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Old 12-15-2013, 05:07 PM   #1
buelligan OP
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Chicago area people I need some advice

So long story long, my wife may have a nice career opportunity coming up with Northwestern University in Evanston IL. We currently live in London OH which is just west of Columbus OH so obviously we would be relocating to the Chicago area. Now my parents lived in Des Plains IL when I was born but since I'm about to turn 40 and we moved out of IL when I was a little more than 1 year old when my dad was laid off from the airlines I dont remember anything about Chicago. Now keep in mind that I am NOT a city guy and would much rather live either in the country (I know that is out of the question in the Chicago area) or in a small town type environment where you dont live on top of each other. What areas should we avoid and what area would be good for a middle class income family with a 4 year old boy? My wife told me last night that she would be willing to make the commute from the southern part of Wisconsin if it would make me happier and if it wold help with lower taxes. But she would like to keep her commute to "around" an hour or so.

Also what kind of riding is there around that area, closest I've been is Oshkosh WI and I did find some nice peaceful areas but not much technical riding.

Anyways thanks for any advice you have for me.
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Old 12-15-2013, 05:18 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by buelligan View Post
So long story long, my wife may have a nice career opportunity coming up with Northwestern University in Evanston IL. We currently live in London OH which is just west of Columbus OH so obviously we would be relocating to the Chicago area. Now my parents lived in Des Plains IL when I was born but since I'm about to turn 40 and we moved out of IL when I was a little more than 1 year old when my dad was laid off from the airlines I dont remember anything about Chicago. Now keep in mind that I am NOT a city guy and would much rather live either in the country (I know that is out of the question in the Chicago area) or in a small town type environment where you dont live on top of each other. What areas should we avoid and what area would be good for a middle class income family with a 4 year old boy? My wife told me last night that she would be willing to make the commute from the southern part of Wisconsin if it would make me happier and if it wold help with lower taxes. But she would like to keep her commute to "around" an hour or so.



Also what kind of riding is there around that area, closest I've been is Oshkosh WI and I did find some nice peaceful areas but not much technical riding.

Anyways thanks for any advice you have for me.
Most definitely look at Wisconsin without a doubt. Illinois is a sinking ship of taxes and union pensions. Your kids will thank you when they grow up. Good luck with the move
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Old 12-15-2013, 05:28 PM   #3
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I would do everything I could to avoid Cook County. Traffic everywhere, so get over that right away. Your best bet is northwest of Chicago, but YMMV. Good luck!
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Old 12-15-2013, 05:28 PM   #4
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School District

Pick the best public schools you can afford (by looking at property taxes). All the rest will fall into place.

As far as riding? Everything woth a darn is illegal.

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Old 12-16-2013, 05:14 AM   #5
kfsinc
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Evanston is a very cool town -- close to the city and a great university feel about it. The lakefront is outstanding and very usable in the summer. That said, it's way expensive unless you're willing to take on a rehab and live in a less desirable part of town

You might be able to swing one of the neighborhoods in Chicago on the near north side -- Lakeview, Saugenaush, Roger's Park. All nice neighborhoods, but can be very expensive -- pay attention to the schools as Ted mentioned. Living IN the city can be a great experience for you and your kids. Depending on her (and your) career plans you might want to rent -- figure $2-3K per month for 2+ bedrooms with a garage. (Make sure you get a garage, not everyplace has one). Wilmette, Winetka, Skokie, Glenview; All nice towns, but can easily be seven figure expensive.

I know it's heresy to say here, but consider giving up the bike (maybe even the car) for a few years and embracing the urban lifestyle. Plenty of young families doing the same thing. Riding a scooter or small motard in the city is as much of a rush as riding a hare scramble in the desert Bicycle is also a good way to get your adrenaline fix.

From a commute POV, it's a PIA to get to from Wisconsin and 'the country' into Evanston. If she's up for the daily adventure, living in Wisconsin and taking the train into Evanston might work. Check with the school as I'm pretty sure they have bus service from the train station to the U.

I strongly suggest AGAINST saddling her with a one hour commute each way -- it's a real PIA and severely messes up the home life. On days when it snows, that one hour can easily turn into two or more.

Where is your work?? Again, avoid the long commute in favor of a short commute. You can always escape on weekends, maybe even stash a bike in the country an hour or more away.

Lots of options, but it's going to be a big change from London, OH
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Old 12-16-2013, 05:28 AM   #6
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Count on all taxes going up and look at income tax IL vs OH. The train is the best way to get in from the distant burbs but then you are looking at 1hr+ express train ride. Commuting by car from Wisconsin will wear you out, but there is Metra. I would live in the land of Cheese-heads or become a Hoosier before I ever went back to Chicago.

Here is the train map:

http://metrarail.com/content/metra/e...ystem_map.html


FWIW, IMHO, big career opportunities come along very infrequently...
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Old 12-16-2013, 05:29 AM   #7
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Northfield seems nice, smaller town feel, and quite close to Evanston. Not sure what property opportunities exist, could be largely pricey, but less than Evanston.

If you find yourself near Northwestern, be sure to enjoy Rose's Wheat Free Bakery in Evanston on Central Street!

http://www.rosesbakery.com/home
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Old 12-16-2013, 05:09 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the replies everyone, at this point nothing is set in stone yet hell it's not even wet concrete at this point. Also we are well aware of the problems that can come with a commute, right now it's about a 45 min drive for me to get to work and she has about about a 30 min but up until a year or so ago she had about an hour and a half drive to work every day. On top of that right now and as long as I have been married to her I have worked 2nd shift but I have no job lined up in Chicago so who knows what I would be working up there. Right now I'm a full time aircraft in the Ohio air national guard but my patients with the military part is growing thin and I wont be heartbroken to move on to something else. I'm really not a people person though so the thought of living in the city really raises my anxiety levels, I really need my time to unwind and relax. I can appreciate the urban thing but I think that after a week or two of that lifestyle I would be exhausted. I'll keep you all updated on whats going on.
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Old 12-17-2013, 06:27 AM   #9
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My hat is off to you guyz that live in the big cities. I could never do it. I live in a small suburb of a medium size city. My job was a pleasant 15 drive or ride in the country away. In the last few years a mega mall was built and a dozen stop signs and lights were added. Then it took 18 min. My wife had a 40 minute commute into the city to work. Thats got to suck.
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:47 PM   #10
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this message self-destroyed...

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Old 12-19-2013, 04:07 AM   #11
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Old 12-19-2013, 04:26 AM   #12
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Tell your wife to not take the job. Cost of living here and taxes won't make the added pay worth it. Plus the people in Illinois are not very nice, plus the schools suck.
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Old 12-19-2013, 04:36 AM   #13
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Don't forget about the corrupt politicians.
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Old 12-19-2013, 05:53 AM   #14
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Don't forget about the corrupt politicians.
We like to see how the prison system runs from the inside! We are very detail oriented around here!
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Old 12-19-2013, 06:03 AM   #15
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I would also suggest to re-think the move. I've lived in the northwest suburbs my entire life and have wanted out for the last 20 years. Unfortunately I got married before figuring that out and am now stuck here. When I've been to Ohio I've been impressed by the country roads and the hilliness of the area. In northeast Illinois we have nothing like that. I seriously think Chicago is the worst area to live in the country. At least in a place like Detroit you have the rest of Michigan to have fun in. I bring that up because as cities go Chicago is not the worst out there, but the boring-ness of the rest of Illinois makes Chicago that much worse.

Illinois - 11 curves in 318 miles.
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