Naperville, Illinois

American Beauty

The BUZZ

What's it like to live in Naperville

Best/worst parts of living in Naperville?

I've lived in Naperville my whole life.

Schools are great.

Downtown is a great place to walk around, especially the riverwalk. It's always crowded in the summer with people packing into restaurants. A lot of teenagers frequent downtown. A lot of places seem to be closing or have closed in the recent past.

Like someone else commented, avoid the condos on E Bailey. I believe they're called "The Olive Tree Condominiums " or something similar. Also avoid any housing in far north Naperville by 59. There has been some shady stuff there too.

No matter where you live, you will be in close proximity to a Jewel, as there's four of them: W Ogden and Aurora, E Ogden and Washington, 95th and 59, and Naper and 75th. Casey's Foods (Gartner and Washington) is a popular place too with excellent meats and other selections. Trader Joes in the same strip is also popular. It's probably a drive for most to go to Walmart on 75th, it's way out of the way. Then of course you have other stores and plenty of restaurants to choose from, especially along Ogden and in Downtown.

As for parks and forest preserves, there is: McDowell Grove (north part of town), Springbrook Prairie (south of 75th between 59 and Modaff), Knoch Knolls Park (closer to Bolingbrook), and then Frontier Park (south part of town), Knoch Park (central part of town), and Nike Park (north part of town). All of these you should check out.

I can't say much about housing, except that lots of older houses (usually split levels) are getting torn down and huge monstrosities are taking their place.

The big culprits for traffic are 75th between 59 and Book Road, any part of 59, parts of Naper south of 75th as well as closer to Ogden, and lots of areas along Ogden. At least along the E portion of Ogden, trying to turn left out of a business might be an issue.

Overall, I'd rate Naperville 7.5 out of 10.

Best/worst parts of living in Naperville?

It's been a few years since we moved out of Naperville. I wasn't a big fan of all of the red light cameras (there was at least one right turn lane that seemed like you should be able to turn right on red, but NOPE). We lived in the apartments in walking distance of the Rt. 59 Metra station and they were pretty nice. We never thought it was unsafe or sketchy at the time. As with anywhere, places can go downhill, so don't take this as gospel.

The parks are great and can be less busy than you'd expect. DuPage County Forest Preserves are very nice. There are a lot of local bike trails. Centennial Beach is unique. We were unimpressed by RibFest or Last Fling (the two festivals/carnivals held in normal years). Downtown is cute and very walkable. There are two Metra stations if you need to go to Chicago (or if you are a daily commuter), but it can be a bit of a long ride compared with closer suburbs.

Honest assessment of Naperville

It's a great suburb with a walkable downtown and many things to do. That said, I am not sure of your financial situation but it is very very expensive to buy a house near downtown Naperville. If you don't have that kind of money, you will end up in a cookie cutter suburban sprawl neighborhood. Nothing wrong with that, but if you are looking for a suburban/city hybrid environment, you might be better off looking elsewhere. I live a 5 minute walk from downtown Wheaton and while its nowhere near as large as Naperville, its got a good downtown with restaurants etc and a lot cheaper (though still pretty expensive relatively speaking)

Why should I live in Naperville, Illinois?

Naperville has good schools, low crime, plenty of businesses, homes range from around mid 300k- 2million. Taxes can be kind of high, but it’s Illinois so if you want a nice home in a nice community your going to pay higher taxes. Naperville is maybe about 45 minutes to 1.5 hour commute to downtown Chicago depending on the time of day, there are plenty of restaurants and a decent array of forest for running/walking and hiking. It has a nice downtown area with trains to Chicago, and a nightlife considered a “mini Chicago” there are hospital’s for medical care and employment, and it’s in close proximity to most local highways it’s not perfect, but in general it’s a nice generally affluent suburban Chicago suburb .

Pros and Cons of Living in Naperville, IL