Author Topic: Chicago suburbs anyone?  (Read 8183 times)

WageSlave

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Chicago suburbs anyone?
« on: April 05, 2016, 01:28:38 PM »
Quick version: anyone out there found any Mustache-friendly communities in the Chicago suburbs?

Long version: we're currently living in the city, and we initially chose it for one thing only: commute (to downtown).  We live near two different train lines, and I can do door-to-door in 30 minutes.  Now we have two young kids (5 and 2), and the recent uptick in crime (too-close to our neighborhood) has us reconsidering.

I'll be upfront and state that my mustache is probably more like peach fuzz.  We've got the financial part down, saving 70% or so, but I'm fortunate to have a high income that makes saving so much fairly easy.  But here's the thing I think this (MMM) community can relate to: I think most people in the general population who make X live like they make X (or even Y, where Y>>X).  Whereas we make X, but live like we make 0.25X.

So while we can afford to pick a "fancypants" suburb with top-tier schools and low crime rates, we're afraid of being able to "fit in" if we don't live conspicuously fancy lifestyles.  But on the flipside, our porfolio is already 23x our annual expenses, so if we can comfortably afford potentially better opportunities for our kids, why not?

So we're wondering if anyone in the MMM community has experience with Chicago suburban communities where deliberately living below your means isn't unusual.

Convenient access to a train would still be a requirement.  No way I'm driving in Chicago traffic and paying downtown parking rates!

partgypsy

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Re: Chicago suburbs anyone?
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2016, 01:57:08 PM »
Quick version: anyone out there found any Mustache-friendly communities in the Chicago suburbs?

Long version: we're currently living in the city, and we initially chose it for one thing only: commute (to downtown).  We live near two different train lines, and I can do door-to-door in 30 minutes.  Now we have two young kids (5 and 2), and the recent uptick in crime (too-close to our neighborhood) has us reconsidering.

I'll be upfront and state that my mustache is probably more like peach fuzz.  We've got the financial part down, saving 70% or so, but I'm fortunate to have a high income that makes saving so much fairly easy.  But here's the thing I think this (MMM) community can relate to: I think most people in the general population who make X live like they make X (or even Y, where Y>>X).  Whereas we make X, but live like we make 0.25X.

So while we can afford to pick a "fancypants" suburb with top-tier schools and low crime rates, we're afraid of being able to "fit in" if we don't live conspicuously fancy lifestyles.  But on the flipside, our porfolio is already 23x our annual expenses, so if we can comfortably afford potentially better opportunities for our kids, why not?

So we're wondering if anyone in the MMM community has experience with Chicago suburban communities where deliberately living below your means isn't unusual.

Convenient access to a train would still be a requirement.  No way I'm driving in Chicago traffic and paying downtown parking rates!
the question for a place in the suburbs where "deliberately living below your means isn't unusual" I would say, no. My 'lil brother lives in the burbs with his kids (Wheaton). First of all the housing is expensive in good school communities so some increased spending there is unavoidable. Second there is peer pressure in the "good" neighborhood schools (more than what I remember). So my brother was consistent in letting them know, if they say wanted an iphone, or Ugg boots they either had to make the money themselves, or  or save up gift money. And for them to be creative, whether it meant building their own gaming computer, or how to fund college. So it can be done. While the general atmosphere is probably more materialistic, at the same time libraries, public parks, pools and schools and other amenities are high quality.   
« Last Edit: April 06, 2016, 01:40:16 PM by partgypsy »

WageSlave

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Re: Chicago suburbs anyone?
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2016, 02:52:40 PM »
Second there is peer pressure in the "good" neighborhood schools (more than what I remember). So my brother was consistent in letting them know, if they say wanted an iphone, or Ugg boots they either had to make the money themselves, or  or save up gift money. And for them to be creative, whether it meant building their own gaming computer, or how to fund college. So it can be done. While the general atmosphere is probably more materialistic, at the same time libraries, public parks, pools and schools and other amenities are high quality.   

Maybe I can move in next to your brother.  :)

What you described reminds me of posts by "snowman" in this Bogleheads thread.  Read the one dated Dec 04, 2015, that starts "I see people like this everywhere around me, itís an epidemic..."  Another good one a ways down, Dec 06, starts with "Thank you, Tycoon. What I see in my neighborhood really makes my head spin!"  And then towards the bottom, he gave a little more insight into how he kept his kids well-aligned.  Dec 08, starts with "Oh boy, where do I begin!"

The crux of the problem is how to connect with and form friendships with people that are living a dramatically different lifestyle.  One of my good friends lives in the north shore suburbs.  His wife doesn't work but they have a nanny.  As far as I can tell, her days are spent in leisure: scheduled workouts with the personal trainer, shopping, napping, fancy lunches with other bored housewives, etc.  My wife doesn't work, but we don't have a nanny.  Keeping up a household and raising young kids is a lot of work, so she doesn't have time for any of that.  How can she relate?  There's pressure from the parents (perhaps implicit) to live a certain way; and as you and snowman in the BH thread both say, lots of explicit pressure in the schools for the kids to emulate the parents.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2016, 07:24:15 AM by WageSlave »

hownowbrowncow

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Re: Chicago suburbs anyone?
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2016, 02:58:23 PM »
As someone who grew up in the North Shore and is Jewish, I want to make the really obvious joke but I won't...

Have you looked at Highwood (60040)? They have their own train station but quick bike ride down the path (forget what it's called) can put you in Highland Park for the express trains.  I know there's weird stuff with District 112 going on but it's still top notch education. 

There's a Costco in Mettawa then Jewel and Trader Joe's in Lake Forest.  Plus some good quality Italian deli right in Highwood.  Can't comment on the mustachism of the restaurants since there are so many new ones but Buffo's is my all-favorite for thin crust (I know I know) and cheese fries.  I always make my family order from there and Lou Malnati's for the deep dish when I'm in town.

Small public library but I think there are connections with the bigger ones (HP and LF).  They have a book club, themed movie showings, and lots of children events.  All free!

For recreation, adult basketball leagues (I'm sure other sports too but my BIL does basketball), bocce clubs, Sunet valley golf, the aforementioned bike path and um Lake Michigan :)

For kids, there's the Highwood Rec Center, Centennial Ice Area and some really nifty playgrounds.  I think (but don't quote me) they can get residents rate for the HP Park District programs. 

Highwood is big on festivals such as Highwood Days, Halloween, Xmas/Hanukkah stuff, etc.  Haven't been in a few years but remember thinking of them as pretty cheap (could be my decade and a half on the west coast has shifted my baseline though)

Finally on the attitudes around money in the area, it's hard to say because when I was old enough to notice things grunge/anti-consumerism was big among me and peers. Yes I'm ancient.  I think the hardest part will be managing your kids' expectations and baselines.  I see this with my niece/nephews. They see people spend on over the top Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, kid bday parties, and travel and think that's normal.  Lots of other threads have covered the topic so I can't add much to that.

Tris Prior

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Re: Chicago suburbs anyone?
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2016, 03:15:34 PM »
Hmm. Granted, I don't know the ins and outs of EVERY Chicago suburb but my instinct is to agree with partgypsy. My mother lives in the NW suburbs and I went to high school there. There's a lot of peer pressure from neighbors to keep one's property in a certain condition - I don't just mean in good repair, but to be constantly adding showy but unnecessary "improvements." And there are a LOT of rules re what you're allowed to do on your own property. (the most amusing one to me is that she's not allowed to have a bird feeder. Of course, she has one anyway...)

Why not look at more residential, farther-out neighborhoods in the city? You might find more frugal folks in the less showy neighborhoods. I'm not sure where you are, though I'm thinking maybe Lakeview due to being on two el lines?

hownowbrowncow

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Re: Chicago suburbs anyone?
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2016, 03:19:14 PM »
Sorry one more thing...

Way back when I was young I babysat, lots of my friends were junior counselors and caddies.  When I was in high school I got my first official job with W2s and worked after school all jr and senior plus all summers.  So did all my sisters and all my friends.  NONE of had to work but we all wanted jobs and worked hard for our money (half fun/half for college incidentals).  My parents never asked me when I was going to "get a job" I just did. So while it's toughest with pre-teens, I think by the time kids are teenagers they get that money doesn't just magically appear. Even my nephew who I'd say is more materialistic than I was at his age has been caddying for 2 years now.

Charity was also emphasized a lot. Through synagogue (Tzedakah) and in the community.  Starting back when I was still in the single digits.

I rag on the area a lot and give my niece and nephew shit (lovingly) but it's not as bad as people think. Growing up there gave me a really nice childhood.  OTOH I have very loving parents so maybe it wasn't the area.  The endless nature vs. nuture debate...

To sum up, I think it's a good move.  There will be lots of times you roll your eyes at your neighbors like my mom did.  But for every time, your kids play the "so and so got a ..." game, I can remember a peer complaining that his/her parents wouldn't buy this thing or take this trip because they "didn't need it" or "it wasn't practical".  Parents that could easily afford said expense.  And you know what? I never told my parents about those.

chesebert

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Re: Chicago suburbs anyone?
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2016, 03:38:56 PM »
"the recent uptick in crime (too-close to our neighborhood)"

Where is this? We live in the city and would like to know. I don't typically read/watch local news...

WageSlave

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Re: Chicago suburbs anyone?
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2016, 03:41:41 PM »
I live near the the Irving Park Road and Pulaski Road intersection.  Old Irving Park is the neighborhood.  There was a stabbing at a collectible shop on Pulaski, a shooting at a bar ("Brudders", resulted in the death of the bouncer).  And a neighborhood or two north of us, there was a drive-by at a park.

chesebert

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Re: Chicago suburbs anyone?
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2016, 03:46:33 PM »
I live near the the Irving Park Road and Pulaski Road intersection.  Old Irving Park is the neighborhood.  There was a stabbing at a collectible shop on Pulaski, a shooting at a bar ("Brudders", resulted in the death of the bouncer).  And a neighborhood or two north of us, there was a drive-by at a park.

Got it! I will try not to leave my downtown bubble...

Also, congrats on saving 23x with all the nice restaurants and places to go in the city. We decided to up the annual spending when we moved here in order to stay in the expensive neighborhood so we can walk everywhere and feel safe.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2016, 03:50:19 PM by chesebert »

retiringearly

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Re: Chicago suburbs anyone?
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2016, 03:52:54 PM »
What about Oak Park or Skokie?

WageSlave

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Re: Chicago suburbs anyone?
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2016, 03:57:45 PM »
Also, congrats on saving 23x with all the nice restaurants and places to go in the city.

I know lots of people choose to live in the city for all the stuff that the city offers; nice restaurants are certainly a huge appeal.  But I meant it when I said the only reason we live in the city is for the commute.  :)  People come to visit and have these expectations that we know all the "insider" places to go in Chicago.  And we're like, "Uhh..."

Nola584

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Re: Chicago suburbs anyone?
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2016, 04:44:15 PM »
What are you looking for in a suburb? Do you want to buy or rent? Are you commuting to the the loop area or elsewhere?

Evanston is a great not-suburby suburb with good train access (Metra and El, Metra is ~30 min to downtown if it works for you). If you want a house and a yard and want to buy, you might end up further from the train lines, but there are lots of good options as a renter. School quality isn't my area of expertise, so I can't speak to that.

Capsu78

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Re: Chicago suburbs anyone?
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2016, 04:58:47 PM »
I live up in the NW suburbs and I can honestly say I have never felt neighborhood peer pressure to improve my property although I do have one neighbor from another culture whose crapily maintained property I have to look at.  I feel I am surrounded by hoighty toiter comunitied on 3 sides and several layers deep. Unfortunately not very mustachian as we have to drive everywhere but we haven't had a crime scene in our neighborhood ever, other than some stolen electronics out of unlocked cars.

Oh and Wheaton, mentioned above, used to have one of the best named festivals ever- Cream of Wheaton- but I think they may have gotten a cease and desist letter!

crazy jane

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Re: Chicago suburbs anyone?
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2016, 06:06:38 PM »
I live in an older neighborhood in Northbrook. Superior schools with easy access to trains downtown. Raised 2 kids in a three bedroom. No problem living frugally. Fabulous Park District and a YMCA. Let me know if you need more info.

MidWestLove

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Re: Chicago suburbs anyone?
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2016, 06:20:26 PM »
2WageSlave - we live less than a mile south of you on Pulaski and also planning on moving for the same reasons (not great housing stock, no decent public school option, etc).

It boils down on whether/where you have family in the area as I have various friends who moved west along BNSF  or into north shore . for our family, we are planning to head to north west Indiana (Crown Point, Munster, Highland areas) due to much better combination of housing pricing, lower taxes, good public schools, lower crime, and significantly less laws/regulations, not to mention living outside of bankrupt city and state..

Tris Prior

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Re: Chicago suburbs anyone?
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2016, 08:47:55 PM »
They can't call it the Cream of Wheaton any more? Bummer, that always amused me. I used to work in Wheaton a million years ago.

Chrissy

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Re: Chicago suburbs anyone?
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2016, 09:14:30 PM »
My BIL's family lives in your neighborhood, and they have kids the same ages as yours.  My SIL is hard-to-please, but their school-aged child attends Belding, and she doesn't have any complaints.  I'm aware of the crimes you mentioned, but am under the impression that the cluster is more coincidence than indicative of real change.

That said, my husband and I just had our first baby, and we have our doubts about Chicago, too.  We're in Lincoln Square/Ravenswood.  Our current plan is stick it out until she's 4, then re-evaluate.   At that point, we should be FI, and we might move to our paid-off, rural house in a another state... which happens to be 0.25mi down the street from a 10-rated elementary school.  (Next stop, Willoughby!)

If you're participating in the forums, you probably want to RE asap, and it seems like you're close with 23x expenses.  Why not just stick until you can blow this popsicle stand?  Then, by all means, move out to Indiana, the real estate there is so cheap!  SO. CHEAP. <sob>
« Last Edit: April 05, 2016, 09:18:15 PM by Chrissy »

gomike

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Re: Chicago suburbs anyone?
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2016, 11:36:57 PM »
Check out crystal lake

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N

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Re: Chicago suburbs anyone?
« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2016, 12:53:01 AM »
I have no answers, but we must be a few blocks from you. We homeschool so we dont care about schools, but the crime does worry me. I dont think its limited to our area- I have friends in many neighborhoods who are concerned about increasing violence. Our last apt was in edgewater (ashland and devon) and we had a drug dealer renting in our condo building and a gang shooting in our alley the year that we left. a few weeks ago there was a car jacking on the other side of the street from us, here in IP. I wonder if its scarier because I read all the neighborhood fb groups and know about things I never would have read before. maybe its not really worse, but just more info is available.


MidWestLove

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Re: Chicago suburbs anyone?
« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2016, 07:04:25 AM »
There are few other factors specific to our area (Old Irving Park)
- demographics is changing, our area is coming more and more Mexican displacing Polish who were settled there earlier. And prior to Polish it was Czech/Bohemian and prior to that it was German and prior to that it was ...  - so it is normal and natural..  One part of that change is that our non-Mexican children are an exception , our elementary school is 95% Mexican , with heavy ratio of families where English is not spoken at home. as such , first 2 years of school are lost for the native English speakers as teachers first have to teach some English to the kids who come.
- because of changed demographics, my neighbors are picking each their own ways. a policeman across the street who has to live in Chicago is sending his son to private school in the north suburb, the friend/neighbor next to me is sending his to catholic schools, and that is the pattern, no one is going to assigned public schools.

for Chicago as a whole
- taxes (and fees) are going up, the 'largest property tax hike in history' is now passed in the budget and coming this year. how much would be lose when trying to sell after it is officially in the tax bills? how much time do we have to get out of here?
- crime is going up , from 'innocent' tagging of garage doors by various gangs to increased gang activity, police cameras on every major intersection to police presence whenever local high school (Shultz, Addison/Milwaukee intersection) gets out. Metal detectors, police cruisers, routine crime daily, baggy pants teens in groups 'hanging out' smoking - is this the school I want my daughters to go to? not to mention the lowest possible rating 1/10 (10 being the highest) rating from school ratings systems..

- high hostility to right to protect yourself from crime. I will take judge and jury in Lake county Indiana to Cook County Illinois any day of the week (and take any of the 6 counties in Illinois over Cook)

- Illinois is completely screwed by public unions and did not had its own Walker for right to work laws reform. as such , you are already familiar with lost bids by City of Chicago and the State to reform its pensions and response from Supreme Court of the state.  Chicago already started to dip into our pocket, how soon until very bankrupt state would follow? Who do you think would pay for it if not us, the taxpayers?

Having said all of this, it is still hard to leave - Chicago in the summer is awesome, great weather moderated by the lake, wealth of options, amazing parks, lakeshore, museums. the variety, the options available, the cultural life, all that comes with 3rd

That is why we are not cutting all ties to the state and moving 35 miles from the loop allowing us to live in much better managed area but still come into the city if we want to for entertainment.. 

WageSlave

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Re: Chicago suburbs anyone?
« Reply #20 on: April 06, 2016, 07:22:22 AM »
Thank you for all the replies and suggestions everyone!

What are you looking for in a suburb? Do you want to buy or rent? Are you commuting to the the loop area or elsewhere?

Most likely buy, unless there was a heck of a rental deal.  I've always been a supporter of the "math favors a mortgage" idea, but lately I'm giving way to emotion, as I like the idea of living in a paid-for house.  Even if it is financially sub-optimal.

I commute to the loop daily, with no work-from-home options or other real flexibility.  I know any suburb will increase my commute, but ideally I'd like to live within walking distance of a Metra station that offers an express train at ideal hours for me.

If you want a house and a yard and want to buy, you might end up further from the train lines, but there are lots of good options as a renter.

Definitely want a house and a yard.  :)

It boils down on whether/where you have family in the area as I have various friends who moved west along BNSF  or into north shore

Yeah, that's part of the rub.  My family is downstate (Peoria) and wife's family is in northern Wisconsin, in the middle of nowhere.  I'm not yet ready to give up the "gravy train" job I have.  Peoria's economy is dominated by Caterpillar, which is in the middle of a major downturn, so that economy is crumbling.

for our family, we are planning to head to north west Indiana (Crown Point, Munster, Highland areas) due to much better combination of housing pricing, lower taxes, good public schools, lower crime, and significantly less laws/regulations, not to mention living outside of bankrupt city and state..

I have a friend and former colleague who moved to Indianapolis about a decade ago, he loves it.  My only knock on Indiana is that their state legislature once tried to pass a law that changed the value of pi to three (i.e. drop the fractional part).  ;)

My BIL's family lives in your neighborhood, and they have kids the same ages as yours.  My SIL is hard-to-please, but their school-aged child attends Belding, and she doesn't have any complaints.  I'm aware of the crimes you mentioned, but am under the impression that the cluster is more coincidence than indicative of real change.

Well, in a personal message, someone said that state-level budget cuts removed funding for "mediators" that were working to try to prevent gang violence.  I haven't had time to follow-up on that, but if true, it could suggest an actual long-term change for the worse.

If you're participating in the forums, you probably want to RE asap, and it seems like you're close with 23x expenses.  Why not just stick until you can blow this popsicle stand?  Then, by all means, move out to Indiana, the real estate there is so cheap!

That's a separate discussion, but I'm holding out for 40x or 50x expenses.  There are indeed lots of places we could move, not just Indiana, but we don't want to be too far from our extended family.  We were actually thinking about Madison, Wisconsin, because it is almost the exact midpoint between grandparents, and we've heard good things.  But that plan was maybe five years out.  But this uptick in crime has us doubting if we can wait that long.

Thanks again all!

Allison

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Re: Chicago suburbs anyone?
« Reply #21 on: April 06, 2016, 08:46:23 AM »
I live in Naperville and while it is not a "traditional" Chicago suburb, I have found it a great place to live.  Close to the train and a lot of outdoor activities to participate in.  Schools are fantastic.  I rent a townhouse on the border of Aurora and Naperville and love it.

Trip

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Re: Chicago suburbs anyone?
« Reply #22 on: April 06, 2016, 09:21:30 AM »
We are currently in Aurora, but looking to move a little bit closer in about a year once my wife finds out where she is going to Grad School. If we were to move now, and I wasn't able to convince her to move out of state, then we would probably move to Naperville, Winfield, Arlington Heights, or possibly Crystal Lake (that one is a little further than I'd like to be, but we have close friends there).

retiringearly

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Re: Chicago suburbs anyone?
« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2016, 01:19:44 PM »
Hey I think we have chatted on here before.  I also grew up downstate in Peoria and so did my wife.  We bought a house in La Grange back in 2013.  My commute is actually shorter than when I lived in the city (Southport).  The express train I take is 19 mins.  We bought within a few blocks of downtown La Grange and it allowed us to go to 1 car which has been great.

The schools here are top notch and i would say La Grange is a rung below "Fancy Pants".  Our house is "small" but not really... 1400 sq ft with a full basement. Perfect for us.  I think our spot has a nice city feel but good schools and very safe.  We are within a few blocks of Trader Joes, Jewel, post office, restaurants, parks, library, etc.

I definitely recommend it if you can find a good deal on a house- they go very quick here though so be ready to pounce.  I also recommend taking a look at Brookfield which is even closer to the city and a little more affordable.
Agreed.  I work close to LaGrange, very nice.   Have you eaten at Q BBQ on LaGrange Road?  Surprising to find that good of a BBQ place in the suburbs.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Chicago suburbs anyone?
« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2016, 04:09:39 PM »
As a 5-year IL resident, my first thought was "23x expenses in Chicago is WAY beyond FI elsewhere."  When I consider the considerable sum we pay every year in property taxes, it makes me want to leave the state post haste.

junk4c2

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Re: Chicago suburbs anyone?
« Reply #25 on: April 07, 2016, 07:58:24 AM »
I live in NW suburbs and recently have started to look to move, so I am biased, but here is my opinion:

Disadvantages:
- Taxes !!! Property tax is insane - $6K on 1200 sqt. house, 10% sales tax
- Pollution - multiple highways, and big monster airport so sound pollution as well
- Traffic during rush hours
- Getting anywhere is a long drive
- House or rent is high
- Weather is crappy (but you already know that)
- Keeping up with Joneses is a real thing - especially among the kids

Advantages:
- Schools are very good
- Lots of choices for kids sports and activities
- Good libraries and park districts
- In exception to well known shadier areas most of neighborhoods are very safe

I would move to Indiana close to the border and take a train from there if that is an option.

wtp1020

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Re: Chicago suburbs anyone?
« Reply #26 on: April 07, 2016, 08:26:08 AM »
How about the very last stop on the Metra West line? I live in Elburn and like the small town feel. The property taxes are high though. I paid off my house a few years ago but it still feels like I have a mortgage. $7,200 for my 1500sq ft house. As soon as I retire I'm moving to a place with better weather and low taxes.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2016, 08:35:35 AM by wtp1020 »

retiringearly

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Re: Chicago suburbs anyone?
« Reply #27 on: April 07, 2016, 08:46:49 AM »
I live in NW suburbs and recently have started to look to move, so I am biased, but here is my opinion:

Disadvantages:
- Taxes !!! Property tax is insane - $6K on 1200 sqt. house, 10% sales tax
- Pollution - multiple highways, and big monster airport so sound pollution as well
- Traffic during rush hours
- Getting anywhere is a long drive
- House or rent is high
- Weather is crappy (but you already know that)
- Keeping up with Joneses is a real thing - especially among the kids

Advantages:
- Schools are very good
- Lots of choices for kids sports and activities
- Good libraries and park districts
- In exception to well known shadier areas most of neighborhoods are very safe

I would move to Indiana close to the border and take a train from there if that is an option.

$6k on your property taxes is high.  Do you appeal them?  I use Raila to appeal my taxes and have had good luck with them

http://railapc.com/

Capsu78

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Re: Chicago suburbs anyone?
« Reply #28 on: April 07, 2016, 09:33:53 AM »
I'm at $11500 in Lake county on 2950sf.  My attorney started a tax dispute practice offering a free assessment.  He said "No real savings to be found- it is what it is for you".   We are not moving away from the kids and grandkids however, just to improve a tax bill... Part of the price of being happy with our lives.

Sibley

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Re: Chicago suburbs anyone?
« Reply #29 on: April 07, 2016, 09:57:59 AM »
I currently rent in Willowbrook (near Burr Ridge). I'm planning on buying a house next year in NW Indiana.

tyd450

  • Bristles
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  • Posts: 309
Re: Chicago suburbs anyone?
« Reply #30 on: April 07, 2016, 03:01:18 PM »
Do any of your NW Indianans or future NWI work in the city?  What do you do for transportation.... drive?  That just sounds brutal.

retiringearly

  • Bristles
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  • Posts: 341
Re: Chicago suburbs anyone?
« Reply #31 on: April 07, 2016, 03:38:38 PM »
Do any of your NW Indianans or future NWI work in the city?  What do you do for transportation.... drive?  That just sounds brutal.

I assume most would take the South Shore train.

tyd450

  • Bristles
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Re: Chicago suburbs anyone?
« Reply #32 on: April 07, 2016, 10:30:50 PM »
Hey I think we have chatted on here before.  I also grew up downstate in Peoria and so did my wife.  We bought a house in La Grange back in 2013.  My commute is actually shorter than when I lived in the city (Southport).  The express train I take is 19 mins.  We bought within a few blocks of downtown La Grange and it allowed us to go to 1 car which has been great.

The schools here are top notch and i would say La Grange is a rung below "Fancy Pants".  Our house is "small" but not really... 1400 sq ft with a full basement. Perfect for us.  I think our spot has a nice city feel but good schools and very safe.  We are within a few blocks of Trader Joes, Jewel, post office, restaurants, parks, library, etc.

I definitely recommend it if you can find a good deal on a house- they go very quick here though so be ready to pounce.  I also recommend taking a look at Brookfield which is even closer to the city and a little more affordable.
Agreed.  I work close to LaGrange, very nice.   Have you eaten at Q BBQ on LaGrange Road?  Surprising to find that good of a BBQ place in the suburbs.

Q is one of our favorites!

STBJ

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 5
Re: Chicago suburbs anyone?
« Reply #33 on: June 22, 2016, 06:23:07 PM »
I know its late but we live in Skokie a very diverse community.  Housing prices are currently dropping.