Newer attractive homes, great schools and nearby amenities make Stockbridge a sought-after subdivision in Elk Grove Village.
Their house itself -- the design and layout -- sold Jean and Bob Payne on the subdivision 27 years ago, and the original owners still like to talk about how much they enjoy living there.
Listing sheetPrice range: $400,000 to $450,000
Age of homes: 25 to 29 years
Schools: Nerge Elementary and Mead Junior High schools in Schaumburg Township Elementary District 54 and Conant High School in Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211
Parks: Elk Grove Village and Schaumburg park districts
"The house has a very open concept kitchen, huge and beautiful," Jean Payne said. "It's well built and is a great house for entertaining, which is really nice because we get together with our neighbors all the time."
The couple had lived in the city when they started their home search, and in many cases, they found that a basement would cost extra, as would other features they thought would be included.
"One place even had no closets," Payne said. "Here the basement and several amenities were included in the price of the home."
Stockbridge, northwest of Meacham and Biesterfield roads, is one of the few pockets of newer homes in Elk Grove Village, which is a big attraction for buyers, said Gary Christensen, broker with NW Village Realty.
Homes here feature more of a New England flavor with vaulted ceilings, angled rooms and more interesting architecture than the boxier, early Centex Homes houses. Also, many homes on the west side of the neighborhood feature basements -- and with 2,300 to 2,600 square feet are larger than the standard home in Elk Grove Village.
Many residents remain in Stockbridge at least until they retire, which is a challenge for pricing a new home on the market, Christensen said. "When you have a lot of sales, it's easy to do comparative pricing, but in an area like this, there isn't much turnover.
"Stockbridge has always been a very desirable area and is the most often requested subdivision by name."
The good schools are another draw for the subdivision, Christensen said.
"A lot of people want Conant (High School) and Mead (Junior High)," he said.
Payne said they heard a lot of good things about the schools before they moved, which was important, but for Payne, it was all about the house. After moving to the subdivision, it soon became all about the neighbors, too.
"We have wonderful neighbors, and so many original owners are still here," Payne said. "It's really a good group of people who help each other out. When someone is sick, everyone makes dinners. Even after 27 years, the ladies go out to dinner once a month. We feel like we're in a dorm; the neighbors have been really close."
The highly rated Elk Grove Park District offers many activities and events for residents. The Pavilion, with its indoor carousel ride, is a great place for families. The recreation center also offers an indoor playground, fitness center, jungle-themed pool, climbing wall and racquetball and basketball courts.
The nearby Rainbow Falls water park is also very popular, Christensen said, and Payne agrees.
"When our kids were small, we went to the pool at Rainbow Falls and ran into people we knew, and the kids would hang out together. And I said, 'How did I ever get this country-club lifestyle?' "
The subdivision's convenient location is another plus for homebuyers. It sits near Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg with all kinds of shopping and restaurants, interstate highways and the neighboring Fox Run Golf Course, as well as O'Hare International Airport.
Other community assets include Busse Woods Forest Preserve, a beautiful spot with miles of biking and walking trails, and an in-town hospital, Alexian Brothers Medical Center.