Looking for a suggestion on a neighborhood in Chicago to buy an affordable single family home.

Asked by Lincolnparker, Chicago, IL Mon May 26, 2008

Looking for a suggestion on where to look for an affordable single family home. Would like the neighborhood to have some retail already (restaraunts, shops, etc), be relatively safe, and would prefer to have some access to public transportation. Modest finishes and some fix up are ok but would prefer a small yard. I would prefer to stay in the 300-500,000 range. I am a 30 something professional that would like to move on from my Lincoln Park Condo. I've thought about Albany Park but would like some imput on safety and perceived chance for growth, has the "affordability" boat already sailed in this neighborhood?

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Christina Mo…, Agent, Saint Petersburg, FL
Sun Jun 1, 2008
I agree that Skokie and Oak Park are very nice areas with CTA rail, and you can get some bargains right now in those particular markets.

I strongly suggest though you first research each location and annual real estate taxes.

I still suggest Brookfield. It is gowing, so take advantage of the reasonable prices and low taxes - so close to the city!
2 votes
John Diebel, , Chicago, IL
Tue Jun 3, 2008
I agree with Brian's opinion that Jefferson Park, Norwood Park, and Edison Park are your best options. Park Ridge (the first northwest suburb out of the city limits) is probably out of the picture, however, if you want to be close to transportation. The homes close to the train station are usually quite expensive.
1 vote
Christina Mo…, Agent, Saint Petersburg, FL
Thu May 29, 2008
May I ask Why Chicago?

Jefferson Park 1st Choice...
Elmwood Park & North Oak Park (Grand & Harlem) Near Metra

But I would suggest Brookfield, Illinois lower taxes, great area, 20 minutes to Loop....
1 vote
Amy Duong Kim, Agent, Hinsdale, IL
Thu Jun 12, 2008
Hi Lincolnparker,

I've lived in Albany Park for 4 years and now live in Edgewater in 5 years. Both neighborhoods and it's surrounding area have changed drastically. I like Uptown, Rogers Park, Portgage Park, Jefferson Park. I think those all great neighborhoods. Location should be something you should consider as well. Would you like to be close to the lake? Close to the highway? Convenient to areas you enjoy?

You can email or call me directly if you would like to talk about this further. Would love to help.

Here are some reviews of me:


Web Reference:  http://www.aaagroupinc.com
0 votes
Wayne Beals, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Jun 10, 2008
Edgewater and Rogers Park are neighborhoods that I would recommend. Both are near the lake and have multiple public transit options. I just sold a property in Rogers park, a large SF home on an oversized lot, in your price range. Restaurants and retail are now populating these neighborhoods, and they are proximal to Andersonville and Ravenswood. Alternatively, you could look in Hyde Park, but you budget may not get you as much there in single family. It couple purchase a nice townhome or very large condo. The neighborhoods previously mentioned are very nice, these are lakeside options.
0 votes
Julie, , NW Chicago
Wed Jun 4, 2008
We have lived in North Mayfair for 6 years and the retail/restaurants situation is growing. Just had a delicious dinner from a new Thai restaurant we can walk to. A few others have opened on Lawrence as well. I walk to the Jewel, just about a mile, and bike the kids to preschool. Blue line is not a bad walk, but if a bus comes down Lawrence, I jump on. The brown line is a bus ride, but you arrive at the Kimball stop (first in the line), so you will always get a seat. It is also very close to the Kennedy and Edens.

The neighborhood is mainly bungalows, and some 2-flats, a lot of families, generally pretty quiet. The lots are small, especially if you have a garage, but you can mow the front and the back in less than 20 minutes. If you need more outdoors area, Gompers Park is big, it flows into LaBaugh woods, and it is very close to forest preserves (a short drive to Caldwell woods where the North Branch Trail bike path start and goes all the way up to the Chicago Botanical Gardens).
0 votes
Sjl, Home Buyer,
Wed Jun 4, 2008
Hi, I saw someone mentioned Mayfair. This neighborhood is a gem. I also happen to have a bungalow (rehabbed) for sale. Gorgeous kitchen, upstairs master with sky lights, huge deck, office, workout area, a lot of house, roof just replaced 1 month ago. MLS# 06884613. Open House on Sunday June 8 1-3 pm. Check it out!
0 votes
Brian Nygard, Agent, Des Plaines, IL
Mon Jun 2, 2008
Norwood park, Edison Park, Jefferson Park and not as affordable but very nice Park Ridge are my personal top choices
0 votes
Stephanie Po…, Agent, Chicago, IL
Thu May 29, 2008
I would strongly recommend Oak Park as opposed to Albany Park. I know it is not in the city proper, but it is so close and such a great value comparatively. If you work downtown, your commute is likely to be shorter from Oak Park than from a city neighborhood like Albany Park. I find the Albany Park location inconvenient for most people in terms of travel times, whether they are going downtown or to the suburbs. As a 30 something, professional female myself, I would say safety would be a major concern of mine in Albany Park, although risk varies by location in particular. I know it is becoming more popular, but I wouldn't bank on any serious apprecation there anytime soon. However, there is a lot of inventory, and if you targeted the Mayfair area, which is close by, you might find something you like.
On the other hand, Oak Park has a very low crime rate, and very nice downtown with shopping, restaraunts, the metra and the el. I just sold an adorable bungalow in a good location there for $385k to a sophisticated couple moving from a prime location in Wicker Park. Another bonus, thinking long term, the public schools are good. It would be my first choice, personally.
0 votes
Lincolnparker, Both Buyer And Seller, Chicago, IL
Thu May 29, 2008
Thanks for the suggestions. Since its just me a smaller brick bungalow is fine. I would rather have a more gentrified neighborhood and/or an area with with an oversized lot than a bigger house. Anything over a 3bed/2bath is really getting to be more than I want to handle. Coming from Lincoln Park that will already seem big.
0 votes
Ed Martinez, Agent, Chicago, IL
Thu May 29, 2008
Have you consider Old Irving Park area. I have a house that might be of interest to you. Just click on the link to view a virtual tour of this property. It is close to two metra lines. blue line, CTA, shopping center, restaurants, Starbucks, new Magnet school opening this fall.
0 votes
Jeffrey Kropp, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue May 27, 2008
Hi, Jefferson Park and Portage Park are good bets. If you go below $400,000 most of the housing stock are small bungalows with a dormered upstairs (sometimes lacking central air and a bathroom). Once you start looking above $400,000 you find some homes with finished basements, bigger kitchens, and two full stories. A recent client bought a four bedroom, two bathroom home in Jefferson Park with central air, a formal dining room, finished basement, and two car garage for $419,000. The area is close to the Blue Line and the highway and also popular with police officers and firefighters who must live within the city limits so that makes it a safe area generally.
Web Reference:  http://www.1sthomegroup.com
0 votes
Theo Shaw, Agent, Evanston, IL
Mon May 26, 2008
I would like to recommend you also consider some of the near suburbs, such as Evanston and Skokie. Skokie has a lot of bargains these days. You could certainly find an updated 3 bedroom ranch for well under $400K.
0 votes
E, , Chicago, IL
Mon May 26, 2008
I live in Jefferson Park and the homes are certainly in your price range, but also a wide range of condition. A 3 bed/2.5 bath that looked completely gutted/renovated 2 blocks away just sold for $412k. New construction seems to be in the 600k range. Restaurants/shopsthings to walk to are more iffy, but transportation abounds (Blue line, 2 metra lines and 90/94) and safe, neighborhood feel.
0 votes
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