Nice areas in Chicago


Nov 29, 2006
Hey Guys! I was hoping you could help me. Hubby was offerd a promotion:banana: But the catch is we would have to transfer to Chicago. We have been researching it and hoping you guys could let me know of some good areas in and around Chicago. We have three little ones so we would be looking in the suburbs someplace nice with good schools! TIA:cool1:
We live in Orland Park, which is a southwest suburb of Chicago. We moved here because of the schools, mainly. School district 135 is really good! If you are looking in the city, I would look mostly on the northwest side, or in the Beverly neighborhood on the south side. Some other nice suburbs (south west of the city) are Tinley Park, Palos Park or Palos Heights, Mokena, Lemont, Homer Glen. There are also many nice western suburbs, but being a south sider, I don't know too much about them!! You could go onto and do a search of the areas you are thinking of to get some idea of the types of homes and the price ranges available. Hope that helps!

We live in Glen Ellyn about 35 miles west of downtown in DuPage County- We have great schools, parks, shopping, restaurants etc... We attract alot of young families. Other areas close by are Wheaton, Winfield & Elmhurst.
Hi. We live NW of the city about 40 miles in Algonquin, in McHenry County. There are tons of people who used to live closer to the city who have moved out this way, and still much developing going on. We are originally from upstate NY and have been here about 12 years now. We love it. When DH first came out he looked all directions, and decided he liked this area. There are lots of things for kids to do all over Chicagoland, and lots of great schools. We are in Huntley, District 158. I am really happy with our schools. The campus my kids go to consists of 3 brand new schools (this will be the third school year they have been open). We are a growing area, so everyone is working together to improve the school district. You can catch the Metra from out this way if DH has to go into the city for work. We have every store you could possibly want, all within 10 minutes of our house. We have restaurants, entertainment, great Park districts, and lots more! I hardly ever have to leave a 20 mile area. We are only an hour away from Wisconsin, about 30 minutes from Rockford, and about an hour (more or less, depending on traffic!) from Chicago. Let me know if you have any questions about this area.

I don't think you could go wrong anywhere around Chicago. I am sure you will get lots of good information from other DISers. You should definately come and look at different places before deciding if at all possible. You may like the feel of certain towns more than others, just depending on what is important to you. Good luck in your search!:)

If I had kids I'd want to be in Oak Park. Wonderful schools, really nice town, but property taxes are VERY steep. It also has many public transit options if your husband is working downtown. Naperville is a hugely popular town for families. I don't have kids, so it has no appeal for me, but the schools are supposed to be 1st rate.
Depends on what you like, if you like new homes in a sub division type atmosphere, I'd look in Naperville, OakPark has expensive historic homes with more of a single city feel rather than cul-de-sacced subdivision.
That's the low down on the western suburbs (the very abbreviated low down). There is also the north side which is pricey, but lovely.
Hey thanks guys! So many options, this gives me a good place to start my research. We are going to rent at first then look into buying a house. Thanks again I feel better already!:goodvibes
Is the job in the City of Chicago, or the suburbs?
Then you'd have to determine the commute time to his job.
Commutes into the city can range from 1/2 hour up to 2 hours each way from some of the suburbs. Driving into the city is a nightmare, so being close to good public transportation is a must.

Chicago and suburbs stretch all the way from practically Wisconsin... to where I live in NW Indiana that is a huge area. Cost can also vary enormously from area to area.

One bit of advice that I would offer is that if you are looking at home is the suburbs but will be commuting to the city, be sure to check out the traffic situation during rush hour. There are so many people that look at homes in the suburbs on weekends when traffic isn't bad. Then, when they finally move it, they are surprised at how bad rush hour can be. The suburb of Plainfield is a prime example. On the weekend, traffic isn't too bad on I55 but come Monday morning, it's backed up for miles and you're still 30-some miles from the city.

The western suburbs do have train service that will bring you right to Union Station. Areas like Westmont & Downers Grove have relatively low property taxes and good schools. They are older communities and are pretty much built out so they aren't needing referendums to build new schools like those further west (Plainfield, Oswego, Aurora...)

Park District programs can be difficult to get into in some communities (Naperville, Plainfield for example). Bolingbrook has one of the best Park Districts in the country. Bolingbrook is a little less expensive then the surround suburbs so many people will choose a home in Bolingbrook (because of the park district programs) that is located in the school district that they want. Currently, there are 5 different school districts all with-in the village border (203, 204, 365U, 202 and 68/99)

Be prepared for sticker shock. Home prices in this area can be much higher than other parts of the country but not as bad as it is out East. The average home price in most of the western suburbs is over $300,000. Places like Highland Park in the North Suburbs average over the 1/2 Million mark. Property taxes are based on the assessed value of the home.

Like others said, you will get a lot of advice but the best thing to do would be to talk to several realtors and see for yourself. Good luck with the move!
yep - Commuting factors are huge.

Where is he going to actually be working?
We live right in Chicago - Northside near Wrigley Field. We're in the St. Benedict area. Kids got to St. Ben's for school. I have lived here for a year. DH was born and raised in the neighborhood we are currently living in. I grew up in the public school system in a very rural town in PA. DH is a graduate of the same school the kids are going to. We both flat out refuse to put them in the public schools here. But, that is a personal choice. However, we have heard wonderful things about the public schools in Niles and Skokie. The areas are really nice, too. I would love to buy a house here, but it just isn't going to happen unless we win the lottery. The houses in our neighborhood start around $650,000 for a fixer-upper. I can get a bigger house with many, many acres in my hometown for about a quarter of that. It's dumbfounding!!

With all that said, I really do like living in Chicago, but it takes some getting used to. I have many days I am ready to move back to the country. Then I have many days I am thankful to be able to ride the El downtown and take the kids to a museum or a Cubs' game!!

I guess the advice I would give is to talk to a realtor and research, research, research!! Good luck!!
We live in Northbrook, which is a suburb on the north side of Chicago. We love our schools and it is wonderful to be so close to the city. It is, however quite expensive. We live in a tiny house, but won;t move because we are so happy with the school system. I would second the idea of checking out the commute. It can be brutal depending on where you live and work. Trains are available but the commute can be 1.5 hrs plus each way on the train if you live near the end of the line and work at the other end. Feel free to PM me with any questions. I was a realtor in the north suburbs so am very familiar with the area. I have also lived in Chicago my whole life, so know the metro area pretty well.
I live in Frankfort which is SW of the city. One thing you need to know is that there is a big difference between the northside and southside. I swear the two think differently. Things are done differently. There are HUGE discepencies in prices (homes, taxes, gas, parking, tuition, etc)...with the south side being cheaper (in most cases).

I grew up on the southside and it is funny but the two never mix. If you grew up on one side you will never (well hardly ever) move to the other. RESEARCH!!! I'm not saying either side is better just that they are different.

Another thing to check is the train line if hubby is going to ride into the city. We have 2 different train lines within 10 minutes from our house. They go into 2 different stations.

It is alot to consider. Good luck with everything:)
I am another one who votes for Orland Park...I lived here all my life...31 years. My Grandfather was the mayor for over 30 years. We can not be happier with the schools, shopping, entertainment, access to trains, etc. They have built a wonderful new train depot here. We love it. There are a lot of houses for rent in the area too. PM me if you want more details!!
If you let us know the job location it will be easier to give suggestions. If it is in the city, that's one thing, if it's in a suburb, it's another story. Also, how important is a short commute time? It is a huge city with a large range of suburbs. I used to live closer to the city, but moved farther north to get more house for the money, but now DH has a longer commute.
I think it depends on where his job is. You don't want to research the south suburbs if he will be working North or vise-versa.
Like an earlier poster suggested, I would look into the McHenry County area. I grew up in a small town called Johnsburg. The school district there is very good.(District 12). I miss my hometown sooooo much. (Moved to Houston for Hubby years ago......)
It is close to Fox Lake, which was the end of the train line. My dad would ride the train downtown to work every day. He said it was nice to have time to unwind while riding home. Fox Lake was on one end of the line and downtown was on the other, so he would go the entire route....

I have many, many happy memories of growing up there, and I am sure your kids would too.
I wish there was a way that I could move my kids back there..........
Another here from Orland Park! I chuckled at the comment about northside vs. southside because my DH is a northsider and I'm a southsider. We lived north for 4 years until I couldn't stand it any more, and moved south 2 years ago. We're both glad that we did, even though DH never thought he'd live down south!

The right area for you really depends on your budget including property taxes, where your DH's job would be located, and what you are looking for (older homes with character, newish home, city-like atmosphere in the suburbs, country atmosphere, etc.). But budget and his job location would be the first considerations.
look at lake in the hills, crystal lake, algonquin. Great, great areas to raise a family. Check for the metra trains to where your husband will be working. Large homes and more affordable. Good schhols, good park districts, access to chain o lakes.
I live in a corner of willow springs (by hinsdale and burr ridge) swankier areas than willow springs. Nice new neighborhood, good schools, low density virtually no traffic. not far from orland a little farther north (actually to the north of a huge forest preserve)

i grew up in the western burbs (glen ellyn) great place too.


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