looking to relocate to chicago for a couple of years..
..what are the better areas to live?
My wife will be working in northbrook.
What do you mean by "better"??
What's most important to you? Big piece of land? The lake? The city? Proximity to city and/or public transportation? Shopping and restaurants? Great schools? New development vs. character and diversity? If you're going to be in Northbrook, your nearby (suburban) choices probably go from things like mid-range Buffalo Grove to the pricey areas of Winnetka, Northfield, etc. Realtor.com has little area descriptions I think to go along with their detailed multilisting property search.
We live in Naperville and love it...Great Schools and lots of interesting things to do with North Central College and nearby College of DuPage. We moved here when it had a population of 7000. It is now 130,000...but it still has a lot of the small town flavor....
I'm sure it's a little far from Northbrook...but I just had to tout my town!
Depends on how much driving you want to do.
Personally, I think some parts of Northbrook are nice, pricey but nice, however, it is just too commercial with all the stores, malls, etc. I lived in Wheeling for a few years (the next suburb west) but I would not recommend it now.
The cluster of suburbs around Northbrook all seem pricey and congested to me. Applefan has the right idea, the Western suburbs are a tad less congested and lower-priced. I live in Lombard and my husband works in Deerfield (close to Northbrook). It is not a terrible drive for him.
Gotta agree with Applefan, though I live about 100 miles south. The few times I've visited Naperville it just seems like a lovely "big" town with a "small" town feel.
Elmhurst, Itasca, Arlington Heights
Commute times and traffic around here are stifling. Especially to get into the north shore area where Northbrook is. You will want to NOT live in Elmhurst (huge overpriced$$$ these days because of teardown mania) or Naperville. It will be agony to drive to Northbrook from there.
Commute times should be a number one consideration in your search.
I don't know too much about the suburbs up there as I am from West and far west suburbs - but I know Traffic! And there are lots of nice suburbs in the north area. A lot of areas are quite pricy, but then "teardown" mania is hitting all the smaller houses in the west suburbs so the north shore doesn't look very pricey anymore.
Highland Park, Glencoe, Arlington Heights, Winnetka, Buffalo Grove, Evanston (if you like city-type living) Libertyville, Park Ridge (is by the airport for convenience) are all in the general area. Stick to your north suburbs, your commute will be WAY less painful and cheaper because the gas prices are so high these days.
Yes - the commute from the west suburbs may not be bad on a nice day but when you add bad weather in the mix (which we weeks of in the winter), your commute times are going to double - count on it.
It really depends on what you are looking for. If it is the zip code, Highland Park would be one of the best. If it is space, try Long Grove, Kildeer, Deerpark, Hawthorn Woods, lots of land, still high taxes, but just as nice a zip code as HP, but wide open space, just as good schools, and not as many snobs. I assume you garden, and it is nice to have an acre, which is hard to afford on the Northshore. Just my 2 cents, from a northshore transplant, to the north west.
Back to Naperville again...
I have 2 1/2 acres on the outskirts of Naperville....Great for gardening and deer watching. There are still some available larger lots in the central western suburbs...