What Makes Lake Bluff, IL Such a Desirable Community?

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Lake Bluff is a small town on the shores of Lake Michigan. However, it is part of the North Shore and considered a suburb of Chicago. It is also considered more desirable than Chicago. In fact, this is reflected in real estate prices. The average home in Chicago costs around $300,000. That’s in line with the national housing market. In comparison, the average Lake Bluff home is worth half a million dollars. What makes Lake Bluff, IL such a desirable community?

The Commute

Lake Bluff is the northernmost suburb of Chicago. In theory, you can drive from Lake Bluff to downtown Chicago in an hour. That puts all of the northern Chicago suburbs and towns like Schaumberg in easy reach. Residents are also a short drive to the Great Lakes Naval Training Station. North Chicago is north of that, but it is too far from Chicago to be a suburb of it. Go north past North Chicago, and you’re in Wisconsin.

Fortunately, you don’t have to drive to Chicago. You can take the Metra UP-N to Chicago. That eliminates the need to drive 45 to 60 minutes into Chicago. Furthermore, Census data shows that around ten percent of Lake Bluff residents work from home. This resulted in Lake Bluff being named the fourth best city for teleworking prior to the coronavirus pandemic making it the norm.

The Thriving Downtown

You can find small towns with lovely beaches or open spaces anywhere. What makes Lake Bluff different is that it has a viable and even thriving downtown. You can go out for dinner or go shopping there. This also makes Lake Bluff a community, not a tourist town that dries up when it is too cold to go swimming. But the area does have a farmer’s market. The city also gets points for being home to some of the best hospitals in the area: Northshore Highland Park Hospital and Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital. There are manufacturers in the area, but there are also insurance companies and product design firms. This gives Lake Bluff a more stable economy than traditional tourist towns. Its unemployment rate has been in line with the national average for years.

Quality of Life

The biggest reason you pay more for Lake Bluff homes for sale than those closer to Chicago is quality of life. Lake Bluff schools were given an A+ by Niche.com. It received an equally high score for family-friendliness. For comparison, Chicago rated a C+ for its public schools and B for family friendliness. Crime stats resulted in Lake Bluff getting a B, but that’s far better than the C- Chicago received.

The Open Space

Lake Bluff isn’t just on the water. It also has a rural feel due to all the parks in the area. In fact, there are half a dozen large parks in the community. That’s aside from the presence of large golf courses like Shoreacres and Lake Bluff Golf Course.


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