We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Moving To Chicago...Need help with the neighborhoods!

Austin, TX
2 posts
Save Topic
Moving To Chicago...Need help with the neighborhoods!

So here's the deal.....I will be moving to the Chicago area very soon and need to find a suitable community to live in. My future employer is located in Downers Grove but I positive that I'm going to need a more urban setting to rest my head. I was wondering if anyone could recommend an area where I could commute to Downers Grove M-F but still be closer to a more traditional urban setting. Maybe something close to a train when I wanted to go the opposite direction into the city.

Thanks for your help......

Reece

Mentioned in this post
The Chicago Diner
The Chicago Diner
143 Reviews
Chicago, IL
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
1,411 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Moving To Chicago...Need help with the neighborhoods!

I'm sure many others will elaborate on this, but I'll start the ball rolling. You will almost certainly want to look in Oak Park, a suburb just to the west of the city. Your commute to Downers Grove is appx. 15 miles and it has that urban feel you are looking for.

Clearwater, Florida
Level Contributor
7,553 posts
83 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Moving To Chicago...Need help with the neighborhoods!

Assuming that you'll be driving to/from work in Downers Grove, downtown LaGrange or most anywhere in Oak Park are where I'd concentrate my efforts. Forest Park (adjacent to Oak Park) is another possibility.

probably stuck in...
Level Contributor
330 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Moving To Chicago...Need help with the neighborhoods!

I can't believe that I am going to recommend actually living in the suburbs, but...

Wheaton, Glen Ellyn and Naperville all have growing downtowns, and easy drives to Downers Grove. All have good access to Chicago via Metra, and they also have growing Condo markets that cater to people looking for just what you are asking for.

Mentioned in this post
Naperville
Naperville
Illinois
Chicago
Chicago
Illinois
illinois
Level Contributor
194 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Moving To Chicago...Need help with the neighborhoods!

You have access to everything with Metra. I don't know where in Downer's Grove your employer is, but look at the Metra Burlington Northern Line map. If I were you, I'd pick any decent town on the line. I moved out from the city to Brookfield (on the line). Not too much in town (but we do have the 4am bars!), but you can get dowtown or to Downer's in 20 minutes. Don't have to drive!!

Mentioned in this post
Chicago
Level Contributor
1,460 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Moving To Chicago...Need help with the neighborhoods!

Elmhurst is a great option. It has good access to major expressways, a nice downtown area with some decent restaurants/bars, and is a really pretty suburb with lots of trees, parks, beautiful homes and apartments near its downtown area, not to mention Elmhurst College, etc. Also offers realiable/quick (25 minutes) trains to downtown, although it is not on the same train line as Downers Grove.

Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
2,361 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Moving To Chicago...Need help with the neighborhoods!

I have to highly recommend the Galewood neighborhood in Chicago. It is directly north of Oak Park so you have access to all of the cool things that community has to offer (including access to the L) without having to pay Oak Park property tax rate. There are a couple of Metro stops which can be used to get downtown or out to the western suburbs and it's not a bad trip to get to expressways. I also have to rave about the incredibly cool older homes. The streets are tree lined and filled with brick Chicago bungaloes, Tudors and Georgians.

Good luck with your move!

Mentioned in this post
Chicago
Chicago
Illinois
Clearwater, Florida
Level Contributor
7,553 posts
83 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Moving To Chicago...Need help with the neighborhoods!

The Galewood and adjoining Montclair neighborhoods in Chicago would be at the bottom of any list of places I'd suggest to live - in this particular case. Nice residential neighborhood and good place to raise a family - but dullsville and without access to the "El" system (well, not unless you consider a long bus ride "easy access" - not very good by public transportation overall).

METRA does serve Galewood, but it's a limited service station at which not all trains stop there and it's not on the same line that serves Downers Grove - if I'm remembering correctly.

As for the homes there, I agree that there are some nice ones, but the typical home will be newer and of a different type (lots of brink and mortar) than you frequently see in Oak Park. Oak Park does, as pointed out, have higher property taxes - but homes there typically have higher property values than Galewood and the public schools are considered far superior (if educational opportunities for children become important).

Many of the communities/neighborhoods being mentioned are in the same general geographical area and the OP should have little difficulty visiting each to assess which may meet the needs. Beauty (and best neighborhoods), after all, is in the eye of the beholder!

Mentioned in this post
Chicago
Chicago
Illinois
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
2,361 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Moving To Chicago...Need help with the neighborhoods!

Yes, there are more expensive and larger homes in Oak Park than in Galewood. I suspect many of the schools may be better as well. Since Reeces didn't mention kids I didn't take schools into consideration. I really enjoy both areas and felt it was worth mentioning Galewood since it is more affordable and quite appropriate for many people's needs.

Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
2,361 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Moving To Chicago...Need help with the neighborhoods!

Oh, and to clarify- the tax rate in Oak Park is appreciably higher than the rate in Chicago. That is not a criticism of Oak Park, but rather a fact of life that must be taken into consideration when purchasing a home.

Mentioned in this post
Chicago
Chicago
Illinois
Chicago, Il
Level Contributor
19 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Moving To Chicago...Need help with the neighborhoods!

Well, the suburbs are an option but why not Chicago? I commute from Wicker Park up to Gurnee (read about 32 miles one way) on a daily basis. I live 2 blks from the expressway and although the drive can make you crazy sometimes, the city is worth it. I think you need to really need to think about what you need in your free time. Also something that may come in to play is your age. There are younger people in the suburbs but there is definitely a higher concentration in Chicago.

Just something to think about.

Good luck.

Mentioned in this post
Wicker Park
Wicker Park
93 Reviews
Chicago, IL
Chicago
Chicago
Illinois
Gurnee
Gurnee
Lake County, IL