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#1 of 9 Old 10-02-2013, 05:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

We need:

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.


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#2 of 9 Old 10-05-2013, 10:04 AM
 
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It's great to think of all of these things before you move because feeling at home in a community is so important. How very cool that you have so many food co-ops where you are now. It looks like your post might have been missed, so I wanted to bump it up for attention. :bump: Anyone have thoughts to share about the areas the OP is thinking of moving to?


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#3 of 9 Old 10-15-2013, 06:30 AM
 
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Unfortunately all of those places are expensive with the exception of maybe Palatine. Waukegan is def cheaper, but it's also a lil more rough n tumble. Generally the further you get away from the city, the better. Batavia is a lovely place, and you could probably find affordable housing there. PLUS there are a lot of great surrounding communities that offer TONS. Batavia is a river community because it sits close to the fox river (I'm a lil up the ways along the fox as well). All the little towns by Batavia are cute! St. Charles & Geneva! Especially if you can find something in town!
Palatine is a good bet too, but closer to city and a lil more congested than the above. But all areas I've mentioned have what you're looking for.
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#4 of 9 Old 10-15-2013, 06:35 AM
 
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If he would be working in Batavia, you could also think about going further north down Randall or 31. South Elgin, Elgin (both affordable) or West Dundee. Might be looking at a 30 minute commute though. West Dundee has duplexes and houses for rent within that range. It's reminiscent if St. Charles and Geneva, only not as hoty-toty - frankly I like it more, but may be a bit of a jog for you. Also, West Dundee area is closer to Palatine than Batavia (about 20-25 mins).

I could write forever on locations, but if you PM me for specific stuff I can shoot you my email and answer whatever you like!

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#5 of 9 Old 10-15-2013, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, mama. We just need some direction! While I am really tempted to be closer to the city for cultural reasons, I also need to consider the fact that I am a small town girl who has been living in a city for almost 6 years now and frankly, I am sick of it. I would like a house. And my own yard. And a garage so I can possible start my own gardening business again. We need to get ahead financially, not stretch the budget to just to stay in a safe area closer to the city. I think we'll start looking in Waukegan just because of the proximity to the lake, not too scared of rough n tumble. I live in St. Paul so we have plenty of crime here, too. The only darn thing is that's half an hour to Whole Foods.


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#6 of 9 Old 10-16-2013, 06:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deditus View Post
 

Thanks, mama. We just need some direction! While I am really tempted to be closer to the city for cultural reasons, I also need to consider the fact that I am a small town girl who has been living in a city for almost 6 years now and frankly, I am sick of it. I would like a house. And my own yard. And a garage so I can possible start my own gardening business again. We need to get ahead financially, not stretch the budget to just to stay in a safe area closer to the city. I think we'll start looking in Waukegan just because of the proximity to the lake, not too scared of rough n tumble. I live in St. Paul so we have plenty of crime here, too. The only darn thing is that's half an hour to Whole Foods.

 

I live in North Lake County near Waukegan. It is definitely cheaper then the other towns you've mentioned (if you're willing to live in a so-so area), unfortunately it's a dead zone for anything crunchy. The closest Whole Foods is Deerfield, not an easy hike. Not sure about homeschool groups. I completely understand the desire to live in a lower cost of living area, that's what brought us here, butt I do want to give you a heads up that that Waukegan has the highest crime rate in Lake County and there are ongoing gang issues. If you want to live in this area, I would recommend Gurnee instead. If you search enough, you can probably find a 2 bedroom for around $1000.


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#7 of 9 Old 10-16-2013, 07:15 AM
 
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Eyelet - I have a friend that is on the police force there and part of the SWAT team; a lot of challenges. I'm sure there are good parts, too? I have never been there so my opinion of the area is just based on what I've heard.

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#8 of 9 Old 10-17-2013, 09:57 AM
 
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I spend time in Waukegan for my work.  You do NOT want Waukegan.  I have friends who live in Gurnee (which is nicer) and are even moving from there b/c of how bad the schools are.  Evanston is very crunchy (TWO Whole Foods & a Trader Joe's!) and tons to do (we just moved from there b/c we didn't want the high school but otherwise I love Evanston), but probably more $$ than you want. phunkymama1's recos re: Batavia & surrounding sound great (I'm not familiar with those areas).

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#9 of 9 Old 12-05-2013, 08:12 PM
 
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The post made me chuckle a little because I'm facing the potential of moving from the suburbs to the twin cities, so I'm looking for the opposite information! DH is interviewing for a position in Burnsville, but we may also end up staying in this area. Anyways...

 

I was born and raised here. Born in the city and raised in Des Plaines (kind of near Palatine. We played against them in high school sports). I completely agree with the pp's. The further out from the city, the cheaper rent will be. I have some friends that used to live in Batavia and just bought a house in North Aurora. Previous comments were spot on with the cute downtown areas there.

 

Other than housing, Evanston would be a good fit for your other criteria. But since you said that it's probably the biggest deal, I would suggest Palatine or Batavia. Palatine is a bit closer to the city and in my opinion has a more crowded and busy feel. If I had to choose between the 2, I would probably prefer Batavia.

 

I grew up going to the public schools and my son is only 1 so we haven't been looking into schooling options much yet so I don't have much insight into homeschooling in the area. I did have some friends that had been homeschooled but I think most of the co-op stuff they did was Christian based. But I'm guessing that with such a dense population in the area, you would be able to find a group in pretty much any of those places.

 

Not sure if any of this is helpful, but I thought I'd throw my two cents in.

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