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Old 05-11-2016, 04:50 AM
 
90 posts, read 109,128 times
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We are planning on moving back to the US next summer 2017. We're visiting both areas this July/August to get a feel for each place. Husband is in aviation so we're choosing a place based on drive to major airports - specifically those in the New York or Chicago area. I'd love to get some opinions from people who have lived in, or are familiar with, both areas. Our kids will be going into 8th and 9th grade August 2017 so schools are very important. We would probably rent for our first year and then look at buying. We wouldn't want to spend more than $500,000 on a house. We love the convenience of the suburbs but would appreciate having access to the cultural and sporting events that a larger city offers. I currently do a lot of driving around town getting kids to/from school and activities (sometimes up to 2 hours a day) and dealing with truly crazy drivers - so to do less of that would be amazing!
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Old 05-11-2016, 06:43 AM
 
Location: Dude...., I'm right here
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I'd go with Naperville because mid-America offers a better quality of life (lower COL) for raising kids. Having been to both places, I also like the Western suburbs of Chicago, because its newer and shiny. Some would call it sterile. You have everything you'll need within a short driving distance. Mid-America is also more family oriented, plus because of the low COL, you can save more. Chicago has more of your typical American soccer mums than Philly.

My main problem with Chicago is the colder Winters. As for drivers, they drive more crazy in Chicago than in Philly, though you'll spend less time stuck in traffic.
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Old 05-11-2016, 09:11 AM
 
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You have quite the knack for making broad, sweeping generalizations such as, "mid-America is more family-oriented" and "Chicago has more of your typical American soccer mums than Philly." It's quite the gift.


To the OP, I can't really give you compare/contrast advice as I am born and raised here and have no familiarity with Illinois at all. But I can say that there is much in the way of good schools and family-oriented neighborhoods in the western suburbs of Philadelphia (the Main Line, in addition to Newtown Square, Broomall, Media, Springfield, etc., which are not Main Line but are west of the city).


ETA: I just realized that your thread title mentions Doylestown. Lovely area, but expensive and not super-close to PHL. My points regarding the western suburbs still stand; bonus is that they are generally a hop, skip, and a jump to the airport.
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Old 05-11-2016, 09:24 AM
 
90 posts, read 109,128 times
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I suppose I should clarify. He doesn't have a job yet but we're basing our potential move on the major airlines having junior New York area bases he could commute to from Doylestown (not doing it everyday) or, alternatively, having access to the corporate airports of Teterboro, etc. should he try and go back to corporate aviation. Family are in Southern Indiana so that's why Chicago area is also a consideration.
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Old 05-13-2016, 09:37 PM
 
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We moved to the Philly area with middle schoolers a couple of years back. It has worked out well here, and no complaints -- especially as far as school quality, activities outside of school, etc.
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Old 05-14-2016, 10:02 PM
 
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Where did you move from? Where have you ended up? I can't wait to come visit and see what we think of the different locations. We might even be considering Plano, TX as well because of COL but we like the idea of having driving access to other parts of the country for day trips and short visits. The last time we lived in Plano, TX was 2001 - before kids. Housing affordability is a huge factor in our decision and you seem to get more house for your money in Plano, however, we've lived in a desert the last 11 years (Dubai) and we're really ready for some green!
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Old 05-15-2016, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Dude...., I'm right here
1,242 posts, read 799,046 times
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TX is one of the fastest growing States at the moment. This is good and bad. Good because there are a lot of opportunities but bad because at some point it will slow down and there will be re-adjustments.

Every place has it's pros and cons. I do like the Plano/Frisco area in Dallas. The last time I was there house prices were cheap and there were a lot of new developments coming up. Between Chicago and Dallas, it's really hard to say which is better. It just depends on what you like and don't like.



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Originally Posted by expataussie View Post
Where did you move from? Where have you ended up? I can't wait to come visit and see what we think of the different locations. We might even be considering Plano, TX as well because of COL but we like the idea of having driving access to other parts of the country for day trips and short visits. The last time we lived in Plano, TX was 2001 - before kids. Housing affordability is a huge factor in our decision and you seem to get more house for your money in Plano, however, we've lived in a desert the last 11 years (Dubai) and we're really ready for some green!
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Old 05-15-2016, 10:29 AM
 
90 posts, read 109,128 times
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To be honest, after doing more research on the boards I'm a little concerned about the finances of IL and the Chicago area. Naperville sounds amazing but we don't want to be paying crazy taxes. I think Plano also has high property tax but no state income tax - all things to consider. The concern I have with Plano, TX is not having the same access to other interesting regions without getting on a plane. We have that where we are now, having said that, my husband was really impressed with Dallas when he was there a few months ago and we still have friends there. We also have friends in Doylestown, PA. For those who live in the area - how often do you get out and explore the region? Is it something people do on weekends, or more on vacation? Our kids are MS age so I know how busy life is when school's on with homework, activities, school events, etc. does it leave time for taking nice drives on weekends? Should we be focused more on schools and cost of living, over Sunday drives and sightseeing?
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Old 05-15-2016, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Dude...., I'm right here
1,242 posts, read 799,046 times
Reputation: 736
I like Philly because of it closeness to a lot of places on the East Coast. There is a lot within a driving distance and I also like that I can get non-stop flights when travelling, especially to Europe. We've been to Manhattan more times than we've been into Philly Center City. Taxes are a bit on the higher side but I still think they are fair, or may be I just don't care. Though we do buy big ticket items in DE, where shopping is tax free. With property taxes, I'm OK as long as the schools are very good.

Coincidentally, when we were looking to move to Philly, I had opportunities in both Chicago and Dallas. Philly offered the best opportunity and that's why we moved here. The other reason was because of the availability of many good colleges in the East Coast. If anything, this is what made us move here. COL was a non issue for us, we already knew we'd be paying more.



Quote:
Originally Posted by expataussie View Post
To be honest, after doing more research on the boards I'm a little concerned about the finances of IL and the Chicago area. Naperville sounds amazing but we don't want to be paying crazy taxes. I think Plano also has high property tax but no state income tax - all things to consider. The concern I have with Plano, TX is not having the same access to other interesting regions without getting on a plane. We have that where we are now, having said that, my husband was really impressed with Dallas when he was there a few months ago and we still have friends there. We also have friends in Doylestown, PA. For those who live in the area - how often do you get out and explore the region? Is it something people do on weekends, or more on vacation? Our kids are MS age so I know how busy life is when school's on with homework, activities, school events, etc. does it leave time for taking nice drives on weekends? Should we be focused more on schools and cost of living, over Sunday drives and sightseeing?
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Old 05-15-2016, 06:12 PM
 
Location: New York City
6,227 posts, read 5,562,899 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ondoner View Post
I like Philly because of it closeness to a lot of places on the East Coast. There is a lot within a driving distance and I also like that I can get non-stop flights when travelling, especially to Europe. We've been to Manhattan more times than we've been into Philly Center City. Taxes are a bit on the higher side but I still think they are fair, or may be I just don't care. Though we do buy big ticket items in DE, where shopping is tax free. With property taxes, I'm OK as long as the schools are very good.

Coincidentally, when we were looking to move to Philly, I had opportunities in both Chicago and Dallas. Philly offered the best opportunity and that's why we moved here. The other reason was because of the availability of many good colleges in the East Coast. If anything, this is what made us move here. COL was a non issue for us, we already knew we'd be paying more.
Valid points. But millions of people chose to live in the Philadelphia area for more reasons than being close to NYC and good flight options.
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