Naperville is the oldest community in DuPage County and was founded in 1871. Until
the 1970s, it was a small village of 20,000 people. Now, corporate
headquarters, technological research centers, and other businesses make
Naperville, 28 miles west of Chicago, the fourth largest city in Illinois with
a population of more than 140,000.
The benefits of living in Naperville certainly haven't gone undetected.
Relocate-America.com named it as its No. 1 city in its "America's Top 100
Places to Live in 2006," and Money magazine named it as a finalist in its
recent “Best Places to Live” awards. Thanks to a wide variety of
homes, a charming downtown, the five-mile, brick paved Riverwalk and strong
schools; it's been lauded as one of the most kid-friendly towns as well as one
of the best places to retire.
Cost of Housing
New construction is the main draw in this community, where 180 subdivisions
exist in a variety of price ranges and designs. A two-bedroom home without a
basement can be found for $225,000.
The average home price is upwards of $375,000, while prices range from
$140,000 to $1.75 million. Single-family units make up 75 percent of the
housing stock, with a typical home having four bedrooms and 2.5 baths in a
two-story Colonial style with full basement and garage. Some Victorians exist
closer to downtown Naperville.
Homes in outlying areas cost more, with custom builds starting at $600,000
to well over $3 million for a 5,000-square-foot mansion on large lots.
One-bedroom apartments rent for $900 to $1,200 monthly.
Naperville CU (Community Unit) School District 203 and Indian Prairie Unit
School District 204 offer a variety of extracurricular activities along with
gifted and special-needs programs. District 204, the state's fastest growing,
serves the newer area.
Branch campuses for DePaul and Northern Illinois universities are located in
the area. Highly-ranked North Central College, focusing on liberal arts and
sciences, is downtown.
One can find restored historic structures, artifacts and costumed guides at the
Naper Settlement, the region's only 19th century museum village. There are 125
parks in the Naperville area including Cantigny Park, with rose gardens and
Revolutionary War re-enactments, Centennial Beach with a quarry swimming pool,
and a dog park.
The popular downtown Riverwalk, built in 1981 along the DuPage River, features
fountains, bridges, walkways and greenery amid upscale emporiums and retail
chains. Residents and visitors also enjoy the DuPage Children's Museum and the
158-foot high Moser Tower Millennium Carillon, one of only four carillons in
the world that spans a full six octaves.
Commuting to Chicago takes 50 to 60 minutes via Interstate 88 (East-West
Tollway) and the Eisenhower Expressway. Roads and highways in and out of
Naperville can be congested. Many opt for the 35-minute Metra (Burlington
Northern) commuter train.