In 1984 when Bob and Kathy Korvas were driving around Prospect Heights, they happened upon a new home with open land and a great location between Route 53 and I-294.
The couple bought the beautiful home in Lake Claire Estates, which sits east of Wheeling Road and north of Camp McDonald Road, and they love living in the subdivision.
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Listing sheetPrice of homes: $400,000 to $700,000
Age of homes: 25 to 30 years
Schools: Frost Elementary and Holmes Middle schools in Wheeling Township Elementary District 21 and Wheeling High School in Northwest Suburban High School District 214
Parks: Prospect Heights Park District
"With a minimum of half-acre lots in Prospect Heights, it's almost like country living here without going out to Barrington," Bob Korvas said. "I always call it a diamond in the rough.
"The neighbors are very friendly people. No one is a stick-in-the mud or a troublemaker. They're happy to visit and help out, but they're not busy bodies."
Lake Claire Estates is such a pretty neighborhood with a lot of lovely custom homes -- beautiful brick Georgians, sprawling ranches and contemporary and Tudor styles -- all different designs with no two homes alike, said Connie Hoos, real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.
Home sizes vary with some more than 4,000 square feet, and homes feature two- to four-car garages. Several homes back up to the pretty pond on Thierry Lane, and there's a neighborhood park with tennis courts at the end of Claire Lane.
"A great aspect of Prospect Heights as a whole is that it feels like you're in the country, yet you're close to everything," Hoos said.
"The subdivision has Lake Michigan water now, which is a huge plus for residents, and 90 percent of homeowners in the subdivision are hooked up."
Korvas was instrumental in bringing the water into the subdivision, which is very rare for single-family homes in Prospect Heights. "Many professionals live here, and everyone worked on the project and helped organize the effort to bring water to the city," he said.
When the subdivision received the water, residents celebrated with a few neighborhood parties, and everyone showed up, about 120 people, Korvas said.
"One of our neighbors owns Sabatino's Restaurant on Irving Park Road, and they catered the whole event," he said. "I'll tell you one thing, they know how to make an espresso martini, and their food is wonderful."
The subdivision offers privacy for residents, yet it has a great community feel among homeowners, Hoos said. "It's a wonderful community.
"There is very little turnover, which speaks strongly about how much people love where they live and don't want to move unless necessary."
With nearby golf courses and several well-kept parks, there are so many amenities within the community, Hoos said.
"The mayor has done so much to improve the area to make it a nicer place to live. And with a two-year city plan, all the streets in Prospect Heights will be new."
The community has a new police station, village hall and a nice post office, she said. The bike path starts in Garden Park on School Road one block north of Palatine Road and ends at train station at Camp McDonald and Wolf roads, Hoos said.
For residents who want to be involved in the community, an active Garden Club beautifies the city while the Lions Club is a service organization that reaches out to civic and charitable causes.
Good access to transportation is also a big plus for residents who live 10 minutes from the expressway and near the train station at Camp McDonald and Wolf roads.