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Old 11-06-2008, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Lakeview,Chicago
49 posts, read 124,604 times
Reputation: 14

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So yes, I live in the city but have no kids right now. However, I work downtown and probably always will. I don't really ever want to go to the suburbs, however, I am not sure if living in the city forever will be feasible. I am not saying I want to live downtown or in Lincoln Park or anything like that. A more affordable neighborhood like Jefferson Park, northern Portage Park, and maybe even Norwood Park if I can find a deal. I would like to buy a house, not a condo. I was told by some people, including city workers to get out of Dodge and head for suburbia when the time comes. But I dunno, I lived on the southwest side when I was younger and liked the neighborhood feel the city has. Kids in the streets playing, etc. I don't want to go back south though. I also lived in the western suburbs for high school and found it to be kind of a lonely place. Sure, I had friends and had a pretty good high school career, I just felt like it wasn't everything people said it was. I hardly ever saw anyone outside and we didn't know that many people on the block. I mean really, people were almost NEVER outside. I am not here to bash any towns or anything, that was just my experience with the suburbs. I would really like to stay in the city and all, but it will all come down to what is best for the family.

So I ask, what is everyones opinion on raising kids in a Northwest Side neighborhood vs. suburbia. I am not asking for advice, just what everyone's opinion is. I know CPS is not so great and private schools may be the best option. I went to private school when I lived in the city. So, have at it!
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Old 11-06-2008, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Tower Grove East, St. Louis, MO
12,063 posts, read 29,538,112 times
Reputation: 3777
If I could afford to send my kids to private, I would stay in the city in a heart beat. (Not these are imaginary children at this point LOL).
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Old 11-06-2008, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Lakeview,Chicago
49 posts, read 124,604 times
Reputation: 14
Thats pretty much where I'm at. If I can afford the house and tuition, I wouldn't give it a second thought. Plus, you gotta love those Chicago bungalows. But yes, this is all hypothetical and just a discussion.
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Old 11-06-2008, 03:43 PM
 
Location: Chicago - Logan Square
3,396 posts, read 6,656,416 times
Reputation: 3725
There is an NPN Northside school fair this weekend, but you need to be an NPN member:

NPN Chicago Northside Elementary and Preschool Fair
MEMBERS ONLY! Identification required.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Horner Park Fieldhouse
2741 W. Montrose Ave., Chicago
10am - 2pm

There will be a Northside one soon as well.

There are decent schools on the North and Northwest side, it just takes some work to find them. Right now is a great time to buy a house if you plan on staying in it for awhile (and you can get the credit to buy it!).

I am raising a kid in the city and it's been great so far. We're looking at public schools, but have been setting money aside for private school as well, and can swing it if we need to. There are plenty of great private schools that don't cost as much as places like the British School or Lab Schools. There are some Montessori Schools that run less than $10K a year. That's not cheap, but when we realized we would need a second car and be spending a lot more on gas in any suburb we found it was almost a wash.
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Old 11-06-2008, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Lakeview,Chicago
49 posts, read 124,604 times
Reputation: 14
Yeah I was thinking about possibly buying soon since now is just a great time. I found a good few NICE houses around Jeff and Norwood Park for 300 and less. Some with updated kitchens and baths. That's why I'm seriously considering it.

Attrill, you're right about fuel cost. etc. I work downtown and work odd shifts (overnights, afternoons) and I would almost have to drive. I get free parking so thats not an issue. But driving in from say...Tinley or Orland every day would add up quick. I could take the blue line if I lived in Jefferson Park or Norwood park and even if I still drove it wouldnt be that big a deal.
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Old 11-06-2008, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Chicago: Beverly, Woodlawn
1,966 posts, read 5,642,480 times
Reputation: 702
Find a NW side neighborhood with good public K-8 and roll the dice on magnet schools when the time comes. If you fail move or send to a catholic school if you can stomach it. Avoid all city public non-magnet high schools. I was at the same point as you a few years ago (as are many others). The suburbs by far make the most practical sense (I was targeting Naperville or Orland Park) for so many reasons -- tolerance for crime goes down with kids and suburbs are generally safer, public schools with no metal detectors, lots of businesses that cater to families with young kids, etc. Also some of what is so enjoyable about the city isn't too practical while dragging along a baby and a toddler (like the L in the winter). In the end though these advantages were outweighed by the feeling I got when I visited a number of nice suburbs -- basically, too many suburban-acting people, too cheesy, etc. I just couldn't stomach it. I chose a compromise route like you are considering, moving to a neighborhood on the fringes of the city (Beverly) that I'm guessing similar to what you are considering on the NW side, with a bit of an urban vibe, a lot of diversity, architecture, etc but with SFH and yards like the burbs and very deep roots and sense of community. I'm very glad I didn't go suburban. I notice there are tons of families there without that much money -- by and large things seem to work out -- lots of carpooling to magnet schools, many people in the same predicament to help work through the options, etc. I do pay for expensive private school and it does kill me to pay that on top of property taxes (I feel a reverend should be marching on my behalf), but overall it bothers me far less than the other alternatives.
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Old 11-06-2008, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,704 posts, read 95,236,798 times
Reputation: 29784
So you don't want to live in the suburbs but you'll consider Norwood Park? What kind of magic occurs when you cross the Norwood Park/Park Ridge border that makes one so much more appealing than the other? Is it just the "badge of honor" of having a Chicago mailing address?
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Old 11-06-2008, 08:06 PM
 
Location: Chicago
15,587 posts, read 25,023,487 times
Reputation: 1761
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
So you don't want to live in the suburbs but you'll consider Norwood Park? What kind of magic occurs when you cross the Norwood Park/Park Ridge border that makes one so much more appealing than the other? Is it just the "badge of honor" of having a Chicago mailing address?
Well yes.

Seriously, the only reason I (if I did not have strong ties to Norwood Park-which I do) would choose to live in Norwood Park instead of Park Ridge is for money or a job. If I worked for the city I would have to live in Chicago. If I could not find a place in my range in Park Ridge I would live in Norwood Park if that said place could be found.

If these things are not an issue-I would live in Park Ridge if I was in this guys position.
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Old 11-06-2008, 08:54 PM
 
Location: IL
381 posts, read 779,667 times
Reputation: 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avengerfire View Post
Well yes.

Seriously, the only reason I (if I did not have strong ties to Norwood Park-which I do) would choose to live in Norwood Park instead of Park Ridge is for money or a job. If I worked for the city I would have to live in Chicago. If I could not find a place in my range in Park Ridge I would live in Norwood Park if that said place could be found.

If these things are not an issue-I would live in Park Ridge if I was in this guys position.
You know how annoying people can get when they live on the border of Chicago proper? Really freakin' annoying. It's as funny as Sarah Palin spying on the Russians from her house.
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Old 11-06-2008, 09:08 PM
 
Location: Chicago
15,587 posts, read 25,023,487 times
Reputation: 1761
Quote:
Originally Posted by nJohn View Post
You know how annoying people can get when they live on the border of Chicago proper? Really freakin' annoying. It's as funny as Sarah Palin spying on the Russians from her house.
You mean with calling the police for anything and everything?

Are you speaking of the people that live in edge of Chicago or in the burbs right next to it?
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