Best Chicago Suburbs For Young Families
Something you might not know about us here at the Ralphie and Ryan Show is that we’re both family men. So, since we’ve done it ourselves, we thought it was about time we covered the best suburbs in Chicago for raising a young family.
We asked ourselves – what mattered most to us when creating our ideal family life? We each had our unique boxes to tick, but what we had in common was good schools, nice parks, a sense of security and safety, and neighborliness. Aside from that, we had our differences about whether we were looking for proximity to the city, a downtown, and how affordable the suburb needed to be. That’s why you’ll find suburbs on this list that answers to all of those.
Without further ado, let’s take a tour of our top suburban picks for young families in Chicago.
9 Best Chicago Suburbs for Young Families
Median Home Value: $308,000
Flossmoor might not make every list of best family suburbs, but we think people are missing a trick.
Flossmoor is a small, diverse suburb southeast of Chicago. It’s right next to Homewood, a suburb named so because the area is surrounded by forests. Flossmoor is the safer, quieter sister of Homewood, though both suburbs make our list of the best diverse suburbs in Chicago.
The Flossmoor-Homewood high school is exceptionally good and is the main draw for families in this suburb. It’s the type of town where neighbors have each other's backs, and many locals say they couldn’t think of a better place to raise a family in Illinois.
Flossmoor, Illinois Market Report
Includes average property values, inventory, market changes, and demographic data.Homes for Sale in Flossmoor
Median house price: $400,000
Wheaton is a beautiful and desirable suburb just west of Chicago. It’s full of families and it’s not hard to understand why. Wheaton’s school district is a consecutive five-times award winner and children here benefit from some of the best educational opportunities in Illinois. The suburb is also home to Wheaton College, an Evangelical liberal arts college.
As a historically religious suburb, Wheaton is known for its strong family and community values. Many families come here to be part of a collective, where there are endless opportunities to get involved in community events and local improvement.
Wheaton, Illinois Market Report
Includes average property values, inventory, market changes, and demographic data.Homes for sale in Wheaton
7. Glendale Heights
Median house price: $249,000
We love Glendale Heights for families – if not least because it’s a bit of a hidden gem in the Chicago suburbs. As well as being diverse and affordable, it has good schools and is a mere stone’s throw from one of the best suburbs in Chicago, Glen Ellyn.
Families here get the best of both worlds – median house prices at just over half the Chicago average, and meanwhile their children can still attend A+ high schools and benefit from Glen Ellyn’s amazing downtown and amenities. There’s a lot to love about life in Glendale Heights and that’s why almost a quarter of the community are young families.
Glendale Heights, Illinois Market Report
Includes average property values, inventory, market changes, and demographic data.Homes for Sale in Glendale Heights
Median house price: $530,000
Talk to life-long Chicagoans and many of them will say Elmhurst is on their list of dream towns to settle down in. Beautiful homes, outstanding schools, outdoor activities and one of the best downtowns in the Chicago suburbs – Elmhurst lacks nothing.
Known as the cultural centre of DuPage, Elmhurst is an excellent suburb for young people to cultivate aspirations for an academic future. It’s the home of Elmhurst University and so it’s pretty inspiring for families to be surrounded by successful students enjoying some of the best years of their lives.
Elmhurst, Illinois Market Report
Includes average property values, inventory, market changes, and demographic data.Homes for sale in Elmhurst
Median house price: $515,500
Libertyville is an idyllic town to start or raise a family – partly because it looks like it was plucked straight from a postcard. But if you’re worried Libertyville’s beauty is only skin-deep, rest assured that’s not the case here.
This Lake County suburb is home to excellent schools, beautiful parks, and a community of happy families. Among the reasons they love living here are the quaint downtown, the neighbourhood atmosphere, and the modern library.
Libertyville, Illinois Market Report
Includes average property values, inventory, market changes, and demographic data.Homes for sale in Libertyville
4. Vernon Hills
Median house price: $375,000
This medium-sized suburb is in Lake County, north of Chicago. Vernon Hills ranks highly across the board for amenities, including public schools, safety, housing and is rated as the 10th best place to live in the entire state of Illinois.
Vernon Hills boasts all the creature comforts needed for a good childhood. The streets are safe and well-maintained, there are plenty of parks, and the suburb has many of the nation’s favorite retailers and outlets. Locals from Vernon Hills say they loved growing up in this quiet part of Lake County, where it feels like everyone looks out for each other.
Vernon Hills, Illinois Market Report
Includes average property values, inventory, market changes, and demographic data.Homes for sale in Vernon Hills
Median house price: $620,000
This small suburb in Lake County offers a peaceful respite from the city, with the best of suburban living including excellent schools, green spaces, and community amenities. It is home to two highly-rated high schools, Adlai E. Stevenson and Deerfield, and residents say they feel very safe here in this tight-knit community.
Lincolnshire has lots to do for young families, such as Spring Lake Park, which is breathtaking in spring, summer, and autumn. Young families can get an early taste for the performing arts at The Marriott Theatre, showing family classics like West Side Story, The Sound of Music, and The Wizard of Oz.
While Lincolnshire real estate is on the more expensive side of things, there are a variety of home types and price points, from luxury condos, to attractive family homes, and the occasional affordable fixer-upper or lots and land. For families who find Lincolnshire too pricey, the close by Buffalo Grove is an excellent alternative (further down on this list!).
Lincolnshire, Illinois Market Report
Includes average property values, inventory, market changes, and demographic data.Homes for sale in Lincolnshire
2. La Grange
Median house price: $545,000
The pretty village of La Grange is a perfect place to raise a young family and also makes our list of the top five affordable suburbs with the best schools. The median house price in La Grange is boosted by the many large and gorgeous properties, but if you dig into the listings you can find family homes in line with average Chicago house prices.
La Grange is situated west of Chicago in Cook County and is an enviable settle-down suburb for many reasons. The village offers consistently great schooling across the suburb, with all schools rated A+ to B, and is well-connected to The Windy City and wider Chicagoland.
Many family-friendly suburbs are forced to make a trade between safety, peace and quiet, and things to do – but not La Grange. This small suburb is home to a vibrant, cutesy downtown area mostly made up of boutiques and independent stores.
Despite only being 2.5 square miles, La Grange has 82-acres of beautifully maintained parks and preserves, so families here can expect to spend lots of quality time together outdoors.
La Grange Park, Illinois Market Report
Includes average property values, inventory, market changes, and demographic data.Homes for Sale in La Grange Park
1. Buffalo Grove
Median house price: $370,000
Safe, affordable, and well-schooled, Buffalo Grove tops our list of the best suburbs to raise a young family in Chicago.
Buffalo Grove is a large, family-focused suburb in Lake County, northwest of Chicago. It has three outstanding high schools; Adlai E. Stevenson, Deerfield, and Buffalo Grove, and takes the bronze medal for Chicago suburbs with the best public high schools, according to niche.com.
The only drawback to life in Buffalo Grove is the convoluted Metra commute to Chicago – but this has encouraged the suburb to develop plenty for its townsfolk to do locally. With heaps of parks, restaurants, shops, and community events, this suburb strikes the perfect balance for families to escape the city but never be bored.
Families in Buffalo Grove can spend their weekends between the Buffalo Creek Forest Preserve and the Willow Stream Pool, whereas teenagers will love the Mike Rylko Skatepark. Buffalo Grove is undoubtedly a suburb where many family memories are made, both past and present.
Buffalo Grove, Illinois Market Report
Includes average property values, inventory, market changes, and demographic data.Homes for sale in Buffalo Grove
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