Geneva

The Kane County Courthouse in Geneva  

This former grain-mill town is known for fun stuff to see and do. (Just ask the tourists who flock here.) There’s boating (on the Fox River), baseball (the Class A minor league Kane County Cougars), and fine dining (the excellent A Toda Madre). Stroll the historic district to see interesting examples of 19th-century architecture, including a few Italianate manors with widow’s walks.

While those kinds of houses command upward of $600,000—and the median sales price in Geneva was the highest in Kane County last year—you can still find modest cottages east of the river for less than $200,000. If you work in Chicago, however, be prepared for quite a commute: about an hour and 15 minutes each way on Metra. Console yourself with the fact that your kids can attend the best grade school (Mill Creek) and high school (Geneva Community) in the county.

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