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Old 02-07-2012, 08:26 AM
 
15 posts, read 37,762 times
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I am planning on relocating to Illinois later on this summer in order to attend college. We are a large family and are looking in the general area of Pittsfield/Jacksonville to south of Springfield to Vandalia to west over to the Missouri/Illinois border. We would prefer to be in a smaller town. Not a fan of living in cities.

Is there one area you would recommend over another? How are the schools? How are the special education services in the public schools? What is the average rent for a 4 bedroom house? Is the COL reasonable? What is the crime rate? Are there things for kids to get involved in, things to entertain them? Movie theaters, bowling, skating, community sports etc. What would be the best way to find a rental home? Any landlords I should avoid?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-07-2012, 08:42 AM
 
Location: Maryland
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Which university will you be attending? I'd recommend Chatham, Rochester or Sherman, Illinois ... all relatively small (2,000-11,000) people suburbs of Springfield. Close enough to be near all the stuff you'd need from Springfield (movie theatres, malls, stuff to do, community sports, airport, Amtrak, expressways, etc.), but each in pretty good school districts. I don't have exact statistics, but COL in central Illinois is basically reasonable no matter where you are at.
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Lake Arlington Heights, IL
5,479 posts, read 11,325,402 times
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Default Cart before horse??

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlbrnfn View Post
I am planning on relocating to Illinois later on this summer in order to attend college. We are a large family and are looking in the general area of Pittsfield/Jacksonville to south of Springfield to Vandalia to west over to the Missouri/Illinois border. We would prefer to be in a smaller town. Not a fan of living in cities.

Is there one area you would recommend over another? How are the schools? How are the special education services in the public schools? What is the average rent for a 4 bedroom house? Is the COL reasonable? What is the crime rate? Are there things for kids to get involved in, things to entertain them? Movie theaters, bowling, skating, community sports etc. What would be the best way to find a rental home? Any landlords I should avoid?

Thanks in advance!
It's been a while since I had to apply to colleges; but doesn't one get accepted FIRST and then decide where to live?
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:45 AM
 
15 posts, read 37,762 times
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I have the opportunity to attend a program at 3 different schools. That is why there is such a wide search area. One of the deciding factors will be where we can find a home and the school quality in that area. Even if that were not the case, I am moving to the area to be closer to my family(but not too close) after living 10 hours away for several years. Unfortunately, where I grew up is no longer an area where I would raise my kids. This area is 2 or 3 hours from the family which is close enough to see them more often, but far enough away that I don't see them too much.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Lake Arlington Heights, IL
5,479 posts, read 11,325,402 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlbrnfn View Post
I have the opportunity to attend a program at 3 different schools. That is why there is such a wide search area. One of the deciding factors will be where we can find a home and the school quality in that area. Even if that were not the case, I am moving to the area to be closer to my family(but not too close) after living 10 hours away for several years. Unfortunately, where I grew up is no longer an area where I would raise my kids. This area is 2 or 3 hours from the family which is close enough to see them more often, but far enough away that I don't see them too much.
ANd the 3 schools are..................................?
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Old 02-07-2012, 01:44 PM
 
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John Wood, Lincoln Land and MacMurray.
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Old 02-07-2012, 01:53 PM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
11,543 posts, read 28,312,035 times
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I think you have a good grasp of what you what and where you want to live. Why is a moot point. I personally favor Pittsfield; I always did. I like the vibe of the area and the pleasant surprises like the campground. It is on a US route that must be open to traffic year round. It is a county seat where you find the hospital, driver's license facility, doctors, lawyers, library, etc... It has 2 or 3 national chain stores that are smaller. It's a mom & pop town and pretty nice one at that. I spent a lot a time and money in this town in the last 30 years.

Pittsfield is not unlike any other farm town in Illinois; it is an old one.. It's green with mature trees and historic buildings. It's sandwiched beteen an Interstate and US 54.

The IL primary K-6 is just fine. Some Jr and Sr High schools are not so good.. All Sr. high schools are on the state Watch list for poor performance.. I presume private schools are exempt. Mo schools do not perform any better than Illinois schools. All public schools pave a path for Special ED students.

What you need to know is this. OSF in Peoria is the only HOSPITAL in Illinoios that is affiliated with Easter Seal, Shriners Hospitals and St. Jude's research. OSF can point parents to services located throughout the state.

I don't know crime stats. With ISP Distict Headquarters nearby I would say it isn't rampant. Rent?
It is very difficult to find a rental in any small farm town due to the 1000 acre farms. If you do not own a 4x4 and you have illisions of attending school in the winter than living on the edge of town near a highway is a good thing. I bought a house on a US highway because access is guaranteed.

I like Pittsfield enough that I would move there without hesitation. .
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Old 02-07-2012, 02:06 PM
 
15 posts, read 37,762 times
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I have been looking at Pittsfield, it seems to be a nice little town. I was also looking around Alton or Godfrey but it seems to be pretty close to St. Louis. It seems there may be more housing available but not sure about being that close to a large city.
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Old 02-07-2012, 02:47 PM
 
15 posts, read 37,762 times
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Is anyone familiar with Godfrey or Jerseyville?
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Old 02-07-2012, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Maryland
4,623 posts, read 6,509,526 times
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If you go to MacMurray (located in Jacksonville) or Lincoln Land (located in Springfield), you will want to live in or around Jacksonville or Springfield. I'm not sure where John Wood is, but commuting to Spfld/Jacksonville from Alton or Godfrey is really not a good option: the distance is too far and the time is too long. Springfield has a lot of small towns that surround it, so you may find there to be your best option for these two schools.
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