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Chicago area - possible move suggestions?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
My husband MIGHT get an offer for a job that would be difficult to turn down. That would mean moving from Kansas (wichita area) to Chicago area. IF we do move, I would LOVE any input as to "good" suburbs (e.g., low crime, good schools, etc). My boys are currently 1 and 3 yrs old, but I would like to know that, once they do start school, there are options that are good (and safe...or at least as safe as anywhere in this day and time!)!
Thanks in advance for any input and help!
M
post #2 of 30
Some suburbs: Naperville, Downer's Grove, Lisle, Oak Brook, Oak Park, Evanston, Skokie. Depends on how far you want to live from the city. Oak Park and Evanston border the city to the west and north, respectively.

Chicago itself would be my choice. But I'm biased!
post #3 of 30
There are 'good' suburbs surrounding the city (bad ones too). Because traffic/transit can be a bear, I would suggest seeing where DH works and how he can get there, let us know the general vicinity. What is your commute tolerance?
post #4 of 30
moved to the Illinois tribe.
post #5 of 30
Thread Starter 
He would be working outside of the city (at an airport - though not sure right now which one). We have looked (online) at Plainfield..... would LOVE any input on this city (good, bad?, schools, etc) and if it is not actually a very good suburb to relocate to, where would be somewhere better to look????
post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmhinton View Post
He would be working outside of the city (at an airport - though not sure right now which one). We have looked (online) at Plainfield..... would LOVE any input on this city (good, bad?, schools, etc) and if it is not actually a very good suburb to relocate to, where would be somewhere better to look????
If it is a major airport like Midway or O'hare, it would be good to find that out as they are not really close. Plainfield to O'hare would be quite a commute.

My SIL lives in Plainfield and has for years. They love it and have watched the city grow over their 20 years there. They are the opposite of crunchy however, and their early 20-something girls are not really smart or inspired to do anything with their life so I have no idea how the Plainfield schools are as they are a product of their home environment.

Good luck. The Chicagoland metro area is huge. Hopefully you can find out a work location soon.
post #7 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmhinton View Post
He would be working outside of the city (at an airport - though not sure right now which one). We have looked (online) at Plainfield..... would LOVE any input on this city (good, bad?, schools, etc) and if it is not actually a very good suburb to relocate to, where would be somewhere better to look????
Plainfield is FAR out from the city. It's just one cookie cutter subdivision after another..... Prices are great, yes, but that's about it.
post #8 of 30
If he's possibly going to be working at O'Hare, Chicago itself is a good place, as the northwestern neighborhoods are nice. Also, Elmwood Park and Niles are near.

If he's possibly going to be working at Midway, Chicago is a good choice as well, but maybe not in the neighborhoods directly surrounding the airport. Mt. Greenwood and Beverly are two neighborhoods that come to mind on the southside. Oak Lawn, Evergreen Park are nice suburbs that border the city. A little further south, but still a manageable commute, are Orland Park, Palos Heights.
post #9 of 30
As others have said, it's really impossible to answer this question until you know where he'll be working (which airport) since the metro area is so huge, and traffic can be a killer if you pick a spot that's not an easy commuting distance for him.
It also depends a lot what you're looking for in a suburb - cost-of-living, walkability, crunchiness, political leanings, "feel" of the place (i.e. real downtown vs lots of strip malls and cul-de-sacs and subdivisions). There are a lot of suburbs that fit your basic requirements of safe and good schools, but in terms of the other things, they're all over the map. And as others said, I also wouldn't rule out the city itself, which has some great neighborhoods that fit your requirements.

First, I'd say you should figure out where exactly he'll be looking and go from there.
post #10 of 30
Naperville is right next to Plainfield, and it is fabulous! So much to do, so much you're close to, and the schools have been rated tops in the country. If there's a chance he'd be at a small airport like Dupage, St. Charles in wonderful, too. Wheaton, Glen Ellyn - nice options. But none of these are very close to the city. It is hard to say without knowing where he'd be working, but those suburbs are nice.
post #11 of 30
Yep, definitely find out where your DH will be working before committing to an area. A poor location can make your life miserable and there are good/appropriate locations to be, it just depends where you need to go.

Sure Naperville is nice (DH and I went to school there), but Plainfield/Aurora are considerably more affordable and offer you the same level of access to amenities. I mean unless you're living in downtown Naperville, you're sitting all day on 59 to get anywhere, KWIM? Plus, it absolutely depends on your lifestyle/interests. My brother's family IS a Naperville family. Us, well, notsomuch, so we live in the city. I would say though that Plainfield/Aurora 'niceness' can't even be isolated to the town, IMO, its down to the subdivision level...
post #12 of 30
Not only find out where he is working but here are some other questions:
  • How much do you want to spend on housing?
    How much space do you want?
    What are you looking for in a community?
    Do you mind alot of driving to get places or do you prefer cozier communities with less driving/ more walking?
    Is diversity important to you?
    Is finding other crunchy mamas/AP mamas important?
    How much of a commute time does your husband want/will he put up with?
post #13 of 30
By the way, Oak Park is a 20 minute drive from both. :
post #14 of 30
I live in West Dundee and I love it here.
It's only about 20 minutes to O'hare from here, but that's in moderate traffic, so it could be longer than that if you're going during rush hour. I'm not sure how long it takes to get to midway, but I can't imagine that would be a great commute.
My DS is only 5mo, so I don't have any personal experience with the schools, but my aunt and uncle who live here sent both their kids to public school and had a lot of good things to say about the schools here. There's also a charter school 20 minutes away and a few private schools really close.
post #15 of 30
If you live anywhere along the Orange or Blue lines in the city, you'll have a direct commute right to either airport. No driving or traffic! If you go with the city, I love love love Jefferson Park. Not sure about the schools though. I'm a product of CPS, but I went to a magnet school. There are many options for charter and magnet public schools in the city, you aren't stuck with just your neighborhood school.
post #16 of 30
Thread Starter 
[QUOTE=3cuties;14253951]Not only find out where he is working but here are some other questions:
[LIST]
How much do you want to spend on housing?
How much space do you want?
What are you looking for in a community?
Do you mind alot of driving to get places or do you prefer cozier communities with less driving/ more walking?
Is diversity important to you?
Is finding other crunchy mamas/AP mamas important?
How much of a commute time does your husband want/will he put up with?

We are still not sure of a job....but IF he does get it, DH would be working at Midway airport.

Spend: we have a pretty low budget (approx. $150-$250K)
Space: 2-3 bedrooms ... BUT we have to have a yard - our two boys are used to a big yard and I would go crazy if they couldn't get their energy out outside!!!
Looking for: good schools, low crime, friendly, "crunchy" or at least able to make friends in the area who are crunchy
Community: we like to go jogging...and currently do so through neighborhoods - we don't mind a drive to get to "weekend stuff"... but would like groceries, etc relatively close.
Diversity: I don't care one way or the other....but I would like safe and with other families with similar values, incomes, etc.
YES - IF we do move up there - I would definitely want (need) to meet some other crunchy / AP mama's!!!
Commute: DH commutes about 30-45 minutes currently and would be ok with that again.

I would LOVE any input!!! I've "compared" (online with real estate, schools (a bit) and "city-data") Plainfield, Warrenville, Palos Hills, Hickory Hills and New Lenox. those are just the places I've looked thus far and seem similar to one another....we are VERY open to suggestions!!!!
post #17 of 30
Go west. With your budget, you can find something in the western suburbs. And since you want families like you and "safe" than I think you'd be more happy in the western (west, west, west) suburbs.
post #18 of 30
Thread Starter 
"west, west, west".... I am not sure though which cities to look at! Obviously, I can look at a map and see "west" cities, but I cannot tell which are more likely to fit my "criteria"!!
post #19 of 30
Frankfort would be convenient to Midway - the Chicago Tribune had a great article about it today. I don't personally know it other than a co-worker at a previous job lived there, and he loved it.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/classi...0,842558.story
post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmhinton View Post

Diversity: I don't care one way or the other....but I would like safe and with other families with similar values, incomes, etc.
My family likely doesn't have similar values and might not be safe enough for you so I don't know that I have any advice for you. I will just echo Giselle's advice and say "west west west".
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