Dp and I are looking to relocate to the Chicago area. His company has several locations throughout the area including Batavia, Melrose Park, Evanston, Northbrook, and Palantine. Also, Waukegan, if we decide to go up that way.
We're in the TwinCities now, and I really enjoy how crunchy it is here. I certainly don't want to move to a conservative area.
1. Access to good food, we have food allergies so I need to be near a Whole Foods at the least. I'm totally spoiled by the food co-ops here.
2. Homeschooling - we have a fabulous secular homeschool group that we do activities with once or twice a week. Libraries, parks, nature centers are all perks.
3. Very close to one of the above areas. We have older cars and can't commute long distances - public transport doesn't work for dp because he starts work too early in the morning.
4. Affordable - I guess this is the biggest deal. Dp has the potential to make much more there (but won't make more to start), but of course part of the reason why is the cost of living. We were dreaming that we could rent a house, but it doesn't look like there are any in those areas that we can afford. We are only paying $865 a month here for a 2 bd duplex with a big yard, and that includes our laundry and cable, so Chicago rents are pretty scary. I don't think we could afford more than $1000, maybe $1200/month.
Any advice on areas to look at would be much appreciated. It's such a large area and hard to know where to even start.