Island Lake Real Estate
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American settlers started to migrate west from New England and Virginia in the early nineteenth century. It wasn't long before pioneers pushed past the Great Lakes into the territory beyond and established small communities in the name of westward expansion. Many precursors to the Chicago suburbs were created at this time, as was Island Lake, now a modest village surrounded by several lakes and farmland.
Following the Black Hawk War in 1932, much of Northern Illinois was cleared of its Native American inhabitants and new colonists chose to build homes in the rolling hills and prairie land surrounding the Fox River (in what is now McHenry and Lake Counties). The new settlements were located too far from Chicago and Cook County to be effectively governed from the city or county administration. This need for a more local seat of government resulted in the formation of McHenry County in 1836. At the time the new county stretched to Lake Michigan however it was divided three years later to form Lake County, which separates McHenry County from Lake Michigan.
The Village of Island Lake (incorporated in 1952) straddles these two counties. The small development was primarily a resort community of small cottages that sought recreation in the nearby waterways and lakes. Today Island Lake is a far-removed suburb of Chicago that enjoys its distance from the city (it's about an hour drive to downtown) but wouldn't trade its scenic location for all the skyscrapers on Michigan Avenue. Island Lake has about 8,000 residents and a pleasant rural appeal that thrives on its small town roots and beautiful Northern Illinois landscape.
The surrounding areas of McHenry and Lake Counties provide ample recreational activities for those who love the Great Outdoors. Moraine Hills State Park is located to the north of Island Lake and has plenty of hiking, biking, boating and fishing options on 22,000 acres of parkland. During nice weather, the spots reserved for picnicking are occupied by lunching families and planned community get-togethers. In the winter, as long as there's enough snow to cover the ground, cross-country skiers take advantage of the park's ten miles of trail ways.
The McHenry County Prairie Path is 25 miles of paved and non-paved bike trails that stretch from Algonquin to Genoa City, Wisconsin. The trail provides fantastic nature views of the surrounding hills and prairies.
The Village of Island Lake is about a half-century in the making, so there is a good mix of residential architecture that ranges from 50-year-old frame houses to modern construction townhomes.
List prices for attached residences in Island Lake start around $100,000, which will get you a duplex-style home with one bedroom, one bathroom and a garage. For a little more, home buyers can move into a newer townhome development that includes large floor plans, private yard space and two-car driveways in a quiet subdivision setting.
Single-family homes in Island Lake are plentiful with many winding residential streets and tree-filled lots to choose from. Prices for detached property in this Chicago suburb span from the low $100,000s (for a small frame-style home with a bit of updating needed) to $500,000 for a custom designed house with granite-clad kitchen, great room, acres of land and a prime spot on one of the area's many waterfronts.
Island Lake Residential Real Estate Info for Single-Family Detached Homes
|Average Sale Price 2005-2006||Average # of Days on the Market||Number of Sales 2005-2006||One Year Price Change||Price Change Since 94|
Source: Multiple Listings Service of Northern Illinois
Island Lake offers hungry residents and visitors a small yet sufficient selection of places to eat out. The list of gastronomic hotspots is what you'd expect of a typical Midwestern suburb - enough chain eateries to get a burger and fries any time you want, plus some local legends to capture that Northern Illinois culinary genius.
Culvers Frozen Custard (203 E State Rd., 847-526-8530) is part of a fast food chain, sure, but they somehow manage to keep quality and good service as top priorities. Every burger, patty melt or grilled chicken sandwich is made to order. And don't forget to save room for dessert. Culver's has some of the best shakes out there. True to their name, Little Pete's (107 E State Rd., 847- 487-7980) is small but it's not the size of the restaurant that's important. Patrons of Little Pete's know it's the quality of the pizza that keeps them coming back. In addition to great pies, Pete's also serves up an assortment of tasty Italian sandwiches. Customers of Hunan Gourmet (529 Auburn Dr., 847-487-7550) may complain a bit about the sometimes slow service, but for good affordable Chinese cuisine, Hunan's takes top billing.
The original owners of Nancy's Pizzeria (527 Auburn Dr., 847-487-4100) claim to be the inventors of the stuffed pizza. Who are we to argue when they do it so well? This pizza joint has expanded quite a bit since Nancy and Rocco Palese opened their first restaurant in 1971 (there are several locations throughout the Chicagoland area). But more importantly, now pizza-craving Island Lakers can order up the signature stuffed pies without ever having to leave home. In addition to their specialty, Nancy's also has thin and super thin crust options, as well as salads sandwiches and appetizers. Chef Bob has been a fixture in the northwest suburbs for over twenty years. Working in some of the areas most popular eateries has given Chef Bob enough chops to open the Grapevine (206 E State Rd., 847-526-8700). Opened in 2004, the Grape Vine offers Island Lake diners delicious options in steak and seafood (FYI they also make a mean pizza). With pick-up, delivery and catering options to surrounding towns, Chef Bob is sure to further cement his reputation as a top chef in McHenry and Lake Counties in the years to come.
Island Lake doesn't have a huge retail shopping center, but it does have a larger-than-life outlet for all your camping and traveling needs. Camping World of Chicago, IL (4450 Darrell Rd. 866-599-4876) is "America's RV and Outdoor Store" with a variety of campers and RVs on hand to set up would-be campers with their ideal tent-on-wheels. Camping World also sells a variety of accessories like grills, chairs and other outdoor furniture, so you can feel like you never left home.
No matter what the occasion (anniversary, get well soon, Mother's Day, new baby), Distinctive Designs by Roberta Lynn (125-5 East State Rd 847-487-2241) can create the perfect floral arrangement for your special day. Let Roberta Lynn's signature designs and quality customer service take care of the flowers for your next event in Island Lake or the surrounding area.
For a night out that won't send you filing for bankruptcy, residents of Island Lake head to 3-D Bowling Lanes & Sideouts Bar (4018 Roberts Rd, 847-526-7174). In addition to the bowling that's advertised right in the name, Sideout's also has beach volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, pool tables, darts, live bands, food and, of course, a bar - and all for really reasonable prices. For a little taste of Chicago's Rush Street in the suburbs feel free to check out Mother Murphys (213 E State Rd., 847-526-8800). This sports bar doesn't limit itself to games on the big screen TVs - there are daily lingerie shows to lure in customers. It may be a slightly suspect way to attract business, but whether or not patrons come for the lingerie they stay for the pizza, burgers and selection of over 30 domestic and imported beers.
- Matthews Middle School (3500 Darrell Rd. 847-526-6210)
- Cotton Creek School (545 Newport Ct. 847-526-4700)