To put a different spin on it as well, my husband grew up in Brookfield and he said that Elm Grove was definitely the more secluded or sheltered community. So while, yes, there might be a certain gravitas to living there, he said that living right in Brookfield was actually extremely enjoyable. And it's just growing bigger every year. If you like some hustle and bustle in a city, but also some tranquility, Brookfield might be a good bet. The population swells during the day, but once all the visitors and commuters are gone, Brookfield gets much quieter and peaceful at night.
In the last 12 months
53005 had 221 sales between $106,000 and $679,000, averaging $253,000
53045 had 206 sales between $99,000 and $1,000,000, averaging $359,000
53122 had 78 sales between $100,000 and $625,000, averaging $313,000
53045 was less developed than 53122 and 53005 so there are more newer subdivisions with more expensive homes. If you like new and can afford more, it will be easier to find there. Many people from Wisconsin have relocated to Arizona. I could put you in touch with a couple, if you would like.
Elm Grove (53122), is a mostly non-business community. They have no major businesses to support their tax base, so property taxes there can run a little higher than Brookfield (53045 and 53005). Elm Grove has a little more of an "exclusive" air to it and some of the houses there reflect that. They run the gamut from modest homes built in the 50's to large mansions built in the last couple years. Most of the older homes have very unique architecture and unusual floor plans. Also, being more land-locked, Elm Grove homes generally will command a higher price-tag than the more expandable Brookfield area.
Brookfield also runs from much older houses to brand new models but the architecture and layouts tend to be more tradition with a few exceptions.
Overall, your kids would go into the same school system, you'd shop at the same stores and have the same commute regardless of with zip code you choose. About the only major infrastructure difference between Elm Grove and Brookfield is that Elm Grove is served by a community well while the vast majority of Brookfield is on a municiple water system with some exceptions of private wells.
I hope that helps.