James, Home Buyer in Buffalo Grove, IL

there are 26 homes for sale in the Port Barrington riverwalk subdivision alone.

Asked by James, Buffalo Grove, IL Fri Apr 25, 2008

I am thinking about purchasing a home in the area, but this extremely high number of homes for sale in a small area concerns me. is there any reason for this?

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It is truly nature at its best. Close to the river, miles of trails leading to the Fox River Preserve and Marina. If you have a boat, Port Barrington residents can launch for free. The Port Barrington Rec Committee is so family driven, hosting many events free of charge for residents, including a Splash N Play, Concerts in the Park, Easter Egg Hunt, Christmas Contest, etc. As for the homes in Riverwalk, homeowners take pride in their homes and exteriors and the builder, Lakeland Homes, is a quality, semi-custom builder. You can purchase in Riverwalk for several hundred thousands less than Barrington, still have a good, family community and good schools as well. There is no "perfect" place to live, but this is a best kept secret. Check it out.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 24, 2008
I found this post by accident and feel compelled to reply since much of the information is inaccurate. As with all open forums and internet blogs, readers should remember to use multiple sources since posters can write anything they want and hide behind a veil of internet secrecy. -----

"Jackie" (which I’m sure is the alias of a bitter and angry person) had more spelling errors than factual evidence. A few years at the schools she criticizes would serve her well. -----

We moved here because we liked the natural, water-based setting; and after getting to know the community, we have nothing but great things to say about this town. We live in River Walk and love the community. I have not seen any vandalism and there is no pending cell tower. Our HOA dues are $150 for three months. We paid that monthly when we lived in Naperville. Our HOA budget is public and Jackie’s comments about where the money is allocated are far from accurate. ----

The builder, Lakeland, had 12 or 13 models, so the subdivision isn’t cookie cutter like you normally see. Our home is very close to “custom” based on our needs. I’ve seen the prices of the 20 homes for sale here and if you can get a loan, you probably won’t find a better value. In addition, that number includes brand new spec homes that were just completed in the last phase this year (2008). – If you are looking for a home in the NW burbs, then I would suggest that you take a Saturday and visit Port Barrington.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 26, 2008
Regarding the well siutation, I tried to pry answers out of the Port Barrington council President and was five oblique, curt, and distrating answers when I asked what research they had reviewed to approve the gas station discussed earlier in the year. I would never move to Port Barrington based on the answers I got from the Council President
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 8, 2008
Regarding the well siutation, I tried to pry answers out of the Port Barrington council President and was five oblique, curt, and distrating answers when I asked what research they had reviewed to approve the gas station discussed earlier in the year. I would never move to Port Barrington based on the answers I got from the Council President
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 8, 2008
The fact that kids do not go to Barrington schools is the biggest reason none of my buyer clients have ever bought a home in Port Barrington. Previously called Fox River Valley Shores, I feel they should not have changed the name. For more information on all the individual Barrington areas visit my web site. And if you decide to buy in Barrington I have lived here for 12 years now and know all areas relatively well.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 30, 2008
As an original and current resident in Riverwalk, let me set the record straight.
There was an issue earlier this past fall with a few wells having trace amounts of herbicide. It was an isolated incident, with only a few wells having issues out of a total of 260 homes. Even though I live a few areas over, my well was tested and found to be fine. No issue.
As for taxes, parts of riverwalk, mine, are in Mchenry county, where the real estate taxes are some of the lowest . Assessments have been fair and reasonable. Our schools are Wauconda district 118, go to greatschools.com, they rate 9's and 10's. I don't think 2 small towns island lake and wauconda are so many areas. The schools are not overcrowded by far and they are wonderful schools.
Let me clarify the HOA, it is $600/yr and it covers the nice water /stream / pond system we have in Riverwalk. It is a very unique system that appeals to many people and gives a different look to the neighborhood as opposed to fences or wide open yards butting up against each other. We live in phase 1 and 2 and we have maybe 1 empty house in our section and it is well taken care of and there is no vandalism. And believe me, we are a close knit group and there is NO vandalization occurring. There is no crime to speak of.
As for parks, there is one right at the end of Willow , back part of Riverwalk Phase1 and 2, that has a football field, baseball diamond and kids play area...very nice indeed for kite flying, and a host of other activities within a quick stroll.
Yes, there is commercial development under review by the planning commission and it may include a gas station on the corner for darrell and roberts, but that is a good thing! With the EPA rules as tight as they are these days, you cant fill your lawnmower with gas without fear of spliing and getting in trouble..the EPA is not going to let anything harmful or dangerous into this area. It will bring extra tax revenue to the village as well.

The builder, Lakeland homes, did an outstanding job on these homes, quality is high, floorplans are open and practical, lot sizes are generous and infrastructure supports expansion.

As for why are there are so many homes for sale, 21 out of 260, thats not even 10% and many folks are original owners in phases 1 and 2. After 10 years they might be wanting to take some gains from the increase in property values and move on. Pretty typical in any area and I challenge anyone to show me an area with less than 10% turnover.
Overall, its great neighborhood, excellent community and a great place to live and raise a family.

I encourage anyone interested in homes in this area to stop and knock on a few doors in phase 1 and 2 that would be the section of riverwalk, garrison and manchester and ask "what do you think about living here" My feeling is that someone has had a bad experience with Riverwalk and holds a grudge. Trust me in this area Riverwalk and port barrington is one of the most desireable places to live. We have no SSA taxes or other issues. Come see for yourself!!!!!!!!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat May 3, 2008
I would like to provide an update on several topics discussed on this thread. First, as with any blog or internet posting, please double check any info with other sources, much of this is already in the public domain per the Freedom of Information Act.
Recently, the investor planning to build a combo gas station / convenience store on the corner of roberts and darrell has abandoned his plan. He has removed his lobbying and basically given up completely. This means the the corner will remain empty for some years to come, given the current economic climate. This removes the fear of gas spills, bright lights at nite and so on. In addition, no cell phone tower will be built here, the new tower just completed on Roberts near the Broken inn provides all the coverage needed.
Finally, progress is being made on the water situation. While all the results arent in yet, early indications are optimistic. Stay tuned for more updates and follow Jackie's recommendation in the post below...come out on a Saturday and check out the neighborhood.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 2, 2008
In response to the most recent comment--you are right to be concerned. It is sad to say, but the town doesn't care about anything except the meager dollars the gas station etc. will bring in. The residents' concerns are far down on the list, if on there at all. In this terrible housing market you would think a town or group would try anything to boost their image and sales. They are not in Barrington school district, but parts of Lake Barrington and Barrington are not either. Parts of those 2 towns are in Wauconda and Fremd--and those house values are lower than houses in Barrington school distrct also. So with having such a negative school district already against them you would think they would do what they could to boost their image. It doesn't help that the entryway to Riverwalk subdivision is a shut down and dried up broken rill system that is now filling in with weeds etc. They do not belong to the Barrington Area Council of Government or the Barrington Chamber of Commerce. They do not participate in any Barrington area activities in the "real" Barringtons. The name change means nothing as many people know what the town is like and where the town is. One hallmark of the "real" Barringtons is protection of the enviroment and concern for the quality of life of its residents. PB has also been silent on the CN railroad takeover from EJ&E railroad. Sad to see another prospective resident leave, but not surprised at all. It is the town governement that does not want to change and improve life here. Check out concernedcitizensforportbarrington.com for more info. The twon does not stay current on their website in regards to meeting minutes etc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 11, 2008
The problem with the wells is ongoing. The school district covers Wauconda, Island Lake, Port Barrington (except for the few million dollar + homes in the Barrington school district), Volo, Lakemoor and parts of Lake Barrington. When Riverside of Barrington is complete they will also be in Distrcit 118. The ponds and rills are currently off because they are not working --again. That is where most of the HOA dues goes. The park in Riverwalk was supposed to contain football, baseball, and soccer fields. Currently it is only being used by 2 organizations for some football and baseball. No soccer fields exist. There aren't even swings there. Check with the village and ask about the empty homes being broken into. Maybe they don't know about the ones that have broken window glass on the ground and windows boarded up and doors ruined from someone trying to bust them open. As many realtors would like to initially lead you to believe---you are not in Barrington school district, Barrington park district or Barrington library district. Again, that is only for a few select homes in another part of the village connected to Lake Barrington .
Check the HOA, village and county websites for further information and concernedcitizensforportbarrington.com.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 3, 2008
There are alot of houses for sale in this subdivision because of so many problems. There are pending lawsuits with the builder, an issue of confirmed groundwater/well water contamination in Riverwalk, issue of a cell tower going up in Riverwalk, and the HUGE issue of the commercial development at Roberts and Rawson Bridge Roads that will bring a car wash, convenience store (with liquor sales), and a GAS STATION there!! This project backs up to the houses themselves and the wells are already contaminated with the chemicals that are put in the ponds and rills. Look at the village website, McHenry and Lake County Health Dept. sites and HOA website, and concernedcitizensforportbarrington.com website. The HOA dues is sky high, about $700/year and going higher cause of all the empty nonpaying houses. The houses are vacant and being vandalized and are unkempt. The values are dropping fast. There is no park district that residents are a part of and the school district is bleeding the taxpayers. The taxes are outrageous for the services rendered. The school system is way to big and covers too many towns and they are going to ask for another tax hike in 2010. Better think twice about buying there.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 2, 2008
This does seem like an extremely high number of homes. I having shown homes and having sold a couple in this subdivision. My opinion is that this area is a nice starter home community. It is an affordable way to get into the "Barrington" area of homes. I think given this fact, and the fact that most people live in their homes an average of 5 to 7 years, it make sense that homeowners may have outgrown their homes. Of course there are many other reasons that could account for the high number of homes on the market, estate sales, divorce, job transfers, illness, loss of job etc. This, coupled with long market times of today's real estate market, may put you in an advantageous position.
Web Reference: http://www.VassiSaviano.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 27, 2008
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