Chicago area people I need some advice

Discussion in 'Central – From Da Nort Woods to the Plane States' started by buelligan, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. buelligan

    buelligan Keeper of the cheese

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    So long story long, my wife may have a nice career opportunity coming up with Northwestern University in Evanston IL. We currently live in London OH which is just west of Columbus OH so obviously we would be relocating to the Chicago area. Now my parents lived in Des Plains IL when I was born but since I'm about to turn 40 and we moved out of IL when I was a little more than 1 year old when my dad was laid off from the airlines I dont remember anything about Chicago. Now keep in mind that I am NOT a city guy and would much rather live either in the country (I know that is out of the question in the Chicago area) or in a small town type environment where you dont live on top of each other. What areas should we avoid and what area would be good for a middle class income family with a 4 year old boy? My wife told me last night that she would be willing to make the commute from the southern part of Wisconsin if it would make me happier and if it wold help with lower taxes. But she would like to keep her commute to "around" an hour or so.

    Also what kind of riding is there around that area, closest I've been is Oshkosh WI and I did find some nice peaceful areas but not much technical riding.

    Anyways thanks for any advice you have for me. :D
    #1
  2. reveille

    reveille Displaced Adventurer

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    Most definitely look at Wisconsin without a doubt. Illinois is a sinking ship of taxes and union pensions.:deal Your kids will thank you when they grow up. Good luck with the move:D
    #2
  3. Dualshowman

    Dualshowman n00b

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    I would do everything I could to avoid Cook County. Traffic everywhere, so get over that right away. Your best bet is northwest of Chicago, but YMMV. Good luck!
    #3
  4. tedmarshall

    tedmarshall Been here awhile

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    Pick the best public schools you can afford (by looking at property taxes). All the rest will fall into place.

    As far as riding? Everything woth a darn is illegal. :evil

    Ted
    #4
  5. kfsinc

    kfsinc Chaingolian Observer

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    Evanston is a very cool town -- close to the city and a great university feel about it. The lakefront is outstanding and very usable in the summer. That said, it's way expensive unless you're willing to take on a rehab and live in a less desirable part of town :eek1

    You might be able to swing one of the neighborhoods in Chicago on the near north side -- Lakeview, Saugenaush, Roger's Park. All nice neighborhoods, but can be very expensive -- pay attention to the schools as Ted mentioned. Living IN the city can be a great experience for you and your kids. Depending on her (and your) career plans you might want to rent -- figure $2-3K per month for 2+ bedrooms with a garage. (Make sure you get a garage, not everyplace has one). Wilmette, Winetka, Skokie, Glenview; All nice towns, but can easily be seven figure expensive.

    I know it's heresy to say here, but consider giving up the bike (maybe even the car) for a few years and embracing the urban lifestyle. Plenty of young families doing the same thing. Riding a scooter or small motard in the city is as much of a rush as riding a hare scramble in the desert :lol3 Bicycle is also a good way to get your adrenaline fix.

    From a commute POV, it's a PIA to get to from Wisconsin and 'the country' into Evanston. If she's up for the daily adventure, living in Wisconsin and taking the train into Evanston might work. Check with the school as I'm pretty sure they have bus service from the train station to the U.

    I strongly suggest AGAINST saddling her with a one hour commute each way -- it's a real PIA and severely messes up the home life. On days when it snows, that one hour can easily turn into two or more.

    Where is your work?? Again, avoid the long commute in favor of a short commute. You can always escape on weekends, maybe even stash a bike in the country an hour or more away.

    Lots of options, but it's going to be a big change from London, OH
    #5
  6. nevermind

    nevermind Slower, then Molasses

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    Count on all taxes going up and look at income tax IL vs OH. The train is the best way to get in from the distant burbs but then you are looking at 1hr+ express train ride. Commuting by car from Wisconsin will wear you out, but there is Metra. I would live in the land of Cheese-heads or become a Hoosier before I ever went back to Chicago.

    Here is the train map:

    http://metrarail.com/content/metra/en/home/maps_schedules/metra_system_map.html


    FWIW, IMHO, big career opportunities come along very infrequently...
    #6
  7. NoVa Rider

    NoVa Rider Long timer

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    Northfield seems nice, smaller town feel, and quite close to Evanston. Not sure what property opportunities exist, could be largely pricey, but less than Evanston. :brow

    If you find yourself near Northwestern, be sure to enjoy Rose's Wheat Free Bakery in Evanston on Central Street! :clap

    http://www.rosesbakery.com/home
    #7
  8. buelligan

    buelligan Keeper of the cheese

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    Thanks for all the replies everyone, at this point nothing is set in stone yet hell it's not even wet concrete at this point. Also we are well aware of the problems that can come with a commute, right now it's about a 45 min drive for me to get to work and she has about about a 30 min but up until a year or so ago she had about an hour and a half drive to work every day. On top of that right now and as long as I have been married to her I have worked 2nd shift but I have no job lined up in Chicago so who knows what I would be working up there. Right now I'm a full time aircraft in the Ohio air national guard but my patients with the military part is growing thin and I wont be heartbroken to move on to something else. I'm really not a people person though so the thought of living in the city really raises my anxiety levels, I really need my time to unwind and relax. I can appreciate the urban thing but I think that after a week or two of that lifestyle I would be exhausted. I'll keep you all updated on whats going on.
    #8
  9. exoff-roadgoat

    exoff-roadgoat Will ride for food

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    My hat is off to you guyz that live in the big cities. I could never do it. I live in a small suburb of a medium size city. My job was a pleasant 15 drive or ride in the country away. In the last few years a mega mall was built and a dozen stop signs and lights were added. Then it took 18 min. My wife had a 40 minute commute into the city to work. Thats got to suck.
    #9
  10. Cannabinoid

    Cannabinoid Banned

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    this message self-destroyed...
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  11. Skinner

    Skinner Mr.KTM

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    Pm sent
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  12. Smudge!

    Smudge! Been here awhile

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    Tell your wife to not take the job. Cost of living here and taxes won't make the added pay worth it. Plus the people in Illinois are not very nice, plus the schools suck.
    #12
  13. 2whlrcr

    2whlrcr gooligan

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    Don't forget about the corrupt politicians.
    #13
  14. Skinner

    Skinner Mr.KTM

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    We like to see how the prison system runs from the inside! We are very detail oriented around here!
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  15. Keithert

    Keithert Long timer

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    I would also suggest to re-think the move. I've lived in the northwest suburbs my entire life and have wanted out for the last 20 years. Unfortunately I got married before figuring that out and am now stuck here. When I've been to Ohio I've been impressed by the country roads and the hilliness of the area. In northeast Illinois we have nothing like that. I seriously think Chicago is the worst area to live in the country. At least in a place like Detroit you have the rest of Michigan to have fun in. I bring that up because as cities go Chicago is not the worst out there, but the boring-ness of the rest of Illinois makes Chicago that much worse.

    Illinois - 11 curves in 318 miles.
    #15
  16. exoff-roadgoat

    exoff-roadgoat Will ride for food

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    Wow, alot of hate here. Enough to make me think twice. Luckly I don't even have to think once. I agree though about the riding in Ohio and Mich. Unfortunately for me its only for six decent months. :vardy
    #16
  17. buelligan

    buelligan Keeper of the cheese

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    Yeah I can definitely say I'm not real exited about the move and I'm secretly hoping that something doesnt fall in place so we don't make the move. It's not that I dont want my wife to get a good job like this but I really like living in Ohio, I like that I have only about an hour drive to the National Museum of the United States Air Force, I like that I have cities close by for all the conveniences that they offer BUT I've also got desolate country roads if thats what I want. I've got the lake to the north and awesome twistys to the southeast, I've got two great amusement parks and enough car shows to keep a guy busy all summer. Ah well like I said she hasnt even interviewed yet and I've asked her to inquire as to why a School with a MAJOR metropolitan area close by has failed to find someone to fill this position and decided to contact someone that lives two states away. I'm more naturally skeptical than my wife but the whole thing just seems weird to me.
    #17
  18. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

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    After having lived in the northeastern US, this statement couldn't be further from the truth. You may not think it's very good but there are worse places, much worse.
    #18
  19. nevermind

    nevermind Slower, then Molasses

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    Just wanted to reiterate - good jobs - career moves - are not available like they used to be. NW is a solid place to land. Picking a home base in southern Wisconsin is not too bad and it can have a very country feel to it. Change is tough, good luck!!!
    #19
  20. buelligan

    buelligan Keeper of the cheese

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    I would say that careers are not available like they used to be. How many people nowadays stick with one career their whole life in hopes of retiring comfortably? I dont think it's anywhere near as common as it used to be. Also and as I've tried to tell my wife what good is a life where you are miserable for all of your viable years with a goal of retiring in order to enjoy your life when your too old to enjoy anything? :norton
    #20