Its certainly a tad pricier than some of its neighboring cities, but finding a place in Buffalo Grove isn’t too hard. You just need to know where to look. The commute time in the area is more than normal. That means 30-plus minutes to work is just the starting point. But, the city has that covered too: public transportation is available and widely used to make the trek to work.
Getting the renting ball rolling isn't difficult. You will fill out a basic rental application, and the landlord will run a credit check. If you have a few issues on your credit file, you might want to include references from your landlord and proof of income, but as long as your past financial issues don't include not paying your rent, it shouldn't be a problem. There are usually enough vacancies that a less-than-stellar credit report isn't a problem. In some areas with low vacancy rates you will want to be ready to move quickly.
If you can stomach it, and you will need a strong stomach, go for the brutal winter months. Not many people want to move when it’s close to below zero and you can pull an icicle from the moving truck to cool your cocoa. This is going to be your best chance to find a place and negotiate a lower rent.
Expect to pay someplace between a moan and a scream. It's not on-the-coast expensive, but it is close. If you have ever considered downsizing and taking up a minimalist lifestyle, this would be a good time. You will also want to seriously consider whether you want to pay for an extra bedroom year-round or just foot a hotel bill for mom when she comes to visit; the hotel will be less expensive.
There are several pronounced neighborhoods and their designation is, as is the norm in cities of this size, primarily a real estate designation. In the case of Buffalo Grove, this also has to do with local zoning ordinances that force business to locate away from residential areas. While it makes for quieter residential streets, it also makes for a longer trek to buy groceries or hang out with friends in a pub.
Buffalo Grove Road: One of the most expensive neighborhoods is also the one with the most vacancies: go figure. There are some great homes in this area, which have jacked up the cost of many rental properties. You will find doctors, lawyers, and executive types that are well established in their professions living here. There are also a fair number of university professors living in this area.
Horatio Gardens: The housing market is tight here for rentals. With few vacancies, the monthly rents are kept high. Most of the residents have lived here for at least five years, so the neighborhood is pretty stable.
Village Center: Good luck finding a place here as they are almost nonexistent. Virtually every place here is occupied by the owner. It's friendly though, and if you manage to score a place here you can expect to get to know your neighbors. It's also a stable neighborhood, so you can form long-lasting friendships with your neighbors.
Thompson: This area of Buffalo Grove is primarily owner-occupied homes. It's a more reasonably priced neighborhood. It's also one of the neighborhoods with almost no vacancies due to the lack of apartment buildings and rental properties. Bummer.
Checker: There are few vacancies in this neighborhood, so if you find one, grab it immediately.
Lake Cook: This is a great little area.. It's a quiet neighborhood, and you should be able to find a nice place at a good price here. Normally there are vacancies but not so many that you can negotiate.
Dundee: If you manage to find a place, grab it fast. Fast as in, hand them cash to hold while you write the check! There are virtually no rentals here, so if you find one, be ready to strike!
You found a place to live and have moved to Buffalo Grove -- great! Welcome to the community. Now you might be asking yourself what is there to do here other than stare at the walls of your new place. Luckily, there is a lot to do here, so let's go!
If you are a history buff, you can start at the Raupp Museum. That's the museum of the history of Buffalo Grove. There are also a couple of really great old buildings including St. Mary's Church, which is the oldest building in town.
Are you a fan of fair food and festivals? Well the town hosts two festivals every summer. There is the International Fine Arts Festival in the middle of July, as well as the Buffalo Grove Days Festival. This is a festival that starts with a parade and ends with a bang, literally. The festival closes each year with a huge fireworks display.
You can find some really great restaurants in Buffalo Grove, but a few stand out from the crowd. Of course, you can find the chain places, but it's the local ones that are really impressive here. If Mexican food is your passion, you have to visit Mi Mexico on Milwaukee Ave. Their cheese enchiladas are fantastic, as are their fajitas.
If your favorite is Asian, pay a visit to Yen Yen on Buffalo Grove Road. Their Happy Family specialty is outstanding, but be sure to try their Marco Polo as well. As most people know, the true test of a good Chinese restaurant is in the egg rolls and Crab Rangoon; both are superb here. The food is great and the prices are reasonable.
If you are looking for food, specifically pizza, you have to visit Lou Malnati's Pizzeria on Buffalo Grove Road. Not only is this the best pizza in the area, but there is also a full bar, making it a great place to hang out with friends. The pizzeria itself is located in the second oldest building in Buffalo Grove. In addition to pizza, there is a huge menu featuring Italian favorites from pasta to the single best Italian beef sandwiches you will ever find. They even have chocolate chip pizza for dessert.
Speaking of bars, you have to have a place where you can relax after work with friends over a beer or two. Sky Box Bar and Grill over on Hastings is just what you need. It's a great place to hang out with friends, where you can have a real conversation.