Real estate taxes are another consideration...Lake Forest has had a historically low tax rate compared to other North Shore communities. Evanston and towns up the shore through Glencoe are in Cook County, Highland Park and Lake Forest are in Lake County.
Proximity to your work is a big deal. Traffic in the Chicago area can be awful, and downtown parking is expensive. All of the North Shore communities are served by the Metra train, which is fast and efficient if you are going to downtown Chicago. Check out the Metra website for schedules, maps and fares. East-west options are less appealing and most involve sitting in your car.
Please feel free to give me a call if you have any other questions or would like to discuss anything...my cell number is 847-922-4119. I've been a broker for over 30 years in Chicago, and have lived for the past 15 years in Lake Forest with my husband and three children. Good luck!
Each community along the North Shore has a different look and feel. If you have children, you may want to check out the schools (they are all fairly top notch) to see if they have the types of programs or facilities that you want/need. Evanston, Wilmette and Glencoe have nicer beaches than Highland Park, while Highland Park is the home of Ravinia Music Festival.
Highland Park tends to have more homes available in every price range than Willmette and Glencoe. On the flip side, real estate taxes tend to be higher in Highland Park.
Other things to consider, depending on the age of your children, are things like day care, places of worship, before/after school care, park district facilities and programs, etc. There are links to all of the North Shore communities on my blog, and I also have a link to a web site that gives you test scores for the various schools. So you can get one-stop shopping for everything you want to know about the North Shore.
If you have any other questions about the North Shore, feel free to contact me directly: nancy@NancyKarp.com 847-226-5594
Iâ€™ve lived in Highland Park since 1991 and raised my family here. Highland Park offers outstanding schools, many great parks, terrific downtown Highland Park area with many one-of-a-kind shops/restaurants/art galleries, banks, excellent Aquapark, golf courses, Ravinia festival in summer (world renowned names from classical to jazz, rock, etc.). There are great public Lake Michigan beaches and even a dog beach (at Moraine Park). There is a wide range of properties in Highland Park for many income brackets from condominiums, townhomes, various styles of single family homes from ranches, split levels, traditional, contemporary to Victorian mansions and Frank Lloyd Wright masterpieces. This is a great place to live.