are huge. I pay right now about $1400 a year for a 1500 ft house. When we went house shopping up there a few years ago I was completely floored as to what you pay. It was like a mortgage payment for us (at least back when WE had cheap housing). However, we have a very poor education system and no cops (tons of crime). You get what you pay for, I guess.

Thanks again!
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Old 07-26-2006, 08:36 PM
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Default Cost of Living

Yes, property taxes are definitely an issue here. We pay property taxes of over $6k for a newer home with approx 2200 sq ft (we also have a full lookout basement that isn't factored in the square footage)and on 1/3 acre. We are paying for the quality of the school system and overall lifestyle, including low crime rates, good park district programs, etc. Taxes might be a bit less in Cook County because of the influx of commercial businesses that help to offset the homeowners' share of the tax bill, but they would be around the same or even higher in Dupage and/or Lake County.

If you're looking for more than the typical suburban lot which is just under 1/4acre and want a nice community with good schools, I would suggest Cary or Crystal Lake and also Johnsburg in McHenry County, but again the property taxes will be brutal. Lake County has some great communities as well, but the housing prices will probably be higher than McHenry County. I'm not as familiar with the expanding areas west and south of the city. I know communities such as Plainfield and Oswego (far southwestern suburbs) have and are experiencing some rapid growth as has Aurora, but I'm sure you're heard about areas to avoid in Aurora.

Again, best of luck to you and your family. The Chicago area is a great place to raise a family and I hope you find a home and community that bests meets your needs.
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Old 07-27-2006, 10:48 AM
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Hi Heather,

Barrington is a beautiful area, especially in the Fall, however it is very pricey. In Barrington you have the smaller boutique type shops versus retail stores. Most people in Barrington drive to Lake Zurich as they have all kinds of shops, retail and otherwise.

I personally live in Lake Zurich and I love the town, it's a nice mid size town with a GREAT education system. They have put a ton of money into the school system, especially for special education students. I am very pleased living here, the taxes are kind of high, but not as high as Barrington.

Barrington and Lake Zurich both have a very low crime rate, most of the incidents are for drunk driving along Route 12 in the early AM hours.

The downside to Lake Zurich right now is all of the construction. They are building condos/townhomes by the lake and also they are putting in a bypass to route 22 and it's just a mess. Once all that is finished, it will be beautiful again.

Paulus Park offers swimming, beaches, boating, fishing and a great playground for the kids. You just have to be a resident and obtain a pass (no charge) to enter.

If you are interested in a moderate price for a home, I would like to suggest the Old Mill Grove subdivision. Most of the homes in there are ranches or raised ranches that are roughly 30 years old. These are established homes with tons of kids in the neighborhood and the people really keep their houses very nice. I would say the average price for one of the homes is between $250,000-$325,000.

Please e-mail me at nancbear@sbcglobal.net if you would like any more information.

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Old 08-06-2006, 03:20 PM
Location: Nashville, TN
30 posts, read 197,497 times
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Default Barrington native

Hi, my family has lived in the Barrington area since 1846 (we're boring! ) I personally live in Carpentersville within the Barrington school system because at this time (2 small children) we cannot afford for me to be a stay at home mommy and live in Barrington. What others have written is right on the mark - it is very much what you drive, what you wear, how you act, etc. My eldest little man attended a 5-year-old program at Countryside elementary school in Barrington Hills this last year. I use to chuckle to myself because I drove my little 95 Toyota to every school function to pass Hummers, maseratis, and every other expensive auto you can imagine, thinking to myself at least I didn't have their car loans! There, for whatever reason, is an awful lot of pressure to be in the 'right' crowd. It is not a place that you really want to raise your children because it is not real. It is a beautiful town, with a beautiful history; however, to raise good, kind, common sense children it may present new perils, more work on the parent to teach their children that the rest of the world is not like Barrington.

There are some very, very kind people in the town of Barrington proper, the heart of Barrington, Cook County. Lake County and McHenry counties of Barrington are very, very wealthy and do not have a handle on the real world. The taxes in Barrington proper (Route 59) are actually cheaper than Carpentersville. I do not know why. Crime is very low, however, the drug problem is very high, and is very prevalent especially in the high school. You need to teach your children the dangers of drugs very early on in Barrington, and probably, unfortunately, everywhere else in this country.

As one posted quite a lot of people drive to Lake Zurich, however, there is a brand new shopping center with a new Target on Route 72 just off of Route 59, you no longer have to drive to Lake Zurich. There are also 2 outdoor drive-ins within a 30-minute drive from Barrington, one in McHenry and one in West Chicago. I prefer McHenry, however, Cascade (West Chicago) is a nice second choice.

The best school system(s) in the area, as of this moment, (are) is Crystal Lake and Cary. Cary actually out ranked the Barrington school system. And yes, Barrington turned down the referendum, however, for good reason. There is a perfectly good school called Woodland, still in working order in the Carpentersville area. It is on gorgeous acreage filled with majestic trees. Barrington Administration wants to tear it down, purchase new property in Barrington and use a Children's museum for the elementary (preschool) school. Barrington Administration, unfortunately, thinks of destruction and building new rather than using what they have and making it better. There is a huge waste of money in the town, and it is such a shame. Their explanation was to make the elementary school more easily accessible to the Barrington people. And yes, that is exactly how they worded it in their referendum. I voted no, and obviously I wasn't the only one. Algonquin voted yes, and now District 300's taxes are out of sight. One gal (our children were in swimming class together at the Dundee Recreational Center) was a stay at home mom and now she has to work just pay the taxes.

Please excuse the length of this post. There are many variables to take into account when moving. We're going through that now ourselves. On one hand I'd love to live in Barrington because my mom is buried there next to my brother and three sets of grandparents. On the other hand, I am having difficulty justifying the cost of living there opposed to living in Fox River Grove where you can have the same size home for nearly half the price of a Barrington home. However, Fox River Grove is in McHenry and McHenry is synonymous with high taxes.

Good luck!
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Old 08-06-2006, 04:41 PM
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
518 posts, read 2,148,625 times
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I grew up in Barrington, return there every few years and still stay in touch with a few people there, and I'm always struck by the changes in the area. During my childhood (lived there until I turned 18 in 1977 and went away to college), the area could best be described as semi-rural. The area south of town all the way to the tollway consisted of a few houses and a lot of farmland, including a gorgeous pumpkin farm we'd make a ritual visit to every October. Sadly, that area is now is wall-to-wall high-end subdivisions. I guess that sort of thing happens in most areas on the edges of metropolitan areas, but it's still sad. The downtown has gone upscale; it's pretty and historic, but bring your checkbook. Barrington Hills and North Barrington still would be described as semi-rural, but home prices were out of this world back then and I can't even begin to speculate what the price of a home would be there now -- Barrington Hills has always been very old, very big money and the home of Chicago-based corporate CEOs. Still might be some good home buys in town on older houses that need a little TLC. Then as now, material possessions were what counted in Barrington, and woe to those who didn't keep up with the Joneses. As for the schools, my father taught at the high school for 30 years until his retirement in 1996 and keeps saying he "got out at the right time" because of the direction the school district has moved in, so I suspect the opinions expressed on this board are on target. There is much more I can say about Barrington; e-mail me at scottstahmer@aol.com if you would like more perspective.
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Old 08-10-2006, 08:30 PM
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I've lived in the northwest suburbs for 20 years now. Barrington, Inverness, Long Grove are nice but you pay a premium for the address. Check out Palatine. It's on the train line. District 15 schools are some of the best in the nation. It's an established community, similar to but a little smaller than Arlington Heights to the east. Less construction and fewer growing pains than some of the towns further west. Single family homes can still be found in the $200,000's and range up about $1,000,000.
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