Thirty years ago, Jackie Kirchner's mother saw a newspaper advertisement about a new subdivision in Wheeling and told her daughter about it.
"My mother said, 'Have your husband drive by,' " Jackie Kirchner said. "So he zigzagged there after work, went to the sales office for information and joined a line of people. He came home and said, 'We better act fast.' "
Listing sheetPrice range: $275,000 to $375,000
Age of homes: 29 years
Schools: Eisenhower (kindergarten, first grade), Betsy Ross (grades 2-3) and Anne Sullivan (grades 4-5) elementary schools and MacArthur Middle School in Prospect Heights School District 23; Wheeling High School in Township High School District 214
Parks: Wheeling and Prospect Heights park districts
Living in a condo at the time with two children, the couple wanted to buy a new home, and Ridgefield piqued their interest.
"We liked the price of the home and everything it included," Kirchner said. "They (the builder) gave us a lot of extras -- a fully sodded lot, beautiful evergreens, a parquet wood floor in the foyer and full basement.
"We have a very nice yard with our house placed forward on the lot so we have a nice, big backyard that abuts Prospect Heights, and they have large lots there."
Situated west of Wheeling Road and south of Hintz Road, Ridgefield offered the couple a good spot close to I-294 and about equidistant from their parents' homes -- Jackie's in the city, and husband Tom's in Gurnee.
"We made a good decision to move here," Kirchner said. "It's a great house in a great neighborhood. We still have some original neighbors. We're very lucky."
Ridgefield features 225 houses, most built by Hemphill Builders, with a variety of styles including ranches, split-levels, and three- and four-bedroom, two-story homes, said Connie Hoos, real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.
"There are some beautiful homes in there," said Hoos, who is marketing a Ridgefield home with a remodeled kitchen overlooking a backyard paradise that was featured in Kitchen and Bath magazine.
Homes in the subdivision have very good resale value, she said. They were built with many good features such as open floor plans, volume ceilings and full basements. And it's such a friendly, neighborly community, Hoos said.
The subdivision also features townhouses on Ridgefield Lane built by Kimball Hill Homes.
Ridgefield's amenities include two ponds and Pleasant Run Park, which has a tot lot, basketball court, softball field and walking path. The park is undergoing renovation, which will include new play equipment and playground surface along with many other improvements.
What could be better than great shopping, dining and entertainment close to home? Nearby Randhurst Village in Mount Prospect offers a beautiful open-air center with a diverse mix of retail stores, many good restaurants and a 12-screen movie theater.
The train station is straight down Wheeling Road less than a mile away, and there's a walking path off Wheeling Road that leads to Lake Arlington.
A nice benefit for residents is they are allowed to use the Prospect Heights and Wheeling park districts and libraries, Hoos said.
"Wheeling has that great water park, and people in the subdivision pay resident rates for the pool and the aquatic center," she said.
Wheeling began as an overnight stop for travelers from Chicago to the Wisconsin Territory via the overland trail now known as Milwaukee Avenue. The string of inns, taverns and eateries established in the 1830s was the start of what is now Wheeling's well-known Restaurant Row.
Today, Wheeling offers a good balance of industry, commercial development and residential neighborhoods.