Fifteen years ago when Marguerite and Rich Ledone drove to Sugar Grove to check out the real estate, they found a lot in a nice quiet cul-de-sac in Black Walnut Trails. Today the couple enjoys life in the subdivision.
"We love the neighborhood," Marguerite Ledone said. "We've met a lot of great people out here. Everyone is friendly. And my kids have a lot of good friends.
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Listing sheetPrice range: $275,000 to $800,000
Age of homes: 19 years and newer
Schools: McDole Elementary, Harter Middle and Kaneland High schools in Kaneland Unit District 302
Parks: Sugar Grove Park District
"A friend of ours built our house. He showed us a couple homes he had built, and we liked this plan and layout. We feel very fortunate to be able to come out here and build our own house."
Marguerite's favorite room is her 14-year-old son's bedroom, a room over the garage with a lot of little alcoves and an Eminem theme. She also likes the family room, from where she can see the whole street and what's going on.
"We have a really nice yard. The trees over the last six years have gotten full, so it's private, but not too private," Ledone said.
"When we moved here, there were only 2,500 people in Sugar Grove. Over the years, we've watched it grow."
Sugar Grove started in 1834 in a grove of sugar maples in what is now the Bliss Woods Forest Preserve. The village remained mainly a farming community until the early 1960s when residential development began east of Route 47. As development continued, Black Walnut Trails was one of several subdivisions that sprung up in the late 1980s and early '90s.
"It's a little taste of country, but just minutes from shopping," said Betty Theisen Placek, broker associate with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage and a 15-year resident of Black Walnut Trails.
"Sugar Grove is the best-kept secret because people don't realize how close we are to everything with I-88 right here. We can get to Oak Brook or Chicago as quickly as those from the tri-city area."
Located on the southeast corner of Bliss and Denny roads just south of I-88, Black Walnut Trails was developed in 1993 by Custom Source with 198 lots.
Today the community is comprised of 195 custom homes, many with very private premium lots that back to open space, forested areas or the pond.
Homes are as beautiful as they are unique with varying styles and sizes between 3,000 and 5,000 square feet, many with three-car garages. Most homes feature brick and cedar fronts, spacious dramatic floor plans with elegant architecture and luxury amenities, Placek said.
"Every home features the highest quality construction. You see a lot of elegant trim packages; lots of granite, sweeping open staircases, and many have maple or cherry wood cabinetry.
"Some homes back to the park and woodlands. It's very pretty. We have a lot of wildlife."
Residents are a nice blend from young couples with families to retirees. And there's plenty of recreation for children. Two ponds offer fishing and ice skating while Black Walnut Park features a playground, basketball court, gazebo and nature conservancy.
The subdivision is close to Waubonsee Community College where people take advantage of the library and attend concerts and other cultural and educational events.
The village offers several community events such as the Fourth of July Bike Parade and the popular Sugar Grove Corn Boil in July, a three-day event at Volunteer Park.