Buying Home - Familiar with These Towns?

Updated on October 10, 2009
L.Q. asks from Bartlett, IL
15 answers

Hi ladies,

I'm hoping you can provide some insight on the towns below, as some of them we are pretty unfamiliar with. We live in Bartlett and our target was Naperville, but I just don't think we can afford it... Must have a single family and would consider any of the following, provided the information we find on the towns meets our expectations. A community feel and school systems are our most important criteria... followed then by the house itself and things to do. Drive time for work will not be an issue for us.

Gilberts
Pingree Grove
Crystal Lake
Huntley
Geneva
Batavia

We are also considering Naperville, St. Charles and Bartlett, which would be prime locations, but both are still rather expensive. I really appreciate feedback, please tell me the bad and good! Thanks.

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So What Happened?

Thank you ladies for all your help! Please keep it coming! To be very honest, I am very picky about what town we end up in - I want the very best. Your insight helps greatly and I look forward to as many responses I can get so we are geared towards making the best decision...

BTW, our budget is so low I don't even feel comfortable sharing it. We will most certainly be looking at foreclosures or short sales. Hopefully we can find the right house in whichever town(s) we narrow this down to.

Featured Answers

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D.K.

answers from Chicago on

Hi L.,
I love Geneva! Great schools, nice people, hopping & huge downtown. Honestly it's a great place. I don't live in there, I am just East, but am there all the time. :) The other nice thing is that traffic is not as intense as other towns. Also, they do a lot of festivals & other fun things.

D.

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J.

answers from Chicago on

we live in green trails in lisle which is naperville schools and like it alot

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P.D.

answers from Chicago on

Hi,

We explored these same areas and ended up selecting far West Elgin. There are beautiful subdivisions west of Randall Road and 20 and the Burlington 301 school district is fantastic. This area is right on the border of South Elgin and nowhere near the questionable areas of downtown Elgin/Riverboat. We really love it!

P.

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S.T.

answers from Chicago on

Lindsey, Also consider Aurora. We live in the northern part-larger houses for the price, and we are also a part of the Naperville district. Our neighborhood is awesome-we're that borrow a stick of butter sort of group! The taxes are less than Naperville. Batavia and Geneva tax prices are climbing, and from what I understand from a friend that moved to Geneva, so are the housing prices in these areas. Batavia has great schools, like Naperville. I don't know about the other towns that you mentioned. However, I jut thought I throw up Aurora-which is also part of Fox Valley Park District-who has some really awesome facilities for the family!

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L.S.

answers from Chicago on

Hi there!
We also live in South Elgin and are in u-46... like the other post said, some schools in the district are questionable but our area goes to the newer schools. I also teach in the huntley school district which gets good reviews, but I personally would rather send my kids to St. Charles school district which is where we would also like to live or at least be in district for their school district... Places like Gilberts, Pingree Grove are in a smaller school district which were really dependent on the projected growth from a couple years ago... obviously most of the new housing has come to a halt and has severely affected class sizes, etc. In those kind of districts you face a little uncertainity with boundaries, taxes, etc. I have heard some good things about Burlington which is district 301, it has some new buildings... Hampshire has a new high school I believe, so you just have to ask when looking into houses what district they are in. Far west Elgin goes to 301 and has some nice new subdivisions and Elgin itself has some great benefits like shopping, a great library and rec center.

So I've rambled a lot! I guess being a teacher, the district is most important, and we have some time till it becomes an issue, but its something we're considering too!

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J.B.

answers from Chicago on

I would highly recommend Huntley. The school district is above and beyond any I have ever been too!! Love the country feel with the city so close. Everyone out here is so friendly and nice!! I hope you have a wonderful and exciting move best of luck t you and your family!!!

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S.K.

answers from Chicago on

Hey L.! It is S. (Maya's mom from the mom's group in Bartlett - not sure if you remember me or not.) Anyways, Batavia is an amazing town with great school districts. Before everything happened with the ex, we were targeting that area to live in for our next house. The housing can be very reasonable much cheaper than Bartlett and for some subdivisions (the slightly older ones) the yards are huge. My girlfriend lives on about 1/2 acre with a beautiful 4 bedroom house. It has a quaint downtown area as well and she always seems to be surrounded by great community things to do. If I could afford it I would have moved there with my little one. I am not sure about the rest but I wanted to put in a strong opinion for Batavia. Good luck.

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S.B.

answers from Chicago on

Hi L., I have to plug for Batavia and Geneva. My son attends Batavia schools and i think they are excellent. In fact we also were looking in Naperville before we moved to Batavia but found it pricey. We chose Batavia because of the schools. Also Batavia was voted one of the top 100 cities to live in with a family by CNN
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bplive/2009/top100/
Now for Geneva, every time I visit I wished I lived there although I don't have any first hand knowledge like i do on Batavia. Geneva is picture perfect. Good luck with what is a stressful but exciting time.

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C.P.

answers from Chicago on

Hi L.,
I live in Elgin (new area by 20 and randall), close to S. Elgin and I can tell you this area is good. I also know that Betavia, Geneva and Crystal Lake are good places. Crystal Lake has some not-so-good areas, drive around and check it out.
BTW - we were thinking about putting our house up for sale next summer... send me an email if you want to take a look at it. [email protected]____.com

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K.C.

answers from Chicago on

Hi L.,

Have you looked in Carol Stream? I have heard that the school district there is excellent! I live in South Elgin and love it, the area I am in is in the U-46 district, which can be questionable, but it also all depends on the particular school itself not just the district and the ones my daughter will attend are great schools. There are also parts of South Elgin that are St. Charles schools, which I have heard is a great district also. May I ask where you and/or your husband would be traveling to work? I ask becuase the other towns you listed are quite a ride from Naperville. Good luck in your search, I know how difficult it can be. We just bought a house about 2 months ago.

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M.T.

answers from Chicago on

Hi L.,

I am not sure what budget is but I do know homes in Naperville (Green Trails) are a bargain right now. I saw one this past week listed at $369.9k. Homes have been dropped $100k at least. A house next door to us listed for $100K then others in the neighborhood. Also do not rule out the Southwest section of Lisle (Green Trails). These residents go to Naperville schools.

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N.J.

answers from Chicago on

I lived in Geneva and loved it. My sister attended the high school and they provided her with an excellent program for her ADHD. It has a beautiful downtown and riverwalk. I loved living there. We eventually would like to move back because it really is a nice place to live. Batavia, Geneva, and St. Charles are all right next to each other. Geneva is in the middle. For a very long time Geneva was considered more prominent than St. Charles but since the latter has built up its unincorporated areas with large homes it has gained more prominence. In Geneva you are never more than a 10 minute drive to any of the amenities offered in St. Charles or Batavia. Geneva happens to be my favorite of the three. For the most part it is all nice upper middle class areas. If you need anymore info on either of those three towns or perhaps the Lisle/Naperville border let me know. Good luck in your home search.

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M.J.

answers from Chicago on

L. -

My husband, daughter and I live in Carpentersville (although not downtown Carpentersville rather off of Randall Road). We live in a new Pulte Development and I HIGHLY reccomend this area. You have everything you could ever want up and down Randall Road and are only a few minutes from I-90. Our neighborhood especially has so many kids! We have a community website where we all gather for neighborhood cook outs, parades etc. Pulte is still currently building houses in our area and I know there are also some homes that have been lived in prior up for sale. The prices start at the low $230's. We live in Winchester Glenn off of Randall and Huntley Road in Carpentersville. Gilberts is just right behind us. Good luck!

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T.R.

answers from Chicago on

L.
We've lived in Geneva for 8 years. But my dad grew up here, so I visited regularly before we moved here. We love it here. The schools are great and so are most neighborhoods. Many people feel that in town homes have a much more "neighborly" feel than Mill Creek or Eaglebrook golf course communities. Good luck with your search!

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N.H.

answers from Chicago on

I grew up in St. Charles and live in Geneva. LOVE Geneva! I love Geneva because it has a quaint down town. Lots to do down town walking around to shops, Island Park on the River, just a town that you can walk around and find alot to do. St. Charles and Batavia are not like that. You can walk around in areas but in Geneva the whole down town is connected with lots to do, if that makes sense.

You also have the bike paths, Fabyan Forest Preserve, lots of parks to play, nice restaurants, Swedish Days in the summer, lots of other festivals. I think all your shopping areas are nicely placed so you have some of what you need on both sides of town or close in neighboring towns.

St. Charles has been doing alot of building and I hate even driving through any more, lots of traffic. Geneva you are right close to Randall Rd that has everything. I like it because it is close but you don't have to live within the traffic.

Spend a day walking around the towns. Geneva, St. Charles, Batavia. I think you will notice the differences pretty quickly. Can't say enough about Geneva and I am very familiar with the tri-cites.

Good Luck!

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