A Bright Spot on the Chicagoland Real Estate Scene

January 30, 2011

A small Chicago suburb has been named one of America’s most stable housing markets.

Cook County’s tiny Village of La Grange Park was the only municipality from Illinois to make Forbes.com‘s America’s 20 Most Stable Housing Markets list.

Forbes.com used data from Zillow.com on 93 million homes nationwide, identifying cities in which:

*Home values had appreciated for at least three consecutive quarters

*The rate of home sales was healthy

*Foreclosure rates were lower than the metro area.

La Grange Park, a small, quiet community of approximately 13,000 about 15 minutes from downtown Chicago, is a town that prides itself on protecting its residential zoning and home values.

In 2004, developers looked to alter the town’s comprehensive land-use plan, encouraging the rezoning of residential neighborhoods to make way for more businesses. Residents objected.

“The community’s response was an updated Comprehensive Plan, adopted in 2006, to embody the will of the community,” said Tina Sonderby, former board member and member of the Comprehensive Planning Committee charged with strengthening land-use policy. “A year-long process included significant input from residents. The language and the community values are crystal clear and protect our homes and parks while defining objectives for redevelopment of our commercial areas.”

In 2009-2010, while other suburbs reliant on sales tax revenues had to cut services, La Grange Park services were mostly unaffected.

“There is a character to the Village that is worth protecting,” said Village President James Discipio. “Families put down roots in our neighborhoods. Our stable home market sustains a healthy property tax base and vice versa.

“Our residents support measures that protect their investments and quality of life. The Village land use policy reflects that. I doubt we’d be on the Forbes list had we taken a different path in 2006.”

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There’s a hot deal on a La Grnage park ranch-style home – see the 900 blok of Newberry Avenue, west side of street. Needs some work, but it’s in the LTHS school distract and cheap – not sure of the exact asking price, but it’s around $125K . . . detached single-family in great neighborhood.

No, I don’t own it and I’m not a real estate person, either.


A developer actually was interested in La Grange Park? Remarkable, if it was true. Check your facts. Exploring rezoning in 2004 was merely a bad idea from an ertswhile village manager. The resulting tall tales were nothing but manufactured hysteria.

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