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  • Writer's pictureTracy Cimba


After spending two nights in an apartment during the work week in Roscoe Village we realized five things about our search for a new neighborhood and home. We are not quite ready for condo living because first, we still want a two car garage and second we want a backyard so we can grill and sit out and enjoy the weather in the summer. Third, we need easy access to I-90 as John will be commuting north to Skokie. Fourth, ideally we want to be close to a train for easy access to the city. And fifth, we need to be a little bit more north of Roscoe Village to cut our commute time way down.

Looking at the map, we narrowed our search to homes along the blue line which runs right beside a portion of 1-90 which hits I-94 for a quick trip north to Johns office. The added bonus of the blue line is that the train with amazing access to the city and cool neighborhoods, Wicker Park & Bucktown also goes west to O'Hare, a super easy, less expensive and stressful commute for John for out of town travel. No more long traffic ridden drives and exorbitant parking fees.

We targeted Logan Square, Avondale and Old Irving. Click on the links for neighborhood descriptions from

Logan Square we loved but scratched it off the list quickly due to the traffic along I-90 to and from Skokie. From a previous blog post you will see why we did love the neighborhood. Searching the "interwebs" we stumbled across a new development in Old Irving called BaseCamp. We loved the modern urban vibe and the pricing was amazing for single family home new construction. Touring the neighborhood we immediately fell in love with Old Irving. It offered us the city vibe and walking community we were looking for with proximity to the Metra, the L and the highway. And an added bonus, the homes were unbelievably affordable compared to Logan Square, Roscoe Village and Lincoln Square. While we loved the "move-in ready" and high end finishes of the new construction development, we were really looking for a historic vintage Chicago home to put our own stamp on and so continued our search to resale properties. And sure enough, we stumbled across a little farm house which was almost half of the price of the new construction home. We knew it would not last long, so in typical Cimba fashion, we went "all in" and put in an offer. It needed some updating and a new garage, but nothing drastic. The next day, the Old Irving property counter offered and that's when the panic set in... What are we doing? We haven't even sold our Wilmette house yet. Wait... we haven't even listed it yet to be exact. We decided to walk away knowing we would lose the house until we made arrangements and prepared our current house for the market. We did not like the idea of carrying two homes. As we expected the Old Irving home sold the next week. We were disappointed, but it was the driving factor to our motivation to sell our Wilmette house and move to the city. We also knew we would continue and focus our search in Old Irving. Here is a great video about the neighborhood created for the new development . It's a great snapshot of all that it has to offer. Old Irving Neighborhood Video.

Sorry Avondale neighbors, we never explored you but you are not far from us and we will be checking out some restaurants and bars in your "hood" soon.

The video mentions - Community Tavern and we will say it's a must. One of our favorite go-to's.

We got our Wilmette house listed and watched the market in Old Irving ready to pounce on the next opportunity. Our next offer was on a vintage apartment in a sub neighborhood of Old Irving -The Villa..... Wait what? Did I just say vintage aparment? Doesn't that break the first two home "must have" parameters - a garage & backyard... stayed tuned.

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