Floor plan

Where to buy now: Suburbia – Chicago Magazine

REMARKS: Median sales prices are for 2021. All suburban data is for single dwellings. THE SOURCE: Midwest Real Estate Data

$350,000, 14936 Highland Ave., 4 bedrooms, 2,168 square feet.Photography: Shannon Phelan/Pawlak Properties at Keller Williams Experience Realty

South West

Orland Park

Median selling price: $399,900
Five-year change: 32%

With over 650 acres of parkland, this village lives up to its name. Nature lovers have easy access to the Cook County Forest Preserve System via Orland Grove to the north of town and Orland Grassland to the south. The “World’s Golf Center,” as Orland Park calls itself, attracts enthusiasts with facilities like the Silver Lake Country Club and its three public courses. Downtown Chicago is just 30 minutes away by car (or about an hour via Metra’s southwest service, with three stops at Orland Park), and there are destination malls around town, including Orland Square and Orland Park Crossing.

You can find cheaper suburbs nearby, but not with the excellent schools and other amenities offered by Orland Park. This is why this city of nearly 60,000 inhabitants appeals to young families as well as empty nesters. “Generations have lived there, so that’s what makes it a community,” says Baird & Warner chief broker Jim Psychogios. You can get a sprawling single-family home, like a 3,000-square-foot home listed for $675,000 in the Crystal Tree gated community, but there are also cheaper options, like a three-bedroom duplex with hardwood floors for $219. $000 – and both properties are in the coveted Carl Sandburg High School neighborhood.

The market here has been hot, with 642 single-family homes sold last year, down from 506 in 2019. Still, prices have risen more modestly than in nearby towns, like Palos Park. “What keeps the value going are good schools, well-maintained streets and security,” says Ray Morandi of Morandi Properties. “And that’s not going to change in Orland, because people are going to keep looking for that.”

$269,900, 17614 Burnham Ave., 3 bedrooms, 1,430 square feet.Photography: VHT Studios



Median selling price: $193,000
Five-year change: 105%

Yes, taxes are lower across the state line, but this border town offers values ​​that rival parts of northwestern Indiana, plus a shorter commute – 40 minutes – to at the Loop. In its quaint downtown neighborhood off Ridge Road, you’ll find specialty shops including Gayety’s, an ice cream and chocolate shop that’s been around for over 100 years, and a farmer’s market on Wednesdays in the summer. Fox Pointe (pictured above), a $5 million outdoor venue that opened in 2018, also hosts a series of concerts on Wednesday nights during the warmer months. On the west side of Lansing, residents can access the 30 miles of Thorn Creek Trail.

Lansing offers better values ​​than other suburbs farther west. “Prices seem to go up as you move east to west in the southern suburbs,” says Baird & Warner’s Jim Psyhogios. “But the percentage of the increase becomes more significant the other way around.” In other words, you can get relatively low income and catch some growth. A three-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath home with modern finishes lists for $289,900, and a four-bedroom home with an in-ground pool is priced at $330,000.

$470,600 (sold)577 Cherrywood Dr., 4 bedrooms, 2,498 square feet.Photography: VHT Studios

North West

To roll

Median sale price: $298,000
Five-year change: 45%

Just over 20 miles from the city and spanning Cook and Lake counties, Wheeling was once an overnight stopover for 19th-century Chicagoans heading to Wisconsin. These days, it’s a popular spot for families with young children looking for suburban homes and amenities, like a water park (pictured above), and easy access to Chicago. Wheeling is known for its food scene, anchored by a row of restaurants along Milwaukee Avenue. Residents also flock to the new Wheeling Town Center, a mixed-use development with residences, retail, entertainment and restaurants, all centered on a Metra station served by the North Central line, which takes you downtown. city ​​in less than an hour.

Homebuyers are gravitating here for lower prices than adjacent northwest suburbs such as Buffalo Grove and Arlington Heights, where median sale prices last year were $410,000 and $422,000, respectively. “Wheeling is one of the most affordable communities in the northwest suburbs,” says Paula Carson, RE/Max United broker. “Wheeling also offers a wide selection of housing options to meet the needs of potential residents, including a new luxury apartment complex in downtown Wheeling, luxury condominiums and a variety of traditional single-family housing developments. ” A three-bedroom home with vaulted ceilings and a large yard overlooking the pond went on sale in April for $395,000, while $188,000 can get you a two-bedroom townhouse with a floor plan. open floor, a fireplace and a community pool.

$410,000 (sold)2614 Oak Park Ave., 4 bedrooms, 2,886 square feet.Photo: Santiago Valdez/Compass



Median sale price: $287,000
Five-year change: 52%

Despite attractions like FitzGerald’s, the longtime music venue, and Other World, the famed Mediterranean restaurant — not to mention Cermak Road’s variety of shops and restaurants — this blue-collar town that borders Chicago’s West Side is often overlooked. New construction and remodeled properties have helped drive up prices, says broker Compass Santiago Valdez, but you can find great deals on older homes and undeveloped land. In January, for example, a new four-bedroom 3,300 square foot home sold for $578,000 less than a year after buying its empty lot for $52,000. The cheaper properties, Valdez says, have “introduced a lot of new energy into the Berwyn market for buyers”.

In Berwyn, which is only a 30-minute drive or Metra from the Loop, you can enjoy suburban life without the cookie-cutter houses: you’ll find ranches, A-frames, multiple dwellings and a rich collection of Chicago-style bungalows. . Prices are rising, but at a slower pace than in adjacent Cicero – and they’re still well below those in nearby Oak Park. “Berwyn offers a great product for the price comparing it to other areas nearby,” says Valdez. A first-floor, one-bedroom condo recently went on sale for $90,000, and $450,000 could get you a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home with a two-car garage and an extra port for, for example, example, the storage of boats.

$300,000, 342 Homewood Drive, 4 bedrooms, 1,506 sq. ft.Photography: Sean Cochran/EXP Realty

South West


Median selling price: $305,000
Five-year change: 37%

Those discouraged by soaring prices in Naperville should consider the family-friendly suburb of Bolingbrook. “It’s very close to Naperville, and then Woodridge and Downers Grove are just around the corner, but it’s not DuPage County,” says Sean Cochran, a broker at eXp Realty. “Taxes aren’t cheap in Bolingbrook, but it’s less than in DuPage County.” Located in the I-55 corridor, Bolingbrook offers amenities such as the Bolingbrook Promenade, a pedestrian-friendly mall, and Waterfall Glen (pictured above) and Greene Valley, two forest preserves just outside of town. Last year, the Bolingbrook Recreational and Aquatic Complex was completely renovated and this year four more playgrounds will be renovated. “This village is home to some of the most beautiful parks around and a progressive administration that has prioritized economic development,” says Samara Morris of Baird & Warner.

You’ll find everything from grand homes in gated communities to modest ranches along tree-lined streets, like a three-bedroom listed in April for $275,000. Cochran says most buyers want single-family homes, but don’t discount townhouses, including a remodeled three-bedroom townhouse for $230,000. Good luck finding those prices in Naperville.

$320,000, 647 Wilbur Ct., 3 bedrooms, 1,646 square feet.Photography: Betsy Lynn Photos



Median selling price: $340,000
Five-year change: 33%

If you’ve visited this far northern suburb, chances are it’s for a trip to the Six Flags Great America amusement park or the Gurnee Mills mall. Although most people simply pass through the town of just under 30,000 people, those who stay – including many military families from Naval Station Great Lakes, which is a 15-minute drive away – enjoy ‘a quiet community and an attractive place to raise children. “Gurnee has good schools, is close to the freeway, and attracts a lot of families,” says Lance McBride, a broker at RE/Max Showcase.

It is also one of the most affordable suburbs in Lake County. One reason: the journey. Gurnee is an hour’s traffic-free drive from the Loop (or 10 minutes by car and 70 minutes by Metra from the Waukegan border). But in this age of hybrid working, it’s a smart option for buyers looking for more space for their money, like a 2,400 square foot four-bedroom home on an 8,276 square foot listed lot. $290,000 or a four-bedroom, 3,000-square-foot home with a three-car garage priced at $479,000.

$675,000, 321 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., 5 bedrooms, 4,800 square feet.Photography: Giuseppe Battista/Remax Destiny

North West


Median sale price: $375,000
Five-year change: 34%

With a downtown redevelopment plan in the works, this DuPage County village is changing — and buyers are loving what they see. The community is known for its scenic river walk, which connects downtown to a civic complex, water park, library, and nature center. On Main Street in the old downtown, you’ll find mom-and-pop shops and boutiques, while the newer section has specialty grocery stores and microbreweries. A short drive north will take you to Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, and just to the west is the legendary Medinah Country Club, which will host the PGA Presidents Cup in 2026.

Renee Schoenherr of Century 21 Affiliated says people move to Itasca because of its location, low crime rate and schools. While proximity to O’Hare is a big draw, residents can also take advantage of the Metra station and the three highways that run through the village. “People really like being able to take the Metra train to downtown Chicago to get to work, and they really like the school district,” says Schoenherr.

The most affordable homes tend to be in the northwest part of town, but you’ll find decent values ​​almost anywhere compared to Elmhurst, Medinah, and other airport suburbs. A three-bedroom brick ranch with a large yard recently went on sale for $251,000, but if you need more space, you can get a 4,738-square-foot five-bedroom home for $649,900. .