If you’re thinking about looking for a bigger place outside of downtown, look no further. Chicago’s suburbs have an undeniable vitality, all while still being accessible to the city. We’ve already covered the Northern Suburbs, but what about their Western counterparts? Today, our resident expert Dave Adams breaks down your guide to Chicago’s Western suburbs.
Why are residents so drawn to the Western Suburbs? What defines them compared to other larger Chicagoland neighborhoods?
The schools are amazing and a huge draw for city dwellers who decide to move West. There are fantastic school opportunities in a number of areas throughout the villages. Accessibility to the city via multiple expressways and public transportation (both Metra and CTA) is convenient, easy and affordable. Travelers love the proximity to both O’Hare and Midway airports from the Western Suburbs.
How would you advise someone who is just beginning their search in the area? What’s a good place to start?
Visit the downtown areas for the villages that might be of interest to you. You don’t even need to move to a village where that downtown area is. You will get a feel for the area, and once that is settled, your search can expand from there. For example, Downers Grove has an amazing downtown and is easily walkable from many locations in Westmont (which has great schools as well).
What’s the best way for someone to transition from living in the city to living in the suburbs?
Know your absolutes. There are some people transitioning from the city that don’t want to let go of the CTA’s convenience. That’s possible, but it also limits where you can live. Also understand that you are not limited. Some people transitioning to the suburbs think they would be “stuck” with their suburban locations when it comes to restaurants, shopping, et al. There are many great and unique options within 20 minutes of many of Chicago’s Western Suburbs. The downtowns of Naperville and Downers Grove are just the beginning. There are some great hidden gems in Westmont, Forest Park and Aurora that are actually quite close and can often be a more convenient and less stressful option than going into the city.
Are there any notable or interesting trends you’re seeing in Chicago’s Western Suburbs?
Walkability. When living in the city, being able to walk to a downtown, an arts district, coffee shop, transportation, etc is enticing to many buyers. It’s not something you would think one would find in a suburb, but there are actually a lot of options in the Western Suburbs that do not require living in an historic district, for example (which is common in many central suburban locations).
Do you have a favorite neighborhood, street or spot? If so, what makes it special?
For me, Westmont is very underrated. It is accessible to downtown Downers Grove, has great schools, awesome park district facilities, relatively low taxes, and great options for existing homes and new construction.
Stay tuned for more guides to the Chicagoland area on our Home. Made.™ Blog!