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Chicago family friendly areas

Chicago family friendly areas

Old Nov 25th 2015, 6:40 pm
  #1  
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Default Chicago family friendly areas

Hello everybody.
I wonder if you could help us with a few things.
It looks like my husband's job will be Transfered to Evanston Chicago. I have been searching houses for a few days now, but I am now even more confused on which area to choose.
We are looking for a safe and family friendly area that is affordable. We don't care much for going out, so something quiet and something with good playgrounds for small children would suit us best. We can't spend more than 2000 a month and would like 3-4 beds if possible. Anywhere from 30 minutes to 1hour of traveling to Evenston is ok.
Also if we except the job we'll have to stay in Chicago for at very least 3 years, should we consider buying a house instead of rentining?
Chicago is very exiting and it looks like it's great for families so I hope it works out for us.
Thnks for reading.
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Old Nov 26th 2015, 2:12 am
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Default Re: Chicago family friendly areas

Originally Posted by tada View Post
Hello everybody.
I wonder if you could help us with a few things.
It looks like my husband's job will be Transfered to Evanston Chicago. I have been searching houses for a few days now, but I am now even more confused on which area to choose.
We are looking for a safe and family friendly area that is affordable. We don't care much for going out, so something quiet and something with good playgrounds for small children would suit us best. We can't spend more than 2000 a month and would like 3-4 beds if possible. Anywhere from 30 minutes to 1hour of traveling to Evenston is ok.
Also if we except the job we'll have to stay in Chicago for at very least 3 years, should we consider buying a house instead of rentining?
Chicago is very exiting and it looks like it's great for families so I hope it works out for us.
Thnks for reading.
If the job is in Evanston, then that's the North Shore community. For a 3-4 bedroom house, your budget of $2000 seems unrealistic. When you say small children, do you need to consider school? The Chicago Public School system has a fairly poor reputation, whereas the Evanston district is very highly regarded. Property prices have a direct impact on decent school districts. We considered the North Shore communities, but couldn't find anything we liked. You could maybe look further north (ie further from downtown Chicago) or somewhere like Skokie, but that whole area is commuter suberbia, therefore not cheap for family homes. You maybe able to take advantage of the 'reverse commute' and live in a cheaper part of the city, but you need to do your research. Draw a circle around Evanston using google maps for driving times. Look at what areas you might be interested in and come back here with some towns. If I know of them, I'll give you an honest opinion. Would you consider a 3 bed apartment or a condo?

Good luck with your search. I love living here.
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Old Nov 26th 2015, 3:14 am
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Default Re: Chicago family friendly areas

There are two main reasons why buying is probably not a good decision for a relatively short-term assignment. Firstly the "round trip" cost of buying and selling a house in the US is about 10%, the realtor's (estate agent's) fees alone are usually 6%. So buying when your time horizon is only three years can be an expensive decision. And secondly, there are a number of reasons why you might have to return home at short notice for employment (reorg, takeover, redundancy) or personal (family, illness, homesickness) reasons, and leaving a vacant house to be sold in your absence is a sure way to not get the best price.
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Old Nov 26th 2015, 6:11 am
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Default Re: Chicago family friendly areas

Originally Posted by tada View Post
Hello everybody.
I wonder if you could help us with a few things.
It looks like my husband's job will be Transfered to Evanston Chicago. I have been searching houses for a few days now, but I am now even more confused on which area to choose.
We are looking for a safe and family friendly area that is affordable. We don't care much for going out, so something quiet and something with good playgrounds for small children would suit us best. We can't spend more than 2000 a month and would like 3-4 beds if possible. Anywhere from 30 minutes to 1hour of traveling to Evenston is ok.
Also if we except the job we'll have to stay in Chicago for at very least 3 years, should we consider buying a house instead of rentining?
Chicago is very exiting and it looks like it's great for families so I hope it works out for us.
Thnks for reading.
For 2k/month you can consider the far northwest side of Chicago proper, Sauganash, Edison Park, (in that vicinity) near the city limits just south and east of the airport. Provided of course that you'd have cars to commute to Evanston. The schools would be better there and it would be quiet and park like. You can also consider Morton Grove which would be due west of Evanston. Of the north shore communities Winnetka (due north of Evanston) may be the cheapest but it still may be pricey.
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Old Nov 26th 2015, 8:08 am
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Default Re: Chicago family friendly areas

Thanks a million for all the advise.
We were't considering condos or apartments loubiblu, thanks for suggesting. The children are small 1 and 3 year olds. I was looking at North Shore, but there is nothing we liked. We were actually looking everywhere around Evenston, but it is hard to know if the area is safe or not.
You are probably right Pulaski that we should not think of buying anything, for now anyway. Lots of things can change.
Being away from the centre isn't a problem for us, just somewhere commutable I mean 30-1 hour is ok. Jeepster, thanks for suggesting those areas we will have a look at them.
I looked at lots of areas but I can't understand where is a good area and where is not. We can't really afford to spend more than 2k a month as we have financial commitments here in Ireland too. Also, I don't know how much we will be having each month after tax, the tax situation isn't very clear in the US.
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Old Nov 26th 2015, 8:18 am
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Default Re: Chicago family friendly areas

Originally Posted by jeepster View Post
For 2k/month you can consider the far northwest side of Chicago proper, Sauganash, Edison Park, (in that vicinity) near the city limits just south and east of the airport. Provided of course that you'd have cars to commute to Evanston. The schools would be better there and it would be quiet and park like. You can also consider Morton Grove which would be due west of Evanston. Of the north shore communities Winnetka (due north of Evanston) may be the cheapest but it still may be pricey.
Thanks for all the areas you suggested. I just looked online and there are some houses within our rich.
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Old Nov 26th 2015, 8:19 am
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Default Re: Chicago family friendly areas

Originally Posted by tada View Post
Thanks a million for all the advise.We were't considering condos or apartments loubiblu, thanks for suggesting. The children are small 1 and 3 year olds. I was looking at North Shore, but there is nothing we liked. We were actually looking everywhere around Evenston, but it is hard to know if the area is safe or not. You are probably right Pulaski that we should not think of buying anything, for now anyway. Lots of things can change.Being away from the centre isn't a problem for us, just somewhere commutable I mean 30-1 hour is ok. Jeepster, thanks for suggesting those areas we will have a look at them. I looked at lots of areas but I can't understand where is a good area and where is not. We can't really afford to spend more than 2k a month as we have financial commitments here in Ireland too. Also, I don't know how much we will be having each month after tax, the tax situation isn't very clear in the US.
If you have financial commitments in Ireland, why bother moving in the first place? I don't know your situation, but if you have a mortgage in Ireland and then have to pay rent in the US, you might not be better off financially. Chicago is also not cheap either and you really need to make sure what you will have after tax.
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Old Nov 26th 2015, 8:57 am
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Default Re: Chicago family friendly areas

Originally Posted by Moses2013 View Post
If you have financial commitments in Ireland, why bother moving in the first place? I don't know your situation, but if you have a mortgage in Ireland and then have to pay rent in the US, you might not be better off financially. Chicago is also not cheap either and you really need to make sure what you will have after tax.
Thanks, I know what you mean. It is my husband's job and it is good for his career development and hopefully for our future income. Also, we've been expats in different countries for the last 4 years and we love it. I don't know if it is at all possible but it would be adsolutely fantastic to obtane a green card at the end. The tax/ welfare system in most Western Europian countries is a crazy and an unfair thing IMO. My sister and her husband both work and can hardly make ends meet. And it's like a slap to their face that a family next door to them in Ireland for 5 years, non of them ever worked and on benefits since they arrived, no need to pay for anything at all, having two holidays a year.

Also, our children are still small and we feel we can afford to move them around, we would not do that if they were older and settled in school.
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Old Nov 26th 2015, 9:17 am
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Default Re: Chicago family friendly areas

Originally Posted by tada View Post
Thanks, I know what you mean. It is my husband's job and it is good for his career development and hopefully for our future income. Also, we've been expats in different countries for the last 4 years and we love it. I don't know if it is at all possible but it would be adsolutely fantastic to obtane a green card at the end. The tax/ welfare system in most Western Europian countries is a crazy and an unfair thing IMO. My sister and her husband both work and can hardly make ends meet. And it's like a slap to their face that a family next door to them in Ireland for 5 years, non of them ever worked and on benefits since they arrived, no need to pay for anything at all, having two holidays a year. Also, our children are still small and we feel we can afford to move them around, we would not do that if they were older and settled in school.
Sure, if you think it will help his career why not, but there are certainly possibilities in Ireland too and moving around can be pretty expensive, even if companies pay a certain amount towards the move. I'm in Ireland myself and have lived in several countries, but I can honestly say that the tax system in Ireland is pretty fair and straight forward. Of course it's annoying when you see a family doing nothing and getting money, but when you need it, you'll be thankful and the government are finally tackling lazy people. In the US you can work all your life and if something goes wrong, you end up on the street. I'm pretty thankful to be in Ireland and if I lose my job tomorrow, I know I can still afford the mortgage.
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Old Nov 26th 2015, 10:54 am
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Default Re: Chicago family friendly areas

Originally Posted by Moses2013 View Post
Sure, if you think it will help his career why not, but there are certainly possibilities in Ireland too and moving around can be pretty expensive, even if companies pay a certain amount towards the move. I'm in Ireland myself and have lived in several countries, but I can honestly say that the tax system in Ireland is pretty fair and straight forward. Of course it's annoying when you see a family doing nothing and getting money, but when you need it, you'll be thankful and the government are finally tackling lazy people. In the US you can work all your life and if something goes wrong, you end up on the street. I'm pretty thankful to be in Ireland and if I lose my job tomorrow, I know I can still afford the mortgage.

Yes, I suppose you are right. Ireland isn't the worst. I hope it won't get much worse in Ireland and it won't get as bad as in other Europian countries. Anyway, I hope I don't sound too pisimistic, forgive me if I do.
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Old Nov 26th 2015, 3:56 pm
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Default Re: Chicago family friendly areas

Originally Posted by Moses2013 View Post
Sure, if you think it will help his career why not, but there are certainly possibilities in Ireland too and moving around can be pretty expensive, even if companies pay a certain amount towards the move. I'm in Ireland myself and have lived in several countries, but I can honestly say that the tax system in Ireland is pretty fair and straight forward. Of course it's annoying when you see a family doing nothing and getting money, but when you need it, you'll be thankful and the government are finally tackling lazy people. In the US you can work all your life and if something goes wrong, you end up on the street. I'm pretty thankful to be in Ireland and if I lose my job tomorrow, I know I can still afford the mortgage.
As major metros go Chicago is as cheap as it gets, as for losing your job the social safety net exists you just have to know how to negotiate it. It's not as institutionalized as Europe's.
For more housing areas Wiki "Communities in Chicago" and look at the northern tier. The Northeast ones border Evanston.
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Old Nov 26th 2015, 6:10 pm
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Default Re: Chicago family friendly areas

Originally Posted by jeepster View Post
As major metros go Chicago is as cheap as it gets, as for losing your job the social safety net exists you just have to know how to negotiate it. It's not as institutionalized as Europe's.
For more housing areas Wiki "Communities in Chicago" and look at the northern tier. The Northeast ones border Evanston.

Thanks, that is what we were doing lately, searching Wiki for areas in the north of Chicago. I still don't understand, the same area but prices are very different.
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Old Nov 26th 2015, 7:06 pm
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Default Re: Chicago family friendly areas

Originally Posted by tada View Post
Thanks, that is what we were doing lately, searching Wiki for areas in the north of Chicago. I still don't understand, the same area but prices are very different.
There is a reason. Chicago is like several other cities, it is actually a patchwork of autonomous municipalities, and the actual city of Chicago is in reality quite small, entirely hemmed in by other cities.

Some of those cities might be, for example, "tax poor" because the city has relatively little commercial or industrial development. ..... Perhaps because an industrial development or retail complex, has been abandoned or demolished. It's (sometimes) a matter of urban blight.
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Old Nov 27th 2015, 7:10 am
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Default Re: Chicago family friendly areas

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
There is a reason. Chicago is like several other cities, it is actually a patchwork of autonomous municipalities, and the actual city of Chicago is in reality quite small, entirely hemmed in by other cities.

Some of those cities might be, for example, "tax poor" because the city has relatively little commercial or industrial development. ..... Perhaps because an industrial development or retail complex, has been abandoned or demolished. It's (sometimes) a matter of urban blight.
I wonder if I can trust the real estate agents? I'm thinking that When we know our situation, we can just give them a call and tell them what we are looking for.
I can see some nice houses in the areas you all kindly suggested, but as mentioned it is hard to figure out which location is best. I could see some really nice places within our budget with good schools around, maybe I'll take the note and discuss it with the real estate agent.
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Old Nov 27th 2015, 7:53 am
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Default Re: Chicago family friendly areas

Originally Posted by jeepster View Post
As major metros go Chicago is as cheap as it gets, as for losing your job the social safety net exists you just have to know how to negotiate it. It's not as institutionalized as Europe's. For more housing areas Wiki "Communities in Chicago" and look at the northern tier. The Northeast ones border Evanston.
Maybe, but if you have financial commitments back home and are throwing out 2K each month for rent, it's a different story. Then you might need health insurance if the employer isn't paying for full cover. Car insurance can be pretty pricey for people with no history in the US, so will they need a car? All things to consider.
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