Originally from Chicago, Susan and Sam Dileonardo moved from Carol Stream to the Cornerstone Lakes subdivision in West Chicago 14 years ago. "We keep moving farther west," Susan Dileonardo said.
The attraction for the couple was the subdivision's parklike setting, two lakes and the plan to build a neighborhood elementary school.
Listing sheetPrice range: $250,000 to $500,000
Age of homes: 11 to 15 years old
Schools: Norton Elementary, Wredling Middle and St. Charles East High schools in Community Unit School District 303
Parks: West Chicago Park District
"The minute I walked into the model, I knew I was home," Susan Dileonardo said. "I love that it's a farmhouse-style house, and I love the front porches and that a lot of people sit out on them.
"Our house is beautiful with lots of windows in the back. With the neighborhood 14 years old now, the trees are more mature, and the landscaping is just beautiful. I tell everyone I live in Disneyworld."
Cornerstone Lakes features two-story Colonials with some ranches, and it has great curb appeal, said Margaret Tornga, broker with RE/MAX Cornerstone in West Chicago.
"It's a nice mix of medium- to higher-priced homes; so there's a broad price range that people like. It's not a cookie cutter subdivision. The lesser-priced homes had about four or five models from which to choose, and the others are more custom. There are some very good builders in there, and some high-end builders.
"A big draw is that the subdivision is in DuPage County -- in West Chicago with St. Charles schools, and there is a new elementary school there. It's a very nice area. They have the best of both worlds."
Tornga said when prospective buyers are looking for houses in the St. Charles school district, they're surprised when they look in Cornerstone Lakes because of its West Chicago address. "They need to be educated about West Chicago -- that it's a good place to live with a great library and park district," she said.
West Chicago is known as a friendly community that hosts a lot of family festivals that bring people together. Before Susan and Sam moved, they had visited the models and area stores, and they saw firsthand that people were genuine and warm.
"I love the friendly atmosphere and that people wave when you drive through the neighborhood," Dileonardo said. "In the stores, people are really friendly and they recognize your face. It's really a warm community."
Shopping abounds at nearby Charlestowne Mall and the downtowns in West Chicago and St. Charles, where both have quaint shops, boutiques and restaurants that attract people from miles around.
"After we moved in, new restaurants and shopping came out this way," Dileonardo said. "We were so excited when Portillo's opened."
The subdivision sits near Pheasant Run, a resort that offers a variety of entertainment, and Wayne, a small town with a lot of equestrian properties and an annual fox hunt, Tornga said.
For recreation, the beautiful 41-acre Cornerstone Lakes Park hosts fall and spring soccer leagues on nine soccer fields. It also features a playground and 1.5-mile walking trail circling the catch-and-release pond.
Residents are near the Wayne Forest Preserve with great walking trails and a dog exercise area, as well as the Illinois Prairie Path, where residents can hike, bike or run along the nature trail that winds through West Chicago, Tornga said.
If golf is your game, Prairie Landing is an 18-hole links-style course and St. Andrews Golf and Country Club is a premier 36-hole course and educational facility.
The location is near major highways and is convenient to get to Chicago, Dileonardo said.
"West Chicago has a cute little train station," she said, "and we take the train downtown all the time."