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Katy TX to Chicago 'burbs...

Katy TX to Chicago 'burbs...

Old Jul 24th 2012, 7:18 pm
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Default Katy TX to Chicago 'burbs...

I am a GC holder and looking at a possible change in employer which might, either now or in the future, entail a move from Houston to Chicago. Key concern is that commutable housing appears to be a lot more expensive (at least per sq. ft) there than it is on the outskirts of Houston. Given that we would not want to take on a huge amount of extra mortgage we will definitely be giving up some space but prices around Chicago vary enormously and so searching is a bit like finding a needle in a haystack.

We have two elementary aged kids and so school district is important as we can't afford to go private.

Does anyone recommend any (train) commutable Cities/Villages that are not too expensive and have good public schools? As a point of ref, we are currently (spoiled) in a 5 bed 3600 sq.ft house that is probably only worth $300k-$350k at present and so I don't think we would want to be in less than 2500 sq. ft and probably wouldn't want to pay more than $450k.

Appreciate anyone's thoughts about the Chicago suburbs or experiences going from Houston to Chicago.

Thnx.
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Old Jul 24th 2012, 7:25 pm
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Default Re: Katy TX to Chicago 'burbs...

Originally Posted by H2CHI View Post
I am a GC holder and looking at a possible change in employer which might, either now or in the future, entail a move from Houston to Chicago. Key concern is that commutable housing appears to be a lot more expensive (at least per sq. ft) there than it is on the outskirts of Houston. Given that we would not want to take on a huge amount of extra mortgage we will definitely be giving up some space but prices around Chicago vary enormously and so searching is a bit like finding a needle in a haystack.

We have two elementary aged kids and so school district is important as we can't afford to go private.

Does anyone recommend any (train) commutable Cities/Villages that are not too expensive and have good public schools? As a point of ref, we are currently (spoiled) in a 5 bed 3600 sq.ft house that is probably only worth $300k-$350k at present and so I don't think we would want to be in less than 2500 sq. ft and probably wouldn't want to pay more than $450k.

Appreciate anyone's thoughts about the Chicago suburbs or experiences going from Houston to Chicago.

Thnx.
How long of a commute to the city centre are you willing to put up with? There are plenty of suburbs connected by trains to Chicago but some being more expensive than others, if I know how long you'd be prepared to be sat on the train, then I can recommend a few.
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Old Jul 24th 2012, 7:34 pm
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Default Re: Katy TX to Chicago 'burbs...

Chicagoland is pricy. Sultan is correct....Your tolerance for sitting on a train will determine how much you get for your money....
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Old Jul 24th 2012, 7:37 pm
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Default Re: Katy TX to Chicago 'burbs...

Originally Posted by davenay67 View Post
Chicagoland is pricy. Sultan is correct....Your tolerance for sitting on a train will determine how much you get for your money....
I have the added benefit of not needing to go to Chicago itself for business or pleasure, so I can live all the way up here by the Wisconsin border where it is considerably cheaper than suburban Cook/DuPage or even southern Lake Counties.

It's a 90 minute train ride or a 2.5 hour drive, of course, but as I say, I rarely have occasion (or the desire) to have to do either.
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Old Jul 24th 2012, 7:55 pm
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Default Re: Katy TX to Chicago 'burbs...

There's been a few past threads on the burbs of Chicago, might be worth searching out as a good starting point...

The winters will be a bit of a shock compared to Houston though
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Old Jul 24th 2012, 7:56 pm
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Default Re: Katy TX to Chicago 'burbs...

But hey, looking on the bright side, Chicago is so much cooler of a downtown than Houston and our humudity (whilst bad to us) is nothing compared to the sauna that Houston can be.

Seriously, weather will be your biggest challenge in terms of change.
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Old Jul 24th 2012, 8:40 pm
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Default Re: Katy TX to Chicago 'burbs...

Originally Posted by SultanOfSwing View Post
How long of a commute to the city centre are you willing to put up with? There are plenty of suburbs connected by trains to Chicago but some being more expensive than others, if I know how long you'd be prepared to be sat on the train, then I can recommend a few.
Good question and a tricky answer. I would say that 40 mins would be an ideal max but if there were a great community that was an hour out, I would consider that for the sake of quality of life balance. Is 40 mins far enough out? When I googled, Niles came up as a good "family" place with not too bad prices but there are so many directions to go in that I'd like to look at some options.

All the lines seem to terminate pretty centrally but if it's helpful, if the move took place, I'd be working in the vicinity of City Hall.

Thanks again.
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Old Jul 24th 2012, 8:58 pm
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Default Re: Katy TX to Chicago 'burbs...

Originally Posted by H2CHI View Post
Good question and a tricky answer. I would say that 40 mins would be an ideal max but if there were a great community that was an hour out, I would consider that for the sake of quality of life balance. Is 40 mins far enough out? When I googled, Niles came up as a good "family" place with not too bad prices but there are so many directions to go in that I'd like to look at some options.

All the lines seem to terminate pretty centrally but if it's helpful, if the move took place, I'd be working in the vicinity of City Hall.

Thanks again.
That's within a mile of Union Station, where the majority of the Metra suburban lines terminate. You'd be able to walk from the station without worrying about having to get a taxi or bus or the L train, which is a bonus.

Within 40 minutes gives you anything inside a circle bound by towns like Des Plaines, Glenview, Downers Grove, Oak Forest.

Here's a wee link to a search of houses at least 2,500 sf; max price $450K, within 20 miles of the station. Anything else is down to personal preference.

If you're willing to spend closer to an hour on the train, that opens up a few more areas. Naperville, Lake Forest, etc. Ninety minutes on the train gets you closer to my neck of the woods. McHenry, Crystal Lake, Libertyville, Grayslake. All much cheaper housing wise and you don't have to pay the Cook County 10% sales tax
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Old Jul 26th 2012, 12:45 am
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Default Re: Katy TX to Chicago 'burbs...

Hello Katie, I have lived in Downers Grove for the last 3 years and like the neighborhood. The fast train gets into Chicago in less than 30 minutes.
I hear the local schools are good. My kids aren't yet school age, but I have found lots of things for them to do locally.
I live about 5mins from the station and pay $1200/month for an old house with a big garden that I would guess is about 3000sqf. I have got a good deal but I think you could realistically get a decent family house from $1500.
If you want any further info about Downers Grove then please ask.

Previously I lived in Naperville for a year. It's about 10 mins further out on the train. It's a pleasant neighborhood and more modern than DG but for me its a bit samey and feels like a rabbit warren.
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Old Jul 26th 2012, 8:23 am
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Default Re: Katy TX to Chicago 'burbs...

I think that Naperville is certainly worth looking at and neighbouring Naperville is Aurora - Some parts of Aurora are not fantastic but the parts near Naperville are almost Naperville, very safe and you get more house for your money. Look around Route 59 as a possibility. Express trains make the commute do-able...

I lived in Riverside, IL. about 18 mins on the train to Union Station and BAGS of character - right next to a huge zoo and a high school, I would move back there like a shot! Some really lovely doer-upper houses as there is a fairly aging population if that was what you fancied. Oak Park is also only about 20 mins and has a bit more 'going on'.. worth looking at too.

For a lot of space, you need to get further out - think 90 min commute - to somewhere like Joliet. I'd not recommend that, however...

In summary, I really think Naperville / Aurora would work for you...
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Old Jul 26th 2012, 2:33 pm
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Default Re: Katy TX to Chicago 'burbs...

Originally Posted by RalphJolly View Post
Hello Katie, I have lived in Downers Grove for the last 3 years and like the neighborhood.
I stay at the Comfort Inn, at 3010 Finley Road on a regular basis and enjoy a Boddingtons or two at the Rockwood Tap when I'm there.


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Old Jul 26th 2012, 3:07 pm
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Default Re: Katy TX to Chicago 'burbs...

Originally Posted by Scouse Express View Post
I stay at the Comfort Inn, at 3010 Finley Road on a regular basis and enjoy a Boddingtons or two at the Rockwood Tap when I'm there.


Jim.
Have you ever been to Libertyville? They have a pub there on Rt.21 called Firkin - they do a bunch of great beers from Europe and the US. Do a nice pint of Boddingtons as well. Best part is - NO TV!!! Can just enjoy a pint and a bit of a yarn without the bloody hand egg or rounders for fat blokes ruining the fun
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Old Jul 26th 2012, 3:15 pm
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Default Re: Katy TX to Chicago 'burbs...

Originally Posted by SultanOfSwing View Post
Have you ever been to Libertyville? They have a pub there on Rt.21 called Firkin - they do a bunch of great beers from Europe and the US. Do a nice pint of Boddingtons as well. Best part is - NO TV!!! Can just enjoy a pint and a bit of a yarn without the bloody hand egg or rounders for fat blokes ruining the fun
No, passed by a few times, but never had the opportunity to stop.

However, I did take Libertyville HS Students to their Prom, a couple of Months back, along with 11 of my Colleagues.

Couldn't partake that night for obvious reasons.

Jim
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Old Jul 26th 2012, 3:17 pm
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Default Re: Katy TX to Chicago 'burbs...

Originally Posted by Scouse Express View Post
No, passed by a few times, but never had the opportunity to stop.

However, I did take Libertyville HS Students to their Prom, a couple of Months back, along with 11 of my Colleagues.

Couldn't partake that night for obvious reasons.

Jim
Ah, driving the rich kids around, eh? Nice town, all the same. I gig there at least three times a month.
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Old Jul 27th 2012, 2:54 am
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Default Re: Katy TX to Chicago 'burbs...

Originally Posted by Coffee Cup View Post
He don't want to go that far out- Might as well be in Wisconsin

Great Cheese, though.


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