Lake Zurich Real Estate
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Voted one of the top 100 Best Places to Raise Your Family by Frommer's travel guide, Lake Zurich, Illinois is a beautiful lakeside village with new downtown development plans, spacious residential neighborhoods and above-average median income. Lake Zurich is located in Lake County about 40 miles northwest of Chicago. With a population approaching 20,000, the suburb went through a major expansion in the latter half of the 20th century and is settling in as a modest-sized town with spectacular natural surroundings and big dreams of continued redevelopment.
European pioneers and New England settlers came to the Lake Zurich region starting in the 1830s. One of the area's founding fathers was a big believer in a particular French philosopher-inspired ideal of communal living, which was also popular in Switzerland at the time (hence his decision to name the place Lake Zurich). For many decades the area was dominated by farms, with some commercial business thrown in for good measure. There was even a railroad line through the town for a short period, but it ended service by 1920.
The village itself was incorporated in 1896 and became recognized as a popular summer vacation spot in the 1920s after highways connected it with other cities in the region (namely Chicago). The post WWII mid-century housing boom hit Lake Zurich, as it did in the rest of the country, and families moved to the suburban paradise to achieve the American dream - owning your own home. The number of residents in Lake Zurich has grown four-fold since 1960 and recent revitalization initiatives meant to attract interest to downtown are in the works. It is now a sprawling bedroom community with a strong economy and thriving local business sector.
Not surprisingly, the center of Lake Zurich recreation is the village's 0.4-square-mile body of water of the same name - Lake Zurich. Surrounding the lake is a picturesque landscape of nature parks, beaches, hiking trails and other community sites that make this northwestern Chicago suburb an excellent spot for young adults, growing families and retirees alike.
In addition to 31 park sites, 22 playgrounds, two beaches and one "sprayground," the Lake Zurich Park and Recreation Department maintains a slew of athletic and fitness facilities and other public resources for resident use. The village's largest outdoor recreation space is Paulus Park (200 S. Rand Rd.), which borders the southwestern edge of the lake and spans 41 acres. It has beach access and a kiddie spraypool, plus fishing, volleyball, picnic shelters, walking paths, nature preserves and parking for 150 cars. Also encircling the lake are the Promenade (150 W. Main), a tiny half-acre patch of green with manicured waterfront walkway; and Breezewald Park (125 N. Old Rand), a 5.5-acre public area with sand-covered beach, picnic tables, playground equipment, recreation trails and more.
Braemar Park (608 Chesterfield Ln.) is an active spot that spans seven acres and offers a baseball field, basketball courts, soccer field and volleyball. But the best place for practicing America's favorite pastime is Staples Park (510 Red Bridge Rd), which has six baseball diamonds in addition to being one of three locations in Lake Zurich with public tennis courts. In addition to the community lake access points, most residences around the lake have boat docks and private beaches that are enjoyed by the lucky homeowners with water rights.
The Chicago suburbs are often appreciated for their wide open terrain, which happen to make excellent grounds for golf courses. Lake Zurich is no exception. Here, the best and only place for a midday tee time or after-work golf outing is the Lake Zurich Golf Club (564 N. Old Rand Rd, 847-438-2431). It is a modest-sized nine-hole course situated just northeast of the lake. This scenic system of greens first opened in 1895 and is still a great spot to go for a convenient game of par 35 golf.
Residential real estate in Lake Zurich is mostly single-family houses and townhome developments. The winding lanes and organic layout of Lake Zurich's neighborhood subdivisions are a refreshing diversion from the traditional cradles of cookie-cutter blocks usually found in suburban bedroom communities. The non-uniform residential streets meander through the village, separated by tree-filled groves, public parkland and the occasional commercial center. One of the things that makes Lake Zurich such a sought-after community is the abundance of natural beauty and green vegetation. There are trees and grass everywhere you look and the lot sizes offer a generous stake of private yard space for all those growing families.
Due to the building boom that began in the 1950s, many of the houses here are examples of mid-century architectural fads - figuring heavily on ranch-style construction. But the diverse use of exterior materials and variation in floor plans offers a great selection of properties for home buyers of all tastes.
Prices for homes in Lake Zurich start in the mid $100,000s and reach as high as a million dollars. Some of the higher-end houses are custom-designed masterpieces with elegant architectural embellishments and lakefront locations or extra-large property dimensions. Middle-of-the-road homes in Lake Zurich cost between $250,000 and $450,000. They vary in style and shape, but most have four bedroom floor plans and updated interior amenities. There are also a lot of townhomes currently on the market in Lake Zurich that range from just under $200,000 to $600,000. Many of these residences are as spacious as a single-family detached home and offer all the upgraded features buyers want in today's market.
Lake Zurich 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
The dining selection in Lake Zurich offers a little bit of everything. Grab your morning jolt of java and a hot home-cooked breakfast at Koffee Kup Restaurant (30 E Main St., 847-438-8110). This classic American diner has been serving up plates of eggs and stacks of flapjacks for nearly three decades. Early risers are certainly fond of this place (it opens at 5:30 a.m.), but the lunch crew can't resist Koffee Kup's menu of tasty sandwiches and made-from-scratch soups. Oh, and they make a mean milkshake, too. Prices here are quite affordable (meals for under $10) and there's plenty of room for large crowds in the 90-seat dining room.
Lake Zurich residents who like their international deli delights can stop in at Ania's Polish Deli (890 S Rand Rd) for great sausage and traditional Polish fare or Cipperoni's Deli & Market (583 N Rand Rd, 847-438-3269) for imported Italian meats and cheeses, fresh olive oils and a wide assortment of homemade pastas. Speaking of Italian specialties, the pizza scene in Lake Zurich is booming with family-run local favorites and garden variety national chains. Sure you can order up a pie from Pizza Hut, but when in Lake Zurich we recommend trying a slice at Dipiero's Pizzeria (17 E Main St., 847-438-3252). This long-time "go-to" for excellent pizza and great Italian food is a hotspot for weekend diners, which means you might have to wait for a table. But the friendly atmosphere, full bar and outstanding grub is not to be missed! Of course, there are many Lake Zurich locals who will direct you to Yogi's Pizza (830 S Rand Rd, 847-726-6700) for the best pie in town. And some may say Rosati's (700 E Route 22, 847-540-6600), while others prefer Chicago classics like Gino's East (561 W Route 22, 847-540-7100) and Giordano's (455 S Rand Rd, 847-726-1500). The point is, Lake Zurich has plenty of pizza joints to choose from, so it's up to you to find your fave.
Those with an appetite for Mexican have their choice of Lake Zurich restaurants. Julio's Cocina Latina (95 S Rand Rd, 847-438-3484) claims "the largest tequila selection in the entire Chicagoland area" (which we're guessing is a good sign for any margarita lovers out there). The menu is a creative mix of Mexican, South American and Caribbean flavors that is sure to please; and the festive Latin-influenced ambiance provides an added touch of authenticity that makes it a really fun place to eat. Also making the list of top south-of-the-border restaurants in Lake Zurich are Tacos El Norte (213 S Rand Rd, 847-726-9114), which serves Tex Mex breakfast, lunch and dinner; and Mexico Lindo (35 N OLD RAND RD, 847-438-3770), for the usual suspects of burritos, tacos, fajitas and enchiladas with an impressive share of quality seafood entr?es and extra-spicy menu items.
Lake Zurich has a smattering of Asian eateries that range from Chinese takeout to Japanese steakhouses. Kobe Japanese Restaurant (783 W Route 22, 847-550-0888) is an upscale setting with a casual suburban feel that specializes in first-rate steaks, grilled seafood and chicken, and fresh sushi. The tableside chefs cook your food right on your table, which makes for an entertaining departure from the typical evening meal. If you don't want all the fanfare of Kobe but are still pining for a good maki roll or piece of sashimi, Sushi Gen (783 W Route 22, 847-550-8850) is a nice spot to satisfy your hunger. Siri Thai (115 S Rand Rd, 847-726-0036) is Lake Zurich's ticket to great Pad Thai, spicy noodles and other traditional tastes of Thailand. And you can get quick fix Chinese at Hunan Wing (650 E Route 22, 847-438-4288) or Kong Ming Chop Suey (788 S Rand Rd, 847-726-8758).
As a thriving community of growing families, Lake Zurich's school system is very important to local residents. Fortunately, there are a number of public and private institutions within the village borders that provide excellent educational opportunities for students of all levels, pre-K through high school grad.
- Isaac Fox Elementary School (395 W Cuba Rd, 847-540-7020)
- May Whitney Elementary School (120 Church St, 847-438-2351)
- Sarah Adams Elementary School (555 Old Mill Grv Rd, 847-438-5986)
- Seth Paine Elementary School (50 Miller Rd, 847-438-2163)
- Lake Zurich High School (300 Church St, 847-438-5155)
- Lake Zurich Middle School S Campus (435 W Cuba Rd, 847-540-7070)
- Quentin Road Christian School (60 Quentin Rd, 847-438-4494)
- St. Matthew Lutheran School (24480 N Old Mchenry Rd, 847-438-6103)
- Northwest Christian Academy (255 Quentin Rd, 847-550-6226)
- St. Francis De Sales School (11 S Buesching Rd, 847-438-7921)