Top 25 best and worst cities for Illinois homeowners

Kevin HoffmanReboot Illinois

Sep 21, 2016

New ranking of the best and worst places for Illinois homeowners

High taxes and home prices make Chicago one of the worst cities in Illinois to be a homeowner, according to a new report.

The personal finance company ValuePenguin ranked 259 cities from best to worst for home ownership in three main categories: taxes and insurance, home price, and jobs and the economy. The group evaluated more than a dozen data points ranging from real estate and sales tax rates to mortgage prices and public safety.

Homeowner insurance rates varied greatly, ranging from $1,179 in Bloomington to $2,354 in Marion, according to ValuePenguin.

Using data from Zillow, the report found Rochelle has the cheapest median home price per square foot at $37. The highest is in Winnetka — one of the wealthiest cities in the state and home of Gov. Bruce Rauner — where the median cost is $407.

Also considered was homeowner income. Homeowners in Lake County had the highest median annual income of $95,080, while Alexander County homeowners’ income was $34,452, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

At No. 246, Chicago was ranked among the worst cities to be a homeowner, largely because of high local taxes and above-average home prices. A rank of 130 was considered the average in each of the four categories.

As you’ll see in the list below, many of the worst-ranked cities for homeowners are in parts of the state where cost-of-living and real estate taxes are among the highest. Conversely, places ranked as the best are located in counties with both lower cost-of-living and local taxes, despite having weaker job markets.

Here are the Top and Bottom 25 cities in Illinois to be a homeowner, according to ValuePenguin.

Top 25

25. Coal City

  • Taxes and insurance: 112
  • Price: 16
  • Jobs and economy: 139

24. Bloomington

  • Taxes and insurance: 88
  • Price: 70
  • Jobs and economy: 107

23. Mattoon

  • Taxes and insurance: 18
  • Price: 76
  • Jobs and economy: 169

22. Elgin

  • Taxes and insurance: 125
  • Price: 53
  • Jobs and economy: 84

21. Geneseo

  • Taxes and insurance: 92
  • Price: 5
  • Jobs and economy: 163

20. Orion

  • Taxes and insurance: 34
  • Price: 8
  • Jobs and economy: 214

19. Champaign

  • Taxes and insurance: 73
  • Price: 61
  • Jobs and economy: 121

18. Washington

  • Taxes and insurance: 45
  • Price: 60
  • Jobs and economy: 146

17. Kewanee

  • Taxes and insurance: 46
  • Price: 2
  • Jobs and economy: 202

16. Pekin

  • Taxes and insurance: 75
  • Price: 13
  • Jobs and economy: 161

15. Eureka

  • Taxes and insurance: 108
  • Price: 22
  • Jobs and economy: 118

14. Roselle

  • Taxes and insurance: 86
  • Price: 110
  • Jobs and economy: 50

13. Saint Joseph

  • Taxes and insurance: 70
  • Price: 45
  • Jobs and economy: 124

12. Charleston

  • Taxes and insurance: 7
  • Price: 83
  • Jobs and economy: 148

11. Teutopolis

  • Taxes and insurance: 11
  • Price: 95
  • Jobs and economy: 131

10. Chester

  • Taxes and insurance: 22
  • Price: 61
  • Jobs and economy: 151

9. Rantoul

  • Taxes and insurance: 98
  • Price: 15
  • Jobs and economy: 120

7. Waterloo

  • Taxes and insurance: 78
  • Price: 52
  • Jobs and economy: 97

7. Altamont

  • Taxes and insurance: 6
  • Price: 90
  • Jobs and economy: 131

6. Alton

  • Taxes and insurance: 63
  • Price: 10
  • Jobs and economy: 149

5. Effingham

  • Taxes and insurance: 5
  • Price: 94
  • Jobs and economy: 122

4. Oblong

  • Taxes and insurance: 2
  • Price: 48
  • Jobs and economy: 166

3. Morton

  • Taxes and insurance: 12
  • Price: 56
  • Jobs and economy: 144

2. Edwardsville

  • Taxes and insurance: 57
  • Price: 24
  • Jobs and economy: 123

1. Mahomet

  • Taxes and insurance: 44
  • Price: 77
  • Jobs and economy: 74

Bottom 25

 259. Herscher

  • Taxes and insurance: 164
  • Price: 240
  • Jobs and economy: 193

257. Tonica

  • Taxes and insurance: 138
  • Price: 229
  • Jobs and economy: 220

257. Momence

  • Taxes and insurance: 154
  • Price: 240
  • Jobs and economy: 193

255. Lewistown

  • Taxes and insurance: 178
  • Price: 153
  • Jobs and economy: 241

255. Elburn

  • Taxes and insurance: 194
  • Price: 259
  • Jobs and economy: 119

254. Avon

  • Taxes and insurance: 175
  • Price: 153
  • Jobs and economy: 241

253. Astoria

  • Taxes and insurance: 172
  • Price: 153
  • Jobs and economy: 241

252. McCook

  • Taxes and insurance: 204
  • Price: 249
  • Jobs and economy: 111

251. River Forest

  • Taxes and insurance: 240
  • Price: 244
  • Jobs and economy: 79

250. Forest View

  • Taxes and insurance: 202
  • Price: 249
  • Jobs and economy: 111

249. Hodgkins

  • Taxes and insurance: 201
  • Price: 249
  • Jobs and economy: 111

248. Oswego

  • Taxes and insurance: 247
  • Price: 217
  • Jobs and economy: 85

247. Highland Park

  • Taxes and insurance: 258
  • Price: 252
  • Jobs and economy: 31

246. Chicago

  • Taxes and insurance: 249
  • Price: 180
  • Jobs and economy: 109

245. Lake Forest

  • Taxes and insurance: 255
  • Price: 257
  • Jobs and economy: 25

244. Vernon Hills

  • Taxes and insurance: 225
  • Price: 254
  • Jobs and economy: 56

243. Havana

  • Taxes and insurance: 135
  • Price: 148
  • Jobs and economy: 251

241. Plainfield

  • Taxes and insurance: 256
  • Price: 203
  • Jobs and economy: 65

241. Lake Zurich

  • Taxes and insurance: 253
  • Price: 231
  • Jobs and economy: 40

240. Evanston

  • Taxes and insurance: 194
  • Price: 232
  • Jobs and economy: 96

239. Oak Park

  • Taxes and insurance: 230
  • Price: 193
  • Jobs and economy: 98

237. Winnetka

  • Taxes and insurance: 238
  • Price: 245
  • Jobs and economy: 36

237. Princeton

  • Taxes and insurance: 192
  • Price: 128
  • Jobs and economy: 199

236. Byron

  • Taxes and insurance: 174
  • Price: 171
  • Jobs and economy: 170

235. Yorkville

  • Taxes and insurance: 257
  • Price: 189
  • Jobs and economy: 64

From ValuePenguin on its methodology:

Not all data points had data available for every city. In these cases, cities without a data figure were given a last-placed ranking in that specific category.

 

We were unable to find specific data at the city or county level for utilities. According to Electricity Local, average monthly residential electricity bill in Illinois is $87.

 

Another data point we wanted to look at was income tax. Income tax is a flat rate across the state of Illinois for all tax brackets at 3.75%, so we did not include it.

You can see ValuePenguin’s full ranking here. 

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