Rogers Park has seen a condo explosion over the past few years, much to the chagrin of Rogers Park natives. Developers came in and turned cool old buildings into condos, or simply tore them down to build new construction. The RP natives felt there was a little too much gentrification going on, and they are not all happy about all of the progress. Still, it is one of the few affordable lakefront areas of the city (east Rogers Park is lakefront), and has lots of cute little restaurants and coffee shops. Rogers Park is a great, diverse far north area of the city that still has room to grow.
However. Rogers Park was saturated with condos, and the current market has seen a little slowdown of new construction in the area as a result. I'm sure there are developers out there itching to get rid of inventory, and you may find you can get a pretty excellent deal as a result.
I know the foreclosures are a scary thing because of their effect on values, and though nobody can predict the future with certainty, you can conservatively anticipate further decline before an upswing. Therefore, no matter where or what you buy, buy with the idea to hold on to that property for at least 3 years, preferably 5.
Because life is unpredictable, one never knows if the "buy and hold" strategy will always pan out, so take advantage of some of the deals out there to cushion any further decline.
Good luck with everything!
It is my opinion that it is a good time to buy period. If you qualify for conventional financing and have a sufficient downpayment, you have the upperhand in terms of negotiating. As Patti mentioned, if you have at least a 3 to 5 year window in mind, I would consider Rogers Park. If you intend to live in your first home less than that time period, I may suggest areas where there are lower absorption rates.
Hope that helps!