Christine O'Donnell recalls the warm welcome she and her husband Mike received when they moved into Wheaton's Stonehedge subdivision on a cold November day 21 years ago.
While the movers were still unloading the van, one of their new neighbors came over with blueberry muffins and a hot thermos of coffee. "And later another neighbor invited me over for coffee with the other neighbors," O'Donnell said.
Listing sheetPrice range: $400,000 to $600,000
Age of homes: 27 to 34 years
Schools: Whittier Elementary, Edison Middle and Wheaton Warrenville South High schools in Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200
Parks: Wheaton Park District
"We not only bought a new home, we bought a whole neighborhood of friends."
The couple, transferred from California and with Christine five months pregnant at the time, was able to purchase their home immediately, move in and quickly get established with a new doctor.
Stonehedge, which is situated north of Butterfield Road and east of Orchard Road, was built from 1980 through 1987 by well-respected builders Joe and Ed Keim and Faganel Builders, said Sue Hedlund, real estate broker with RE/MAX Suburban. "These are quality built homes set on beautiful lots," she said.
The subdivision offers a variety of home designs including Georgians, English Tudors, Victorians and saltbox designs along with dramatic contemporary and classic traditional homes. Residences are primarily two-stories with a few ranches and split-levels interspersed throughout.
Hedlund is now marketing a classic brick Georgian with five bedrooms and three baths.
"There is always a high demand for this neighborhood, and homes sell very quickly," Hedlund said. "There are 13 homes for sale now with eight of them already under contract."
Hedlund will appear in the upcoming 2014 issue of Chicago Magazine as a five-star professional selected by editors to be in the top 2 percent among 42,000 agents working in the Chicago area.
The O'Donnells love their spacious home with 3,500 square feet plus another 1,000 square feet in the basement, which is well suited for the family of six. "The kids each had a bedroom, their own little space," O'Donnell said.
O'Donnell especially likes the home's entryway with its large foyer and spiral staircase. Two family rooms were also a big plus with the front room serving as a study area while the other room housed the TV and was the hub of activity.
Stonebridge offers a very friendly and social atmosphere. "Our house was at the bus stop where all the kids gathered, and after they got on the bus, parents would continue to talk with a cup of coffee," O'Donnell said.
People in the neighborhood help each other out and are always glad to pick up a child from school or meet someone's kids at the bus stop. "This has been a magical, magical place to raise a family," she said.
The subdivision offers many fun activities throughout the year including an Easter egg hunt, community spring and fall garage sale, ice cream social, Halloween party and Santa visits.
Neighborhood parks include Seven Gables Park with soccer and baseball fields while Ridge Park and Brighton Park are smaller parks in the subdivision.
Excellent schools are another big draw to the neighborhood, Hedlund said, and there are also many private schools in the area. Stonehedge also offers easy access to expressways and a great location near several recreation sites and shopping centers.
Popular recreation facilities include the state-of-the-art Rice Water Park and the park district community center, which includes a health and fitness center, indoor walking/jogging track and teen center.
Other area amenities include Arrowhead Golf Course, Herrick Lake, Blackwell Recreation Area, and the Illinois Prairie Path just west on Butterfield Road.