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Glancer Magazine

BEST NEIGHBORHOODS | Local Real Estate Pros Share

As the real estate busy season is gearing up, many of you may be wondering where the best neighborhoods are located in the western suburbs! We’ve asked real estate experts to share with us some noteworthy neighborhoods that residents are flocking to and what it is that makes these areas so special.

In Naperville....

Naperville real estate expert Dan Firks of RE/Max Enterprises,, has lived in the area for 22+ years. “My success as a real estate agent has evolved parallel with my experience,” he shares. “Together with my team, we’ve elevated and defined the standard of real estate service.”

For neighborhoods in Naperville, Dan is seeing huge potential in Ashwood Park and Brookdale subdivisions.

Ashwood Park is new-construction single-family homes. “Since there’s very limited land in Naperville left for new construction, this is one of the few remaining areas to build and customize a home,” Dan adds. It’s also located in the highly sought after Naperville school district 204. It’s located at Ashwood Road and 248th Street in Naperville. All custom sites have lot sizes of 15,000 square feet and many of the lots have look-out or walk-out basements. Many of the custom homes have four to five bedrooms, three or more baths, three-car garages, and the subdivision is surrounded by recreational bike trails, ecologically diverse lakes, and open spaces. It also includes the luxury $8 million Ashwood Clubhouse.

Brookdale subdivision is also located in school district 204 and is conveniently located in the northwest corner of Naperville, close to the I-88 Tollway via the Rt. 59 or Winfield Road exits. Brookdale has many amenities that are appealing to current and potential residents, including a pool and tennis community and close proximity to the highway, train station, shopping, and downtown Naperville. The subdivision also has a strong neighborhood association (BHA) with active social and civic affairs.

In Wheaton and Glen Ellyn.....

Deb Ritter, broker associate with Keller Williams Premiere Properties,, serves the western suburbs with a background in luxury new construction homes and assisting “empty-nesters” and estate sellers. “I truly care about my clients and enjoy helping them reach their lifestyle goals through their real estate moves,” she shares.

Two noteworthy subdivisions in the Wheaton/Glen Ellyn area are Derby Glen and adjoining subdivisions James Place and Wheaton Ridge.

Derby Glen is located on the north end of Glen Ellyn and is one of the largest subdivisions in the area. Derby Glen consists of homes that were built in the mid-1990s. The subdivision offers a mix of traditional and contemporary architectural styles, with a general price range of $500,000 to $700,000 for a four-bedroom, three-bath home comprising 3,000 square feet on average.

The adjoining subdivisions of James Place and Wheaton Ridge are on the north end of Wheaton. Both of these subdivisions were started in the late 1980s/early 1990s and consist of a nice blend of spacious two-story and ranch-style homes. The price ranges of these homes are between the mid-$400,000s and low $500,000s for a four-bedroom, three-bath home with an average square footage of 2,700 feet.

“The combination of size, price, and age of the homes is what makes these three subdivisions attractive to buyers,” Deb says. “Those who may be looking to ‘step up’ into a larger home that is not too far from the downtown areas of Glen Ellyn or Wheaton and within the Glen Ellyn or Wheaton school systems, are drawn to these particular subdivisions.”

In Downers Grove....

Caroline Neveril, Realtor for Platinum Partners Realtors, (630) 726-1118, truly understands Downers Grove real estate. She has found success because of her ability to “listen to clients and help them understand the housing market,” she says. “It’s key to being a successful real estate agent.”

When it comes to “most desirable neighborhoods” in Downers Grove, there are many wonderful areas that families can choose from, but Caroline has found that two areas specifically are consistently popular: Orchard Brook subdivision and the neighborhoods that surround the Downers Grove YMCA.

Orchard Brook is an established subdivision that has several homes, perfect for the growing family. “People are drawn to this area because of the traditional-style homes, the great schools, pool and clubhouse, and the overall sense of community,” she adds. The subdivision also has many common areas and cul-de-sacs where kids can play.

The neighborhoods surrounding the YMCA are also popular, much of which can be attributed to the close proximity to the grade school and junior high. This area tends to attract and establish families that want their children to be able to safely walk to the schools and the park and of course the YMCA. There is a wide variety of home styles in this particular area. “You’ll see ranch-style homes, split-level homes, traditional two-story homes, and even new-construction homes here,” Caroline shares.

In Hinsdale....

Ryan and Sarah Miller, Miller + Miller Real Estate Team, Coldwell Banker Residential,, know Hinsdale real estate. “We’ve developed a niche as a boutique-style, two-person team that is solely focused on a select amount of clients each year,” says the husband-and-wife team. Two noteworthy neighborhoods in Hinsdale are The Woodlands and also the area surrounding Madison Elementary, commonly referred to as “Madison.”

Downtown Hinsdale is traditionally one of the hottest places to buy a home, but there are many buyers who prefer openness and a more secluded neighborhood. The Woodlands offers privacy, towering trees, and exquisitely maintained landscaping. Many of the lots in The Woodlands range from 0.5 acres to 1+ acres. “People are beginning to put a higher value on lot sizes and the benefits that more land can offer,” the couple adds. With more space come more options, especially with remodeling or building custom homes with larger floor plans.

Another hot location in Hinsdale is the area around Madison Elementary School. Homes in this particular neighborhood are receiving attention due to the combination of quality homes and a fabulous location. While Madison offers abundance in terms of interest for the savvy homebuyer who wants to settle down in comfort, the major tipping point for luxury homebuyers is Hinsdale’s top-rated school districts. The high-style architecture and lavish landscaping in the homes found in Madison are also attractive for this small, affluent community.

In the Tri-Cities....

Pamela Burke, Coldwell Banker Residential,, is very familiar with Tri-Cities real estate. “I strive to give my clients the best customer service possible,” she explains. “I’m successful in real estate because I’m very proactive, making sure the transaction goes smoothly and creating as little stress as possible for my clients.”

Two popular neighborhoods in the Tri-Cities area that stand out in Pamela’s mind are Fox Mill in St. Charles and Mill Creek, located in Geneva.

Fox Mill is on the west side of St. Charles. “It’s a great neighborhood because of its various types of homes, which is largely due to the multiple builders,” she says. It’s definitely not a cookie-cutter subdivision. There are beautiful open spaces, parks, and ponds throughout the neighborhood, and many sidewalks, perfect for kids to ride their bikes on or for dog owners to walk their favorite fur-babies. There’s also a club house and outdoor pool for residents of Fox Mill, and the top-rated Bell Graham School is located within this subdivision as well.

Mill Creek, located close to the Metra train and I-88 expressway in Geneva, has won several awards for the community. There is a public golf course integrated throughout and Mill Creek also boasts several walking paths, parks, and open space for residents. There are two on-site elementary schools and homes can range in price from the low $300,000s up to $1 million. Residents will also find a church, grocery store, and a few businesses right in the heart of the subdivision.

In Sugar Grove.....

Keith and Wendi Dickerson of Keller Williams Infinity know Sugar Grove! With many years of experience behind them, they are front and center as the community continues to expand. For best neighborhoods, Keith and Wendi have found that Black Walnut Trails and Hannaford Farms are the most popular in Sugar Grove.

Built in the early 2000s, Black Walnut Trails is a great semi-custom construction community with a lot to offer. You can find homes ranging from 2,700 square feet to over 4,000 square feet and price points from $350,000 to the low $500,000s. Black Walnut also has several cul-de-sac lots, wooded lots, ponds, playgrounds, and also large common areas. “It’s a great draw for families who are within that price range,” Keith and Wendi add.

Also located in Sugar Grove, Hannaford Farms is a popular subdivision for those looking in the upper price range. Homes in Hannaford Farms range in the low $500,000s to upwards of over $1 million. These custom homes are all unique and display the latest in high-end construction, including elaborate elevations with brick, natural stone, and even mixed-media exteriors. This subdivision is attractive to buyers because you can build your own dream home if you wish, on large lots that average between 1/3 and ½ acre.

Other great neighborhoods include Windsor Pointe & Windsor West, both built by Wiseman Hughes a little over a decade ago with expansive layouts and favorable price points. Perfect for the growing family!

Keith and Wendi Dickerson, www.dickerson, believe that in order to be successful you have to love what you do. “We are proud to say that we have sold over $200 million during our career, placing us in the top 1 percent in northern Illinois in terms of sales,” the real estate couple shares.

In Oswego.....

Cheryl Bowers, managing broker of Bowers Realty Group tells us that two Oswego neighborhoods are coming out on top recently– Churchill Club and Southbury.

The Churchill Club subdivision is located just south of the Rt. 34 corridor, making it highly desirable because of its convenience. A major advantage to its location is its close proximity to big-name retail stores, restaurants, golf courses, and grocery stores. “Location is always a factor when buyers are considering homes, but it seems that more and more buyers are also looking for what else the community offers when making their purchasing decisions,” Cheryl adds. Churchill Club offers a community feel for residents by way of an outdoor swimming pool and clubhouse activities including movie nights, book clubs, date nights, and play groups.

Southbury subdivision offers different sections and types of homes, however the maintenance-free section and the single-family new construction are what really have buyers flocking. The maintenance-free section offers residents of single family homes amenities like snow removal and lawn maintenance without having to live in an age-restricted community. The maintenance free section has homes that are currently under construction and there is new construction in other sections of the community as well.

Cheryl Bowers,, takes a team approach when it comes to running a successful realty company. “We’re able to have the right people focus on the right things, which leads to better customer service and more homes sold,” she adds.

With new construction, close proximity to amenities, top-rated schools, and so much more, these hot neighborhoods in the western suburbs have both current and potential residents excited. Whether you’re looking to build a custom home or are looking for the perfect place to settle down in a family-friendly neighborhood, each of these subdivisions has something special to offer home buyers. G

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