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Old 09-17-2013, 12:34 PM
10 posts, read 13,729 times
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I am looking for an apartment to rent (studio or 1bdr) within a 30 minute drive to Dixon.
Any suggestions with a little description of the town would be great.
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Old 09-22-2013, 07:48 PM
Location: Iowa
23 posts, read 57,346 times
Reputation: 43
A 30 minute drive does give lots of choices. I've hunted for rentals a few times recently and it's really going to depend on what you're willing to drive for. Dixon, and to a larger extent Sterling are going to be where you'll be doing most of your shopping. If you're going to shop on your way home from work I guess it won't matter too much. If not, closer may be better. With that said you can try:

Oregon - Excellent small town, not too expensive, very scenic. Three state parks in the area. Not very convenient for shopping or interstate access. One overpriced grocery store in town, plenty of banks, bars, etc. Not convenient if you need medical care frequently as you will be going to Dixon or Rockford (skip the Rochelle hospital).

Rochelle - Has most of the stuff Dixon has, very poor hospital, rentals can be cheap or somewhat pricey. I rented a studio here with all utilities included for $400 a month. Driving to Dixon via the Tollway is expensive due to the high toll. Rochelle is definitely growing quite a bit and is in commuting distance to Rockford and DeKalb in the event you change jobs. If you live near the train tracks you will hear multiple trains an hour, so be careful if that bothers you.

Ashton - Ten miles west of Rochelle, this town is pretty small and cheap. There is a small grocery store here, laundromat, a couple of bars, and a bank. Plenty of trains here too. The downside is no interstate access. You will have to drive on 38 to go anywhere.

Franklin Grove - Five miles west of Ashton, ten miles east of Dixon. Has a small grocery store and a very unusual car wash/self storage/video rental/ice cream shop business. Plenty of trains, and poor interstate access. Like Oregon, a good choice if you're into nature, as the Franklin Creek State Natural Area and the Nachusa Grasslands are nearby.

Polo - To the north of Dixon is this town, with the usual grocery/bank/bar assortment.

Amboy - Has the same assortment as Polo. Amboy is not near the interstate either, but is closer to the LaSalle-Peru area. There are campgrounds in the area which provide tourism dollars in the summer months.

I'd probably live in Ashton, Franklin Grove, or Oregon if I had to choose, but it wouldn't hurt to drive around and see for yourself. Some of the other towns in the area that I didn't mention (Ohio, Compton, Lee Center, Harmon, Nachusa, Grand Detour, Nelson) either have very few rentals, few amenities, or are somewhat run-down.
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