New Suburban Homes For $350,000

By: Paula Cherrist

If you're shopping for a new home and have about $350,000 in your budget, you might want to consider that your dollar amount will sometimes buy a little more condo in the suburbs than it will in downtown Chicago. Of course you have to weigh the pros and cons of suburban living as opposed to in town, and that always varies depending on lifestyle, work and personal preferences.

Some people thrive on the energy and rush of living in the heart of Chicago. There is close proximity to everything; transportation, often your job, world class entertainment, shopping and dining options. Others prefer a slower pace, a little less rushed. Many of the suburbs also have excellent entertainment and dining options as well as access to quick and easy public transportation. The smaller communities on the North Shore have a lot to offer, including some of the best schools and environments in which to raise a family. They also are fantastic places to settle once you are retired.

So before you limit your search to condos or town homes on Michigan Avenue, why not take a look at a few of the developments profiled in this article. Just remember that while the prices and specifics listed are current at the time of this writing, the developer always reserves the right to modify them at any time.

Grand Bend at Green Bay in Evanston has a lot to offer potential buyers. The one to three bedroom condos range in price from about $300,000 up to $700,000 with from 915 to 2,055 square feet. The six story building has 49 condos and indoor heating parking with guest parking also available. The building has two high speed elevators, state of the art security systems and a furnished lobby.

The individual condos come with some great finishes. Most come with a private balcony or terrace, fireplace, 9 foot ceilings, hardwood flooring and a choice of Berber or plush carpeting. The kitchens are equipped with GE stainless steel appliances and handsome Wellborn Forest cabinets with a choice of 6 different stain finishes. Granite counter tops and hardwood floors complete the look.

The bedrooms have ample closet space with Vinyl Clad shelving and are pre-wired for cable television. The baths are fitted with Moen and Kohler fixtures, ceramic tile shower surround, 6 foot Seville soaking tub and Wellborn Forest vanity and cabinets.

Main Street Station is another development in Evanston where you can stretch your money a little further. The nine story low-rise building contains 71 condos that have from one to two bedrooms plus option den and 950 to 1,600 square feet. Pricing ranges from $299,900 to $540,900. Delivery is expected late in 2008 for these units and again, all the standard luxury perks apply. Hardwood flooring, granite counter tops in the kitchens and top of the line energy efficient appliances are included in the deal. The building also has a fully equipped fitness center and gathering room. Buyers will also get one parking space with their condo and any additional spaces can be purchased for about $25,000.

Another Evanston development that is hot on the market are the Winthrop Club Condos on 1567 Maple. At 15 stories and 110 units, this tower is set to deliver in mid to late 2008 and is a LEED certified green building. Parking is included in the price of a condo here, which starts at $329,000.

Nine foot ceilings, eco-friendly materials like bamboo flooring and doors, energy efficient heating, cooling, and GE appliances all add to the green theme. Wall to wall carpeting is installed in the bedrooms, marble counter tops, porcelain tile in the baths and Italian cabinets give the condos a European flair. The building also sports a 24 hour doorman and is close to both the CTA and Metra stations for quick transportation options.

Skokie is home to Optima at Old Orchard Woods. This large development is actually three connected towers, Maple, Oak and Elm, and is the tallest structure in town currently. Each of the three buildings has its own two story lobby and fitness center for residents to enjoy. A bridge-like structure connects each of the towers and also houses condos. The units come with one to four bedrooms and have from 700 to 3,100 square feet. Prices start at $280,000 and move up from there.

High-end kitchen appliances, plush carpeting and hardwood flooring, floor to ceiling windows and heated indoor parking come with each unit. The development showcases a sky garden on the roof, reflecting pool with a fountain, party room and even a tennis court.

When shopping for a new home in the Chicago area, it pays to keep the suburbs in mind. You can get great information on new developments and Chicago real estate prices by researching sites like http://www.northshoreinsider.com/north-shore-chicago-real-estate.html that focus on the smaller communities. That way you can be sure to get the most for your money.

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