Honest Pros and Cons of Living in Wilmette

Wilmette Jena Radnay May 31, 2023

Located on the sparkling shores of Lake Michigan and just outside of the hustle-and-bustle of Chicago, Wilmette appeals to those looking to get away from big-city life while staying close enough to take advantage of everything the Windy City has to offer.

In contrast to the busy lifestyle in the city, Wilmette real estate garners attention with promises of lakeside views, spacious yards, and quiet neighborhoods. With a relatively small population of only about 27,000, Wilmette is a picturesque suburb with much to offer its residents. If you’re interested in a move to a peaceful community in the Chicago area, read on to find out if this is the right place for you.

Pros of living in Wilmette

The Wilmette lifestyle

The amazing lifestyle here is among its strongest selling points. As a suburb, it offers everything you’d expect: tranquil streets, expansive homes with spacious yards, and a level of natural beauty that’s impossible to find anywhere in Chicago.

Life in Wilmette is quieter and slower compared to its urban neighbor, and if you picture yourself going on lakeside walks or tending to a backyard garden, Wilmette is the perfect place to call your own.

Amenities galore

Wilmette is home to several commercial districts, ideally suited for a day of retail adventures. Visit Plaza del Lago for its upscale sense of style, whether you’re looking for a new addition to your wardrobe or interior decor. Retail seekers can find more fashion-forward apparel along the Green Bay Road District and Linden Square.

Head to Wallace Bowl, an outdoor amphitheater full of fun and entertainment in the summer, from music concerts to a beach bash and more. For even more family fun, don’t miss the Centennial Ice Rink, a popular complex that’s the go-to spot for hockey lessons, ice skating events, and birthday parties.

The great outdoors

Wilmette’s natural features pack the community full of character and charm, making it one of the most beautiful little towns in the Chicago area. Located right on the shore of Lake Michigan, Wilmette offers a variety of outdoor activities for a healthy way of life. If you see yourself going on daily hikes, walking along the shoreline, or simply enjoying your surroundings, Wilmette offers exactly that.

In the summertime, the beach at Gillson Park is a perfect place to spend a day with the family: swimming in the clear water, kayaking, or lounging in the sun. Boat rentals are even available on the weekends. If you want to include Fido, head to Gillson Park Dog Beach. Your fuzzy friends can run and play under the sun in this off-leash area just south of Gillson Park.

If tennis is more your style, the Wilmette Tennis Club is the place to be. With several courts and lessons, it’s a popular spot for spending the day out on the court.

The Keay Nature Learning Center is one of the best little spots in Wilmette and just one example of what the community has to offer. As a natural reservation with trails, ponds, waterfalls, and thriving local flora and fauna, the Keay Nature Learning Center is a local favorite for anyone looking to take in the natural beauty of the area.

A wise investment in your future

If you plan on buying a home in Wilmette, the purchase will likely be one of the most significant financial commitments of your life. Owning a gorgeous home is a great way to bolster your personal finances, and homes in Wilmette offer luxury living at a luxury price tag.

If you ever plan on selling your Wilmette home, you can be confident that demand will always be high. As one of the most charming suburbs near one of America’s largest cities, families with ties to Chicago will always be looking for a nice place outside of the city to raise children and settle down.

Cons of living in Wilmette

It’s quiet — too quiet?

While the peaceful lifestyle in Wilmette is also one of its most alluring qualities, it may not be for everyone. If you’re looking for the sort of nightlife that the city of Chicago is known for, Wilmette probably won’t be at the top of your list.

Though the community is beautiful and full of character, it certainly appeals more to families and those looking to settle down than it does to singles looking to get the most out of life in the city. The commute to Chicago is short enough, but it’s worth mentioning that you won’t be right in the heart of all the action. Public transportation in the suburbs is also not the same as in the city, so you’ll probably want to have your own car for your commute.

The commute

This brings up another trade-off of living in Wilmette: the commute, especially if you have to take frequent trips into the city. Many of Wilmette’s residents work in the city and commute back and forth every day. While the drive is less than 20 miles, it might take you 40 or so minutes to get into the city, depending on traffic. Have a dinner date planned with friends? Need something specific, but your local store is sold out? You’ll probably be commuting a fair distance for these things. The drive isn’t too cumbersome, but any commute can get tiring if you’re doing it every day or — if your schedule requires it — multiple times per day.

Ready to begin your search?

If you’re interested in all that living in Wilmette has to offer, or if you’re ready to jump into Wilmette real estate, reach out to experienced broker Jena Radnay to begin your search. Ranked as the #1 broker in the state and with more than $133 million sold in 2022, Jena knows how to connect with her clients and get results. With a genuine love for helping others and a keen eye for real estate trends, Jena has built a solid reputation for exceeding expectations. Reach out to Jena if you’re ready to begin your real estate journey in Wilmette or other areas of the North Shore.

*Header photo courtesy of Jena Radnay

Work With Jena

Jena Radnay, and the focus of her real estate business, is all about people. Radnay’s love for real estate, houses, marketing, and people have allowed her business to grow organically, albeit explosively, in large part from referrals from her extensive network of contacts and connections.