You'll need to go North or West of Highland Park to find decent homes in that price range. If you go West, you'll commute on smaller roads with traffic lights. If you go North to Gurnee, you'll find homes in your price range, good schools and you'll commute down the Tollway which, after the repairs are complete, should be quicker. Your taxes will be between 2 to 2.5% of your purchase price within two years anywhere in Lake County. If you find a home with lower taxes it's because it is assessed low. They will raise the assessed value to around what you paid for it within a year or two. Let me know if I can be of assistance in e-mailing homes in the area.