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XP from Bump: New to Chicagoland- recs needed for suburbs

My H will be working near UIC. I am going to become a temporary SAHM since I have an almost 2 year old and a new one on the way in March! We are looking for affordable single family homes to rent for about $2000/mo. We are having a hard time compromising on what would be a reasonable commute for my H and what would be a family friendly/affordable area. (Traffic is/has been a bear for us, since we come from DC and we don't expect any better here!)

Suggestions we have gotten from friends/family: Oak Park, Elmhurst, Lombard, Hinsdale, Western Springs, Lagrange, Lagrange Park. Today we went driving around the neighborhoods to get a feel for them and I am a little overwhelmed. We come from a condo and a very urban lifestyle and feel ready to make the jump to the burbs, but they started to blend together to me.

Any input/things to consider is welcome. Thanks for your thoughts!
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Re: XP from Bump: New to Chicagoland- recs needed for suburbs

  • DH and I live in Homewood. I am from the NW burbs so it was quite the change for me, but I actually LOVE it here! Our train is right down the street (walking distance) and drops off right in front of UIC. 

    Out of your other areas, I love Elmhurst, Western Springs, and Oak Park. But they are pretty far for your DH. HTH! 

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  • Elmhurst, Lombard, and Hinsdale are all right next to each other and great places. I work as a nanny in Elmhurst and I love it because there is plenty to do. Elmhurst varies greatly in the house range because there are some very small old homes and very large expensive homes. We rent in Hoffman Estates which is NW but haven't seen much for rent in that area.
  • My husband and I reside in Evanston and I commute to work downtown chicago. We have easy access to the "L", Metra, highways and Lakeshore Drive. I also attended UIC for grad school and took the "L" from home.
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  • One of the best things about Chicago is the Metra (commuter rail) system. Even if you want to live in a close suburb, I would recommend that your H NEVER drives to work. Driving downtown is a nightmare, and a big waste of time. Even if you live further out, have him hop on the Metra and commuting will be relatively convenient.

    If you're okay with a forty minute train ride, Naperville is probably the most family-friendly suburban community, and it was rated best place to live numerous times.

    If you want to live closer and have a shorter ride, the towns other have already suggested are great! Oak Park is really nice because it still has a city feel and is super close. If you have the budget, River Forest is also beautiful and very close. Those two towns have El trains near them, so you wouldn't have to take the Metra, you could just take the El (Chicago's version of the subway) to UIC.

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  • mmur76mmur76
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    Oak Park is great area to raise a family and would be a super close commute for your husband to UIC.
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