Two of the original homeowners in North Aurora's Orchard Crossing neighborhood, Rebecca and Nolan Bello, selected the subdivision because it was far enough away from everything, yet close enough to everything, Rebecca Bello said.
"The location is so convenient to I-88, and you don't have to go to this road and that road to get to a highway. When we moved here, we both worked off I-88 in Naperville, which was really nice," she said.
Listing sheetPrice range: $183,000 to $279,000
Age of homes: 12 to 15 years old
Schools: Fearn Elementary, Jewel Middle and West Aurora High schools in West Aurora School District 129
Parks: Fox Valley Park District
A neighborhood's location affects a person's whole life, said Darlene Coady, real estate broker with Keller Williams Fox Valley Realty. "People don't live 24 hours in their homes, and they need good access to other places that are important to them," she said.
Residents like being near all the shopping and amenities along the North Aurora and Randall Road corridors and also the good shopping on Galena Boulevard in Aurora, Coady said.
Another big plus for the subdivision is having the elementary school bordering the western edge and the middle school at the southwest corner of the subdivision. Location and the schools are huge draws to the neighborhood.
Situated on Orchard Road north of I-88, Orchard Crossing was constructed between 1998 and 2001 during a period of rapid real estate development in North Aurora.
The subdivision features 141 single-family homes constructed from eight different floor plans in a variety of styles with 1,750 to 2,500 square feet, three or four bedrooms, 2½ to 3½ baths and two- or three-car garages.
The neighborhood is finished with curbs and gutters and streetlights, which is nice for the children playing outside in the evening.
The Bello's three-bedroom home was just the right fit for them.
"The floor plan was perfect for what we needed; we just made a few modifications," Rebecca Bello said. "And we finished the basement, so we have a playroom, space to exercise and room to hang out.
"We have a good-size yard, which is one of the reasons we chose this site. We have apple trees and a vegetable garden in the backyard and plenty of room to run around. We don't have a fence because I love the open feeling," she said.
"We originally had a cornfield in our backyard, but my sister bought the house behind us and now she and her family live there."
The subdivision has a good community feeling, Bello said. "Kids are always running around playing, and my son has friends across the street."
Orchard Crossing is a popular place for first-time or move-up homebuyers. The neighborhood offers good-sized houses for a reasonable price compared with communities farther east, Coady said. And that has made the neighborhood accessible to more people. You can still get a good buy there, she said.
The subdivision is ideal for people who work in local business parks and industrial areas around Aurora.
For recreation, the Fox Valley Park District maintains receives rave reviews. The park district operates Blackberry Farm and the Red Oak Nature Center, which offers a variety of hands-on learning opportunities, classes and lectures. Bird watchers and nature observers enjoy the center's natural inhabitants.
Also, the park district features all kinds of programs and classes, sports facilities, athletic fitness center and aquatic fun for the whole family.