Local Real Estate Market

Oak Park & River Forest Are A Seperate Market!!

It is important to understand that the community of Oak Park/River Forest is like its own island when it comes to real estate! You can forget what is happening in the Chicago real estate market or the other Western Suburbs. Look at the OPRF market and you will understand why you need a local expert.

 



The following is a more intense look at the real estate issues in Oak Park and River Forest. There is so much to buying a home that it is clear not all can be told on this websites page. I urge you read this and then call or email for further assistance.


Oak Park

This clean, lively, and diverse village on the western edge of Chicago is known to many as the "hot" place to live in the Chicago area. Why is Oak Park so desirable and what does that mean to you in terms of real estate? There are almost too much to list but here is a start:

  • Oak Park is a quaint village setting only 15 to 20 minutes from downtown Chicago by expressway or transit system.
  • The village is one of the only communities so close to downtown Chicago where buyers can find 1 bedroom condos starting at $100k or vintage 6+ bedroom estate homes selling for more than $2 million. All of this on beautiful streets lined with 150-year-old elm, oak and maple trees. We have some new construction condo and townhouse developments but the majority of our homes and dwellings are vintage dating as far back as the mid to late 1800's. New construction single-family homes are rare. We have such a vast historic preservation district making teardowns virtually impossible.
  • Our School System. Many buyers say to me, "I don't have kids so I don't care about the schools." My canned response is, "You better care about the schools and all programs for children! Because they are so good they are governing a large portion of home valuations in Oak Park!"
  • Our property taxes are high and for good reason. We enjoy one of the best public school systems in the Chicago area. We hardly have any large industry. Our public works system is professional, strict, and timely and keeps this town in immaculate condition. (I remember a few winters back we received about 36 inches of snow throughout the period of a day or two. My alley was regularly cleared during the storm and our traffic was back to normal within hours of the last flake. If my friends in Chicago didn't live on a major throughway - they didn't get to use their cars for three days.) We love our police and fire departments and they are good! Our lush parks and the district programs can keep families busy all year. In other words, is it worth the extra annual expense? Everyday! Again, too many benefits to list here.
  • In Oak Park the seller pays the local transfer stamps of $8 per thousand on the sale price of the home. There is no code type inspection prior to closing of the transaction but read on...
  • Because we live in a very architecturally significant village, local building, maintenance, restoration, and rehabilitation code is very strict. Alterations to current structures are subject to the following commission approvals: architectural, zoning, and historic preservation. See "Why Choose Steve".

Find out about this market for yourself. Take a morning, let me give you a tour and see some homes.


River Forest

River Forest is a mostly family oriented real estate market just west of Oak Park. It's greenery and sprawling homes on large lots will take your breath away.

  • River Forest is much smaller in size than Oak Park and also has little industry to support the tax needs so the property taxes will be similar to Oak Park.
  • You can find condos that will start in the upper $100k range and go all the way to single-family estate type homes that are well into the $3 million range.
  • River Forest Schools. I stated that Oak Park enjoys one of the best public school systems in the Chicago area. Well, River Forest only has 2 public grade schools and they have historically been ranked two of the top five public grade schools in the state. How does this transfer to the real estate market? The home and property values of River Forest will be consistently higher than Oak Park. The line between the two has been getting vague over the years as Oak Park's national popularity has surged but you can say that a very nice 3 bedroom home in Oak Park worth in the low to mid $400k range would be worth in the mid $500k range in River Forest. Please keep in mind I make a very general statement for the purpose of example.
  • Lot Size. The River Forest lots are usually larger than Oak Park lots. The homes have more land to the street and more space between the neighbors. Another reason for higher home prices in River Forest.
  • Like Oak Park, one can say there is a north and south section of River Forest. Again, take advantage of my offer to show you around!
  • In River Forest the seller pays the local transfer stamps of $1 per thousand on the sale price of the property. There is a pre-closing inspection of the home by the village but it is not a code type inspection.

Request my Free Oak Park and River Forest Relocation Package. It's packed full of useful and important information about the Oak Park and River Forest, Illinois area. Don't move here without it! Remember: I'll send it to you for free and without obligation.