What's the Best Chicago Suburb?

Posted by Judy Orr on Tuesday, September 4th, 2007 at 6:01am.

This is another oldie but goodie, timeless post. I have been asked recently, on more than one occasion, what is the best place to live in the southwest Chicago suburbs or what is the best area of Chicago suburbs real estate?  That is a loaded question!

Real estate agents should not answer such questions but guide a potential buyer to do their own homework.  This also gives me the impetus to provide even more information on my website about the areas I work in.  I believe buyers should be able to make a decision on where to live based on their personal preferences.  But we cannot force our preferences, or opinions, on buyers.  We could be accused of "steering," which basically means promoting areas based on ethnic or racial groups.  This could result in punishment of paying hefty fines and even losing our real estate license.

Besides that, we can truly only give our personal opinions on different areas that we know.  Our MLS is one of the largest in the United States and there are towns I have never set foot in, even after being a licensed REALTOR® since 1983.  After selling real estate for so long, I still don't know every single town or area of Chicago and its suburbs and could not give anything more than what I have knowledge of.

What Are The Best Southwest Chicago Suburbs Schools?

southwest chicago suburbs schoolThis is basically the same type of question that could get a real estate agent in trouble.  Once again, unless an agent has a photographic memory this is just not a question we have factual data for.  Also, there can be many different meanings to what the criteria is for "best" from person to person.

 REALTORS Get Tested

I don't think that buyers and sellers realize that real estate agents get tested.  Testers can be actual buyers sent out to different agents to test how they treat different buyers.  These kinds of questions might also be asked to test our response.  Even if I knew the answers to these types of questions, which I don't, I would not risk my long-standing license to give an answer that is nothing more than personal opinion.

Where Can You Find the Answers?

Our MLS is huge so I don't offer information on every single area that it encompasses, although I do offer all MLS listings on my website.    The Chicago suburbs I specialize in are in the southwest and near west areas.  You can see my Featured Neighborhoods on the home page of this site.

If you ask the question about the best suburb or best school to an agent that gives you an answer then beware.  That is not a well trained agent and might not be in the business much longer.  And don't get angry with an agent that refuses to give you an answer.  That is an agent that is professional and follows our standards of ethics and the law.

Helpful Links

Here are some quick links to get you started on your search:

  • You can find many different statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau and my favorite source is their Quick Facts where you can enter the town you're interested in.  The state page starts here, although I might have to type "Illinois" in the box, or any city you're interested in.
  • There are many different school search sites.  Great Schools seems to be most popular as they give each school a score, but there are many more - do a Google search.
  • There are more and more crime statistics websites available.  In the past, only large cities like Chicago had crime stats.  This one has individual suburban crime statistics for large and smaller cities.  Another one I like allows you to compare the crime rates of two different cities - click here.

If you have the areas you're interested in you can create your Chicago suburbs MLS search by clicking the link.

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