Didn't you post a very similar question a few months ago? If you stay in the suburbs and buy a home, then you are not going to do any better than Naperville. If you still have an open mind then you should consider the South Loop. It has all the pros your Belmont an Broadway condo had with fewer of the cons.
Nick Radakovich Home Sales Realty
Keep in mind that all of the suburbs are "family oriented". For that matter, when most people buy a Single Family Home, they are looking to live by other families. So I think you should consider buying a townhouse in Chicago in an attempt to get the best of both worlds. But I agree with some of the other posters here that Evanston may be a good choice for you. You can always take a quick train or cab to downtown Chicago if you are feeling like you need to get away from the suburban life. Let me know if I can help.
If you would like some help, just give me a call at 847-533-7115. I go all over Chicago suburbs so I can help in whichever 'burb you choose!
John Meyers, Meyers Realty
The Big question....Suburbs or Chicago? I live in the North Shore suburbs and my best friend lives in Chicago. We argue the attributes constantly.
First off, any suburb would suit you. If you like a nice downtown area or like a "walk to" area, I would recommend Glenview, Deerfield, Glencoe, Highland Park, Wilmette, Winnetka, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, and a few more. Every suburb on the North Shore offers good outdoor activities, biking paths, easy access to Lake Michigan activities, etc. Any Nightlife can be found near by (Highwood etc) and you can get to an area 5-20 mins driving. Do you take the train or drive to Chicago? Big difference. There are several train stations throughout the North Shore and NW suburbs. Some areas are strategically closer to commute from though. With the Spur that connects 41 and 294, makes NW direction pretty convenient.
Budget will really drive any discussion here. I often work with relocation clients and enjoy doing the suburban tour. the areas really do have differing personalities. I am confident you will find what you are looking for up here. You are not alone in the debate- that's why a lot of urban features are finding their way to the suburbs. Let me know if you would some help in your search.
Andersonville, West Loop, Lincoln Square, Wicker Park, Logan Square and others.
As per suburbs pick a few near ones that are along the Metra Lines or EL.
Evanston, Park Ridge, Elmhurst, La Grange
Should you need any help, feel free to contact me.
Some other good ideas are Elmhurst, Schaumburg, Oak Park, Naperville, Addison...
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Innovative Property Consultants Group | Sales and Leasing
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South Loop is good for dogs, larger building have more people to spread assessment across, if you work in Chicago and move to the suburbs, you are guaranteeing a commute and lots of traffic and you may have to park to get to work.