Which is better for a family of four? Glen Ellyn, Wheaton, or St. Charles?

Asked by Jessica Luna, Charlotte, NC Sat Jan 5, 2008

Help! We really like all three suburbs, but which would be the best for raising our children? Commute is not a huge issue for us. My husband will work all over. What are your opionions of those suburbs?

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Joseph, Home Buyer, New York, NY
Sat Apr 2, 2016
I'm just putting this info out there for future reference.

As of 2016, Wheaton Warrenville (south side) arguably has the best academics of the three you mentioned. One way to quickly gauge a school's academics is to look at how they fared in state competitions. For ICTM, unless you're going private, you want your school to be in Division 4AA, and you want them to not have zeros on any of the subjects.

In 2015, Wheaton Warrenville South scored points in almost every category and placed 23rd in State, while the other schools in the areas you mentioned got pretty much zeros across the board. To be fair, though, none of the schools did very well.

Now people in the area will always have excuses, like "oh our smartest kids don't participate" and what not, but really... ask anyone in the state and no one will argue that the top schools on the list (Stevenson, Naperville schools, IMSA, New Trier, Evanston, and, recently, both Glenbrook schools) aren't better.

So if you have kids in AP tracks like someone asked about in the comments, keep these points in mind. This is for high school only by the way. But if your kid's about to go to middle school, you should look into a good school district because they start doing placement tests early in those areas. They won't admit it, but it's easier to get placed on advanced tracks as a student there rather than as a transfer.
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Dawn Stefek, Home Buyer, Washington, PA
Sat May 3, 2014
Naperville, ok every thing happens down town. In Illinois every th is a mile so 91st to 92nd is a mile if you are catching my drift. The Town runs from Naperville road to farther west than Route 59 and from Odgen Avenue to Oswego, Aurora and Plainfield Lisle and Boilingbrook. You might have a Naperville zip and spend a half an hour driving to the Library or school or rec Center. Unless you live downtown Naperville, huge overated bucks. BTB the old Lockformer Company and the Nike plant polluted the ground water during WWII. Think Nike park. There are major concerns about BP lyes the gas and oil giant. Wheaton and Naperville are on City of Chicago Lake Michigan water than heavens the water lines dont run out past 59 they say you are on City water . You are on city a large poluted city iron sulfur well water that is in danger of drying up. Wheaton did not have that industrial problem. Naperville has had this growth we are better than Wheaton image since the post Civil War when Wheaton raided the Naperville Court house in the middle of the night on horse back and moved the records to Wheaton. Wheaton has been the county seat for Dupage since then. I sure the raid was done for good reasons because the records were never moved back. Considering Wheaton estabilshed Wheaton Church home of Billy Graham I am sure men of God had their reasons. We were also a major stop on the underground railroad during the Civil War. smile
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This poster was selling her house on the south side of Wheaton (which she lauds below) when this was posted. Wheaton is nice, but this subterfuge is full of disinformation about the other communities. Houses lose 50% of their value? What tripe. As is the majority of this rot.
Flag Mon Aug 4, 2014
Dawn Stefek, Home Buyer, Washington, PA
Sat May 3, 2014
St Charles nice town but you will always be competing with new construction. Why spend 10k repainting and making it your own when you can buy a new house a mile down the road and have it your way Houses out that way are like new cars. They lose 50% of their value right off the lot. It is almost an hour on the train to Chicago and probably a 2 to 3 hour realistic drive commute into Chicago. I know I looked. School system underfunded huge heroin problem spill over from Aurora. Really bad country roads and City services. Yep I am a medical professional who worked out that way saw the fallout and preferred to live in Wheaton.
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Dawn Stefek, Home Buyer, Washington, PA
Sat May 3, 2014
By the way the North Side of Wheaton is in the Glen Ellyn School District and Park District and that side of town is on the low side of the Wisconsin Moraine a gravel dump hill from the third Ice Age.that runs from Canada to you guessed it Glen Ellyn. That side of town including Glen Ellyn constantly floods after heavy rains because the power lines are above ground and the old trees knock the power out. The last major storm the power was out for more than a week. Contrast that with the South Side of Wheaton in Danada where the infrastructure was built in the 1990s in stead of the 1920s. or earlier The cable and electric lines are buried and don't go out with every storm. You have 3 high speed internet providers and 5 TV providers viaing for your dollars. The crime rate is low. There are side walks everywhere. Not the case on the North Side. Look at Danada East. Life Long Resident
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Dawn Stefek, Home Buyer, Washington, PA
Sat May 3, 2014
Wheaton landed in Money top 10 communities. It is a fantastic community and if you need to get into the City the train ride is about 20 minutes. Great Churches, Colleges, and schools.Great History Great Services, County Seat, Small Town Feal. Check out Danada East your kids can walk to the pool 3 parks and the Community for indoor activities. The schools are great, the history is great. Many famous athletes, writers, musicians, and actors, and yes jockeys, think seabiscut hale from this town
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Kathy Quaid &…, Agent, Glen Ellyn, IL
Mon Dec 16, 2013
These three communities are fantastic. We currently have listings in all 3 towns and have to sold to our buyers in all three towns this year. The main difference is the distance to Chicago. All three have great schools, parks and thriving downtown shopping districts. Drive through each, get out and walk around. Visit the schools to get a feel for the administration. Sometimes your gut will help point to the town that is right for you.
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Josie Morris…, Agent, Lisle, IL
Sun Jan 16, 2011
I have lived in Wheaton for the past 20 yrs. We moved here from Southern California. We picked Wheaton because it was family based and the community had alot of activities and events for children & families. Another reason was it also had a branch of our church. Wheaton has many different type's of church's available. If your kids are into sports I would suggest looking at what all the different communites schools had to offer. Wheaton has won the state championship in Football and a couple other sports. The park district is amazing on all the different type of programs it offers both adults & children. For my husband & I, picking Wheaton to raise our 3 children has been one of the best decisions we have ever made.
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Where exactly in wheaton would you recommend. We are likely moving from long beach, ca and have a 10, 8 and 5 yr old all very active and in AP class tracks. Thanks.
Flag Wed Jun 24, 2015
, ,
Fri Jul 18, 2008
ll very nice suburbs. There is really no bad choice there.

Sean Cochran
Quality Mortgage Lending
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Sue Hedlund, Agent, WHEATON, IL
Wed Jun 4, 2008
I have a family of six children, I bought my first home in Glen Ellyn and had one child then. I found the community services to be lagging behind Wheaton at the time, the park district building is an unused school buidling, they just built a new library but it is located on a very busy street corner and next to the train tracks (safety for children walking or biking to the library). After 6 years, I moved to Wheaton and absolutely loved it! The schools are great in both towns, but the library and park district activities are by far superior to any of the surrounding towns. St. Charles is a pretty town, but the schools are not rated quite as high and the park district is not as advanced. Another town to consider is Naperville, which has been voted the most "Kid-Friendly" community, the schools and park district activities are outstanding!
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Greg Zaccagni, , Illinois
Sun Jun 1, 2008
In addition to an excellent park district that isn't over-crowded (you children are more likely to be admitted to the activities they register for), Wheaton's grade schools are among the top in the state. Check it out for yourself...

Web Reference:  http://www.GregZaccagni.com
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Dave Eisley, , Dupage County, IL
Sat May 31, 2008
In my opinion, all 3 are excellenet communities, along with Naperville. On the "best buy" front, currently Glen Ellyn has 12.5 months of inventory in 2008 versus 9.1 at this time last year, Wheaton has 8.8 months now vs. 7.1 months last year, St. Charles has months 14.5 now vs. 8.9 months last year, and Naperville has months 8.2 now vs. 5.6 months last year. 6 months of inventory would be considered "normal", so anything above that gives you more bargaining power (more supply). So, based on that, your biggest discount can probably be found in St. Charles, while homes are selling quicker in Naperville. You can find detailed neighborhood information (top menu) as well at http://www.weichert.com/buying/BuyersGuide.html
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Ekerry.com, , Wheaton-Glen Ellyn
Fri Mar 28, 2008
Geneva and St Charles have more crime, fewer college grads. Wheaton, Glen Ellyn and Naperville out perform these citys.
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Mary Bremer, Agent, WHEATON, IL
Tue Feb 5, 2008
Hello Jessica - I grew up here and have lived in both Glen Ellyn and Wheaton. I have worked a LOT in St. Charles.

It sounds to me that your children are number 1. You are right, all 3 communites offer so much,. Whichever you choose, you are safe. But, I think Wheaton is the best. Here's why.

It has the best schools of the 3. Both report cards and number and size of classrooms and student/teacher ratio etc.

It has awesome church community.

It has the best park district. It's huge and the children's programs are amazing. We have two nice pools, one with a water park.

It has one of the best libraries in the country.

If at any time you would like a detailed tour of any of these communities, or would like any community info, please feel free to let me know. Take care....and there is not a bad choice!

p.s. you do get more for your money in St. Charles. Glen Ellyn is the most expensive.
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Cathi Weaver, Agent, Chicago, IL
Thu Jan 10, 2008
Hi Jessica,

I agree with my colleagues, all of these are great choices! I am sure you will be able to find the perfect home in each community.

Here are some helpful links to help you become more educated on each:






This site is a very comprehensive site for school information


Feel free to contact me if you have any specific questions!

Web Reference:  http://www.cathiweaver.com
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Greg Zaccagni, , Illinois
Mon Jan 7, 2008
All three towns are great. All three have nice homes and communities to choose from. The schools are highly rated and the park district facilities & services are excellent.

I chose to raise my family in Wheaton. May I suggest you cheek out the community centers (pools etc..) affilited to the neighborhoods you are considering.


Greg Zaccagni
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Jennifer, , Aurora, Naperville & Plainfield
Mon Jan 7, 2008
I am with Sara on this one-that is a tough question! All of those areas are really great communities that are family focused. I also grew up in Wheaton but during those years I spent lots of time in all the communities. I also would throw Naperville in the mix as it is known as a family friendly town with a great 'city feel' in it's downtown. It has also been rated by Money as one of the best places to live in the past few years. There are a lot of charts/surveys about schools you can find on line too but I attached the Chicago Magazines report on high schools from Oct. of last year. I know you said the commute is not an issue but if there is a chance you will be going into the city a lot you may want to consider Wheaton/Glen Ellyn because of them being that little bit closer to the city. Best of luck to you-let me know if you need any assistance. 630.499.9020-Jennifer
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Sara Provost, , 60137
Sat Jan 5, 2008
That is tough! All three communities are wonderful. I'd even add a 4th one...Geneva. All of them have wonderful schools, park districts, downtown areas...all important to a family. I wouldn't hesitate to live in any of those towns. Each has its own benefits though. I currently live in Glen Ellyn, and love the characteristics of the village and the different home architecture. Glen Ellyn also has a small town feel and we love the proximity to the train as my husband commutes downtown. I grew up in Wheaton, and spend a lot of time there still. Again, good proximity to the train. Wheaton also has very strong religious communities. While St. Charles and Geneva aren't options for me personally right now because of their distance from downtown, I often wish I could live there because they share so many wonderful characteristics with Wheaton and Glen Ellyn, the advantage I find for Geneva & St. Charles is that you can get a lot more house for your money. So if commute isn't an issue for you, maybe that's a good bet. If you have any specific questions about any of the communities, feel free to contact me. As I mentioned, I grew up in Wheaton, now live in Glen Ellyn, my parents live in the Geneva/St. Charles area and I've sold homes in all the communities.
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