An active forum...http://www.city-data.com/forum/chicago/
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=104 .......just a couple examples, many more available..
Some neighborhood information....http://neighborhoods.chicago.il.us/
A site to get neighborhood housing trends, crime statistics, school info and more. Information from county records...http://www.bhgrealestate.com/Views/Look/Default.aspx
Trulia Price map...http://www.trulia.com/home_prices/Illinois/Chicago-heat_map/
Use this site to get links to the Bank and Gov. property for sale sites.
Hope this helps, Dunes
Edgewater is your best bet. As a real estate professional I am prevented by law from commenting on an area's safety. But what I am able to comment on is the vivaciousness of this area and the easy manner in which it meets your basic criteria of being within a mile of the lake, close to transportation, matching your price orientation, and satisfying your desire to occupy for five or so years before upgrading.
I and my family (wife and two young sons) live in Edgewater. I have sold to a number of clients, all of whom share the same positive attitude regarding our shared neighborhood. The area to which I refer is essentially between Broadway to Clark, Devon south to Ridge.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me via my profile.
All the best.
The Real Estate Lounge Chicago with @properties
Accredited Buyers Representative
Luxury Home Marketing Specialist
The other nice thing about these areas is the appreciation. You're going to do much better here than if you come up further South, and you will have no problem getting 3 bedrooms and quality finish levels for under 300K.
Be patient, and work with a great agent and you can find a great place that will appreciate very nicely with no problem!
I'm happy to help in any way I can and want to remind you that you can search the MLS on my website which is included here.
I believe you need to research the area you would like to be in, by your lifestyle. Do you enjoy the theatre, nightlife, fine dining, and obviously you enjoy the lake by your post. Take a look at the neighborhoods your friends live in, and some friends you may work with. Chicago is an awesome city, and we offer terrific neighborhoods, you just need to find one that best fits you! If I can be of any help, please, feel free to contact me.
There are several areas that you would potentially enjoy living in...
I hope I understood you right that you are looking either for 2 bedrooms and a den or 3 bedrooms up to
305 K and you intend to stay for about 5 - 6 years, which is a good and perfect time frame, looking at the current economy and prices.
Are you a first time home buyer? You could be eligible for the 8000 $ tax credit? Need more info, e-mail me directly....
As far as areas go, there could be many..... Do you need to stay within city limits?
You may want to drive through some areas of the city and then make your decision where you would
prefer to be, you may also want to consider some of the near Northern suburbs, like the village of Evanston, Glenview, potentially Morton Grove and Skokie, as they have great train connections to the city and they are not too far from the lake Especially Evanston is very close!
I am assuming that you are thinking about a condo, or townhouse, correct?
I think there are a few more questions we need to discuss before I would be able to e-mail you directly to your e-mail address available properties...
A)do you need a garage one or two cars or not!
b) do you have pets (cats dogs)
c) do you want washer an dryer in the unit
d) what amount of monthly assessments are you comfortable with...
I think the very BEST way for you to approach your decision making process is for me to send you listings of various properties in various areas of the city, and the near Northern suburbs, I will pick those that I think will fit most your needs and liking as far as floor plan and upgrades is concerned and as you see the units, you see the taxes and other monthly assessments, and you can drive through the areas, we can then together determine which areas to put all our energy into to find the right property for YOU....
If this seems like a good plan to you, please e-mail me directly to EdithSellsHomes@gmail.com
so that I have your e-mail address (and phone, although I will not call unless you ask me to or we need to talk in order to negotiate contracts or confirm appointments) I mostly communicate with my clients via e-mail...
I am very helpful in not only educating my buyers very very well, but also to give them choices, so that once they see a property they like they will be very well informed buyers....
Hope to hear from you soon,
Edith Karoline YourRealtor4Life
Working always in the very BEST interest of her clients....
It sounds like you are having a good solid plan, and that is the first good step... you know your price range, you know what you need either 2 bedr. and a den or 3 bedrooms and staying for about 5 - 6 years is a truly good plan at this time, because you can enjoy it for that time period and then decide what and where to go from there.
I think there are many nice areas in the Lake View area - How well do you know the city?
I can suggest some other areas...
I would like to throw some other idea at you, if you like city living and you want to be close to the lake and close to train stations, walk to shopping, etc. Did you ever think and consider a place in Evanston, and I am talking central Evanston, Northern Evanston and the areas around central avenue.... This Northwestern town has a lot to offer and the lake is right there and transportation is not a problem.... and you have a lot of different choices quite a number of very nice vintage buildings 1 block or 2 from the lake front and parks....
But then there are other areas in the city that could work for you....
Feel free to e-mail me directly with your current e-mail address and I will e-mail you daily or every other day all that is available in various places in your size and price range.... That way you can study them, ask me for more details and we can look at them when you see something you like.
When buying a condo you also need to consider a lot of other details, monthly association fees, do you need parking or garage space, do you have pets (cats or dogs) etc. Feel free to contact me and I would love to assist you in your search.
Edith Karoline Jasser ABR YourRealtor4Life! and your Chicago and Northern Illinois Expert
firstname.lastname@example.org cell 847-609-3949 always leave a message...
I would love to hear from you to be able to assist you in your search.....
There should be an abundance of choices in your price range.
I would suggest the same neighborhoods suggested previously, and would further suggest you check out the neighborhoods by visiting some open houses. You may also find a good agent in the process.
If lots of space is important to you, you may want to start by looking further north (i.e. edgewater, roger's park) because you get more sq.ft for the dollar in those areas.
As far as investment value goes, it's very hard to say what the market will do in the next few years, and I would say it's largely dependent on the economy as a whole. Historically, the lakefront has done very well over the long term, and prices are very low right now. Combine this with very low interest rates and the economic stimulus plan which is on the horizon, and it may be the best time ever to buy a home. It's almost tax time, so when you meet with an accountant, you should ask what tax benefit owning would provide. These deductions translate into real dollars which are often overlooked as part of the financial picture.
What train are you referring to? What area do you work in? How old are you? Do you have a preference for a particular type of housing? Etc.
If you follow the suggestion in the previous comment and visit some of the places where your peers are offering advice you'd be asked for more specifics before they resonded.
Hard to believe that Realtors just jump in and fire away without knowing enough about you to make an intelligent suggestion.
While I'm dispensing advice, make sure you do things in the right order to maximize your position in terms of getting the best deal.
1) Talk to a trust worthy, knowledgeable lender first thing to run your credit and get hard figures that you know you qualify for
2) Have a Realtor send you listings that match
3) Go find what you want and get a great deal!