The Northshore may not be as untouchable as you think
The most common dilemma I hear from clients is finding a good school system for their kids at a price point they can afford. Just 5 years ago it was possible to find a single family home in the city, under $450K and in a decent school boundary. It would not have been a mansion, but it was doable. Today, that is very unlikely, thus more and more families are turning to the suburbs.
When thinking of the Northshore, people most often gravitate towards Evanston as being the most affordable. Many of our clients discount Wilmette and Highland Park without ever doing any research. Wilmette has a reputation of being expensive and unreachable, while Highland Park is the home of the Jordan Mansion and other multi-million dollar estates. Let me tell you about the more affordable parts of these two communities.
While East Wilmette is a place where you’ll easily have to drop $800K for a starter home, the same is by no means true of West Wilmette. The beauty of West Wilmette is that the elementary and Middle Schools have amazing performance scores that are as good as many of the East Wilmette Schools. Check out the performance of Romona and Avoca West from the Illinois school report card. West Wilmette also has its own shopping options, so you never feel far removed from everything. From its own grocery stores, to the proximity to Old Orchard and all that Glenview has to offer, it is convenient for all your errands. Even as a proud Evanston resident, if a client came to me with $450K to spend and wanted to choose between West Wilmette and West Evanston, I would have to say Wilmette all the way.
Most people tend to look at Highland Park on the map and instantly deem it “too far”. At a $450K Budget or under, your Northshore options, tend to be west and a drive away from the UP-N Metra line. If you factor in driving to the station, parking, then getting on the train in Wilmette or Evanston, you easily add 15 minutes and the cost of parking. Well, in Highland Park, you can find homes in that price point within walking distance of the train, restaurants and stores in the Ravinia and Braeside areas. The schools in these two communities are also two of the top schools in Highland Park. See their performance data at: Ravinia and Braeside.
At Urb & Burb, we believe that community matters most! Let us help you find the right community for your family’s lifestyle and goals. If you or someone you know is making the move within the Chicagoland Area, we would love to be a partner on this journey. To get started, take our questionnaire.