It's unfortunate that most people have to do a bulk of research to decide on whether or not they want to move to a specific town. Even after all of the research in the world, you can't really decide whether a town is great or not until you live in it. Of course, that's why you're reading this, but in reality, Downers Grove made this job much easier. This quaint village, loaded with beautiful historical homes, was once listed as No. 8 on the Forbes list of America's Friendliest Towns and No. 5 on CNN's list of Best Places for a Healthy Retirement. So yeah, you definitely want to live here, and you better be prepared if you want the best shot at doing so.
When to start looking
One of the greatest parts about Downers Grove is the fact that it's not really hard to find housing for rent. Even with its quaint features and historical background, the more than 14 square miles of land ensures that there are usually numerous places to go around. You may still want to start looking, though, a month or two in advance. You'd be hard-pressed to find an area in the village that you won't love, but come on, you're going to want to pick out your favorite home for rent in Downers Grove and not just settle because you ran out of time.
When to make the move
There are actually varying considerations a person should have when looking for somewhere to stay in the village. Average low temperatures, for instance, don't even reach above freezing until April, so many individuals prefer to wait until warmer months to make the move. Of course, you don't want to get caught up in Chicago tourism traffic either. Seriously, have you ever tried to maneuver a moving truck in and out of bumper-to-bumper traffic? No fun. June and July are hectic tourism months for Chicago, and unless you're lucky, you'll catch a piece of this when moving. If you can possibly make the move in May or between August and October, though, you can avoid sub-freezing weather and tourists at the same time. Honestly, I'm not sure which of those two are worse.
What to bring along
This is one of the most pleasant areas you're going to find this close to Chicago. The violent crime rate is nearly seven times lower in Downers Grove than in the rest of Illinois. This is why, when you're looking for rental homes in this village, you need to be ready to impress the landlords. Bringing along proof of income and references from former landlords is a quick way of doing this. In fact, if you're not doing that already, you're slacking. Throw in a nice credit check and a background check to prove you're not looking to engage in any Enron-type scandals with the locals, and you might just find yourself in an awesome house or apartment.
Whenever international organizations and magazines choose Downers Grove for their "Top 10" lists, it's not simply for one or two things. The village has a multitude of aspects about it which make it insanely popular, and the village is loved so much that residents fight to keep the area beautiful rather than considering moving to nearby villages. No matter which area of Downers Grove you look in, you're going to find little bits of amazing sprinkled throughout. And congrats if you manage to snag one of the many Sears-Roebuck Catalog Homes that were built in the early 20th century with "home kits". Ah, the good old days.
Village Center: You'll find a variety of housing options in this residential area, but you'll also have a few other perks. Doerhoefer Park, for instance, is situated in the area--and this is great even if you can't spell it. Also, you can avoid too much driving since there are several bus stops along Downers Drive.
Belmont Road: The Belmont Road area is west of Main Street and, just like other areas of the village, highly residential. Don't worry though. You'll also find great restaurants like Steak 'n Shake here along with the West Suburban Humane Society if you want to volunteer. And after watching those sad Sarah McLachlan pet commercials, you know you want to.
Downers Plaza: The area around Downers Plaza Shopping Center is great for those who want to be around everything. Need to shop? There's a Trader Joe's in the center. Slip on something in the store? Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center is nearby. None of that apply? Well stop being difficult and just go check out the wetlands and picnic area at Wallingford Park.
East Chicago Avenue: You can feel all sorts of classy if you find apartment or condo rentals in this area. Hinsdale Golf Club is adjacent to East Chicago Avenue, and if golfing isn't your thing, at least go learn something at the Gregg House Museum.
Hopefully you will find a neighborhood that makes you giddy when you're driving home from work at night. But don't restrict yourself to just this area; there's plenty to enjoy about Downers Grove. You can either be a stick in the mud and rest for a few days after your move is complete, or you can enjoy your 15 minutes of fame as the new villager in the area. Actually, that sounds pretty great. How often in your life can you refer to yourself as a villager? That's reason enough to move here, but rest assured, there are many other reasons as well.
Chicago is Yours
You're literally within half an hour of The Windy City. Just hit Interstate 290 and head east. There's no way you won't be able to find something to do here, and if you manage, that says more about you than the city!
Catch a Flick in Real Style
Remember how the village has all of those amazing historical houses? That's not all it has, and you can even enjoy a movie surrounded by history. Just go check out Classic Cinemas, which still has the marquee from the Roaring Twenties out front, to enjoy one of your favorite movies in style.
You're literally less than 15 minutes away from Cypress Cove Family Aquatic Park. It's outdoor, though, so it's suggestible that you avoid sneaking in when it's closed. Do you really want to be in the water when it's 20 degrees outside?
Amazing Downtown Area
Remember those "Top 10" lists Downers Grove made it on? Those weren't the only ones. The Chicago Tribune also listed the village's downtown area on their "Top 10 List of Downtowns." There's literally more than 100 festivals and community events held in this area every single year.