Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

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dcw213
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Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by dcw213 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:40 pm

Hi all,

I was hoping that some more knowledgeable than I on potential fallout of state level fiscal crises can weigh in. My wife and I will likely be relocating to the Chicago area in a few months for family reasons and to pursue job opportunities that have come up. I am aware of the troubles that the state of Illinois faces with their high levels of debt and underfunded liabilities. In light of this, I am increasingly hesitant to buy a house (the plan as of now) and tie myself permanently to a state in a dire position relative to other states. For what it's worth, we have never owned real estate and I have always enjoyed the peace of mind I get from being nimble and mobile, theoretically ready to move if need be. My wife, however, is ready to buy for the long term which I understand and am ready to go along with.

I guess the big question mark for me is what could happen if crises start unfolding at the state level in places like CA, IL, NJ, etc. Hard to imagine the ramifications as the solution to everything in recent history has been a federal bailout, but surely this cannot continue forever and if and when large scale issues start to unfold.

In short, it seems we will definitely be moving to IL. Is the fiscal condition of the state enough to justify continuing to rent (the idea being that we could relocate if need be) or should I just not worry and live my life as we had initially planned? Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by jmg229 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:43 pm

I could not imagine changing the decision on whether or not to buy a house substantially due to the fiscal state of the state in which I was living. Perhaps that is naive of me. What exactly are you expecting for consequences that substantially shape the decision about buying real estate there?

dcw213
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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by dcw213 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:51 pm

jmg229 wrote:I could not imagine changing the decision on whether or not to buy a house substantially due to the fiscal state of the state in which I was living. Perhaps that is naive of me. What exactly are you expecting for consequences that substantially shape the decision about buying real estate there?
Excellent question and I should say that I am in a similar mind set. I guess the consequences are largely unknown in my mind, but I could see big hikes in state or property taxes that could drive people and businesses away (or something along those lines). Certainly any property tax increases would be passed through to renters, the rent vs buy debate isn't about best value but about maintaining mobility.

For what it's worth I am from NJ originally and constantly hear family and friends moaning and groaning about the rapid rate of property tax increases and I detect a growing sentiment that living in the state is getting to be a burden.

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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by sport » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:57 pm

Chicago is not far from the Indiana state line. If you are concerned about owning property in Illinois, perhaps there is a location in Indiana that would meet your needs. Another possibility is Wisconsin.
Jeff

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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by angelescrest » Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:08 pm

dcw213 wrote:Hi all,

I was hoping that some more knowledgeable than I on potential fallout of state level fiscal crises can weigh in. My wife and I will likely be relocating to the Chicago area in a few months for family reasons and to pursue job opportunities that have come up. I am aware of the troubles that the state of Illinois faces with their high levels of debt and underfunded liabilities. In light of this, I am increasingly hesitant to buy a house (the plan as of now) and tie myself permanently to a state in a dire position relative to other states. For what it's worth, we have never owned real estate and I have always enjoyed the peace of mind I get from being nimble and mobile, theoretically ready to move if need be. My wife, however, is ready to buy for the long term which I understand and am ready to go along with.

I guess the big question mark for me is what could happen if crises start unfolding at the state level in places like CA, IL, NJ, etc. Hard to imagine the ramifications as the solution to everything in recent history has been a federal bailout, but surely this cannot continue forever and if and when large scale issues start to unfold.

In short, it seems we will definitely be moving to IL. Is the fiscal condition of the state enough to justify continuing to rent (the idea being that we could relocate if need be) or should I just not worry and live my life as we had initially planned? Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
You apparently weren't following the fiscal crisis California was in a few years ago (it wasn't just CA either). We were in bad shape and that's all you heard about in the governor's race. In the short term that crisis has passed, even while there are serious long term challenges looming ahead. My point though is that while they have cut their spending and raised taxes elsewhere to arrive at a surplus, the whole journey hasn't destroyed the housing market. Prices have been on the mend.

It also depends on what you mean by crisis. If CA goes into an epic collapse as you seem to be fearful of, your entire portfolio will likely be hurting for some time, and not just housing. California is a huge chunk of the national, even global economy.

The bigger question in my mind is if you have such great concern for the future, how do you plan to manage risk in general through your overall portfolio?

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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by angelescrest » Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:15 pm

jsl11 wrote:Chicago is not far from the Indiana state line. If you are concerned about owning property in Illinois, perhaps there is a location in Indiana that would meet your needs. Another possibility is Wisconsin.
Jeff
This is true, you can always live in Gary. :-). There are plenty of Chicago commuters as far away as SW Michigan, which is a beautiful bedroom community for many people from the city. There is even public transportation on the South Shore line. Indiana seems to be feeling stronger economically in recent years.

But if your concern for Illinois is so great, then surely the economic effects would cross state lines as we are really talking about Chicago and the surrounding areas that are built into its economy--unless you get as far as South Bend or SW Michigan.

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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by Alex Frakt » Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:27 pm

I do not see a rational connection between your concerns and the decision to buy or rent. If income taxes increase, it obviously doesn't make a difference. If property taxes increase, you will end up paying either way, whether it is directly or through rental increases. At least if you own, they are potentially deductible. If you are worried about some sort of budget catastrophe making your property unsalable, you should note that this is a slow moving problem. The primary issue is pension underfunding, which will take a long time to play out even if nothing is done. And something is being done. Despite much posturing, the state legislature has shown a willingness to work on budget problems, for example, they passed a major pension reform law in December.

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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by dcw213 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:45 pm

Thanks for the thoughtful responses. I definitely agree that any sort of major blowup would likely not be isolated to a state or region and that impacts would likely be felt globally. That is a big reason of why I posed the question, as I am unsure if there would/could be isolated regional impacts for long term residents/home owners. My general view is that state/local/federal governments will eventually be forced to get their collective houses in order and that making life decisions based on the prospect of crisis is likely not worthwhile. Thanks again.

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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by angelescrest » Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:51 pm

dcw213 wrote:Thanks for the thoughtful responses. I definitely agree that any sort of major blowup would likely not be isolated to a state or region and that impacts would likely be felt globally. That is a big reason of why I posed the question, as I am unsure if there would/could be isolated regional impacts for long term residents/home owners. My general view is that state/local/federal governments will eventually be forced to get their collective houses in order and that making life decisions based on the prospect of crisis is likely not worthwhile. Thanks again.
If it really concerns you, study Detroit very closely. You already know what is said in mainstream media, but even in Detroit there are large swaths that are doing great (outsiders don't believe it), with strong housing and economic growth. What part of Chicago you get into will probably have a larger effect than what you fear is or isn't happening at the legislature.

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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by Watty » Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:02 pm

It would be good to rent for a year to make sure the new job is working out and that you really want to settle there. As you learn the area then you will likely be able to figure out which areas a less likely to be impacted by any problems and to know if the prices of the houses there are still a good deal even with your concerns.

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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by mayday23 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:52 am

Come out to Naperville, we'd love to have you. I'd be more concerned about moving to the city, as there seems to be a max exodus from the city to the burbs the last 5 yrs. Sales tax increases and crime have risen a bit in the city and many individuals are moving out. I don't see the budget crisis impacting housing prices here anytime soon.

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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by welx23 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:12 am

My husband and I purchased a home in Chicago (Logan Square neighborhood) this fall. In terms of the current situation, the housing market is improving and property taxes are actually lower in the city than in the surrounding suburbs. When buying, we did give consideration to the long-term stability of the city and state. Despite what lawmakers will say, the prior "temporary" increase in state income tax will be extended so we already factored that in to our decision. The legislature has made baby steps towards addressing the pension crisis but this is still a primary concern. As others have mentioned, it's a slow-moving problem and it seems impossible to know what will happen. Though I am an incredibly practical person, at the end of the day, I place a high value on living in Chicago and am willing to make sacrifices / take on additional risk for that choice.

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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by poker27 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:34 am

mayday23 wrote:Come out to Naperville, we'd love to have you. I'd be more concerned about moving to the city, as there seems to be a max exodus from the city to the burbs the last 5 yrs. Sales tax increases and crime have risen a bit in the city and many individuals are moving out. I don't see the budget crisis impacting housing prices here anytime soon.
Low income people are moving out of the city, while higher income earners and families are moving into it. An apartment of 10 people moving out might show a drop in population, but the overall average income is increasing. Crime is the lowest it has been in decades. If Chicago were to fail, the entire metro would. Just because you dont live in Chicago doesnt mean you wouldnt be affected from its demise.

Detroit failed because they only had one industry. Obviously Chicago is much more diverse

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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by DTSC » Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:36 am

+1 for Naperville in the far western suburbs (30 miles out) which is often in Money magazine's top 100 places to live.

No one knows how the pension issues will play out. Regardless, Illinois is NOT a low tax state with 5% state income tax. Sales taxes in the suburbs are in the 7-8% range and exceed 10% in the city (the last time I checked). Property taxes are high too; in my area it is close to $9000 per year for a near $400,000 single family home.

However, the area as a whole does have a lot to offer. Quality of life vary as widely as income levels within and outside of the city. School quality varies widely as well, again often correlating with income. It really depends on how well your job pays (which indirectly determines how far you have to travel to get to work). Obviously, whether you can find similar opportunities in a lower cost area is a major consideration.

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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by frugaltype » Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:58 am

I moved to a new state to a town with a reasonable property tax situation. Then the town employees pension situation hit the fan, along with an irresponsible superintendent of schools who wasted vast quantities of money and was not reined in for years by the town government, and property taxes have gone through the roof. Since I had moved into the long time family home, I am not going to be moving away, but if I were to move, I would look at the tax situation in the potential new place very carefully, and not just assume that because it looked okay now it would stay that way.

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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by rcjchicity » Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:06 pm

We just bought a single-family home in Chicago in West Lakeview. Property taxes ~ $9,000 for a $740,000 house on a standard city lot. (But the neighborhood school is crap).

While the long-term fiscal health of the city and state are a concern, it's more of a back-of-our-minds kind of concern. Being able to live in our target neighborhood with shops, restaurants and bars nearby, as well as relatively decent commutes to work while getting our "at least 10 years" house was more important.

I would advocate more for renting or buying at this point just so you get an idea of the area without fully committing to a location. A soul-sucking commute on the Kennedy or Ike could make your life much more difficult than the potential for future tax increases.

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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by carorun » Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:18 pm

I think Chicago is on the upswing, or at very least, a stable trajectory. Rahm has done some great things to encourage industry to come to the city. Hillshire brands, Google, and the new manufacturing complex just announced come to mind. Housing prices in the city and suburbs are somewhat reasonable. If long-term viability is a factor, then sure move to Naperville or the northern suburbs. There are plenty of blue chip companies headquartered out there.

Also rcjchicity- where in west Lakeview are you? Thats my hood (Addison/Ashland), and I'm looking to buy a condo in the vicinity in the near future.

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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by dgdevil » Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:35 pm

dcw213 wrote:I could see big hikes in state or property taxes ...
Not sure how much higher property taxes can go in Chicago. My buddy pays $17k for a fairly normal house in the suburbs. I couldn't do that. If it makes you feel better if Chicago fails, then the whole country will be in a pretty dire state. Wherever you buy a house, it's a commitment. Your days of being "nimble and mobile" will be on hold for the long term, maybe forever.

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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by psteinx » Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:40 pm

So, what's the downside for IL residents/property owners?

The following seem POSSIBLE:

Higher income tax rates
Higher property tax rates
Reduced services
(which may manifest itself in lesser police coverage, weaker schools, etc.)

===

There's a real possibility that current residents in IL may receive less 'bang for the buck' on their taxes, in that a portion of current or future taxes may go to restore pensions that were underfunded in years past and/or that the general political environment of IL in general and Chicago in particular may be so tilted towards the civil service unions and the like such that government spending is significantly less effective than in other parts of the nation.

That said, many folks (including me) get real happiness from home ownership, and it may be worthwhile for you to buy a home even if the future for Chicago and/or IL is a bit shaky.

(FWIW, I live in Missouri, not Illinois).

===

As for comparisons to CA and other locales. The Chicago/Illinois economy has a different mix and tax base from that of CA. If CA's finances have rebounded of late, it's likely due at least in part to large capital gains from investors in Facebook, Google and the like. The IL tech industry is nowhere near the scale of that in CA.

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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by aude » Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:44 pm

I may be biased as a lifelong resident of the area, but the economy here feels pretty vibrant, in spite of the political shenanigans. Also, both parties seem to have some level of commitment to pension reform, so I think that it will be addressed in a manner that does not drive people like you and me out of the state.

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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by rcjchicity » Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:00 pm

vachica wrote: Also rcjchicity- where in west Lakeview are you? Thats my hood (Addison/Ashland), and I'm looking to buy a condo in the vicinity in the near future.
Roscoe Village. Still getting used to the "suburb in the city" kind of feel. But, baby #1 is on the way, so we fit the neighborhood demographic.

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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by chicagobear » Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:02 pm

Chicago is doing quite well actually, with many yuppie types moving into the city and a tremendous amount of gentrification over the last 25 years. You see a lot more middle class families in the city than you used to. Living and working in the city so that you can use public transportation to get to work (or walk, which is what I do) is a wonderful thing. And if you want to live in the suburbs, the commuter train system allows you to easily commute to downtown. I personally am not very worried about the pension and debt situation. Even if they have to raise taxes some, I don't think it will be that material overall.

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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by chicagobear » Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:03 pm

rcjchicity wrote:
vachica wrote: Also rcjchicity- where in west Lakeview are you? Thats my hood (Addison/Ashland), and I'm looking to buy a condo in the vicinity in the near future.
Roscoe Village. Still getting used to the "suburb in the city" kind of feel. But, baby #1 is on the way, so we fit the neighborhood demographic.
Roscoe Village used to have gangbangers. Now it is yuppie parents with strollers.

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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by btenny » Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:43 pm

The reality today in Illinois...

1. BIG Real estate taxes or 2.x% for mediocre public schools where teachers are 100% unionized and cannot be moved or fired. My son pays around $5.5K per year for a $200K house. According to this site they are the 2nd highest in the US. Crazy huh..
http://www.chicagomag.com/real-estate/J ... he-Nation/

2. Pretty big State Income taxes of 5% on all net income. The issue is Illinois already has raised the income tax in 2011 to cover some of the pension short fall.

3. Firm RECOURSE rules to you personally that make home ownership foreclosures or short sales impossible. Home loans in ILL are not mortgages. They are personal loans. So in Illinois if you need to sell your home and the price is less than your mortgage you MUST bring money to the closing. The important fact is you are personally liable for 100% of any short fall in the home value versus your mortgage. So unless you want to declare bankruptcy you must bring money to a home sale if it sells for less than the mortgage. Same situation if you want to refinance. They may require all kinds of new things not to your benefit, just a real mess.

4. So there are homeowners all over ILL where the owners are massively underwater and paying big property taxes and they cannot sell. In fact home prices in ILL are still going down in many areas due to these various issues.....

So NET NET DO NOT buy a home in ILL. And in fact I would not move to ILL, good job opportunity or not. I would suggest you keep looking for a job in another place.

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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by SDBoggled » Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:53 pm

Hi,

Perhaps an important question for every buy vs rent decision is how long do you intend to live in Chicago?

If the answer is forever, then high selling costs and below average appreciation don't matter as much as if you know you want to move to place x after 5 years.

If you know you definitely want to live in place x in, even 10 years, I would tend to buy a cashflowing rental in place x, if chances of capital appreciation are higher than Chicago. To me, buying real estate as an investment is easier if you can take a very long term view. Problem is that places with higher capital appreciation may be more expensive than Chicago and difficult to find a cashflowing property in which you want to live.

I take a naive view to macro economic environment... I live in CA (and haven't worked out an alternative) so am just expecting more of the same --> increasing taxes :-(

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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by jackholloway » Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:25 pm

I agree with Alex - the biggest risk is pension underfunding, and that is not going to play out quickly.

Out here in CA, property taxes are 1%, and our sales tax rate here is 8%. The schools are a bit underfunded IMO, and I would rather like them to stop spending on (THE THINGS I DO NOT LIKE) and instead spend on (THE THINGS I DO), but the state budget crisis has passed for now. The doomsday scenarios of 2009 did not come to pass, and given that the property taxes are a substantial part of the budget here, I am not certain they will any time soon. Turbulence, yes. Hunting in the ruins of the major cities for radioactive food, not so much.

I expect a very similar story in Chicago. While my rural Illinois kin are hurting a bit, the Chicago branch of the family sees reasonable hope.

Thus, the real question is whether you expect to stay long enough to recoup the fixed costs of buying and owning property.

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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by WallyBird » Sat Mar 01, 2014 1:03 am

I've lived in Chicago for 18 years and have owned a place in Ravenswood for the past ten.

I appreciate all the concern, but we're doing fine, really. 8-)
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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by hcrossing » Sat Mar 01, 2014 3:38 am

Before buying I would recommend spending a good amount of time in the area to make sure you select the city or burb that fits you and your life style. The property tax situation in the metro area can be as btenny stated and be somewhere close to 3% of your property value (which we expect ours to exceed 3% this year). When we moved to Chicago in 2008 our property taxes were $12.6K and now will be pushing $18.8K (expected, last year they were $18K) this year on a house value of ~$600K, which according to the township assessor hasn't changed since we bought the house.

There are certainly other stories of property taxes being crazy high due to various reasons and they could be pushed higher due to the state thinking about pushing the pension liability, related to the school districts, down to the respective school districts. (link to one story http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012 ... icago-fire).

Before moving to the burbs we reached out to friends and friends of friends and were mostly told to move to Naperville (we chose not to). There are certainly nice areas of Naperville and the school was rated very good, however, depending on the area of Naperville, the traffic was, and still is, horrendous. If you live anywhere that you need to take highway 59 off of I-88, expect to sit in traffic. The school has since split into two districts so be mindful if looking there.

There is certainly a lot of things to do in Chicago with zoos, theater, sporting events, park district, etc.

Just be prepared to hear about the corruption that continues to weigh heavily on your wallet. [political comment deleted by admin alex]

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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by dcw213 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:23 pm

Thank you all for such thoughtful responses and for the discussion. To clarify on one recurring comments, our plan is definitely to rent for at least a year prior to buying to make sure that the jobs seem like long term fits and that we like the area and commute. The issue is that after that, I would be happy continuing to rent while my wife is leaning towards wanting to buy. For those that know the area, we have been looking at northwest suburbs (Arlington Heights area). We probably could not swing the north shore financially.

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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by mlipps » Sat Mar 01, 2014 9:04 pm

The thing that is weird to me about Illinois property taxes, which DID dissuade us from buying in Evanston last fall, is that taxes here are not a percentage of your property value. The state and city set their budget, then distribute the charges amongst the tax base. To me that leaves you a more vulnerable position. Obviously there still has to be political willpower expended, but the idea of it made us uncomfortable.

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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by haban01 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 9:22 pm

I would consider buying over the border in SE Wisconsin!!!!!
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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by dcw213 » Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:20 pm

Since posting, I came across this article from about a year ago that does a pretty good job at reflecting some of the potential ramifications that I fear, and actually goes as far as to recommend avoiding buying a home in the so-called "death spiral" states with pending budget/fiscal issues.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/baldwin/201 ... ral-state/
Taxes get too high. Prosperous citizens decamp. Employers decamp. That just makes matters worse for the taxpayers left behind.
Just thought I would add to the discussion as it essentially addressed my initial question.

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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by btenny » Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:14 pm

If you would not buy a house in a state why would you move there or take a job there? I am very confused...

From the Forbes article you posted I see Illinois and Ohio as being the number 1/2 targets moving forward for big trouble. Forbes does not like CAL and NY as well. I disagree. Cal has huge natural lures of nice weather year round and great business incubator systems and tons of smart workers and tons of fun things to do year round. NY has similar lures. Where ILL and Ohio have bad weather nearly year round and big debts and big social issues and big pension issues as well. And few natural lures. Plus everything I see says that with climate change it may be getting colder in the winter and hotter in the summer so that may hurt them as well. So why move there at all.

Here is a graph of housing versus income. Note that housing is still getting cheaper (even in 2013) due to that mortgage recourse situation and big property taxes etc..

http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicd ... use-prices

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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by dcw213 » Sun Mar 02, 2014 5:40 pm

btenny wrote:If you would not buy a house in a state why would you move there or take a job there? I am very confused...
The primary reason for the relocation is family related (nearly all family is in this area). An added plus, the job opportunity on the table is good, making it in our minds the right time to pull the trigger. I have always been aware of the fiscal challenges Illinois and Chicago face, but only after the relocation became a reality did I start thinking more about it. Given the fact that it is looking like a reality, I started thinking about where to eventually buy for the long term and put down down roots, and I started to consider the fiscal condition and its potential impact on a homeowner, particularly one buying now.

To be clear, I am not concerned about moving there now for the job - regardless of if we stayed in IL, it is a really good opportunity that will allow me to gain new skills in my industry. What I am most concerned about is the idea of buying a house, seeing state/prop taxes continue their high rate of increase, and having that impact my home value (essentially, worried that I could be buying at a regional peak due driven by the fiscal issues).

Admittedly, I had not done much research into current property tax values in the area. Currently, I live in one of the nation's most expensive cities, and rent a decent (albeit small) apartment for ~20K per year. Hearing some of the posters here indicating that their property taxes are pushing these levels is quite disconcerting to say the least.

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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by Atilla » Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:27 pm

The whole Chicago area is a huge economic engine; and the city itself has much to offer. I absolutely love downtown. If I had 10 millions bucks I would move there.

However the city and state is a political machine where the answer to any crisis will be higher taxes/fees/etc. and more money out of your pocket to protect the machine and the many many people getting their living from it. What is considered corruption in many places is just the political way of life there. This will never ever change. :moneybag Ever. This is regardless of political party. It really is a political machine with a life of its own.

Chicago is not (now) facing a Detroit-like collapse. There is no comparison to the bombed out war zone that is the cab ride from the Detroit airport to downtown ...but there are fiscal challenges that are very great. And the people who live (or just work) in Cook County will be made to pay for the fix. This is not arguable once you know the politics of the area.
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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by denovo » Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:10 pm

Ignore the chatter
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SkierMom
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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by SkierMom » Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:55 pm

+1 Northwest Suburbs.

Anything in Schaumburg, Hoffman Estates, Palatine, Arlington Heights will get you a nice modest house (waaay below what you would pay for it in California) in safe neigborhoods with High Schools that feed into top-rated University of Illinois - Champaign.

Chicago is an awesome place to live and visit.

Too bad most of the politicians are crooks.

mayday23
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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by mayday23 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 2:24 pm

dgdevil wrote:
dcw213 wrote:I could see big hikes in state or property taxes ...
Not sure how much higher property taxes can go in Chicago. My buddy pays $17k for a fairly normal house in the suburbs. I couldn't do that. If it makes you feel better if Chicago fails, then the whole country will be in a pretty dire state. Wherever you buy a house, it's a commitment. Your days of being "nimble and mobile" will be on hold for the long term, maybe forever.
Reason property taxes in the burbs are higher is because of the schools. In the city property taxes are lower, but you have to send your kid to a private school unless you want them shived or gang rapped in the bathroon.

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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by WallyBird » Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:26 am

mayday23 wrote: Reason property taxes in the burbs are higher is because of the schools. In the city property taxes are lower, but you have to send your kid to a private school unless you want them shived or gang rapped in the bathroon.(sic)
I'm no great fan of the way the Chicago Public Schools are run, but this view is dated, at best. The grammar schools and even the general-admission high schools in more well-off (i.e., not scary-poor) neighborhoods are generally good and getting better, reflecting the ongoing efforts of both politicians )who realize that if they're going to keep the middle class, they need to provide schools that are competitive with those of the inner-ring 'burbs) and parents (many of whom bought at the peak of the market and can't move as long as they're underwater.)

The city's selective admission high schools (Lane Tech, Whitney Young, Northside, etc.) are quite well regarded. Less well-off neighborhoods often have charter school options that can be fairly rigorous. That said, the maze of public school admissions and options is such that I wouldn't blame parents for saying the heck with it and moving to other districts where you don't have to jump through hoops to get your kids to a good school. Some friends lived in the area for several years while renting a house in the comfortably well off suburb of Hinsdale. This meant that their kid got to go to a fancy suburban high school, but they didn't have to pay fancy suburban property taxes.
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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by jlawrence01 » Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:46 am

Having lived in nearly every large city in the Midwest, EVERY major city school district has a handful of schools that are excellent. When anyone criticizes the city school district as FAILING (even when supported by state standards), the school administrators point out the handful of excellent schools (usually serving the wealthier areas or the politically connected) as evidence that you can get a great education in that district.

The problem is that 90% of the district's students do NOT attend those schools. Most of those students are handicapped by mediocre schools.

You will see one trend in Chicago. Recent college graduates generally move to the hip parts of the city in their twenties. When they get married and start a family, they start to look at communities like Naperville or Arlington Heights looking for high quality schools as their kids get to school age.

==================

I did not relocate to the Chicago suburbs until the end of my career as the COL in Chicago is substantially higher than nearly any other city in the Midwest. Fortunately, my position was in a distant suburb where there was still affordable housing.

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Re: Concerns re: Relocating to Illinois (Chicago)

Post by VINNY » Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:03 pm

Chicago may be a nice place to visit, i.e sporting events and dining downtown but I would not live there. I think it has similar problems of any large city. The schools stink, many neighborhoods are crime ridden and if you live in a decent one, the next one is only a few blocks over. Traffic is a nightmare, roads are in bad shape and the homes and lots are typically small. You'll pay a lot in taxes for sub par education and services.

Take a look at the suburbs. Someone mentioned the Northwest suburbs. Take a look a the southwest suburbs as well. There are a lot of desirable communities like Orland Pk, Frankfort, Mokena, Lemont and the Palos area that are much nicer and safer than living in Chicago.

I have many friends that are Chicago cops and they all say as soon as they retire they will move out of the city!

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