How important is it that I buy in one of the good school districts (bell, etc)? If I buy in lincoln

Asked by Chris H, 60611 Wed Jun 18, 2008

square and my daughter goes to kindergarten 5 yrs from now, will I have to move?

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Tom McCarey, Agent, Chicago, IL
Wed Jun 18, 2008
BEST ANSWER
Chris,

It's always a bit ironic to hear non-city realtors discussing Chicago real estate. Because they aren't in the city it's understandable that they don't know that one of the lovely assets of Lincoln Square is the presence of the next great thing - the Coonley School - http://www.coonley.cps.k12.il.us/. Through the intercession of Rahn Emmanuel and Alderman Gene Schulter this school has received a massive influx of financing and the support of a savvy and involved population of parents and kids - http://friendsofcoonley.org/2007/09/what-is-friends-of-coonl… - to become a regional gifted school. Of course you have to be within the oddly shaped boundary of whatever school you wish to attend. Aside from residing within the boundaries of a school you have the option to test in to schools such as Decatur - but then you will be subject to the vicissitudes of the curve the year your child takes the test. Plus you will have to shlep your child to whatever school outside of your local neighborhood that you've been accepted to.

At the end of the day the choice, of course, will be yours. My wife and I, with two young children, are committed to remaining in the city. We will seek the best possible public school but hold private schools as an option. I have clients with children who I have represented in buying homes in River Forest, Oak Park, Hinsdale, and the North Shore. I also have clients in numerous Chicago neighborhoods with children in public schools as well as in private programs that include Parker, Latin, the British and French Schools, and denominational schools. With each, as with you, it will be a personal and financial decision.

With respect to your original question, if the home you are considering is within the Coonley district you are good to go with your Lincoln Square home. Outside of Coonley you will have to do more legwork for a public education but it is still doable. Baseline reality, though, is that living in the city with kids in school is a viable option.

Best of luck with your decision making and house hunting.

Tom McCarey
The Real Estate Lounge Chicago with @properties chicago
0 votes
Brandon Schu…, Agent, Western Springs, IL
Thu Jun 19, 2008
Chris,
Please don't pay attention to Boomer's threads here. I just looked at all 3 of his comments on other Trulia blogs and he was confrontational on each one of them. A notice was sent to Trulia because there's no way this guy is a Real Estate Agent. I'm guessing that this guy may have been in real estate at some point and coudn't make it.
2 votes
Scott Epstein, , Crystal Lake, IL
Wed Jun 18, 2008
First, at least I'm willing to show my name and be accountable for my posts. Second, Chris has obviously thought about suburbs since he compared the area to Evanston and Wilmette. Third, I'm sorry that I'm not perfect and wrote Lincoln Park instead of Lincoln Square, I'm aware of the difference.
1 vote
Scott Epstein, , Crystal Lake, IL
Wed Jun 18, 2008
That is a very good point by Evan and maybe that's something Chris is pondering which is why he asked the question? If education is a big priority (as you state) and you plan on being in this home for a long time I would only consider homes in the better school districts unless private school is an option. Have you also considered moving to a suburb just north of Chicago (i.e.Morton Grove, Lincolnwood, Skokie)?
1 vote
Brandon Schu…, Agent, Western Springs, IL
Wed Jun 18, 2008
I can tell you this. I believe schools are "huge" when making a decision to buy. When my wife and I got married I never thought about schools. As our 2 daughters got older we really wanted to be in a great high school district. We moved to North Riverside because of Riverside-Brookfield High School. Being a real estate consultant, I now see more and more people who request the RB High School District. I had one family tell me that they would be willing to buy the cheapest home on the market, just to get into the district. I truly feel it helps on the house values.
1 vote
Scott Epstein, , Crystal Lake, IL
Wed Jun 18, 2008
This sounds like a personal preference more than anything. If you're question is regarding property values, it's always a good idea to be in a better school district and this is true in Lincoln Park. Properties in the better school districts tend to hold their values better and tend to sell a little quicker for the most part.
1 vote
Chris H, Home Buyer, 60611
Wed Jun 18, 2008
Boomer, don't laugh, reread my post. : the schools i thought didn't stand out are the ones in Lincoln square. I knew bell was good.
0 votes
Evan, Home Buyer, 60614
Wed Jun 18, 2008
Off topic but, have you considered that instead of paying a premium for a home in a good school district and an extra 6% when you sell your old house and buy a new one to the agent , send your child to a private school?
Unless you happen to live in a neighborhood with an awesome public school, going private could be a good option.
0 votes
Chris H, Home Buyer, 60611
Wed Jun 18, 2008
I may have worded my question wrong. If the education of junior is a big priority, should I search for homes exclusively in the good elementary school districts (which seem to be bell, blaine, burley, lincoln and maybe courtenay). she's under a year old, so school is a ways off. I mentioned lincoln square b/c it seems like a nice family oriented neighborhood but the schools don't really stand out.
0 votes
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