Addison, Algonquin, Arlington Heights, Antioch, Bannockburn, Barrington, Barrington Hills, Bartlett, Berwyn, Bloomingdale, Buffalo Grove, Carol Stream, Cary, Chicago - Downtown and Near North - includes areas such as River North, Streeterville, Gold Coast, Loop, East Loop, West Loop, Printers Row, South Loop, Wicker Park, Wrigleyville, Ukranian VIllage, Lake View, Logan Square, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, Ravenswood, Andersonville, Uptown, Edgewater, Bucktown, Rogers Park, Portage Park, Crystal Lake, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Downers Grove, Elgin, Elk Grove Village, Elmwood Park, Forest Park, Fox River Grove, Fox Lake, Geneva, Glendale Heights, Glen Ellyn, Glencoe, Glenview, Grayslake, Gurnee, Hainesville, Hanover Park, Hawthorn Woods, Hanover Park, Highland Park, Highwood, Hoffman Estates, Island Lake, Itasca, Johnsburg, Kennilworth, Kildeer, Lake in the Hills, Lake Zurich, Lakemoor, Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, Lake Villa, Libertyville, Lincolnshire, Lindenhurst, Long Grove, Maywood, McHenry, Medinah, Melrose Park, Mount Prospect, Mundelein, Naperville, Northbrook, Oak Park, Palatine, River Grove, River Forest, Riverwoods, Rolling Meadows, Roselle, Round Lake Beach and Round Lake, Schaumburg, South Elgin, Spring Grove, St. Charles, Streamwood, Vernon Hills, Villa Park, Warrenville, Wauconda, Waukegan, Wheaton, Wheeling, Wilmette, Winnetka, Wonder Lake, Wood Dale, Zion
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Economic Stability-A declining employment rate in a area spells trouble for the future resale possibilities of a home.
Community Pride-How well is the community maintained? Is there litter in the streets and lawns that are obviously not cared for properly?
Municipal Services-Is there a public library and how well is it stocked? What are the crime statistics? Is the police force effective and responsive to community needs? Are fire stations located nearby so that they also can respond quickly in an emergency? Does the city have well maintained and parks? Community events, such as an annual parade? Are there activities available for all ages from children through senior citizens?
A good real estate agent will have amassed a wealth of information on these subjects.
Schools-Even if you don't have children or your children are grown and gone from home, schools are very important. They reflect the community's willingness to invest in it's future by providing a quality education for their children. Check to see how local students score on the standardized tests. You can ask your agent about these things, and there are also school reports available for free on the Internet. You can also obtain the phone number of the local school district and check with them yourself.
Property Taxes-While we all like to see lower property taxes, as some point they can be too low and not provide enough money for the city to provide proper services for their residents. While you do not want to live in a community that taxes it's homeowners excessively, it is important to strike a balance between taxes and quality of infrastructure (streets, sewers, water supply).