North side of Itasca in neighborhood profile
Linda and Frank Honsa have lived in their home in the north end of Itasca for 28 years. Linda is a lifelong resident, born and raised in the idyllic community, and she wanted to raise her two children here.
What does Linda Honsa like about living in the north side neighborhood? "Everything," she said.
"I love the village feel and the walkable neighborhood where we can walk to church, the schools and the downtown area. We have good access to the train and expressway, so we can easily get to the city."
The neighborhood is reminiscent of a simpler time, and it's common to see kids riding their bikes down the street, people walking their dogs and neighbors out talking with each other. It's also a neighborhood where people help each other out, Honsa said.
"When my husband was injured a few years ago, the neighbors all pitched in and helped me with removing the snow."
The family lives in a home built in the early 1950s with big bedrooms, a full basement and a backyard pool that the whole family enjoys.
"My son is a really good swimmer, and he was a member of the swim team along with several other neighborhood kids," Honsa said.
Homes in the north end sit just north of the town's charming historic district, Metra and the downtown area, said Monica O'Byrne, real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Schaumburg and also a resident of the neighborhood.
"Everyone loves the location, and the neighborhood has a lot of personality," O'Byrne said.
The neighborhood features well-kept homes that range from 1,500 to 4,000 square feet and sit on tree-lined streets. It's a nice mix of newer construction and older homes, many of which have been updated.
"We like it here because of the small-town feel with such convenience, close to O'Hare (International Airport) and surrounded by expressways," O'Byrne said. "It's such a great location for my husband who does a lot of traveling by car.
"The Walnut Street business district is the focal point of town. We have a great bakery and nice stores, and with the downtown revitalization, we're attracting more upscale shops and restaurants."
There is also plenty of shopping along Irving Park Road and at malls in neighboring communities.
Itasca offers an award-winning park district where Honsa and her children participated in sports and fitness activities. "It's nice being in a small town where kids can ride their bikes or walk to baseball or soccer practice," Honsa said. "Even for the swim team that practices at 6 in the morning, you'd see kids riding their bikes there."
The park district also operates the Springbrook Nature Center and historic Depot on Irving Park Road and offers many classes and activities.
The village feel that residents enjoy comes to life on Christmas Eve when everyone participates in the tradition of setting out luminaries. The Lions Club distributes bags with candles, and volunteers even put them out at all the public buildings, Honsa said. "It's just beautiful."
Part of the village's redevelopment is the scenic Riverwalk, which begins at village hall on Walnut Street and winds through the village and Springbrook Nature Center, ending at the municipal complex in the northwest corner of the park.
Itasca's attractive neighborhoods, excellent schools, beautiful parks and quality of life make the village a great place to call home.
Listing sheetPrice range: $182,000 to $617,000
Age of homes: Early 1900s to new construction
Schools: Benson Elementary, Franzen Intermediate and Peacock Middle schools in Itasca Elementary District 10 and Lake Park High School in Lake Park High School District 108.
Parks: Itasca Park District