In the rough area you mentioned, the rural feeling/country feeling/forest preserve feeling Village of Wayne may give you more than could have dreamed for.
The Barrington area has a similar feel and great reputation also.
Important to remember is that within one town there can be varying levels of appreciation. For example in Aurora or Naperville the school districts have a large influence on the rate of appreciation.
I like to recommend this informative forum to my clients to get the inside scoop on various communities directly from people who live there.
I hope this is a helpful for you.
Buying a home where you house your family, invite your friends and live your life is totally different from investing in a stock or buying gold, every person has a different opinion on what is a good value based on their own personal needs. What are your priorities long range, what are your "must haves" vs what would be negotiable are many of the questions that need to be addressed when you start your search.
A professional real estate broker can help you narrow down your choices based on your current needs, lifestyle choices and mortgage requirements. Feel free to contact me to start the process.