Time to Move from Chicago to the Suburbs
For many city dwellers the question of moving to the suburbs eventually comes up. After years of hanging out at the hip restaurants, mastering the bar scene and hitting up all of the local events, something happened. You had kids, you grew tired of taking 30 minutes to find a parking spot, and/or 800 square feet of living space no longer cut it. Now you are doing something that you never thought you would do. You are wrapping your head around actually taking the plunge. Packing up the wagon, leaving the city behind for promises of furnished basements and backyards that could actually house one of those cool swing sets you had your eyes on. However, before you realize your new dream of unlimited (and free) parking at Target ,you have to figure out what kind of community of which you want to establish the new homestead.
In my experience of working with clients moving from Chicago to the suburbs, I have created a list of things to consider when making the big move.
1) How Big do you want to go?
Coming from the city, you might be used to smaller quarters. Once you begin to look at the much larger houses in the suburbs, your eyes get wide. Before you decide that you must live in 4,500 square feet on 2 acres, you might want to consider the cost. You will have to heat and cool 4500 sq ft and you will have to furnish 4500 square feet. And, after 2 months of DIY landscaping and then deciding that it is way too much work, you will have to pay for someone to landscaping 2 acres. Some of you might be ready for the space and don’t care about these costs. Others might want to look at something a little bit smaller.
Like the idea of a lot of space? You might want to consider Long Grove or Lincolnshire. (Bonus: both of those communities feed into an excellent school district. See my blog post on Stevenson High School.) If you think you don’t need that much size, Deerfield has great houses with lots of character.
2) What kind of town do you want?
You will be leaving the urban culture of lots of noise but also lots of amenities. Ask yourself, are you ready for the quiet bedroom community or do you still want to be able to walk to get your coffee? There are several communities in the Northern Suburbs that can offer you either option. Lake Zurich and Kildeer are great communities that offer quiet communities with some great schools. Deerfield, Libertyville and Arlington Heights are perfect examples of communities that have great downtown areas with cafes, restaurants and boutique shopping.
3) What do you want your commute to look like?
If you are still working in the city, you might want to be mindful of your commute time. An hour long commute becomes 2 hours of your day spent in transit. Another option that is growing more and more popular is to take the train into the city. In our wireless world, you can get a lot of work done on your train commute leaving you more time in the evening to do the things you love (like play with your kids on that swing set that you once had your eyes on).
Some towns close to the city and have a relatively short commute time are Evanston, Park Ridge and Des Plaines. If you think might want to go the train route with that have access to the train are Deerfield, Arlington Heights and Libertyville.
4) What kind of schools do you want?
The luxury of moving to the Northern suburbs of Chicago is that majority of the schools are excellent. This leaves you more with the question of what kind of school would work best for my children. Just because a school is top ranked might not mean that it would be a good fit for your kids. To get a better idea of what is right for your child, explore the types of programs the schools offer, the teaching methods that they employ and what kind of activities are offered.
5) Does this community support my lifestyle?
Make sure that the communities that you are considering honor your lifestyle. If you were active in a local group, see if the community has something comparable. If you are active and into fitness, make sure that they have yoga, tennis or whatever it is you are currently into. Personally, I love farmers markets, so I would make sure that there was a great farmers market in the area. This will make your transition from urban to suburban living just a little bit easier.
If you are interested in checking out any of these communities click here for a up to date home search. You can also contact me at 847-401-8947 or anne.kaplan@cbexchange. I would love to help you make your big transition. Happy house hunting!