Where to Buy Now

The silver lining behind the residential real-estate collapse is the opportunity for housing bargains. Here are 14 up-and-coming Chicago neighborhoods and suburbs where prices are relatively low and the promise for future growth is strong

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SUBURBS

AURORA
Counties: DuPage, Kane, Will, and Kendall
Population: 170,855

Housing bargains in Aurora are concentrated in the city’s northeastern portion, which is situated primarily in DuPage County (in the vicinity of Westfield Shoppingtown at Fox Valley) along the western boundary of the always desirable Naperville. 

“Cross Route 59 [from Aurora into Naperville] and you will pay 10 percent more,” says Heide Fralic, a Coldwell Banker Primus agent who sells in the area. A prime example is a ten-year-old 11-room 3,053-square-foot custom house with views of a nature preserve. In April, the place sold for $435,000, one of half a dozen roughly comparable homes that sold in the same price range this spring.

Prices have dropped about 7 percent this year, Fralic says, and the number of home sales is down about 29 percent. “But we still have a thriving market here,” she says. “There are still transferees and growing families looking for homes, and what they see here is good.”

PLUS: An Aurora address may have less cachet, but that doesn’t diminish this area’s terrific access to stores, expressways, and commuter trains. The new Metea Valley High School, the newest and youngest sibling of the highly regarded Waubonsie Valley and Neuqua Valley high schools, opens in fall 2009.    
MINUS: Because Aurora has less industry than Naperville, property taxes are about 10 percent higher west of Route 59.

 

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