Whether you are moving to Northbrook permanently or looking for an apartment to rent, you will definitely fall in love with this beautiful village located on the north shore of Chicago.
From being incorporated as Shermerville with a population of just 311 residents in 1901 to becoming one of the most exclusive and sought-after housing markets for families, Northbrook has enjoyed massive transformation over the past few decades.
Today, it features world-class amenities including 500-acres of parkland, dense suburban feel, safe neighborhoods, blue ribbon schools, a median household income that is far better than the national average, a great shopping and dining scene and greenery. No wonder, this Chicago suburbs ranks among the best places to live and raise kids in Illinois.
In this guide, we are going to cover everything you want to know about the key factors that could make this the best place for you, including Northbrook , IL real estate, apartments for rent, Northbrook movers, where to shop for furniture and grocery and what to do when you are visiting this Chicago suburb.
This guide aims at helping you make informed decisions while buying a home or renting one in Northbrook. And, when you are ready to relocate, you can hire Northbrook movers with Easymove app.
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Northbrook history, demographics & transport
In 1830s, the members of the Potawatomi tribe settled in the area known today as Northbrook. The town was incorporated in 1901 and was called Shermerville. It had only 60 homes at that time. The village was renamed as Northbrook in 1923 and by that time the population had increased to over 500 people.
Real estate development exploded in Northbrook in the past World War II era. It was divided into subdivisions and the developed happened in a very planned manner. The completion of a water line from Lake Michigan to Northbrook's water treatment plant stimulated additional growth. By 1970, the population reached 25,422. Today, Northbrook is home to nearly 35,000 people – most of them long-time residents. There are a total of 18 streets in Northbrook named after the first settlers.
Whites make up the majority of population (almost 85%), but there is a sizable population of Asian and foreign-born residents also. One of the most notable features is that most residents are married couples with young kids. It is for this reason that the median age is 48 years and over 77% residents are aged 18 years or above. The median household income is about $120,000, so Northbrook can be considered an affluent suburb. Many millionaires and professional athletes call Northbrook their home.
Most newcomers find Northbrook an open and inviting community. There are a wide range of religious organizations in the area. Many of them have come together under the umbrella of the Northbrook Clergy Association. Northbrook is religiously diverse, with about 30 houses of worship representing numerous denominations.
One of the biggest draws that make Northbrook very desirable for entrepreneurs and professionals is its close proximity to downtown Chicago. It is located just 25 miles from downtown. There is a commuter rail service connecting downtown with most Northbrook neighborhoods. The Metra train system links Northbrook directly to downtown Chicago. Both O’Hare International Airport and Chicago Midway International Airport are also in close proximity – at nearly 20 minutes’ drive.
Most common mode of transport is cars; however, Northbrook ranks very well as far as its Walkability Score is concerned. It features wide tree-lined streets with pavements and dedicated corridors for pedestrians and cyclists.
The Edens Expressway (I-94), the Edens Spur, and the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) are easily accessible from Northbrook if you want to drive to Chicago.
Most homes in Northbrook are served by Northfield TWP HSD 225 School District. Other school districts include Northbrook School District 28, Northbrook ESD 27, Northbrook Glenview School District 30 and West Northfield School District 31.
There are 42 schools in Northbrook, IL. Of them, 12 are elementary schools, 7 middle schools and 4 high schools. Others are private and charter schools.
· Shabonee School
· Wescott Elementary School
· Meadowbrook Elementary School
· Willowbrook Elementary School
· Sunset Ridge Elementary School
· Greenbriar Elementary School
· Westmoor Elementary School
· Wood Oaks Jr High School
· Maple School
· Sunset Ridge Elementary School
· Northbrook Junior High School
· Field School
· Glenbrook South High School
· Glenbrook North High School
· Wheeling High School
The quality of school districts is one of the biggest reasons for Northbrook’s popularity among families. Many couples move to Northbrook just to ensure that their kids get quality education.
Northbrook, IL attractions: Things to Do in Northbrook
There are several attractions in and around Northbrook.
Northbrook is surrounded by the best Northshore Chicago suburbs including Highland Park, Glencoe, Glenview, Wilmette, Evanston, Skokie and Winnetka. For this reason, the top attractions of these suburbs such as the Ravinia Festival, Chicago Botanic Garden, Kohl Children’s Museum, the Bha’i Temple, Northwestern University Campus, the Skokie Lagoons, Chicago River Canoe & Kayak, Tower Road Beach Park, Glencoe Beach and Gross Point Light House are located at a few minutes’ drive from Northbrook.
Northbrook is popular for its beautiful landscape, greenery and parkland where you can enjoy an array of fun activities and also spend quality time with your friends and family.
Here are some of the top attractions in Northbrook:
· River Trail Nature Center: There are trails for biking, hiking, jogging and horse riding. You can enjoy a lot of wildlife here as well. The outdoors-dwelling creatures including striped skunk, owls, coyotes, hawks, snakes and eagles are kept in enclosures here. A walk along the river bank or through the woods is something you wouldn’t want to miss out on when you are at River Trail Nature Center. There is also a museum with great displays and a kids area. The center features beautiful gardens featuring native plants, butterfly friendly flowers and bird feeders attracting all sorts of birds.
· Northbrook Park District: It will take you an entire day to visit Northbrook Park District alone. It covers more than 500 acres of land in 19 various park sites. It also hosts over 1000 activities, events and programs for kids as well as adults. It is home to echny Prairie Park & Field, Northbrook Velodrome, Northbrook Theatre, Meadowhill Aquatic Center, Sportsman’s Country Club and Anetsberger Golf Course, The Sports Center, Leisure Center and Senior Center, Village Green Center, Team Challenge Course and Northbrook Climbing Tower. The activities you enjoy in the park district include hiking, climbing, sports, biking, golf, golf shopping, fishing and boating.
· Northbrook Historical Society and History Museum: If you want to learn about the history of Northbrook, just head straight to this place. You will find the volunteers who manage the place very friendly. The tour of Shermerville homes looked like back in the day will be the highlight of your visit. There is also a gift and coffee shop.
· AMC Theaters: The place features auditoriums and rest rooms with comfortable seating arrangement. You can watch documentaries while gorging on delicious food that is offered here.
· Willow Hill Golf Course: If you are a golf-enthusiast, you should definitely visit Willow Hill Golf Course. It is a Scottish links style 9-hole course with beautiful views of Chicago's skyline and breath-taking sunsets. This 87-acre facility is fully equipped with a par-35 golf course.
· Village Green Park and River Walk: In the heart of downtown Northbrook, Village Green offers an old-fashioned gazebo, lush greenery, picnic areas and a playground with slides, ramps, tunnels, bridges, swings and sand. The park is known around town as the home of Little League Baseball, Park Fest concerts and other favorite community events such as Northbrook Days and Northbrook's Fourth of July celebration.
Real estate market trends: Where to buy or rent home/condo/apartment in Northbrook
Just like most other suburbs in Cook County, Northbrook is an expensive housing market with median home listing price of $521,000, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). However, you can find 2-bed apartments listed for sale from $250,000. Most weeks, there are about 350 homes listed for sale on average.
Renting an apartment in Northbrook can be a bit challenging due to the limited supply of rental properties. If the NAR data is any indication, you will find about 50 residential properties including single-family homes and apartments listed for rent most weeks here. This is due to the high ratio of owner-occupied homes. Most residents move to Northbrook permanently.
Some of the Northbrook neighborhoods popular among home buyers and renters include:
· Enfield Drive
· York Court
· Gateway Court
· Cayuga Drive
· Bridlewood Road
· Whitfield Road
· Mission Hills Road
· Valencia Drive
· Michelline Lane
· Shermer Road
· Illinois Road
· Midway Road
· Concord Lane
· Rudolph Road
· Wessling Drive
· West Parkway Drive
· Woodview Lane
· Pheasant Creek Drive
· Summit Drive
· Spring Hill Drive
· Parkway Drive
· Lake Cook Road
Here are links to popular websites where you can browse Northbrook homes/apartments listed for sale and rent:
Where to go for shopping in Northbrook IL
The first name that comes to mind when you are planning to go out for shopping in Northbrook is Northbrook Court. It is one of the most popular shopping destinations in not only Northbrook, but also Cook County, featuring about 125 retailers, a 14-screen movie theater, a gourmet food court and a wide range of full-service restaurants. You can spend a whole day here shopping, dinning and enjoying drinks.
The second most popular place for shopping is Willow Festival. Located in Willow Road area, it has over 35 stores including national retailers & restaurants, plus local businesses. The best feature of this plaza is its parklike setting which makes it an idea place to not only shop, but also have fun with your friends and kids.
Some other popular shopping malls in Northbrook include:
· Village Square of Northbrook: Lake Cook Road
· Northbrook Shopping Plaza: 1127 Church Street
· Dunbrook Center: 2722 Dundee Road
· Meadow Shopping Plaza Shopping Center: Cherry Lane
· Sanders Court
· Brookside Plaza: 461 S Waukegan Road
· Nordstrom Rack Northbrook (departmental store): 199 Skokie Blvd
If you are willing to take a short drive, head over to Westfield Old Orchard (Skokie) or the Glen Town Center (Glenview) for shopping. These are some of the most popular shopping destinations near Northbrook.
Where to buy new/used furniture in Northbrook
You are going to look for furniture stores as soon as you move to Northbrook.
There are many stores in this Chicago suburb where you can all types of new/used furniture. There are many retail furniture shops in Northbrook and other shopping malls mentioned above.
Here is a list of most popular furniture stores in Northbrook:
· Dania Furniture: 1001 Skokie Blvd
· Crate and Barrel: 1775 Lake Cook Road
· Relax The Back: 840 Willow Rd Suite F
· Turn The Tables: 1955 Cherry Ln
· American Mattress: 51 Skokie Blvd
If you are looking to donate or buy used furniture, you should know that there is a Goodwill Store & Donation Center in Northbrook. There are many independent thrift stores also here including Village Treasure House (1460 Paddock Drive).
Restaurants, cafes and bars in Northbrook
Northbrook is considered a paradise for food and party lovers in Chicagoland. The reason is that there are many popular restaurants, coffee shops, bars and diners offering a variety of cuisines including Asian, Mexican, Italian, Greek and Thai.
Here is a list of most popular restaurants that you should visit to satisfy your taste buds:
· J Alexander’s Redlands Grill (American): 4077 Lake Cook Road
· Pinstripes: 1150 Willow Road
· Max and Benny’s Restaurant: 461 Waukegan Road