Elmhurst: Voted One of the Top Family Friendly Cities in America

A suburban surprise. Family Circle Magazine picked this little Illinois town as one the Ten Best Places for Families 2014.

Photos by: KoenigRubloff Asking $1,595,000. Built in 1950 with 5,388 square feet of living space, this 5-bed, 5.5-bath two-story has the kind of suburban luxury that makes the 50 min commute from downtown Chicago downright negligible (oh, but the train station is close enough to ditch the car). Highlights from this brick, 14-room home include a monster-sized gourmet kitchen, vaulted ceilings, tailored outdoor dining spaces, three (count ‘em) wood burning fireplaces, and marble tile that looks great with high heels. Repped by Julie Falduto Hurt of KoenigRubloff.

Elmhurst is a puny 10-square-miles with a population less than 45,000, but this western Chicago suburb was declared an absolute choice destination for families by Family Circle Magazine. Named one of the top ten cities for the progression of marriage, mortgage and munchkins, Elmhurst, known as the "treeless" land in 1842, doesn't strike as sexy a pose as Chicago's downtown, River North or bohemian Wicker Park. It has a quiet reserve, but hidden under that Midwestern modesty are a few ah-ha statistics.

According to 2012 census data, the median income for a family is $122,890 and approximately 39 percent of households have children under the age of 18. (One of the town's ironies is producing guitarist Rick Nielsen of I Want You to Want Me '70s rock band Cheap Trick.) Zillow reports the median home value at $360,600, an increase of 9.8 percent over 2013 and expects another 3 percent hike over the next year. But you know to parse the numbers it's best to check the median  sale price, which is $353,500 and well above the national $211,100.

Family Circle's methodology was pretty straightforward. Working with New York research group Onboard Informatics, it crunched data from 4,200 cities with populations between 10,000 and 150,000 and targeting households with median incomes from $50,000 to $100,000. The livability litmus test? Home prices, schools (always high on the list) green space (this one is becoming more in demand) and low crime (of course). Elmhurst ranked in the top ten from a pool of 1,400 and was described as having "a pedestrian-friendly downtown and opportunities for volunteering" and as "a dream destination for families." The list includes Westfield, Ind., Camas, Wash., and Woodbury, Minn.

But we think the York Theatre's $1 buck summer movies tipped the score. 

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